The Yucaipa Planning Commission met on Dec. 18, and reviewed and discussed a minor general plan amendment to change the land use designation of approximately 1.67 acres adjacent to the Crafton Hills Fire Station to have a designation as a General Commercial land use which is a necessary step to finalize the close of escrow for city-owned surplus property.

The property was originally donated to the Yucaipa Valley Park and Recreation District by the Finklestein brothers in 1964 as part of a larger donation of land that included property for the Crafton Hills College. The donation of land included a deed restriction that limited uses of the land to those for charitable, educational, and recreational purposes.

Upon incorporation in 1989, the land transferred to the city of Yucaipa. With the development of the sports complex north of the property and the skate park adjacent, the configuration of the remaining land area is unlikely to support further development in a manner consistent with the terms of the Finklestein deed restriction.

To enable the property to be developed with a commercial use, the deed restriction had to be removed. In July 2018, the Finklestein heirs executed a Termination of Deed Restriction, permitting the property to be developed as proposed, subject to the condition that the net proceeds from the sale of the land be used for recreational facilities to be located elsewhere on former Finklestein property, as specified in the original deed restriction. 

On Nov. 19, 2018, the city received a letter of interest in purchasing the property from JADE Real Estate Holdings. At the regular city council meeting in March 2019, the city council approved the disposition and sale of city-owned property located on the northwest corner of Yucaipa Boulevard and 13th Street and directed city staff to move forward with the sale of the property. Prior to the close of escrow, the city was obligated to prepare and record a Certificate of Compliance in order to establish the property as a separate parcel, which has been completed. Also, regarding the parcel located west of the fire station, the city was obligated to prepare and record a Certificate of Compliance in order to establish that property as a separate parcel. The disposition process is currently being completed for subsequent action by the city council and the change in Land Use Designation is included in the General Plan Amendment request presented at the planning commission meeting.

“The properties are on either side of the fire station (northwest corner of Yucaipa Boulevard and 13th Street, east of the Crafton Hills Fire Station and directly west of the fire station) are currently vacant adjacent to the Fire Station,” said Benjamin Matlock, Associate Planner.

“The proposed general plan change area map better identifies where the general commercial land use destination is proposed … This is a directive from city council to change the land use destination,” said Matlock. “As the city has completed a number of park improvement projects for the 13th Street Park Complex, the area (being discussed) really doesn’t provide a great opportunity for future park space or institutional land. The fire station is already established. Other amenities are here so these properties don’t provide a great opportunity for future park uses. It provides a lot greater flexibility for the future owner to utilize that property. No development is proposed at this time so a conditional use permit, whenever a future owner decides to develop the property, would then come back to the planing commission for your review.”

The planning commission made the motion to send the item to city council for approval.


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