Menifee Town Center Moves Closer to Reality

The Menifee Town Center project, billed as the city's future downtown, with restaurants, movie t...

The Menifee Town Center project, billed as the city's future downtown, with restaurants, movie theater, civic center, office buildings, and condos, was approved last night for the most part, with the exception to the development agreement.

The city council voted four to one, with Mayor Edgerton voting no, to approve the Environmental Impact Report, the General Plan Amendment, and to create an ordinance approving the Town Center Specific Plan.

This came after the developer, Regent Properties, made five concessions after having met with an ad hoc committee within the past couple of weeks. That committee, consisting of council members Fred Twyman and Tom Fuhrman, was able to get Regent Properties to make the following changes...

  • Reduce the maximum number of residential units from 1,400 to 1,052. The 1,052 units is the actual number of units that Regent had planned to build originally, while 1,400 is the upper limit that Regent could build if they needed to. The concession simply sets that upper limit to their actual planned amount.

  • No residential units in Planning Area 3. If you refer to the map below, Planning Area 3 is that islanded piece of area in red labeled, "Office/Commercial". The original plan never intended to build any residential here.

  • No residential units within 900 feet of Newport Rd in Planning Areas 1 and 2. Planning Areas 1 and 2 are the areas in red dubbed "Commercial" and Retail/Hotel. The original plans never intended these areas to have any residential either.

  • Regent Properties agreed to conduct a soils investigation on any residential, educational, or recreational uses prior to obtaining a building permit.

  • Regent Properties agreed to submit a safety plan regarding public health and safety prior to any recreational uses within Paloma Wash. This is largely in regards to building soccer fields in the bottom of the wash.

Proposed Menifee Town Center Aerial Map

The first three concessions are not really concessions in that they already conform to Regent's original plans. However, they simply force Regent to stick to those plans, which was one of the topics of debate in the last city council meeting.

The development agreement that Regent Properties is asking for grants them an entitlement for 15-20 years to effectively make their own call on what to build, and if they so desired, could decide to deviate from the original plans. These concessions prevents them from making those deviations, only to those specific areas.

One thing the city council did not agree to this evening was the development agreement.

The development agreement is effectively a contract that spells out the relationship between the developer and the city. The existing contract calls for a 15 year "entitlement" with a possible 5 year extension.

Council members Fuhrman, Twyman and Edgerton voiced their opposition to approving this development agreement without having the new city manager take a look at it. As of right now, the new city manager has not been announced, though it seems one has been selected. This city manager will have to provide a 30 day notice to leave his/her present position, and then once the manager starts their position here with City of Menifee, will be granted 30 days to review the development agreement.

Meaning, it could be a