City Council Meeting- April 7, 2009
April 7, 2009. This was the first meeting at the new city hall. Facility tours were offered to those who were interested. The f...
Meeting Called To Order at 7:02- Mayor Edgerton welcomed everyone to the new city hall and thanked MSJC for allowing them to use their facility for prior meetings, at no cost.
Words of Inspiration- by Pastor Tony Truax, Revival Christian Fellowship.
Flag Salute by Officer McElvain
Roll Call- Wallace Edgerton (Mayor), John Denver (Council Member), Darcy Kuenzi (Mayor Pro Tem) , Fred Twyman (Council Member), Gary Thompson (Treasurer), George Wentz (City Manager), Elizabeth Martyn (City Attorney), Carmen Cave (City Planner) and Kathy Bennett (City Clerk)
Presentations and Certificates of Recognition
Proclamation made naming April as Autism Awareness Month in the City of Menifee. Mary Mollway of New Vision Children’s Services (www.nvlearning.com), accepted the proclamation given by Mayor Edgerton. She commented that In the USA, autism affects 1 in 75 per and up to 1 in 150 kids according to the CDC. The mayor also encouraged accurate diagnosis and treatment of this neurologic disorder. A resource center for children with autism is being built in Temecula. The services are available for Menifee families who have children with autism.
Schedule of Future Events
-Easter Egg Hunt Saturday April 11th, 2009 at La Ladera Park.
-James Zepka- Asked that council members be aware of traffic issues and future problems that may be faced with our rapid growth.
-Bob (last name unknown)- Mentioned a problem on Scott Road, where a stop sign is asked for, to help those who live on the southside of the road.
Trevor Sedwicks- Builder of new medical center on Newport Road, north of Bradley. He showed photos of the project. He asked that the commercial street banners which are against code, be allowed to be put back up. City Manager Wentz stated that the city is working with the property owner to resolve the concerns.
Bill Zeidlick- Recommended citizens view the city website and it’s documents. (www.cityofmenifee.us). He reviewed a 300 page document about future projects. He objected to the current RCIP.
Beth Green- Speaking about the decorum policy discouraging spontaneous applause to speaker comments at meetings. She called that policy “anal retentive”. The audience laugh at her humor as she walked away from the podium.
Approval of Minutes from prior meetings of 3/17 and 3/31- Motions approved and seconded.
10.2 –Warrant (check) Register- Mayor asked that the information be clear as to who and what the payments being made by the city are for. The Mayor also asked that money due to Riverside county and others be clear in the future for both council members and the public to know. A quarterly report may be available next meeting.
11.1- Public Hearing on EIR, Change of Zone and Plot Plan 21452 and Plot Plan 22280 Commerce Pointe I and II. Discussed Project between Zeiders Road and 215 FWY., between Scott Road and Keller Road. Advocates sought change in zoning for this project to move forward. The site is 35 acres. Total building size will be about 209,858 square feet. 5 of 14 oak trees on site will be preserved. In place, 70 coast live oak trees will be planted, among others. The builder will build “Green”. No CFCs and will be LEED certified (First LEED certified project in Menifee, 7th in Riverside county). The facility will also have bike racks for local employees who want to bike to work. The applicant ?Casten Klein? Consulting of Murrieta asked for approval.
Comments In favor- Shawn Harrison (Southwest Land Consultants) represents nearby properties and is in favor of the project. Barbara Spencer appreciated the consultants and stated “they are great”. Darcy Kuenzi also gave word of support. The council approved the project without objection.
11.2- Public Hearing on Addendum to EIR 327… and Variance No. 1847
Lisa Sheldon spoke about a project on the SW corner of Menifee and Newport Road, near Centex at the Lakes. They are asking that the 14 acres (between Rockport and Newport) be developed for a 129,132 sq. ft total project. It will include a childcare center, fast food and a “sit down restaurant”. A drugstore, grocery market and retail shops will also be present. Two 3 story office buildings are also planned. Paul Lubay (Regency Centers) represented the owners and stated that this project will also be LEED certified.
Comments In favor: Bill Gould, a local resident, spoke in favor of the project. He lives 1 mile to the north at Heritage Lakes. He stated that the project will have a Fresh & Easy market.
According to the Fresh & Easy Website, there is a store coming soon to Menifee
Jeff Leatherman of Valley Wide Recreation and Park District spoke words of encouragement.
