Temecula’s proposal to annex 4,500 acres passes LAFCO

RIVERSIDE – The city of Temecula’s proposal to annex 4,500 acres — including most of a nature habitat — southwest of the city was approved today by a Riverside County regulatory body.

In a 6-0 vote, with one member absent, the Local Agency Formation Commission, which rules on municipal boundary changes, granted Temecula’s ”sphere of influence” amendment to stretch the city limits to include 95 percent of the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve.

A similar proposal was voted down by LAFCO a year ago. At that time, Temecula wanted its new sphere to extend over a 414-acre site possessed by Watsonville-based Granite Construction, which has plans for a strip-mining operation there.

The proposed Liberty Quarry is undergoing a permitting process that includes research on how it will impact the environment.

The project has a number of supporters because of the 300 or so jobs it may create.

However, during last year’s vote, several hundred quarry opponents told LAFCO members that Temecula would be a better steward of the land.

The new annexation plan leaves out the quarry and several property owners who disliked the idea of their land coming under Temecula’s authority.

Before today’s vote, several more property owners raised objections, prompting the LAFCO board to make a condition that annexation only go through after Temecula amends its sphere of influence to exclude an area on the southeast edge of the annexation zone.

LAFCO staff raised several issues of concern, noting that Temecula is proposing to rezone a portion of the annexed area as ”hillside residential,” instead of ”rural mountainous.”

The change ”provides for the development of very low-density single- family detached housing in areas that are best-suited for open space,” according to a LAFCO study.

About 20 people reside in the annexation zone.

The sphere of influence change was supported by San Diego State University, which oversees the Santa Margarita preserve, as well as the Santa Margarita Ranchos Property Owners’ Association.

Opponents included Mamey Investment Corp., which complained that plans to convert part of the preserve into a park would create intolerable traffic, noise and pollution issues.


RIVERSIDE – The city of Temecula’s plans to annex 4,500 acres — including most of a nature habitat — outside its boundaries are expected to be approved today by a Riverside County regulatory body.

Temecula is asking the Local Agency Formation Commission, which rules on municipal boundary changes, to allow a ”sphere of influence” amendment that would encompass 95 percent of the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve and a small unincorporated pocket of the county, southwest of Temecula, west of Interstate 15, just north of the San Diego County line.

A similar proposal was voted down 5-2 by LAFCO a year ago. At that time, Temecula wanted its new sphere to extend over a site possessed by Watsonville- based Granite Construction, which had plans for a strip-mining operation there.

The proposed Liberty Quarry is still undergoing a permitting process that includes research on how it will impact the environment.

The project has a number of supporters because of the about 300 jobs it could create.

The new annexation plan leaves out the quarry and several property owners who disliked the idea of their land coming under Temecula’s authority.

LAFCO staff raised several issues that could conflict with the agency’s mandate to preserve as much open space as possible, noting that Temecula is proposing to rezone a portion of the annexed area as ”hillside residential,” instead of ”rural mountainous.”

The change ”provides for the development of very low-density single- family detached housing in areas that are best-suited for open space,” according to a LAFCO study.

Around 20 people now reside in the proposed annexation area.

The annexation proposal is supported by San Diego State University, which oversees the preserve, as well as the Santa Margarita Ranchos Property Owners’ Association.

Opponents include Mamey Investment Corp., which believes any planned development of the preserve into a park would create intolerable traffic, noise and pollution issues.

3 Responses to "Temecula’s proposal to annex 4,500 acres passes LAFCO"

  1. nick   June 26, 2010 at 6:21 am

    cotton candy

    Reply
  2. nick   June 26, 2010 at 6:21 am

    a land grab, to deny the rights of the real property owners.

    Reply
  3. Ray (the real one)   June 26, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    LAFCO Sounds like some comedy club on Wilshire Blvd but looking at some of their rulings, I’m not that far off.

    Reply

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