The Friday Flyer, a newspaper that serves Canyon Lake, published an eye-opening report in its pages today, basically saying, "I told you so", in regards to creating a sphere of influence decades ago...
Seventeen years ago, when the fledgling city of Canyon Lake was undertaking a mandated sphere of influence study, Jeff Butzlaff, then City Manager, was quoted in The Friday Flyer as saying, "We never want to be placed in the position of having to say someday "Oh, if we'd only known" or "If we hadn't been so short-sighted."Here's a link to the report...
It seems that day has come, and the current City Council is bemoaning the fact that its counterpart in 1991 voted against establishing a sphere of influence outside its original boundaries.
It wouldn't be an issue if not for the fact that the City of Canyon Lake is having financial problems. Basically, the city is built out. The only place it could possibly expand is northward towards Hwy 74, and into the unincorporated area of Meadowbrook.
Meadowbrook is the community that sits on Hwy 74 between Perris and Lake Elsinore. It's a place known for its boulders, mobile homes, farm animals and meth labs. There is already committee of Meadowbrook residents trying to fight an annexation bid by Canyon Lake.
Obviously Canyon Lake doesn't want Meadowbrook residents in its borders, they just want the land to build some tax-generating commercial centers.
Canyon Lake's financial woes is largely due to the fact that they can't expand to build commercial development. They don't have any land to do so, and hence why they are now haunted by the decision not to create a sphere of influence.
A "sphere of influence" is an area of land adjacent to a city, but not actually incorporated into the city. It gives the city a way of saying, "We don't need this land right now, but we might need it someday, so we want to prevent other cities from having it".
Another reason why Canyon Lake is having financial problems is the same old foreclosure phenomenon and general weak economy. They don't even have enough money to maintain Railroad Canyon Rd, asking private organizations to come in and do volunteer cleanup.
The new Countryside Marketplace under construction in Menifee will also hurt Canyon Lake. It'll give their residents more reasons to spend their dollars outside of the city's boundaries, and at the same time, fewer Menifee residents will bother going to Pepe's for dinner.
Last year, I opined in an article here on Menifee 24/7 that Canyon Lake may very well find itself being annexed into Menifee. If the new City of Menifee is successful in building up a lucrative tax base, and assuming Canyon Lake continues to get squeezed into suffocation, Canyon Lakers may run out of options and sell out to Menifee or Lake Elsinore.