Category Archives: DEVELOPMENT

Public hearing set for Olive Branch Church

THE NEW OLIVE BRANCH CHURCH AND SCHOOL: Plans call for a 58-foot-tall, 31,500-square-foot worship center. All other buildings will be two-stories.

Because of a clerical error, a county Planning Department Director’s Hearing has been continued for the Olive Branch Community Church. The public hearing will be held Monday, Dec. 18 at the county Administrative Center, 4080 Lemon St., Riverside. The 1:30 p.m. hearing will be in Conference Room 2A on the first floor.

The church, currently located in El Cerrito, owns the 14.53 acres at the northwest corner of Temescal Canyon Road and Trilogy Parkway, and plans to expand with a worship center and K-8 school to be built in three phases.

The first phase, with an anticipated 2020 completion date, would be the construction of a 43,972-square-foot building, comprised of a 14,500-square-foot multi-purpose worship center, and 29,472-square-feet of Sunday School classrooms and church office space, plus a 140-student private school and 80-student preschool.

The second phase would expand the private school and preschool with an expected 2023 completion, and the final phase, due to be completed in 2028, would expand the worship center, adding a multipurpose fellowship hall. There would be 605 parking spaces.

At buildout the worship center would seat 1,250 people and the multi-purpose fellowship hall would seat 800. The anticipated enrollment for the preschool is 96 children and 216 students for the school.

The completion dates for each of the three phases are tentative and will be predicated by the church’s fundraising campaigns.

The hearing was continued from Nov. 27 because an erroneous time was listed in the public notice and the notice was not mailed to all neighboring property owners within the 600-foot radius of the project. The county proceeded with two hearings on Nov. 27 – at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Pastor Greg Harris at the 1:30 p.m. hearing addressed a couple of community concerns that were called to his attention when the church presented the project at the April Temescal Valley Municipal Advisory Council meeting.

He said all the oak trees on the property would remain except one that was diseased and would be replaced. He also noted that a Trilogy entrance monument would be located on church property at Trilogy Parkway.
Primary entrance to the church and school would be from Trilogy Parkway. The roadway within the complex primarily runs along the western border, with parking on the north and south boundaries. A traffic signal eventually will be installed at Squaw Mountain Road.

Drainage problems in the area will be handled by three basins to be built the length of the property along Temescal Canyon Road.

Comments either favoring Plot Plan 25776 or opposing it can be made at the public hearing or by email sent to county planner Dionne Harris – dharris@rivco.org.

Review the project here: http://planning.rctlma.org/Portals/0/hearings/dh/dh2016/rdh112717.pdf?ver=2017-11-22-124720-197

Decision on condo project continued

CONDO PROJECT TRACT MAP: Among concerns of planning commissioners were streets ending in cul-de-sacs and the number of homes built around each motor court. Butterfield Estates is west of the project, the freeway to the east and Temescal Canyon Road to the south.

County planning commissioners at their Nov. 1 meeting made no decision on a proposed condominium project, but instead set a new meeting date to give additional time to the developer’s consultant to address concerns they have with the project.

Michael Naggar, a consultant representing the property owner, agreed to the meeting’s continuance to Wednesday, Dec. 20 when he will submit redesigned plans for the 83-condominium community his client wants to build on Temescal Canyon Road just north of Campbell Ranch Road.

The 14.81-acre property, of which only nine acres are usable for the project, currently is zoned for commercial office and the property owner is requesting a zone change to medium-density residential. The property was originally zoned residential, but in 2011 the same owner sought a zone change to commercial office which was granted by county.

About two dozen concerned citizens attended the three-hour public hearing — 11 speaking against the project and seven speaking in favor. A primary objection raised was the earlymorning traffic congestion on Temescal Canyon Road and that the estimated 838 daily vehicle trips generated by the project would add to the gridlock.

A traffic engineer representing the project said that future county improvements scheduled for Temescal Canyon Road would mitigate the current traffic congestion. The completion of the road’s first widening project, planned on the east side of the freeway north of Dawson Canyon Road, is expected in Fall 2019.

Other concerns included public safety and the possible necessity of an evacuation in case of a fire or other natural disaster. Plans call for one road as an entrance into the project and the same road serving as an exit from the project.

Other speakers said that the best use of the property was the current commercial office zoning because Temescal Valley has enough homes, but residents lack services such as medical and dental offices, child care, and assisted senior care.

HOA OPPOSES PROJECT

The project was opposed in a letter submitted to the Planning Commission and signed by all board members of the Butterfield Estates Homeowner’s Association, the closest neighborhood to the proposed project. The primary concern was the traffic congestion and current mountain views to the east that would be obstructed by the two-story condos.

Paula Hook, president of the Butterfield Estates HOA, also questioned agreements that were being made with each of the 14 Butterfield property owners whose homes back up to the condo property. She questioned whether the agreements would require adjustments to the homeowners’ back yards that would require HOA approval and, if so, that the developer work with the HOA board and not each homeowner.

The majority of those speaking in favor of the project were Butterfield residents involved in the agreements.

After the public comment portion of the hearing was closed, Naggar refuted some of the comments made by speakers opposing the project.

He said the commercial office use of the property was not a viable alternative for the owner as that market had declined during the recession and has not recovered. He also said there were too few “rooftops” in Temescal Valley to support services offered by commercial office tenants.

He questioned why the Butterfield HOA would have any involvement in improvements made to the back yards of the 14 residents closest to the project. He said what he was offering these residents in each of the agreements was a “good neighbor” gesture on behalf of his client.

PLANNERS EXPRESS CONCERNS

Commissioners, reviewing the project tract map, had concerns about the streets ending in cul-de-sacs and no way to navigate through the community without dead-ending at a cul-de-sac. Another concern was the number of homes built on each of the narrow motor courts.
A commissioner said he felt eight homes per motor court was excessive and if residents didn’t park vehicles in their garages, firefighters would have difficulty gaining access because of vehicles parked curbside on the motor courts.

The same commissioner asked for a group of homes built closest to the freeway to be relocated because of emissions data cited in cancer infant mortality rates. 

Another commissioner asked for a wider buffer between the condos and the 14 Butterfield homes that backed up to the project.

Naggar agreed to their suggestion for a tract map redesign and a request that he again contact the Butterfield HOA board about its concerns. He said continuing the meeting until Dec. 20 would be sufficient time for him to comply with their requests.

Transmission towers could cross Temescal Valley

What’s next for the LEAPS project?

What’s the next step for Nevada Hydro’s Lake Elsinore Advanced Pumped Storage project (LEAPS), now that the deadline has passed for additional study requests?

We contacted James Fargo at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC.) It appears the process will be a long one with the first step being a review of all requests submitted for additional studies and the determination of which requests are valid.

Here’s what Fargo stated in an email:

The issuance of the Ready for Environmental Analysis (REA), Notice and subsequent milestones will not occur until the additional information needs of Commission staff on the final license application have been satisfied, which may include the completion of any needed additional studies.  The milestones that provide opportunities for stakeholder input are highlighted in red.

  • Additional study requests due
  • Issue Scoping Document 1 for comments
  • Public Scoping Meetings
  • Comments on Scoping Document 1 due
  • Issue Scoping Document 2 (if necessary)
  • Issue REA Notice soliciting comments, recommendations, terms and conditions, and prescriptions
  • Comments, recommendations, terms and conditions, and prescriptions due
  • Issue updated EIS
  • Comments on updated EIS due
  • Issue final EIS (if necessary)

Several requests for studies were submitted just prior to the Dec. 1 deadline, including one from the U.S. Department of Agriculture with concerns about the Cleveland National Forest – among them the Decker Canyon Reservoir, the design of the transmission lines, fire hazards and the outdated Environmental Impact Statement.

Many study requests came from Sycamore Creek residents and one petition (many different ones, plus form letters were submitted), had more than 1,000 signatures.

DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS IS FRIDAY. DEC. 1

(Published Nov. 28, 2017)

HOW TO SUBMIT ADDITIONAL STUDY REQUESTS
Requests for additional studies can be submitted to FERC via its eComment page on the website. Use an Internet Explorer browser:
https://ferconline.ferc.gov/QuickComment.aspx

Follow the directions on the page. It’s best to prewrite your comments in a Word doc and then copy and paste into the eComment template. The docket number is P-14227. Begin your comments with:
Re: Lake Elsinore Advanced Pumped Storage Project
Project No. P-14227-003

NEW INFO: A copy of your request sent to FERC for additional studies also MUST BE emailed to Rex Waite at Nevada Hydro:
Rex@leapshydro.com

Here are the latest the comments sent to FERC:

From Congressman Ken Calvert
From Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez
From Riverside County
From Lake Elsinore & San Jacinto Watersheds Authority

UPDATE ON LEAPS …

(Published Nov. 9, 2017)

There seems to be disagreement between Southern California Edison and Nevada Hydro Co. about the connection point of the LEAPS project’s northern transmission lines, which could change the path of those lines if the hydro-power project is approved.

Speaking at the Nov. 8 Temescal Valley Municipal Advisory Council meeting, Edison’s Jeremy Goldman said the lines will connect to the proposed Alberhill substation. If the substation plan gains approval by the California Public Utilities Commission, it will be constructed on 124 acres of SCE-owned land at the corner of Temescal Canyon and Concordia Ranch roads east of the 1-15 and close to the 1,900-home Horsethief Canyon Ranch neighborhood.

In filing its Final License Application with FERC, Nevada Hydro shows the connection point to be a switchyard it will build near Lee Lake with the lines continuing north to join Edison’s Valley-Serrano lines that run across the Temescal Mountains. The path to the Lee Lake switchyard would pass very close to the Glen Eden, Terramor, Sycamore Creek and Horsethief Canyon communities.

If the connection point is the Alberhill substation, about three miles south of the proposed  Lee Lake switchyard, it is presumed the path of the lines would be changed, with major impact to  Horsethief Canyon Ranch residents.

When questioned further, Goldman directed people to read Edison’s communication to FERC dated Sept. 22, 2017.

Here’s the Edison Letter:
http://www.wearetv.org/blog/docs/SCE.pdf

In the meantime, the countdown continues toward the Friday, Dec. 1 deadline for requests to be submitted to FERC asking for additional scientific studies for the LEAPS project.

The We Are Temescal Valley Development Committee urges residents, especially those living in Sycamore Creek, Glen Eden, Terramor and Horsethief Canyon Ranch, to request a new Environmental Impact Statement for the project.

The EIS that Nevada Hydro is using for the project was prepared in January 2007. Since that time, Riverside County has approved land use changes to property adjacent to and under the path of the proposed northern transmission lines, including Terramor and new Sycamore Creek neighborhoods. The impact of such an intensive project should be studied under current conditions, not those of almost 11 years ago.

The city of Lake Elsinore, the Riverside County Transportation & Land Management Agency and the Lake Elsinore & San Jacinto Watersheds Authority soon will be submitting requests for additional studies. Local Congressman Ken Calvert is resubmitting his request next week.

HOW TO SUBMIT ADDITIONAL STUDY REQUESTS
Requests for additional studies can be submitted to FERC via its eComment page on the website. Use an Internet Explorer browser:
https://ferconline.ferc.gov/QuickComment.aspx

Follow the directions on the page. It’s best to prewrite your comments in a Word doc and then copy and paste into the eComment template. The docket number is P-14227. Begin your comments with:
Re: Lake Elsinore Advanced Pumped Storage Project
Project No. P-14227-003

NEW INFO: A copy of your request sent to FERC for additional studies also MUST BE emailed to Rex Waite at Nevada Hydro:
Rex@leapshydro.com

Comments also can be snail-mailed to:
The Honorable Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20426

DEADLINE: FRIDAY, DEC. 1

Here’s the FERC Public Notice announcing the current filing period:
http://www.wearetv.org/blog/docs/notice.pdf

Here’s Nevada Hydro’s cover letter for the Final License Application:
http://www.wearetv.org/blog/docs/FLA.pdf

Here’s the Final License Application:
http://nevadahydro.com/index.php/projects/final-license-application/

The following entities already have sent letters opposing the project and/or requesting State and local agency review:

Glen Eden Corporation
Sycamore Creek Community Association
Horsethief Canyon Ranch Community Association
The Retreat Community Association
Terramor at Temescal Valley
Lakeside Temescal Valley
Riverside County 1st District Supervisor Kevin Jeffries
U.S. Rep. Ken Calvert, 42nd Congressional District
Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, 67th Assembly District
Riverside County Transportation & Land Management Agency
City of Lake Elsinore
Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District
Lake Elsinore & San Jacinto Watersheds Authority
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
California Water Resources Control Board
Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians
Center for Biodiversity
Sierra Club
San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society
Southern California Edison

PATH OF THE LINES: This illustration is from the Final License Application and shows the path of the transmission lines through Temescal Valley.

LATE-BREAKING NEWS …

(Published Oct. 12, 2017)

Nevada Hydro rep Rex Wait, speaking at the Oct. 11 TV MAC meeting, announced a 60-day public comment period to request additional studies for the LEAPS project.

Request DEADLINE IS DEC. 1. If you submitted earlier comments, those comments must be resubmitted and phrased to request the need for additional studies and your reason for seeking the study.

HOW TO SUBMIT ADDITIONAL STUDY REQUESTS
Requests for additional studies can be submitted to FERC via its eComment page on the website. Use an Internet Explorer browser:

https://ferconline.ferc.gov/QuickComment.aspx

Follow the directions on the page. It’s best to prewrite your comments in a Word doc and then copy and paste into the eComment template. The docket number is P-14227. Begin your comments with:
Re: Lake Elsinore Advanced Pumped Storage Project
Project No. P-14227-003

Comments also can be snail-mailed to:
The Honorable Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20426

FERC allows license application to be filed and waives requirement for additional review and public scoping

(Published Oct. 7, 2017)

WHO:     Nevada Hydro Speaker
WHAT:   Temescal Valley Municipal Advisory Council
WHEN:   7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 11
WHERE:  The Trilogy Lodge, 24503 Trilogy Parkway.

Despite protests from many state, county and city agencies, as well as elected officials and concerned citizens, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Sept. 29 issued its approval to accept a draft license application for a significant hydro-power project without requiring further review or public scoping. This action opened the door for the Nevada Hydro Company Inc. to file a final license application for its LEAPS project, which it did Oct. 2.

This application, with little exception, is based on a 10-year-old environmental impact statement. What comes next? We hope the Nevada Hydro representative who will speak at the Wednesday, Oct. 11 Temescal Valley Municipal Advisory Council  meeting can answer that question. The meeting is at 7 p.m. at the Trilogy Lodge, 24503 Trilogy Parkway.

Here’s the FERC approval: http://www.wearetv.org/blog/docs/FERC.pdf

Here’s Nevada Hydro’s cover letter for the Final License Application: http://www.wearetv.org/blog/docs/FLA.pdf

Here’s the Final License Application:
http://nevadahydro.com/index.php/projects/final-license-application/

NEVADA HYDRO SIMULATION: Looking to the east from De Palma Road, south of the Shops at Sycamore Creek center and north of Glen Eden. Yellow building at right is the proposed lake switchyard. Lee Lake can be viewed behind the switchyard. 

Nevada Hydro resubmits LEAPS application to FERC

(Published Aug. 8, 2017)

A request to submit a draft license application for a controversial power project that would greatly impact the Temescal Valley scenic view could be approved at any time by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

FERC is reviewing the application resubmitted by Nevada Hydro Company Inc. to build its Lake Elsinore Advanced Pump Storage (LEAPS) project in the Cleveland National Forest with 32 miles of 500 kV transmission lines and 170 high-voltage steel towers. Nevada Hydro is asking FERC to accept the draft license application without additional review and public scoping.

ACTION NEEDED NOW

Deadline for comments is
Sept. 22, 2017

Comments can be submitted to FERC via its eComment page — use an Internet Explorer browser:

https://ferconline.ferc.gov/
QuickComment.aspx

Follow the directions on the page. It’s best to prewrite your comments in a Word doc and then copy and paste into the eComment template. FERC prefers that comments be kept short and to the point. The docket number is P-14227

Comments also can be snail-mailed to:
The Honorable Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20426

Begin your comments with:
Re: Lake Elsinore Advanced Pumped Storage Project
Project Number 14227
Comments to The Nevada Hydro Company’s May 31, 2017 Notification of Intent to File License Application

Letters should be copied to Jim Fargo at the above FERC address. He has primary responsibility for the LEAPS project and can be reached by email at: james.fargo@ferc.gov or phone at 202-502-6095.

