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Wildomar city council select mayor and mayor pro tem during last meeting of the year


Last updated 12/22/2017 at Noon

The landowners of the Wildomar Square shopping center will be the first to benefit from the deferment of developer impact fees. The council voted to establish a Community Facilities District that will handle the deferment during their most recent meeting Wednesday, Dec. 13. Alex Groves photo

The Wildomar City Council selected a mayor and mayor pro tem for the 2018 year at the end of a meeting, Dec. 13, where they looked at several items, including the establishment of a citywide district to hand the deferral of developer impact fees.

Toward the end of the meeting, current Mayor Pro Tem Ben Benoit was nominated as the new mayor for 2018, and Councilmember Marsha Swanson was nominated as the incoming mayor pro tem. The council voted unanimously on both appointments.

Earlier that night, the council had spent some time approving a resolution which established a Community Facilities District, which will be able to levy a special tax against properties that have had their developer impact fees deferred. The tax functions as a way of allowing the developers to pay the fees over time with interest rather than all at once.

The landowners of the Wildomar Square shopping center, located at the corner of Hidden Springs and Clinton Keith roads, will be the first group to benefit from the deferral with the establishment of the new district. They had petitioned the city earlier in the year to establish a CFD to defer fees in the amount of $543,021.

They will pay the fees yearly over several years through the special tax. The total maximum tax generated is estimated around $625,000 to cover interest and costs.

Developer impact fees are levied by cities on development projects to try to offset the impact to public services or infrastructure, but cities reserve the right to defer those fees if there’s a benefit to the public from a development project.

A staff report prepared by Assistant City Manager Daniel York notes that the shopping center brings more than 100 jobs to the city as well as desirable commercial retail and dining opportunities that allow people to stay in the city rather than traveling elsewhere.

Some of the businesses located within the shopping center include a combined Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins combination store, a Taco Bell and a Robeks Fresh Juice & Smoothies.

The city council also voted down a project that was jokingly referred to as “Stonehenge” during the meeting.

They were asked by the Wildomar Historical Society to approve the temporary placement of cornerstones from the dismantled historical Brown house at Marna O’Brien Park as a sort of historical display until the Brown house could be reconstructed on a plot of land in the Baxter Village Mixed-Use project approved by the council, July 13, 2016. The cornerstones purportedly came from a quarry that had been in the area.

A photo showed an outcropping of square-shaped rocks scattered in dirt in no particular order. One of the rocks was tagged with graffiti. There was no indication of how the rocks would be put together, though there was an accompanying picture of how similar cornerstones had been put together in a pseudo art display at the Vail Ranch Headquarters in Temecula.

linkCouncilmember Bridgette Moore raised concerns about the rocks being a liability issue and wondered what would happen if children jumped off the rocks and became injured.

“What we’re seeing there is not pretty,” Councilmember Swanson said, adding that she wished members of the Historical Society had explained how the rocks were going to put together or what they were doing to explain the rocks’ historical significance.

The council voted 5-0 to reject “Stonehenge.”

The city also took some time to recognize the winners of its 2017 Holiday Lights Home Decorating Contest. The residents of 25011 Cinnabar Court won the Griswold Award, the residents of 35690 Woshka Lane won the traditional award and the residents of 21504 Coral Rock Lane won the Judge’s Recognition Award.


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