Valley News -

By Joe Naiman

Supervisors deny conditional use permit for Rancho California alcohol and drug treatment facility


Last updated 5/17/2018 at 9:27am

An alcohol or drug abuse treatment facility which serves at least seven persons is permitted on unincorporated Riverside County land with Wine Country zoning only with a conditional use permit, and that permit is discretionary. The Riverside County Board of Supervisors denied a request for such a permit on a Rancho California property in the 36500 block of De Portola Road.

The supervisors’ 5-0 vote May 8 approved the findings to deny the permit while also making findings that the denial of the permit was exempt from California Environmental Quality Act review. The findings determined that the facility would be inconsistent with the Temecula Valley Wine Country Policy Area and the Temecula Valley Wine Country Community Plan.

The 10.41-acre property owned by the Linda R. Davis Family Trust has Rural Residential Zoning but is within the Equestrian District of the Temecula Valley Wine Country Policy Area. The purpose of the Equestrian District is to protect and promote equestrian uses in the Temecula Valley Wine Country Policy Area while the Temecula Valley Wine Country Community Plan is intended to preserve and enhance the viticulture potential, rural lifestyle, and equestrian activities within the Temecula Valley Wine Country area while also allowing an appropriate level of commercial tourist activities oriented toward viticulture activities.

The house on the De Portola Road property totals 7,384 square feet. A 16-bed residential drug and alcohol treatment facility was proposed which would have included 23 full-time staff members although no more than 12 of the staff members would have been at the facility at any time.

If an alcohol or drug abuse treatment facility serves six or fewer people, it is legally considered a residential use of the property. The ordinance requiring a Conditional Use Permit for such a facility serving at least seven people stipulates that a permit shall not be granted unless the applicant demonstrates that the proposed use will not be detrimental to the health, safety or general welfare of the community and that the permit is consistent with the county’s general plan.

The proposed treatment facility would have been a stand-alone business and would not have operated in conjunction with a winery or equestrian operation. (Statistics provided by the wine industry indicate that wine accounts for approximately 20 percent of all alcohol sales but less than 2 percent of drunken driving arrests, so wine is not considered a contributor to alcoholism.) Business operations within the Temecula Valley Wine Country Policy Area are intended to be incidental to associated winery or equestrian operations.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at [email protected]


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