Valley News -

By Jeff Pack

Wildomar approves Faith Bible Church project, adjusts urgency ordinance


Last updated 7/19/2019 at 12:20am

The Wildomar City Council adopted resolutions and amendments in support of the proposed Faith Bible Church project, Wednesday, July 10, which includes the development of a 27,489-square-foot worship building with a 1,030-seat capacity, assembly areas, rooms for Bible study and religious education, training and worship rooms.

The project would also include a 16,486-square-foot children’s ministry and child care building and an 18,024-square-foot gymnasium, three residential dwellings for visiting missionaries, an amphitheater and 795 parking spaces.

In all, the project site will be 25.58 total acres on Depasquale Road and Glazebrook Road.

Two people spoke in opposition to the project and more than a dozen either voiced support or wrote on comment cards.

The council asked questions of the developer regarding security, fencing and traffic impact on the area.

The council eventually voted unanimously to approve the resolutions.

The council also extended a moratorium on the establishment of tobacco retailing businesses or hookah or vapor lounges within the city for 10 months and 15 days, or until June 2020.

Last month, the city voted unanimously to place a 45-day moratorium, in response to a hookah lounge that was planned to open in a space within a block of Wildomar Elementary School in a retail space previously occupied by Jolie Day Spa.

The original moratorium called for all such businesses to be excluded from the city during the time period. After two partners in the business approached the dais with their concerns, the council shifted to amend the moratorium to prohibit such businesses from within 600 feet of schools.

Edward Frazier, a partner in the proposed business, spoke to the council before they made their decision.

“I just want to know what you can do for us, because we’re in like a really bad situation,” Frazier said. “We came to you guys and asked about the zoning. We asked about everything. You said it’s a go for us, so I took it as a go. I’m in a really bad position now. I’m out of a job. I lost my apartment.

“The date just keeps pushing back for me, is there anything you can tell me to give me hope? I don’t see this going any way in my favor. You guys make it seem like I’m done,” Frazier said.

Another of the partners spoke at the meeting and expressed frustration with having the permitting process stalled and holding up the opening of the business.

City staff said the owner of the business was doing tenant improvements on the space both before approval and after approval by the city. All improvements on the property have stopped following the first moratorium.

“I understand you guys came in and asked. And yeah, it was an allowed use, and unfortunately I will tell you this side what we were hearing from many, many constituents that they were not happy with the idea of a smoke shop being that close to a school,” Councilmember Ben Benoit said. “It’s just an unfortunate situation. Now, do we want to do whatever we can to help you? Yeah, because we don’t want this to be just one-sided. I look forward to hopefully finding you guys a different spot, or somehow otherwise get you moving to another lease or whatever.”

“I have empathy for you, and I think we all do,” Councilmember Dustin Nigg said. “Staff did what they were supposed to do. I think it really comes down to optics, and unfortunately, you’re like a hundred feet from an elementary school. I have little kids; I smoke though too. So, I’m in favor of your type of business.”

The council unanimously approved the ordinance with the additional amendment.

In other general business, the council approved a resolution to form a CSCDA Community Facilities District and a memorandum of understanding with Sunbelt Communities LLC and the proposed Oak Creek Development Project and introduced and approved the first reading of an ordinance, 3.2 Amendment of Municipal Code Chapter 13.12, Stormwater Drainage System Protection and selected and approved councilmembers to serve on a temporary ad hoc SignCode Update Subcommittee.

The council also opened a public hearing regarding proposed territory to be annexed to community facilities district No. 2013-1, which was ultimately approved in a vote by canvased voters. The council unanimously adopted for the resolution.

The council also approved the consent calendar which included a ninth amendment to the city’s lease agreement for City Hall and established radar enforceable speed zones on Grand Avenue and Clinton Keith Road.

During public comments, Jeremy Goldman from Southern California Edison gave a presentation about Southern California Edison’s wildfire preparation and mitigation practices, resident Kenneth Mapes recommended increased fines for discharging illegal fireworks, Monte Goddard expressed optimism in the direction the city was headed and another resident was concerned about weed abatement in the city.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at [email protected]


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