The plan calls for water from Lake Elsinore to be pumped at night into a to-be-constructed reservoir and then returned via gravity to generate electricity through turbines.

One set of transmission lines would run northeast across the Santa Ana mountains then head east, crossing Temescal Valley and the I-15 to connect to Edison’s Valley-Serrano lines that run across the Temescal Mountains. Glen Eden, Terramor, Sycamore Creek and Horsethief Canyon Ranch would be the closest communities to the lines.

The other set of lines would head southwest from the pumped storage facility to connect with San Diego Gas & Electric lines.

The project’s intent is to provide additional electricity during peak power usage and to replace electrical output lost with the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

The project was originally submitted in 1995. FERC initially approved the application in the early 2000s but then dismissed it in 2011 because of uncertainty over whether Nevada Hydro had rights to use Lake Elsinore water.

The previous project partner, Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District (EVMWD), backed out of the project and terminated its agreement with Nevada Hydro in 2011. A lawsuit on the water rights issue is scheduled to begin before a San Diego County Superior Court jury on Sept. 22.

The WeAreTV Development Committee is sending a letter to FERC outlining reasons why the application should be denied:

DOWNED POWER LINE SAFETY: According to the Riverside County General Plan’s Temescal Canyon Area Plan, the Temescal Valley portion of the project would traverse a very high wildfire susceptibility area, a 100-year flood and dam inundation zone, and a seismic activity area associated with the Elsinore Fault Zone. Weather-wise, the project lies in the Elsinore Convergence Zone noted for extreme weather patterns including tornados.

The lines would cross both the I-15 freeway and Temescal Canyon Road, the only two north-south evacuation routes in Temescal Valley in case of a major disaster. There are no east-west roadways into or out of the area.

CHANGE IN CONDITIONS: Riverside County has approved land use changes to property adjacent to and under the planned transmission lines since the project’s dismissal in 2011. New development has been constructed. A draft Federal Environmental Impact Statement under National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA), guidelines was released in January 2007 — 10 years ago. The impact of such an intensive project should be studied under current conditions, not those of 10 or 20 years ago.

CONSERVATION: The lines would traverse land area within the Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority (RCA), jurisdiction. Construction of the towers and associated facilities would disturb endangered and threatened species of animals and plants protected by the RCA’s Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan.

VISTAS: The transmission towers, lines and the construction of related facilities would impact the view from the I-15 freeway, which has been designated a State Eligible Scenic Highway.

EDISON PROJECTS: The final Environmental Impact Report has been released for Edison’s Valley-IvyGlen transmission lines and the Alberhill Substation. A public hearing on these projects soon will be scheduled by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). If approved, Edison’s 115 kV subtransmission lines will cross the I-15 freeway almost exactly where the Nevada Hydro transmission towers are proposed.

LACK OF STATE APPROVALS: FERC has indicated it may grant the new application with no additional review. According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, there is only an outdated Draft Environmental Impact Report for the project that was never approved. There is no current project application before the California Public Utilities Commission.

 

Aug. 2 deadline for comments on retail center

COMMERCIAL CENTER: The 27 acres at the northwest corner of Indian Truck Trail and Temescal Canyon Road, outlined above in red, are the subject of a July 24 scoping meeting to seek public comment in preparation of a draft Environmental Impact Report.

The county has scheduled a scoping meeting on Monday, July 24 in preparation for an Environmental Impact Report for the commercial center planned at the northwest corner of Indian Truck Trail and Temescal Canyon Road.

The 1:30 p.m. meeting will be held at the county’s Riverside Administrative Center, 4080 Lemon St., 1st floor, Conference Room 2A.

Toscana Village at Temescal Valley is a proposed 27-acre commercial-retail center to be constructed in two phases and when completed will have a gas station, restaurants, supermarket, and office and retail space totaling 194,000 square feet. There will be 21 buildings and 1,138 parking spaces.

The 12-acre first phase will have six buildings – including an ARCO station with carwash, an am/pm mini-mart and a Jack in the Box. Another fast-food restaurant is planned, plus 4,500- and 6,000-square-foot restaurants, and a 39,000-square-foot, two-story building for offices and retail stores. Tenants for these businesses are now being recruited by Speedway Development, the project’s developer.

An environmental assessment for the property has been completed and a draft Environmental Impact Report will be created from that initial study, as well as agency and community input heard at the scoping meeting.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Notice of Preparation and Initial Study can be viewed at:
http://planning.rctlma.org/Home/NOPforToscanaVillage.aspx

DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS IS WEDNESDAY, AUG. 2
Comments should be emailed to Russell Brady, rbrady@rivco.org
_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Following a presentation at the meeting, the public can get questions answered and voice comments about environmental concerns they may have with the project. The draft EIR only will address areas that the initial study has found to be “potentially significant.” These are: Air Quality, Cultural Resources, Land Use Planning, Transportation/Traffic, Biological Resources, Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Noise.

Comments are now being accepted on the project and can be emailed to County Planner Russell Brady, rbrady@rivco.org. Deadline for comments is Wednesday, Aug. 2.

Once the draft EIR is prepared, including proposed mitigations to lessen/eliminate the impacts, the public again will have the opportunity to comment on the project.

ARCO ampm first tenant for center

(Published Jan. 20, 2017)

SERVICE STATION/CONVENIENCE STORE: An artist's rendering of the ARCO ampm proposed for construction at the northwest corner of Indian Truck Trail and Temescal Canyon Road.

SERVICE STATION/CONVENIENCE STORE: An artist’s rendering of the ARCO ampm proposed for construction at the northwest corner of Indian Truck Trail and Temescal Canyon Road.

People attending the January Temescal Valley Municipal Advisory Council meeting received an update on the 27-acre shopping center planned for the northwest corner of Indian Truck Trail and Temescal Canyon Road.

Tom Chavez and Winnie Wong, representing Speedway Development, said they would be resubmitting development plans for county approval in a week or two and hoped to begin construction in the fall.

The center will be constructed in phases with an ARCO ampm and fast-food restaurants planned for the first phase. Chavez said they would soon announce who the fast-food tenants will be.

More information on the development can be found scrolling down this page and the developer has created a Facebook page for updates: Speedway Development (www.facebook.com/Speedway-Development-1593218220970707/)

TOSCANA VILLAGE AT TEMESCAL VALLEY PHASE 1 (Click on image for a larger view).

TOSCANA VILLAGE AT TEMESCAL VALLEY PHASE 1 (Click on image for a larger view).

TOSCANA VILLAGE AT TEMESCAL VALLEY PHASE 2 (Click on photo for a larger view).

TOSCANA VILLAGE AT TEMESCAL VALLEY PHASE 2 (Click on photo for a larger view).

Plans for retail center announced

(Published Oct. 12, 2014)

Michael Bastian of Henry-Ann Company, representing Speedway Development at the Oct. 8 Municipal Advisory Council, provided more details on a proposed commercial/retail center to be built on Temescal Canyon Road across the street from the 1,443-home Toscana community.

Bastian said the 27-acre parcel will be built in three phases. The first three-acre phase, at Indian Truck Trail’s northound on-ramp to the I-15, calls for a service station/convenience store and two fast-food restaurants. He said discussions have begun with possible tenants, but he was not a liberty to name the businesses.

The second phase of about 12 acres will be commercial/retail businesses with the possibility of fine-dining restaurants. The final phase will be light industrial — maybe used for office space.

Each phase will  be constructed as tenants sign on to keep buildings from standing vacant.

Bastian also said the earlier color scheme of the buildings in shades of green and gold have been changed to match the Tuscan theme of the Toscana project — earth tones and red-tiled roofs. The name of the center has been changed from Temescal Valley Gateway to Toscana Village at Temescal Valley.

Bastain said signage identifying the tenants will be visible from the freeway, but will be more attractive than the signs at Dos Lagos and The Crossings.

