Saturday, July 21, 2007

Weekly News Roundup: July 21 Edition

This week's news seems to be heavy on construction and low on crime. That's a good thing, I think.

City News

The Yucaipa Planning Commission met July 18. Download the agenda and minutes (pdf). The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 1.

Robinson Properties submitted a project notice indicating it would like to develop over 1,000 housing units on the north side of I-10 in what is District 1 of the Freeway Corridor Plan. Apparently Robinson Properties is either ignorant of (or chose to ignore) the current planning for that district.
The project notice submitted by Robinson Properties could hardly be more inconsistent with the city's projected development plan for this area. For example, the project notice distributed to adjacent property owners and reviewing agencies proposes a residential development called Oak Ridge Village on the hillside below Colorado Street, even though this area is designated as open space in the current Specific Plan.

The city council has approved the development of some residential units in District 1: up to 48 units on half acre lots. The Robinson Properties proposal calls for over 1,000 units in District 1 on approximately 60 acres.

A quick check with the calculator shows that the proposed units would average 0.06 acre lots instead of 0.5 acre lots - could Robinson have just misplaced a decimal point? Check out the current Preferred Land Use Map (pdf) for details of the proposed land use in the area.

Work on the I-10/Live Oak Canyon/Oak Glen Road interchange will begin in August.
The contract will cover the replacement of the current two-lane bridge with a new five-lane bridge. Eastbound and westbound ramps will be widened and realigned, traffic signals will be installed and the area between Calimesa Boulevard and Outer Highway South will be reconstructed.
The Public Works department has indicated that the bridge over the freeway (map) will remain open during construction, which will take 18-24 months.

Other news from the July update from the Public Works department (pdf):
  • Oak Glen Rd. Widening between Avenue E and Yucaipa Blvd (map): Phage I (Utility Relocation) is complete. Phase II (pavement rehabilitation and widening to 4 lanes) is scheduled to be completed in August.
  • 7th Street Park Rehabilitation (map): The restroom is completed and remaining construction will begin this month, to be completed in August.
  • Traffic Signal Installation at Wildwood Canyon Rd & 5th Street (map): scheduled for completion in September.
  • Traffic Signal Modification at Yucaipa Blvd. & 4th St (map): scheduled to be completed in September.
  • Traffic Signal Modification at County Line Rd & 5th (map): scheduled to be completed in September.
  • City Wide Speed Survey: scheduled to be completed this month
  • Civic Center Park (map): scheduled to be completed this month
  • Community/Bryant Glen Park Tree Planting (map): scheduled to be completed this month
  • Yucaipa Blvd South Side Widening between 7th and 10th St (map): scheduled to begin this month and be completed by December
The San Bernardino County Sun reports that it looks like the end of the road for the Live Oak Canyon Christmas Tree Farm (map). Owner Gregg Palmer says they will be open for the 2007 October pumpkin and December Christmas tree seasons. In 2008 it may all be gone if the proposed Oak Hills Marketplace is finally approved.

If Palmer is able to find a new spot for the business, he may not have to move far.

He said Palmer General Corp., his family's company, owns 450 acres of land and is in the process of selling a portion of the acreage for marketplace. So there's a possibility that the farm could be moved to another part of the family's land or somewhere else in the Yucaipa area, Palmer said.

The Oak Hills Marketplace is slated to include a Super Target and possibly another large store such as Costco. There will be a public hearing on the project at the August 1st planning commission meeting.

Representative Joe Baca (D-Rialto) is trying to equal our Representative Jerry Lewis for local spending earmarks. As the San Bernardino County Sun reports , if the spending bills are approved Yucaipa gets a bit of the pork:
$305,000 to the Army Corps of Engineers for an ongoing study of erosion control and reduction of the impact of flooding along Wilson and Oak Glen creeks in Yucaipa.

$200,000 to develop joint park-and-recreation facilities between Yucaipa and Crafton Hills College.
Meanwhile, the San Bernardino County Sun reports that the residents of Mentone have mixed feelings about the construction in their town. Eventually there will be continues devepment between there and Yucaipa.

Farther down the highway, west of Bryant Street in Yucaipa, Oregon-based McDougal Bros. Inc. is grading land to prepare 57 lots for the Crafton Hills Estates. The lots are expected to be ready for building on in November, said Phil Velie, a spokesman for the company.

He said it hasn't been decided if the lots will be sold to a builder or used for custom-built homes. The company will evaluate the housing market in the fall in helping to decide which way to go.

The next city council meeting is Monday, July 23. Download the agenda packet (pdf).

Yucaipans in the News

Yucaipa Little Leaguers dominated the annual district tournament.
The San Bernardino County Sun reports that when Yucaipa brothers Steven and Terry Vakoc had their $10,000 dirt bikes stolen last year they thought they were gone for good. Deputies Wade Samuelson and Tony Negerte didn't give up though.
When the suspected thief failed to pay the storage fees, the facility cracked open his storage space and discovered the bikes. They reported the bikes to the police, and a DMV check revealed it was Terry Vakoc's missing dirt bike.

Negerte got the thief's address from the Alpine Storage, and paid him a visit.

Negerte said the man told him the other bike was sold. He also said there was someone else involved in the theft, according to Negerte. Then Negerte was able to recover Steve Vakoc's bike from the person who bought it.

The brothers are grateful for the deputies' hard work and are happy to have their bikes back.

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