Wildomar awards $6.8M construction contract for Bundy Canyon improvement project

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Wildomar City Council approved a construction contract Wednesday, Sept. 9, to begin work on the Bundy Canyon Road Improvement Project in a Zoom meeting. Valley News/Courtesy photo

During the Wednesday, Sept. 9, meeting of the Wildomar City Council, they unanimously approved awarding a contract of 6,883,950.30 for the construction of the Bundy Canyon Road Improvement Project to James McMinn Inc.

Dan York, director of Wildomar Public Works and city engineer, presented the resolution to the council.

“I just want to take a second and recognize our regional partners,” York said. “This project is funded through a couple pots of Measure A funds, one through RCTC … they are funding half of this project. The other big chunk is being formed by (Western Riverside Council of Governments) TUMF process. TUMF was a result of Measure A.

“The third and final piece, I really want to make a shoutout to supervisor (Kevin) Jeffries and the county of Riverside and Riverside County Flood Control, they are also funding a portion of this project, they started the project. And they’ve been a great support all the way through,” he said.

Councilmember Ben Benoit said he was excited to see the contract “going out the door.”

“I am so excited to see this going and I am excited to see the other two phases completed also, of course,” he said.

The motion to approve carried 4-0, with councilmember Marsha Swanson absent from the meeting.

In other general business, the city council adopted, with modifications, a resolution approving the city’s multifamily objective design standards for new developments and projects.

City consultant Jonathan Nettler shared a presentation with the council.

Nettler explained the goals of the project included establishing a consistent design image for multifamily residential projects, required design elements, architectural styles and standards that encourage creativity.

“Recent amendments to state housing legislation, including several Housing Accountability Acts, and SB 35, now require local jurisdictions to have clear and objective zoning standards and streamlined approval processes,” Nettler said. “To ensure that local housing production goals are met.”

Nettler explained that the project’s history began in December 2019 at a planning commission public workshop where the most and least favorable architectural styles were chosen. In a July meeting, the selection of four architectural styles was made, which included craftsman, French, farm chic and colonial revival. Nettler also covered the proposal’s design and site location standards.

In public comment, Danavon Horn said that he believed the criteria in the proposal was one of the more expensive design criteria he’s seen and pointed out several other issues as well.

“I think it’s counterproductive to be making these kinds of requirements for multifamily that I am sure you do not have for single-family,” Horn said. “The overall design is beautiful, but it’s not practical for multifamily.

“You’ve designed incredibly beautiful buildings, but you won’t get any multifamily built looking like them,” Horn said.

Councilmember Joseph Morabito suggested not having such a high mark, and city planner Matt Bassi said projects already approved would not have to adhere to the proposed standards.

“I see two sides of it. I mean, we need affordable housing, where people can actually afford to come,” councilmember Bridgette Moore said. “On the other hand, we want nice housing too.”

Benoit said the city can have nice housing but didn’t understand why some of the design elements needed to be so pricy.

Mayor Dustin Nigg insisted on adding verbiage to the proposal to accommodate for possible state solar requirements, but Bassi said the inclusion of creativity into the standards could be interpreted to allow for that already.

“I am more in favor of not changing the entire thing, just adding some leeway because everything is going to be a little different,” Nigg said.

The resolution was approved with the modifications unanimously.

The council also approved in general business the Measure AA Oversight Advisory Committee annual report addendum for the fiscal year 2018-2019.

The consent calendar, which was approved unanimously by the council, included the city accepting $5,177 in funding from Riverside County’s fiscal year 2019 State Homeland Security Program and adopting an associated resolution and adopted a resolution for the completion of road maintenance and rehabilitation projects.

The council also approved and authorized an improvement agreement and BMP agreement with GSC Smith Ranch approved a resolution accepting an offer of dedication for Lot 52 by Wildomar Springs LLC, a Delaware Limited Liability Company, and approved a resolution to authorize the examination of transactions and use tax records by city staff or agents of the city of Wildomar while repealing resolution 2018-68.

At the start of the meeting, the council also read a Constitution Week Proclamation, heard an update from Lake Elsinore Unified School District and from the Wildomar Library.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at jpack@reedermedia.com.