Sites for a new fire station and city hall, and interim freeway ramps at Singleton Road were all part of a development agreement and modifications to conditions of approval for the Oak Valley Town Center that were approved Monday night by the Calimesa Planning Commission.

Oak Valley Town Center is a 244-acre development of primarily commercial and business park uses, located along the west side of Interstate 10, between approximately Singleton Road and Cherry Valley Boulevard, and is part of the Summerwind Ranch Specific Plan. It also features about 12 acres of open space and has a conceptual plan with a destination lake.

In November 2020, the Calimesa City Council approved a General Plan Amendment, a Specific Plan Amendment that allows for warehouses up to 707,000 square feet, an Environmental Assessment and a Tentative Parcel Map for Oak Valley Town Center.

Planning Manager Kelly Lucia made clear those November approvals were not being changed at the Jan. 11 meeting.

“This evening, we are not talking about modifying any of the recently approved land uses,” she said. “We are not modifying allowable uses within the Specific Plan. We are not modifying development standards or any of the environmental impacts associated therein with the project.

“This hearing is for two distinct items … The first is a proposed development agreement between the city of Calimesa and Oak Valley Development Company.”

The development agreement applies to 219 of the 244 acres within the Oak Valley Town Center project. Only those acres apply because Oak Valley does not own the remaining 25 acres. The term of the development agreement is for 15 years.

Lucia explained one of the operative provisions of the development agreement is a lock on Development Impact Fees.

“What that means is we adopted a new Nexus study for Development Impact Fees in 2017 so those fees would be effectively locked or frozen for three years,” she said.

The lock on the DIFs would be from the effective date of the development agreement. However, Lucia said that would not apply to an affordable housing in lieu fee the city is working on.

Besides the lock on DIFs, the development agreement provides benefits to Calimesa such as sites for a new fire station and city hall, fire apparatus and interim freeway ramps at Singleton Road, which will be key to keeping traffic flowing when improvements to the nearby Cherry Valley Boulevard Interchange get underway.

“It is not a fully functional interchange currently,” Lucia said, referring to the two missing on/off ramps at Singleton Road. Oak Valley Development Company will undertake completing those interim ramps.

As for the new fire station and city hall sites, Lucia said the city was “excited” about them.

“In terms of the fire station, the developer has agreed to dedicate approximately 3 acres … and a site that is about within 400 feet of the planned lake system for the city hall. The exact size of the city hall site is to be determined,” she said. “Finally, we have $450,000 for fire apparatus.”

Previous plans for a new city hall featured a downtown site, along Calimesa Boulevard, and a two-story building, with a new library on the ground level. Vice Chair Michael Brittingham asked Lucia if a new library was also included.

“Now that we have a city hall site, I know originally we were always talking two-story city hall with a library underneath,” he said. “Is that still the plan to have our new library there with the city hall or is the library kicking it to the curb for a while?”

“My understanding is this will be a city hall site only and the intention is to still locate the new library within the downtown,” Lucia said in reply.

City Engineer Mike Thornton provided information on the modifications to two conditions of approval.

“They still have the same context that they originally had,” Thornton said about the slight modifications.

The modifications involve the developer’s obligation for non-TUMF (Transportation Uniform Mitigation Fee) facilities and the removal of “Caltrans approval” wording, regarding the interim improvements to the Singleton Road on/off ramps.

“Since we are taking out ‘Caltrans approval,’ if Caltrans throws a monkey wrench, are we going to be stuck with anything on the city side?” Brittingham asked Thornton.

“We cannot build the interim interchange improvements without Caltrans approval,” Thornton said. “All we did was just take out references to Caltrans approvals and conditions. We still have to get those approvals.”

Reorganization

With Eric Cundieff absent from the meeting, the other four commissioners agreed to postpone the annual reorganization until the next planning meeting on Monday, Feb. 8.

The planning commission meets on the second Monday of the month at 6 p.m. at the Norton Younglove Senior Center, located at 908 Park Ave. in Calimesa.

For more information, visit cityofcalimesa.net.

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