Lake Elsinore City Council Takes Up Property Owner Rights

In a unanimous vote Tuesday night, City Council decided in favor of a Tuscany Hills homeowner who has been trying to subdivide his 3.17-acre property, despite neighbors’ objections.

The Lake Elsinore City Council demonstrated Tuesday night that when it comes to development, it stands in support of property owner rights.

In a unanimous vote, City Council decided in favor of a Tuscany Hills homeowner who has been trying to subdivide his 3.17-acre property, despite neighbors’ objections.

This past spring, the Planning Commission turned down Doug Pinnow’s request to subdivide his Tuscany Hills parcel into three, 1-acre lots. In rejecting his request, the commission pointed to compatibility issues with existing “estate” lots in the Tuscany Hills community. Commissioners also expressed concerns over how a shared driveway would be utilized and they said the proposed parcel map was flawed.

Michael O’Neal was the only commissioner to support Pinnow’s subdivision.

Tuscany Hills features 21 large parcels and single-story ranch-style homes situated on acreage. The community falls under the Tuscany Hills Specific Plan.

The subdivision issue was forwarded to City Council for final consideration, with a recommendation by city staff that council follow the commission's lead and turn down the project.

But it was not to be.

During Tuesday night’s meeting, six people turned out in support of Pinnow’s subdivision and six spoke out against.

Those against the proposal argued it would degrade the neighborhood’s estate feel and open the door to further Tuscany Hills subdivision.

Diane Smith lives two lots away from Pinnow’s property. In arguing her case against the subdivision, she said Lake Elsinore doesn’t have enough high-end estate properties for wealthier buyers who might want to live in the city.

“We’re the only ones,” she said of the Tuscany Hills neighborhood.

But Tuscany Hills resident Don Porter, who turned out to support Pinnow, said there is nothing in the Specific Plan to prevent his neighbor from subdividing.

City Council and City Attorney Barbara Leibold agreed. City Manager Bob Brady also noted there is nothing in the Tuscany Hills Specific Plan defining what an estate lot is.

“One acre, in my mind, is still an estate lot,” said Mayor Pro Tem Bob Magee, but he conceded Pinnow has the higher legal ground.

Councilwoman Melissa Melendez concurred.

“I believe what he (Pinnow) wants to do is legal,” she said.

Councilman Peter Weber stood firm.

“I believe in the rights of the property owner,” he said.

Mayor Brian Tisdale sympathized with the argument that more estates are needed in Lake Elsinore, but he pointed out that there isn’t a clear definition for what an estate is. Both he and Councilman Daryl Hickman urged concerned Tuscany Hills property owners to consider bringing forward an amendment to the Specific Plan.

LAKE ELSINORE RESIDENT November 09, 2011 at 11:34 PM
I believe Tuscany HIlls, including the Estates area would be a perfect area for low income housing. The perfect area there is plenty of room for low income housing. The City Council needs to step and spread the low income housing to Tuscany Hills where it belongs.
LAKE ELSINORE RESIDENT November 09, 2011 at 11:36 PM
We all know the City Council doesn't have a clue on what they are doing, and the City Staff (LOL) what a waste of tax payer money.....
Roberto November 09, 2011 at 11:54 PM
Why would a planned community with CCR's have a problem like this? When you buy into a restricted community, the homeowners should have a final say in the community, not the City Council .
simple November 10, 2011 at 01:37 AM
The whole city is low income housing!!! Leave Tuscany
simple November 10, 2011 at 01:38 AM
Diana November 10, 2011 at 01:43 AM
There are "estates" all over LE, in the Country Club Heights area, the north end of LE up in the hills, large acreages with more then 3 acres. A man should be able to do what a man wants to do with his own property, his own business and the Government should stay out of it, more control all of their BS codes, rules, CCR's, you wouldn't find any of this nonsense going on in other States. How about the City focus on something that is more in their realm, like trying to figure out how to stop and catch the taggers.
Roberto November 10, 2011 at 02:51 AM
Communities with active & inactive Homeowners assoc. exist everywhere. This is a very common practice from gated to non-gated communties. This is a lifestyle choice with full disclosures provided to the home owner prior to buying. This isn't a givernment drawn function but heightens restrictions usually to keep a neighbourhood from becoming blighted. I just sold a home in another state that had CCR's and a very active homeowners assoc. We had tennis, subsidized golf, clubhouse, swimming etc. It's really a lifestyle choice and the fellow with 3 acres circumvented his neighbours who also have property rights in my opinion.
Ken Mayes November 10, 2011 at 03:16 AM
Agreed Roberto, the man bought in a planned community, he should have to live with the restrictions he signed up for when doing so. Just because it is not spelled out exactly what an estate is his parcel was sized by the developer in its master plan for a specific reason. This person should have to live with his choice or move out.
John November 10, 2011 at 03:54 AM
This property is in the Tuscany Hills Estates area of Tuscany Hills and is not subject to the association rules, since the residents of that area voted out of the association years ago.
Tonto November 10, 2011 at 04:14 AM
This City's fate was sealed over 20 years ago :(
Roberto November 10, 2011 at 05:15 AM
Thanks John, Now we know why the Property Owner wanted out of the planned community don't we? Once Lake Elsinore got a hold of it it's over. All you have to do is look at the repeated circumventing of property owners in the interest of high density homes. Examples abound such as waving the size of roads in Canyon Hills thus throwing safety to the wind, Aggregate in Alberhill after home owners were there first. Unmitigated traffic throughout the city etc. etc. Yep, this guy, his cohorts or other insiders got the other property owners to drop out of the Home Owners Association with a plan of there own. Greed wins all to the home owners in the area's collective detriment. Typical corrupt Elsinore. The code word in Lake Elsinore is low income apartments, high density projects and developers property rights before those of the citizenary.
Stephanie November 10, 2011 at 09:00 PM
Hey Lake Elsinore Resident - would you like us to pay for your "low income housing in Tuscany" too? I bet you do and would happily take it because you're a taker and loser. Get off of your butt and do something for your life and, God forbid, country.
LAKE ELSINORE RESIDENT November 10, 2011 at 09:40 PM
Low income housing should be located in Tuscany Hills and at the so called Tuscany Hill Estates. It's the perfect place for the low rent to live and they have plenty of room and should be happy to welcome the new neighbors. The Homeowner owns the land so he should be able to do what he wants with his property.
Shannon Rector November 12, 2011 at 07:58 PM
I think Diane Smith made a wrong turn.This is Tuscany Hills LAKE ELSINORE!If you truly want to live in an elite environment then Tuscany Italy is perfect to relocate.Of course you may find your social status somewhat diminished as the definition of wealth differs from Lake Elsinore standards.


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