Yucaipa Planning Commission approves Sorenson Engineering ongoing expansion

Sorenson Engineering’s new “T” building site.

The Yucaipa Planning commission meeting on April 15 took place as scheduled through teleconference. Governor Newsom issued Executive Orders (N-25-20 and N-29020) which temporarily suspended certain requirements of the Brown Act. Pursuant to the Executive Orders, planning commission members may attend Yucaipa Planning Commission meetings telephonically and the planning commission is not required to make available a physical location from which members of the public may observe the meeting and offer public comment.

Prior to the meeting the planning commission reviewed the proposed design, materials, and color selection for Sorenson Engineering project. Sorenson Engineering is an existing micro machining technology facility that has been located in the city of Yucaipa since 1956 and has been located on the subject site since 1962. In 2011, the Yucaipa City Council approved a phased expansion of the Sorenson Engineering site. The area was rezoned along Avenue E from the Multiple Residential Land Use District to Community Industrial to include the development of a new centralized employee parking lot, driveway and parking lot improvements, new trash enclosures, a new pick-up and delivery address area, the remodeling of several buildings, and the addition of several new buildings totaling over 70,000 square feet to expand its manufacturing operations.

At a regular planning commission meeting of June 20, 2018, a new Conditional Use Permit application was approved to permit the continued development of the project since the previous one expired. On Oct. 16, 2019, the planning commission approved an expansion to the overall site from 144,561 square feet to 151, 842 square feet and the expansion included the demolition of a building, the construction of another building and various building expansions.

To accommodate its current and future contract needs, the project has since been revised to reflect the construction of a new building in lieu of one that was originally in the plans and one of the buildings will no longer be demolished. The revised site plans identifies an increase to the overall site from 151,842 square feet to 163,473 square feet, which represents a 7.7% increase. The changes to the current site plan do not require planning commission review because the project remains within substantial conformance of the prior planning commission approval. The new building, referred to as Building “T,” is required to be reviewed and approved by the commission pursuant to the Conditions of Approval.

The proposed project is located on three existing parcels between 16th Street and 17th Street, south of Avenue E, and north of Dunlap Boulevard and 16th Street, and the I-10 Freeway is directly south of the site.

Sorenson submitted an artifactual design package and requests approval from the Yucaipa Planning Commission. The architectural review is for Building “T” only. The building is approximately 200 feet by 225 feet and is 24.3 feet tall at the peak, and makes use of materials, colors, textures, and other design elements that are consistent with the existing development onsite.

Planning Commissioner, Christopher Markarian motioned to approve the item. Vice Chair Commissioner Denise Work seconded the item and the item was approved or passed with a vote of 7-0.

The city council chambers are closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supporting documents are available for public view on the city of Yucaipa website at yucaipa.org.

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