He said the center’s layout presented a challenge with all the entrances facing the freeway, leaving the rear of the buildings to face Temescal Canyon Road. He said project designers are taking that into consideration and the back of the buildings will be aesthetically pleasing.

No dates for groundbreaking could be given as the project still must be approved by the county, but Bastian said the process is moving quickly.

Arantine Hills lawsuit dismissed

1,806 HOMES: This is the development plan for Arantine Hills. The property currently is being graded.

Without much fanfare or discussion, the Corona City Council at a June 28 study session awarded a contract for improvements to the Cajalco Road interchange. The winning bid of $44.6 million was submitted by Riverside Construction Inc

The bridge will be widened from two to six lanes, a sidewalk is proposed along the south of Cajalco and a bike lane is proposed on both sides of the roadway. Public Works director Nelson Nelson told council members that work should begin in September/October and be completed by September 2019.

With the awarding of the contract for the improvement project, a lawsuit seeking a writ of mandate against the City of Corona and the New Home Co. has been dismissed.

While inactivity has been noted on the 1,800-home development being built west of the I-15, south of Cajalco Road and adjacent to Temescal Valley’s northern boundary, construction soon should begin on the property. The New Home Co. has recently advertised for bids for a traffic signal, and sewer, water and reclaimed water improvements.

Months agothe New Home Co. changed the name of the controversial development from Arantine Hills to Bedford South Corona. Here’s their new website: http://www.livebedford.com/

Court ruling due in Arantine Hills suit

(Published May 26, 2017)

Superior Court Judge Craig G. Reimer on April 27 heard attorneys’ arguments in the Arantine Hills writ of mandate suit filed by Citizens for Responsible, Economical and Environmental Development (CREED-21), against the city of Corona and developer New Home Company.

The judge had issued a partial tentative ruling favoring the city and developer prior to the April 27 hearing.

After hearing the arguments, Reimer indicated he’d issue a final decision by the end of May, according to Anthony Kim, an attorney with Briggs Law Corp. representing CREED-21.

If granted, the writ of mandate would not stop the project, but could force the city to correct what CREED-21 says were improper actions taken in the approval of the 1,800-home development.

CREED-21 alleges the city should have had a new environmental impact report for the project instead of a supplemental EIR, and that the necessary infrastructure should be in place before the homes are constructed. 

READ THE COURT REPORTER TRANSCRIPT OF THE APRIL 27 HEARING

(Published April 17, 2017)

The Arantine Hills hearing set for Tuesday, April 18 in Department 5 of the Superior Court in Riverside has been taken off the calendar.

Information sought by the court was to be submitted in both hard-copy and digital format. The record of material in this case was either submitted in an erroneous manner or too late for review prior to the hearing date.

When both sides agree that all documentation is acceptable, a new hearing date will be set.

(Published March 29, 2017)

The March 30 court date has been continued, according to Anthony N. Kim, an attorney with Briggs Law Corporation representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed against the city of Corona and the Arantine Hills developers. The new date could be Tuesday, April 18, but as of now there is no official confirmation of that date.

(Published March 26, 2017)

A suit seeking a writ of mandate filed against the city of Corona and the developer of the Arantine Hills housing project will be heard by Judge Craig G. Reimer at 1:30 p.m., Thursday, March 30 in Dept. 05 of the Riverside County Superior Court, 4050 Main St., in downtown Riverside.

Citizens for Responsible, Economical and Environmental Development, a San Diego-based non-profit corporation known as CREED-21, in October filed suit against the city and New Home Company regarding the Arantine Hills project. www.wearetv.org/blog/arantine/lawsuit.pdf

The Corona City Council approved the 1,806-home development last May and grading has begun on the property located south of Eagle Glen and north of Temescal Valley’s Weirick Road neighborhood. The development agreement between the city and New Home Company allows homes to be built prior to improvements being made to the Cajalco interchange.

In seeking the writ of mandate, CREED-21 maintains that because the developer was requesting changes to the project’s original approval in July 2012, a new environmental impact report should have been prepared. Instead, the city allowed adjustments to be made to the original EIR, creating a supplemental EIR which was used in last year’s project approval.

CREED-21 states in the suit, “It is important to note that Petitioner is not anti-development and is not trying to shut this project down. Instead, Petitioner wants the City’s officials to fulfill their duty to be transparent about the true impacts of the project and to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place before the project moves forward.”

The city responded to the suit’s allegations in a brief filed in early December (www.wearetv.org/blog/arantine/city_brief.pdf), and CREED-21 responded to the city in a brief filed later in the month (www.wearetv.org/blog/arantine/reply_brief.pdf).

Two declarants are listed in the suit, Richard Lawrence who states he is president of CREED-21 and Mercedita Valdez who states she is a CREED-21 member and a Corona homeowner.

Corona City Council OKs Arantine Hills

(Published May 23, 2016)

The Corona City Council at its May 19 meeting approved the 1,800-home Arantine Hills project. The development agreement between the city and developer New Home Company allows homes to be built prior to improvements made to the Cajalco interchange. Grading for the housing project is expected to start immediately.

The first 308 homes could be ready for sale mid-2017 — the same time improvements to the bridge are expected to begin. The development agreement also allows the possibility of 1,300 homes being constructed before the interchange project is half finished.

MORE INFORMATION
View the meeting HERE

Related Press-Enterprise report:
Vote paves way for nearly 2,000-home Arantine Hills project

City Council to vote on Arantine Hills

(Published May 4, 2016)

The fate of the 1,800-home Arantine Hills project should be determined at a Corona City Council public hearing, 6:30 p.m., Thursday, May 19 at City Hall, 400 S. Vicentia Ave.

The public can comment on the project at the meeting, with statements not to exceed three minutes. Comments also can be emailed to City Clerk Lisa Mobley at lisa.mobley@ci.corona.ca.us  and must be received no later than Tuesday, May 17.

MORE INFORMATION
Public Hearing Notice

Commission says ‘yes’ to Arantine Hills

(Published April 26, 2016)

The Corona Planning Commission gave thumbs up to the 1,800-home Arantine Hills Development following a public hearing on April 25, and will recommend the project’s approval to the City Council.

Nineteen people spoke at the hearing — five people were in favor of the project and the remaining speakers opposed it.

Most of the opposition — primarily Temescal Valley and Eagle Glen residents, was against the plan’s proposal to allow 308 homes to be built before construction begins on improvements to the Cajalco interchange.

The Development Agreement between the city and New Home Company, the developer, outlined how building permits/certificates of occupancy will be issued. After the first 308 homes are built and bridge improvements begin, 600 more permits will be issued, 390 more permits will be issued when the bridge is 50 percent complete and the rest of the permits issued when the bridge construction is 95 percent complete.

Construction should start on the interchange in July 2017 and will take two years to complete.

Riverside County Transportation Department sent Patty Romo to address county concerns, primarily that traffic studies had under-estimated the number of vehicles that would be using Temescal Canyon Road and that funding should be made available for improvements to TCR.

Speakers for the project represented the Building Industry Association, The Crossings, The Shops at Dos Lagos and the Corona Chamber of Commerce, which favored homes and less commercial/retail.

City staff, in presenting the project to the planning commissioners, recommended approval based on the offer by the developer to pay not only its share for the bridge improvements, but to front the entire amount, including the city’s two-thirds share of the estimated $67 million costs.

Staff reasoned that the offer by the developer would enable the improvements to be made sooner, rather than later, because the city does not have the funding to make the improvements.

Staff also said by reducing the amount of commercial acreage from 38 to 10 acres, estimated daily trips would be reduced by 11,000. Staff said this reduction in daily trips would allow 308 homes to be built without impacting traffic.

Eleven people from Temescal Valley attended the hearing. Seven offered comments and voiced concerns about the proximity of the development to the valley’s Weirick Road neighborhood, where zoning allows only one home per five acres.

All opposing arguments addressed gridlock on the I-15 and surface streets, and some questioned the timing of the project with the 1-15 toll lanes construction set to begin in 2018. The resounding message voiced by the opponents was to “Build the bridge first.”

The Corona City Council will vote on the project following another public hearing, possibly scheduled at its Thursday, May 19 meeting.