In Opposition: Barbara Spencer states it’s a good project but was concerned about 4 signs instead of 2 being displayed. Also, she was concerned about liquor sales being permitted with a childcare facility on site and elementary school (Callie Kirkpatrick) nearby . Council member Mann was also concerned about the alcohol sales near the school and daycare center, as was Council member Kuezni.
Rebuttal- applicants stated that alcohol sales are more than the 1,000 feet safe school zone permits and that the market and drugstore will sell other things, in addition to alcohol (Beer and Wine only).
Darcy Kuenzi asked for a continuance before approval is given. John Denver asked if this would be a hardship for the builder. The builder was ok with a 2 week wait time. The council agreed to a 2 week continuance. Council members Mann and Kuenzi were concerned about alcohol sales close to the school and daycare.
12.1- Menifee Development Stimulus Plan
Presented by George Wentz (City Manager) spoke about business growth in Menifee. The city will try to optimize turnaround times on project submittals and will establish a “pre application” process. The city will also review deposit requirements. The city will try to assure proper security of land with bonds. Also, the city will consider local fees and may reduce billed hourly rates by 20% to encourage new development. Developer Impact Fees (DIF) may also be reduced. Other initiatives discussed include a property tax rebate and a cash card for purchases made in the City of Menifee. Also, to goal is to get the word out as to why Menifee FIRST (for business development).
Scott Mann presented a Menifee Builder/Buyer Incentive which would lower DIF fees for developers who would then payback the new home buyer (owner occupied) a type of “Menifee Bucks” cash card, of sorts. He also recommended a property tax rebate up to 50% for year 1 and less during year 2, for new homeowners. The “Menifee Bucks” card can only be spent at participating Menifee businesses. John Denver retorted that some of this money should be allowed for use as a down payment since down payments can impede many new buyers.
Speaker Bill Zeidlick commented on the prior project (EIR 327) regarding the DIF fees. He also was concerned about where all the DIF fees for prior projects have gone.
Mayor ProTem Mayor Kuenzi commented about our overall state of US economy. She stated that Menifee is in a unique position to help make Menifee a better city while attracting new development, both home and commercial. Councilmember Twyman stated we need to make sure current residents are not negatively affected.
12.2- Report on Contract Services for Districting-
George Wentz spoke about the possible special election about re-districting, which would cost taxpayers about $35,000 to $50,000. He stated that plans to get it underway need to be initiated soon. Mayor Edgerton and John Denver are in favor of beginning the process.
Bill Zeidlik commented that a vote cannot occur regarding a special election today since it is not supposed to occur until April 21 (as stated on the agenda). Bill stated there is a cheaper, more common sense approach. Bill stated that districting should not occur until 2011 until after the US census. Bill also stated he plans to vote against John Denver and Scott Mann in the next election.
Mayor Edgerton asked City Attorney Martyn “that since districts won, are we not mandated to follow this?” City Attorney stated that George Wentz’ date of April 21, as listed, was an error and should read April 7. Fred Twyman asked that the cost be put to bid. City attorney stated that district voting must occur at the latest, by November 2010. It can occur sooner though. Census data from 2010 will be available 2012, at which point, the issue may be brought up again.
12.4- Media Relations Policy
Mayor Edgerton stated that public comments made to media by council members should be done, on behalf of the person them self, and not on behalf of the city, unless stated otherwise. The policy will be updated in the city handbook and discussed at next meeting. Twyman was concerned that the Menifee Post article entitled “A Message From the Mayor” may be construed as an official statement as opposed to an individual statement. Fred Twyman then jokingly commented that he should ask the paper’s editor for “equal time” in the paper. Some council members appeared to be concerned that future campaigns for political office may be compromised since they are not give equal time in the local paper.
13.2- Ordinance 2009-28U- Rescinding the General Planning Implementation
Council member Mann stated that this is crucial to stimulate our local economy. Darcy Kuezni agreed, as did all other council members.
Public Comments- Bill Zeidlik stated that a planning commission is needed ASAP to oversee development.
14.2- Senate Bill 214- regarding Sober Living Homes in Menifee (i.e. Drug Rehab homes, which may include parolees). It is recommended by all council members that community residents be informed of such homes, if they were to be present.
Open house signs are not removed by city officials and that there appears to be a “phantom serial sign stealer” per City Planner, Carmen Cave.
The council then went into a closed session.