New Jack In The Box in Romoland Gets Put On Hold

A project to build a 2,599 st ft Jack In The Box restaurant, with accompanying 3,000 sq ft gas stati...

A project to build a 2,599 st ft Jack In The Box restaurant, with accompanying 3,000 sq ft gas station and convenience store, was put on hold by the Menifee Planning Commission yesterday, citing numerous issues with the design.

The project is planned for the corner of Hwy 74 and Trumble Road, at the north-western corner of Menifee's city limits. The land was previously home to a gas station which has since been removed and now sits empty.

The owners of the property had purchased the land in 2006 and had submitted plans to the County of Riverside, but the County had not yet held any hearings on the matter. Yesterday was the first public hearing.

jack in the box romoland
The commission had first taken issue with the design's lack of a deceleration lane, a special lane where cars could pull off the main highway and slow down to enter. Traffic along Hwy 74 was cited as among the most deadliest in the nation, with commuters hurrying to get to the I-215, and with Cal-Trans currently spending resources to put in a center divider.

"We don't want someone driving down the 74 and all of sudden decide they need a Jumbo Jack, and slam their brakes", said commissioner Bill Zimmerman. Commissioner Mark Matelko agreed, "We need to plan for the future. It's like what happened with the Newport Rd bridge, when they expanded it from two lanes to four, they thought it would be sufficient, and now six years later and it's a mess again."

Don Allison, the city's chief engineer, examined the plans and noted that the owners appeared to have done the best they could by making the entrance wider than normal, to accommodate fast moving traffic. Representatives from the property owners also noted that they couldn't give up any more land for a deceleration lane as there was no room left to redesign the plans and still be in compliance with other code requirements.

Carmen Cave, Community Development Director for the City of Menifee, also added that there are hotels and restaurants planned across the street from Trumble Rd, and that this would necessitate Trumble Rd being widened and redesigned. The Commission therefore noted that the plans for Jack in the Box and the gas station did not take this into consideration, and asked the owners to redesign its Trumble Rd entrance.

Also of issue was the buildings' look and feel. The Commission noted the plans called for an industrial look, when it was understood the County was incorporating a craftsman style design in its redevelopment attempts along Hwy 74. Representatives of the owners noted that the industrial design was meant to mimic the same design that was planned for the Pacific Business Park adjacent to the property.

In the end, Planning Commission voted to continue the plans, asking the property owners to work with city staff to address traffic safety issues and then reexamine the plans at a later date.