MORE INFORMATION
DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT
Video of Planing Commission Public Hearing

Related Press-Enterprise report:
Arantine Hills gets nod from Planning Commission

Arantine Hills hearing is April 25

(Published April 13, 2016)

A Planning Commission public hearing for the Arantine Hills development will be held at 6 p.m., Monday, April 25 at Corona City Hall, 400 S. Vicentia Ave. People who have opinions either for or against the changes and can’t make the April 25 hearing can email their comments prior to April 21 to city planner Terri Manuel at terrim@ci.corona.ca.us

The project is located west of the I-15 in the Bedford Wash between Eagle Glen and the northern boundary of Temescal Valley. The 1,806-home development was approved by the city in July 2012. New Home Company, which purchased the development from Bluestone Communities after the city’s approval, is asking for changes to what was originally approved, creating the need to amend the specific plan and modify the environmental impact report.

The amended specific plan and modified environmental impact report, as well as documents outlining the project’s 2012 approval can be found at http://discovercorona.com/City-Departments/Community-Development/Planning-Division/Arantine-Hills-Project.aspx After hearing comments from the public and city staff at the April 25 hearing, planning commissioners are expected to vote on the project as a recommendation to the City Council whether to approve or deny the changes. The City Council, at a future public hearing, will make the ultimate decision on changes to the project.

Comments sought on changes to Arantine Hills documents

(Published Feb. 13, 2016)

The city of Corona is accepting comments on the Arantine Hills amended specific plan and draft supplemental environmental impact report. The deadline to submit comments is Monday, Feb. 22.

The project is located west of the I-15 in the Bedford Wash between Eagle Glen and the northern boundary of Temescal Valley. The 1,806-home development was approved by the city in July 2012.

New Home Company, which purchased the development after the city’s approval, is asking for changes to what was originally approved, creating the need to amend the specific plan and modify the environmental impact report.

Notable changes include a reduction in general commercial acreage from 38 to 10 acres, increasing open space from 36.6 to 56.8 acres, reducing parkland from 15.2 to 8.7 acres and deleting from the plan a recreational trail and bikeway that would have been available for public use outside the gated community.

Additionally, the developer wants to construct 308 homes before construction starts on improvements to the Cajalco interchange, and once bridge construction begins, homes could continue to be built. The 2012 approval was conditioned on bridge improvements being completed prior to building permits being issued.

Total cost of the bridge improvement is about $62 million with New Home Company being responsible for one-third. If allowed to build homes prior to the improvements, New Home Company will advance the entire amount including the city’s share. While New Home Company can pay its share of about $21 million, the city says it has no funds available to pay for the remaining $41 million.

A development agreement between the city and New Home Company will outline how the city will repay the advanced funds for the improvement. City staff, in May, told the City Council the bridge was over capacity now, and the costs to make improvements would only increase the longer it takes to correct the problem. Staff also told the council no money in paybacks would come from the city’s general fund.

Temescal Valley residents, as well as Corona residents living in Eagle Glen, are citing concerns about school overcrowding and additional gridlock to the I-15 caused by homes being built prior to interchange improvements being made. Additional concerns are keeping open the access to the Bedford Wash hiking trails and the proximity of proposed medium density homes to the estate-zoned parcels (one home per five acres), in the Weirick Road neighborhood.

People are questioning why New Home Company would purchase the approved project knowing the conditions of the approval and the stipulation that no homes could be built prior to interchange improvements being completed.

Comments should be emailed prior to Feb. 22 to city planner Terri Manuel at terrim@ci.corona.ca.us. The dates for public hearings have yet to be determined.

MORE INFORMATION
Amended Specific Plan & Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report
Project Fact Sheet
About the project

Related Press-Enterprise reports:
June 19, 2015: Developer revises Arantine Hills plan
Jan. 9, 2015: Huge proposed housing project faces obstacles
Aug. 6, 2014: Corona housing develpment back on the drawing board

Arantine Hills back on drawing board

(Published June 14, 2015)

The city of Corona held two meetings in May with New Home Company, the developer who wants to make changes to the plans for Arantine Hills, the 1,600-plus home development approved by the city in July 2012. The project is located west of the I-15 in the Bedford Wash between Cajalco Road and the northern boundary of Temescal Valley.

New Home company, which purchased the development after the city’s approval, is asking for considerably less commercial retail acreage and wants to start building the homes at the same time construction begins on improvements to the Cajalco interchange. The 2012 approval was conditioned on bridge improvements being completed prior to homes being built.

During the May meetings, New Home Company told City Council members they are willing to build a smaller retail center — 80,000 square feet, outside the community’s gates at Eagle Glen Parkway and Bedford Canyon Road. New Home said there would be no family apartments, but when questioned further, said there could be senior apartments which could bring the housing total up to 1,800-plus.

In the original agreement, the developer was responsible for funding one-third of the costs for the bridge improvement — the total cost today being about $62 million. New Home now has offered to advance the entire $62 million if the city will allow construction on the bridge and the homes to begin simultaneously. While New Home can pay its share of about $21 million, city staff said there were no funds available to pay for the remaining $41 million.

If the city accepts the offer, a development agreement between the city and New Home Company will outline how the advanced fees will be repaid. City staff said the bridge was over capacity now, and the costs to make improvements would only increase the longer it takes to correct the problem. Staff also told the council no money in paybacks would come from the city’s general fund.

Temescal Valley residents speaking at both meetings cited concerns about school overcrowding, gridlock, keeping access to the Bedford Wash hiking trails open and the proximity of proposed homes to the estate-zoned parcels (one home per five acres), in the Weirick Road neighborhood.

A Weirick Road resident, whose home would be adjacent to proposed homes in the project, said he owns many horses and doesn’t want complaints about noise, odors and flies from Arantine Hills residents.

The city made it clear to the developer that it must meet with area residents to discuss their concerns. An open meeting has been scheduled 6 to 8 p.m., Monday June 15 at the Eagle Glen Golf Club’s Monument Room, 1800 Eagle Glen Parkway. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT

Golf course owner buys Tom’s Farms

IT’S OFFICIAL: Sunny Hwang, owner of the Glen Ivy Golf Club, closed escrow on Tom’s Farms on June 9.

New owner plans to improve the attraction

Tom’s Farms has been purchased by Sunny Hwang, owner of the Glen Ivy Golf Club. The purchase price has not been disclosed for the 46-acre tourist attraction that includes 16 buildings and structures, and two adjacent undeveloped parcels.

Hwang intends to continue the legacy of Tom Barnes, who started the business 46 years ago, and will maintain Tom’s Farms as a retail and amusement attraction. “I plan to update the property to make it more enjoyable for families,” Hwang said.

Among the attractions Hwang said he is considering is the possibility of a small-scale farm with barnyard animals and a vegetable garden. He said the addition of more shops is possible, as well as changes for the restaurants. “I definitely want to add more shade,” Hwang said, “to improve the shopping experience and to provide areas where families can just relax and enjoy the surroundings.

Hwang said he wanted to get through escrow, which closed June 9, before laying out timelines for specific projects.

He also noted that a hotel might be considered for one of the two parcels located at the southwest corner of Temescal Canyon and Lawson roads, and at the southeast corner of Temescal Canyon and Squaw Mountain roads. “Whatever is developed on the parcels should be compatible with the golf course and Tom’s Farms,” Hwang said.

Barnes, a much-respected and admired businessman, died of cancer in July 2001 at the age of 55. A decision was made in January of this year to sell the property, and it was listed with Braun International Real Estate which published a 20-page “call for offers” sales memorandum.

While the Cheese & Wine Shoppe building was included in the purchase, the business was not. The building is leased and the business is owned by Frank Hetland Sr. and sons Frank Jr. and Brandon. Barnes and Hetland were close friends for many years and the Cheese & Wine Shoppe was one of the early businesses at the Farm.

Hwang, who owns and is president of Sunland Properties Inc., surprised many people in March 2016 when a U.S. District Court judge deemed his $4.3 million offer the winning bid to purchase Glen Ivy Golf Club. Also submitting a bid was GOCO Hospitality, a Bangkok-based international wellness hospitality development and management company, which purchased the Glen Ivy Hot Springs spa in January 2016.

