This article was originally published at 11:18 p.m. Oct. 16, and updated at 10:37 a.m. Oct. 18 to clarify the Commission's votes.
The Wildomar Planning Commission voted against two proposed projects Wednesday that would bring more high-density housing to the city.
Commissioners voted 5-0 against recommending that the City Council allow a general plan amendment for Westpark Promenade Development to move forward. The vote was 3-1-1 against recommending a general plan amendment for Villa Sienna Apartment project, with Commissioner Veronica Langworthy abstaining and Commissioner Bobby Swann voting in favor.
General plan amendments would be necessary for both projects, which are being proposed by Irvine-based Golden Eagle Multi-Family Properties, LLC.
Although the developer's requests did not get approval from the Planning Commission, the Wildomar City Council will have the final say at its next meeting, according to Planning Director Matthew Bassi.
Westpark would be located at the northeast corner of Interstate 15 at Catt Road. The project applicant is seeking development of the condos, office building and restaurants on the 27.6-acre site.
But a land-use designation change from “Commercial Office” to “Very High Density Residential” on 21.26 acres of the site would be required. A zoning designation change from “Scenic Highway Commercial” to “General Residential” is also needed on those 21.26 acres. Subdividing the property into four parcels is being requested.
The second project, Villa Sienna, calls for 180 apartments at the northeast corner of Elizabeth Lane and Prielipp Road.
Commissioner Swann said he did not have a problem with that one because it would be located near two existing high-density Wildomar apartment complexes.
“I think we need some more apartments in Wildomar,” Swann told Patch in a phone interview following Wednesday night’s meeting. “That is coming from the perspective that I am 50 years old and I have a 23-year-old son who is going to be getting out of school soon. I would much rather have him rent a place in Wildomar than move to Hemet or Perris.”
Golden Eagle is proposing zoning and land-use designation changes on the 9.22-acre site. The proposal is to amend the existing land-use designation from “Medium High Density Residential” to “Very High Density Residential,” and to change zoning from “Industrial Park” to “General Residential.”
As for the larger mixed-use project along Catt Road, Swann said there was some concern voiced by commissioners.
“We would be taking what was 27 acres of prime commercial property right at Clinton Keith Road and the 15 and turning it into a condo complex,” Swann said, noting that at one point a hotel had been proposed as part of the project.
“Every commissioner gave a recommendation on the record that will go on as part of the recommendation to the Council,” Swann said.According to Bassi, City Council will be tasked with making the final decision as to whether the general plan amendment process should be initiated for the projects.
"Their decison to not move forward or move forward will be final," Bassi said.