The purported functionally impoverished City of Wildomar has properly earned, and richly deserves, their part in the recently-filed litigation involving the CV Communities project plan for the corner of McVicar and Palomar Road.
Before we review the timeline that is the issue in question in this litigation, let’s discuss the implications of the City of Wildomar’s facilitation of the above captioned project.
First and foremost, the City’s forefathers and foremothers sitting at the various council and planning commission tables ignored the pleas of longtime residents, Gina and Ruben Castanon, whose home and rural property would be forced into a new floodplain designation, requiring them to purchase expensive flood insurance as a result. This is not conjectural and anecdotal information. Instead, the Castanons have provided copies of the letter informing them of the change of status for the public record.
As a result, this specific litigation is going forward despite ample warnings to the City of Wildomar that their actions in moving forward with this project would invite litigation.
The crux of the litigation is based upon the legal theory that the Tentative Tract Map in question, originally approved by the County of Riverside, had expired, leaving the option to the property owner of re-applying for Tract Map approval, subject to an updated Environmental Impact Report, which would provide identification of current site conditions and appropriate mitigation of any adverse conditions.
However, for some reason, the City of Wildomar has chosen to facilitate the furtherance of this expired project, despite the negative implications for current residents and the potential for costly litigation, which likely will overturn any approvals granted to date.
According to a letter from the plaintiff counsel, dated November 13, 2013, the following factual timeline is at issue:
- January 29, 2002 – Tract Map (TM) 25122 was approved by the County of Riverside.
- January 29, 2005 -The original expiration date for TM25122, 36 months after approval.
- June 06, 2005 – Riverside County Planning Commission approved the first one year extension of TM 25122 to January 29, 2006.
- May 03, 2006 – Riverside County Planning Commission approved a second one-year extension to January 29, 2007.
- February 21, 2007 – Riverside County Planning Commission approved a third one-year extension to January 29, 2008.
- January 29, 2008 – Tract Map 25122 automatically expired as the property owner had not exercised his grant of authority to build his tract.
- February 12, 2008 – The State of California, passed Senate Bill 1185, which extended the expiration date of tract maps for 12 additional months, but it did not apply to tract maps like TM25122 which had expired prior to February 12, 2008
- July 22, 2009 – The City of Wildomar’s Planning Director illegally “approved” a fourth and fifth extension of time for TM 25122, which had already expired.
Understandably, this matter will not be resolved until it arrives in the courtroom.
Despite former Mayor Tim Walker’s opinion that this is simply a “stall tactic”, the current property owner could immediately apply for approval of his tract map in a new application process.
In any event, the City of Wildomar richly deserves all of the negative impacts that their disregard of their oaths to uphold the law may bring upon them.
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By the way, there is no pot of gold for the plaintiffs, whether it prevails in court, or the city and developer settle prior to trial. The attorneys get paid, but no one else.
Money is not the issue.