The golf course, adjacent to Trilogy, had been in receivership since March 2014 when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged then-owner World Capital Market Inc. of operating a worldwide pyramid scheme and seized the company’s assets.

Hwang, 68, said he finds the natural beauty and mountain topography of Temescal Valley impressive, and views it regularly. Although Sunland Properties is headquartered in Rancho Cucamonga, he hasn’t been an absentee business owner. While making improvements to the golf course, he’s also an avid golfer, and is often seen on the links trying to improve his game.

SEE RELATED STORY: Tom’s Farms could be sold

Industrial building to be built on Knabe

140,000-SQUARE-FOOT BUILDING: The county has given the go-ahead to owner/developer CapRock Partners to construct an industrial building on Knabe Road similar to this artist’s rendering.

An almost 140,000-square-foot industrial building is soon to be built on the northwest corner of Knabe Road and Bedford Motorway. The project was approved earlier this month at a Riverside County Planning Director’s hearing.

Because the zoning classification of the property is Industrial Park, owner/developer CapRock Partners was not seeking a zone change, only approval of what it plans to build.

The county in 2004 approved seven industrial buildings and a self-storage facility at the same location, but the recession halted the project. About three years ago, 184 apartments were proposed for the site, but the project was withdrawn when the We Are Temescal Valley Development Committee objected to the proposal. The committee also opposed a later proposal to put condominiums on the 9.21-acre site.

Although the building’s future tenant is unknown at this time, CapRock estimates the development will create from 50 to 90 jobs and reduce the number of daily truck trips by 24 percent as compared to the project that was approved 13 years ago.

Trucks only will enter and exit the project by a driveway from Knabe Road to be built at the north end of the property. Employees will use Bedford Motorway. Restriping is planned for Knabe Road to facilitate this project, as well as the Riverside Medical Clinic project proposed for the southwest corner of Knabe Road and Retreat Parkway.

The 42- to 46-foot tall building, which will face Knabe Road, will have a minimum 47-foot setback, and 35 percent of the property will be heavily landscaped, especially in front of the building.

Five Temescal Valley residents attended the hearing with a list of recommendations that included using earth-toned colors on the building and placing a traffic signal at Bedford Motorway. The county rejected the recommendations as unnecessary.

Final EIR for Edison projects released

ASP ALTERNATIVE DD: This is the alternative to locating the proposed Alberhill substation in the vicinity of Concordia Ranch and Temescal Canyon roads. The blue line represents above ground power lines.

ASP ALTERNATIVE DD: This is the alternative to locating the proposed Alberhill substation in the vicinity of Concordia Ranch and Temescal Canyon roads. The blue line represents above ground power lines.

(Updated April 12, 2017)

The final environmental impact report for the proposed Edison powerlines and susbstation projects has been released by the California Public Utilities Commission.

It now is being reviewed or will be reviewed by an appointed Administrative Law Judge who will provide his/her proposed decision on the projects.

After the proposed decision is announced, a date and place will be set for a public hearing to determine the final decision by the CPUC. This hearing will be the final opportunity for the public to offer comments on the projects.

Edison has spent more than 10 years working on the Valley-IvyGlen powerlines and the proposed Alberhill substation projects.

Valley-IvyGlen calls for 27 miles of single-circuit 115-kV subtransmission lines to run from the Valley substation in Menifee through Perris and Lake Elsinore, and continue into Temescal Valley, ending at the IvyGlen substation on Temescal Canyon Road. People protesting the project want all the lines underground.

The proposed 34-acre Alberhill substation would be constructed on 124 acres of land owned by Edison at the corner of Temescal Canyon and Concordia Ranch roads east of the 1-15 and close to the 1,900-home Horsethief Canyon Ranch neighborhood. HCR residents want the substation located elsewhere.

A significant finding in the final EIR was that none of the alternatives listed in the Draft EIR are considered environmentally superior to the proposed projects.

FINAL EIR: http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/environment/info/ene/alberhill/Alberhill.html
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

(Updated July 17, 2016)

Thank you to everyone who signed petitions and sent emails to the California Public Utilities Commission  regarding the draft environmental impact report for the Valley-IvyGlen subtransmission line  and the Alberhill substation.

Comments on the Draft EIR will be addressed in a Response to Comments document that, together with the Draft EIR, will constitute the Final EIR. The Final EIR will likely be completed by late September or early October. The CPUC will issue separate proposed decisions on SCE’s applications for the proposed Valley–Ivyglen Project and the proposed Alberhill Project.

(Updated July 10, 2016)

Send your email now to: VIG.ASP@ene.com
Deadline is Friday, July 15

(Suggested wording — include your name and address)

In regards to the Valley-IvyGlen 115-kV transmission line, I SUPPORT VIG Alternative M to underground the line along the entire proposed project alignment.

In regards to the location of a substation in Temescal Valley, I OPPOSE both the Serrano and Alberhill locations. Additional research must be undertaken to find a location suitable to the majority of Temescal Valley residents, land owners and businesses.

The orange line depicts the path of the Valley-IvyGlen transmission lines. The lines will run above ground and cross the freeway north of Glen Eden, continue north to about Indian Truck Trail where they will be placed underground. The proposed 34-acre Alberhill substation is pictured on the right.

The orange line depicts the path of the Valley-IvyGlen transmission lines. The lines will run above ground and cross the freeway north of Glen Eden, continue north to about Indian Truck Trail where they will be placed underground. The proposed 34-acre Alberhill substation is pictured on the right.

Public Utilities Commission extends deadline to July 15

(Updated May 31, 2016)

The California Public Utilities Commission has extended the deadline for the public comments period to July 15. Comments on the draft environmental impact report for Southern California Edison’s Valley-IvyGlen project and the proposed Alberhill substation can be emailed to:  VIG.ASP@ene.com 

Related Press-Enterprise report:
More time granted for power project comments

Draft EIR sets forth alternatives for the project

(Updated May, 11, 2016)

Alternative proposals in the draft environmental impact report were included based on public concerns during the scoping period last year. The CPUC then analyzed the alternatives to determine if they reduced at least one environmental impact of the proposed project.

For a better understanding of the alternatives, view the Draft Environmental Impact Report at:  http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/Environment/info/ene/ivyglen/ IvyglenDraftEIR.html

Click on 3.0 Description of Alternatives and 5.0 Comparison of Alternatives

Viable alternatives to the Valley-IvyGlen (VIG), transmission line include VIG Alternative M that would require the entire proposed project line to be undergrounded.

VIG alternative AVIG Alternative A would alleviate the necessity for the line to cross the I-15 by extending it north from Glen Eden for another 2,000 feet. The line would be undergrounded at the south end of the Vons Shopping Center, continue down Campbell Ranch Road to Temescal Canyon Road to the IvyGlen substation. Two other alternatives – B1 and B2, running above and below ground through Sycamore Creek along Santiago Canyon Road to Maitri Road, do not reduce the proposed project’s impacts.

VIG alternative CInstead of crossing to the west side of the I-15 from the proposed Alberhill substation, VIG Alternative C would keep the line on the east side of the freeway running underground along Temescal Canyon Road to Horsethief Canyon Road, turning west under the I-15 and rising above ground at De Palma Road.

SUBSTATION ALTERNATIVES

There are two alternatives for the proposed Alberhill substation. ASP Alternative B would add all gas-insulated switchgear at the substation reducing several environmental impacts.

ASP alternative DDASP Alternative DD relocates the substation to property within the Serrano Specific Plan. Approved by the county in 2010, the 489-acre Serrano Commerce Center is zoned for light industrial, commercial retail and open space. The property is on the east side of the I-15 and stretches from Temescal Canyon Road on the north to Temescal Canyon Road on the south adjacent to the freeway underpass. Development of the property never began and was further waylaid by the recession.

ASP Alternative DD would place the substation in the northern portion of the property adjacent to the former Rincor pipe plant.

The CPUC determined this alternative is aesthetically superior to the Alberhill proposal because it is not visible from the 1-15. It will be visible to Dawson Canyon, Spanish Hills and future Terramor residents. The CPUC notes that the substation’s location next to the Temescal Wash could be detrimental to this alternative, but views Serrano as being less impactful overall than Alberhill.

