Proposed Zoning Change on Murrieta Road Concerns Residents

The proposed area of zoning change is outlined at yellow. Neighbors of a Menifee residential l...

The proposed area of zoning change is outlined at yellow.
Neighbors of a Menifee residential lot proposed for rezoning as commercial property have expressed opposition to the plan and say they will attend a public hearing Monday to state their case.

The property in question is a 2.65-acre vacant lot on the northwest corner of Murrieta Road and Thornton Avenue in the northwest portion of Menifee. The proposal to be considered by the Planning Commission at its 7 p.m. meeting Monday is to recommend to the City Council a zoning change to allow commercial building there.

The lot is located in the middle of a residential neighborhood and no other businesses are within several blocks. Joe Pope, who lives directly behind the property, said he is concerned about the possibility of a commercial center with the noise and traffic that accompanies it.

"When I was looking at houses here, I asked what they could build on that lot," he said. "I was told, 'Oh, that's all residential.' Now they want to change it. My bedroom window looks right over that lot."

Residents within a 300-yard radius of the property received notices of the public hearing about a week ago. Pope is upset that the complete meeting agenda, which includes details of the proposed zoning change, was not made available on the city's website until Thursday. He said the subject was discussed at an HOA meeting and several residents have signed a petition they plan to bring to the meeting.

According to city documents submitted as part of the Planning Commission agenda, the parcel has been designated as commercial retail as part of the recently adopted general plan.

The same document states that the zoning change is intended to bring the parcel into comformance with the general plan designation. Although no specific design plan is mentioned, the document further states that "typical allowed uses in this zone include restaurants, service stations, automobile parts and supply stores, banks, convenience stores, food markets, laundromats, and other general business uses with approval of a plot plan."