Unknown are the impacts the substation would have on requirements of the Serrano Specific Plan which call for hiking trails, a Temescal Valley Town Center in the plan’s commercial retail-zoned acreage and a secondary road to redirect truck traffic from the west side to the east side of the freeway.

SCE plans substation, power lines here

(Updated May 3, 2016)

The California Public Utilities Commission is now receiving comments on the final draft environmental impact report for Southern California Edison’s Valley-IvyGlen project and the proposed Alberhill substation.

The projects and their impacts will be explained at a meeting to be held in Lake Elsinore from 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, May 11 at the city’s Cultural Arts Center, 183 N. Main St. People attending the meeting will be able to comment on the projects.

VIEW THE DRAFT EIR

A simulated view of the transmission lines looking north on Lake Street near Temescal Canyon Road.

A simulated view of the transmission lines looking north on Lake Street near Temescal Canyon Road.

Deadline for all comments is May 31.

Comments can be emailed to: VIG.ASP@ene.com 

Or mailed to:
California Public Utilities Commission
RE: VIG/ASP
c/o Ecology and Environment, Inc.
505 Sansome Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94111

Fax: (415) 398-5326

The Valley-IvyGlen project, which Edison began nine years ago, will span 27 miles and bring a backup power source to Temescal Valley – currently only one line serves local consumers. The project calls for above-ground, single-circuit 115-kV subtransmission lines to run from the Valley substation in Menifee through Perris and Lake Elsinore, and continue into Temescal Valley, running north along De Palma Road adjacent to Horsethief Canyon Ranch and Glen Eden Sun Club.

Current view from the northbound 1-15 looking toward Concordia Ranch Road.

Current view from the northbound 1-15 looking toward Concordia Ranch Road.

The lines will cross to the east side of the 1-15 north of Glen Eden and continue along Temescal Canyon Road. They will be placed underground at about Indian Truck Trail, where they will continue to the IvyGlen substation on Temescal Canyon Road near Maitri Road.

The current 30- to 80-foot tall wooden poles will be replaced with 115-foot steel poles, plus  additional steel poles will be added to the landscape.

Simulated view after construction of the Alberhill substation.

Simulated view after construction of the Alberhill substation.

The proposed 34-acre Alberhill substation will be constructed on 124 acres of land owned by Edison at the corner of Temescal Canyon and Concordia Ranch roads east of the 1-15.

The project calls for two 500-kV transmission lines to join the existing 500-kV Serrano-Valley transmission line near the Lake Mathews-Estelle Mountain Reserve in Temescal Valley.

Last May the CPUC held a scoping meeting to answer questions about the two projects and invite public comments for the draft EIR. There were a couple dozen people in attendance – 10 from Temescal Valley, the rest Lake Elsinore residents, and they voiced concerns about the projects’ significant impacts which had been noted by the CPUC. Most all said they wanted underground lines.

The draft EIR also includes possible alternatives to what is being proposed. The alternatives, in part, came from public comments the CPUC received last year during the scoping period. One alternative to the Valley-IvyGlen lines is VIG Alternative M that calls for the entire subtransmission line to be installed underground.
VIEW OTHER ALTERNATIVES  HERE

Here are the significant impacts addressed in the draft EIR:

Significant Effects of the Alberhill Project

Resource Area Potential Effects
Aesthetics A permanent effect on aesthetics along Interstate 15 (I-15), an eligible State Scenic Highway, could result from operation of the proposed Alberhill Project because the proposed Alberhill Substation, new 500-kV transmission lines, and new and upgraded 115-kV subtransmission lines (115-kV Segments ASP1, ASP3, ASP4, and ASP5) would be visible to motorists. Permanent effects may result because of visual contrast, alterations to existing scenic integrity, blocked or partially blocked views, and the introduction of industrial-like facilities to a relatively undeveloped rural area. The following components, among others, would be viewable from I-15:

  • Two 37-foot-tall transformers
  • 49-foot-tall steel-enclosed 500-kV gas-insulated switchrack
  • Control building (7,000 square feet)
  • Parking area (7,600 square feet) and driveways (156,000 square feet)
  • 8-foot-tall concrete or decorative-block substation perimeter wall
  • 500-kV transmission lines and lattice steel towers (95 to 190 feet tall)
  • 115-kV subtransmission lines (upgraded from 65–90 feet tall to 70–100 feet tall)
Permanent effects on the visual character or quality of a site or its surrounding area could result from operation of the proposed Alberhill Project at the proposed Alberhill Substation site, along the 500-kV transmission line routes, along 115-kV Segments ASP1 and ASP6, and along the northern section of the proposed 115-kV Segment ASP2 route near the proposed Alberhill Substation site that may reduce the intactness, unity, or vividness of existing views.
Air Quality Temporary violations of maximum daily on-site emission levels of fugitive dust (particulate matter of 10 micrometers or less [PM10] and 2.5 micrometers or less [PM2.5]) would occur during construction of the proposed Alberhill Substation due to grading, excavation, and asphalting. Temporary violations for maximum daily on-site emission levels of PM10 would occur during construction of the proposed 115-kV subtransmission lines from roadwork, site preparation, structure installation, and wire stringing.
The temporary exposure of sensitive receptors to substantial concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and fugitive dust (PM10 and PM2.5) would occur during construction of the proposed Alberhill Substation, 500-kV transmission lines, and 115-kV subtransmission lines.
Biological Resources Temporary, permanent, direct, and indirect effects on Stephens’ kangaroo rat would likely result from the construction and operation of the proposed Alberhill Substation, 500-kV lines, and several of the 115-kV segments.
Temporary, permanent, direct, and indirect effects on riparian areas and federally protected wetlands (e.g., Temescal Wash or its tributaries) as defined by Clean Water Act Section 404 could result from construction and operation activities along the proposed 500-kV and 115-kV routes and at proposed Alberhill Substation site.
Hazards and Hazardous Materials Each of the 560-MVA 500/115-kV transformers would contain approximately 33,550 gallons of transformer oil. In California, all used oil is managed as hazardous waste until tested to show it is not hazardous (Section 25250.4 of the California Health and Safety Code). Direct and indirect effects from the accidental release of hazardous materials could result during construction and operation of the proposed Alberhill Substation.
Temporary and permanent effects from fire could result from construction and operation of the proposed Alberhill Project along the proposed 500-kV and 115-kV lines and at the proposed Alberhill Substation site, which would be located within or adjacent to Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones.
Hydrology and Water Quality Temporary, direct, and indirect effects on water quality and existing drainage patterns could result from construction of the proposed Alberhill Substation, access road to 500-kV Tower SA-5, and along sections of the proposed 115-kV segments due to project-related activities such as the placement of fill, earth moving activities, and the potential for spill of hazardous materials near jurisdictional (e.g., Temescal Wash ) and potentially jurisdictional waterways/drainages.
Cumulative Effects Aesthetics. A permanent effect on aesthetics along an eligible State Scenic Highway (I-15) could result from operation of the proposed Alberhill Project in addition to the proposed Talega–Escondido/Valley–Serrano (TE/VS) Project, and proposed Valley–Ivyglen Project. The proposed Alberhill Substation, 500-kV transmission lines, and 115-kV Segments ASP1 through ASP5, as well as the proposed Valley–Ivyglen Project 115-kV Segments VIG3 through VIG7 and proposed TE/VS switchyard and associated 500-kV transmission lines, would be visible from I-15.
Air Quality. A temporary violation of maximum daily on-site emission levels of PM10 and PM2.5 (fugitive dust) would occur during the construction of the proposed Alberhill System Project, proposed Valley–Ivyglen Project, and proposed TE/VS Project. Construction activities that overlap (e.g., earth-moving activities) may result in cumulative effects on air quality.
Air Quality. Construction of the proposed Alberhill System Project, proposed Valley–Ivyglen Project, and proposed TE/VS Project could result in a temporary, cumulatively considerable net increase of VOC, nitrogen oxide, particulate matter of PM10, and PM2.5 due to diesel- and gasoline-fueled engine exhaust from vehicles and equipment.
Biological Resources. Construction of the proposed Alberhill System Project, proposed Valley–Ivyglen Project, and proposed TE/VS Project could result in cumulatively considerable effects on riparian areas and federally protected wetlands.

Potentially Significant Effects of the Valley–-Ivyglen Project

Resource Area Potential Effects
Aesthetics Temporary and permanent effects on aesthetic resources along Interstate 15 (I-15) and State Route 74 (SR-74), both eligible State Scenic Highways, could result from construction and operation of the proposed Valley–Ivyglen Project. Construction would occur over a 24-month period, and construction activities along 115-kV Segments VIG1 through 115-kV VIG8 would be noticeable to area residents and motorists along I-15 and SR-74. Construction activities that would temporarily affect scenic resources include:

  • Use of vehicles and equipment for excavation and grading activities, transporting and lifting, watering to control dust, transporting workers, and other construction activities;
  • Soil and vegetation removal;
  • Removal of existing power poles;
  • Temporary construction site fencing and signage;
  • Spraying of embankment slopes with an erosion control mixture, which may be vivid in color; and
  • Temporary outdoor storage of materials, stockpiling of spoils from excavation.

A permanent effect on aesthetics along I-15 and SR-74 could result from the replacement of existing wood distribution line poles (30 to 80 feet tall) with new steel poles (up to 115 feet tall) and the introduction of new steel poles. The new poles would result in permanent visual contrast, alterations to existing scenic integrity, blocked or partially blocked views, and the introduction of industrial-like facilities to a relatively undeveloped rural area. The new and upgraded 115-kV subtransmission structures along 115-kV Segments VIG1 through 115-kV VIG8 would be intermittently noticeable to area residents and motorists along I-15 and SR-74.

Air Quality Temporary violations for maximum daily on-site emission levels of PM10 would occur during construction of the proposed 115-kV subtransmission lines from roadwork, site preparation, structure installation, and wire stringing.
The temporary exposure of sensitive receptors to substantial concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and fugitive dust (particulate matter of 10 micrometers or less and particulate matter of 2.5 micrometers or less) would occur during construction of the proposed 115-kV subtransmission lines.
Biological Resources Temporary, permanent, direct, and indirect effects on Stephens’ kangaroo rat would likely result from construction of several of the proposed 115-kV segments.
Temporary, permanent, direct, and indirect effects on riparian areas and federally protected wetlands (e.g., Temescal Wash or its tributaries or the San Jacinto River) as defined by Clean Water Act Section 404 could result from construction and operation of a number of the proposed 115-kV segments. Among the areas likely to be affected are the proposed access roads and new structures along 115-kV Segment VIG6, trenched areas to install 115-kV Segment VIG8 underground, and the area where two tubular steel poles (4765121E and 4765120E) would be installed along 115-kV Segment VIG1 adjacent to the San Jacinto River.
Hazards and Hazardous Materials Temporary effects from the use of hazardous materials and petroleum products could result in upset or accident conditions involving the release of hazardous materials and petroleum products during construction.
Temporary and permanent effects from wildfire could result during construction and operation of the proposed Valley–Ivyglen Project along proposed 115-kV segments that would be located within or adjacent to Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones.
Hydrology and Water Quality Temporary and long-term effects on water quality and existing drainage patterns could result from 1) foundation excavation for 115-kV structure installations; 2) vegetation removal and earthmoving activities at construction sites and for access roads; 3) culvert construction across aquatic features; and 4) blasting. Erosion or siltation on or off site could result from the grading and vegetation clearing along a number of the proposed 115-kV Segments including along 115-kV Segment 8 where trenching would be required to install the proposed 115-kV line underground near Temescal Wash, a jurisdictional waterway.
Land Use Potential conflict with Riverside County and City of Lake Elsinore land use policies, zoning ordinances, and requirements within specific plan areas could result (e.g., Alberhill Ridge Specific Plan in Lake Elsinore) because of the installation of new structures within 50 feet of eligible State Scenic Highways (Riverside County General Plan Policy 13.4), installation of structures along visually significant ridgelines and hilltops (Riverside County General Plan Policy 11.1(d)), or within an adopted road realignment for Lake Street (City of Lake Elsinore Vesting Tentative Tract No. 35001).
Noise Temporary effects on nearby sensitive receptors could result from construction equipment and activities, including helicopter use and blasting that would exceed local noise standards, substantially increase temporary ambient noise levels, and generate substantial ground-borne vibrations during construction.
Traffic Temporary effects on air traffic patterns could result from the use of helicopters during construction that increase safety risks.
Cumulative Effects Cumulatively considerable effects may occur on aesthetics, air quality, and biological resources

 

 

GOCO has world-class plans for Glen Ivy Hot Springs

GOCO RETREAT TEMESCAL VALLEY: GOCO Hospitality, an international company specializing in the wellness hospitality business, purchased Glen Ivy Hot Springs in January 2016.

Action taken by the county’s Board of Supervisors at the March 7, 2017 meeting could allow Glen Ivy Hot Springs to become a “world-class” retreat and wellness center.

The 157-year-old spa and adjacent property was purchased in January 2016 by GOCO Hospitality, an international wellness hospitality development and management company headquartered in Bangkok.

The current resort covers about 20 acres and GOCO seeks to develop the remaining 62.5 acres which include open land and groves, and the conference and retreat center used by Glen Ivy’s former owner, the spiritual group Emissaries of Divine Light.

The general plan foundation and land-use changes approved by the supervisors would allow the creation of a specific plan to guide the development of the project. The approval of the amendment allows the planning to begin, but does not give approval to the project.

The new development has been named GOCO Retreat Temescal Valley with plans for a retreat accommodation with 85 rooms and 10 pool villas. Other amenities include hotel, full-service wellness center, gymnasium, yoga academy, organic farm and gardens plus a farmer’s market, outdoor recreation areas and hiking trails, banquet and meeting rooms, a retail component, kids club and an education center for holistic medicine. Glen Ivy currently has about 150 employees and receives 170,000 visitors each year. It’s anticipated the Retreat will employ an additional 150 people.

The plans also include about 90 residential units – two- and three-bedroom homes and one- to three-bedroom condominiums. GOGO founder and CEO Ingo Schweder said the retreat industry has noted increasing support of wellness communities that combine accommodations with residential offerings.

While the land-use changes were approved, when completed the specific plan must still be reviewed by the county Planning Commission and then approved by the Board of Supervisors. Both meetings would involve public hearings, giving people the opportunity to comment either for against the project.

Schweder said GOCO currently is engaged in the first phase of the plan – repairing and upgrading Glen Ivy spa.  With the general plan amendment approval, he said master planning now can begin and GOCO hopes to have the project approved this fall with construction starting in 2018 and completion by the end of 2019. Learn more about GOCO at www.gocohospitality.com/

See proceedings from the March 7, 2017 Board of Supervisors meeting  HERE

Land-use changes pave way for Lakeside community

SITE OF FUTURE DEVELOPMENT: Lakeside Temescal Valley, if approved, would be a 370-home housing development built on 67 acres between Lee Lake and Temescal Canyon Road. Photo: John Lewison

Action taken by the county’s Board of Supervisors at the Jan. 31 meeting could allow a housing development to built next to Lee Lake on Temescal Canyon Road, south of Indian Truck Trail.

The 548-acre, 13-parcel property that surrounds the lake and extends into the Temescal Mountains, was owned for three decades by a business that specializes in recreational fishing. The company stocked the lake with trout and catfish, and charged a fee to allow fishing there. The property was a sold a few years ago to Summit Land Partners. Lee Lake, called “Corona Lake” by the fishing concessionaire, is owned by the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District.

Summit wants to build a gated HOA community – Lakeside Temescal Valley — on property located between the lake and Temescal Canyon Road. The about 370 homes would be clustered on land already disturbed by the fishing concession. Summit would purchase reclaimed water from EVMWD to keep the lake filled, which would be for the private use of Lakeside residents.

The general plan foundation and land-use changes approved by the supervisors would allow the homes to be built, but would permanently conserve the mountains above the lake against future development. Of the 548 acres, 12.3 percent or about 67 acres would be developed.

While the land-use changes were approved, the development plans must still be reviewed by the county Planning Commission and then approved by the Board of Supervisors at a date yet-to-be determined. Both meetings would involve public hearings, giving people the opportunity to comment either for against the project.