Politics Magazine

SB Planning Backs Approval of Master-planned Community Near Apple Valley

Posted on the 06 December 2013 by Jim Winburn @civicbeebuzz

SAN BERNARDINO – The San Bernardino County Planning Commission on Thursday recommended the Board of Supervisors adopt the specific plan for the Hacienda at Fairview Valley, a 1,557-acre planned community for active adults just outside Apple Valley.

The project, whose applicant is Strata Equity Group, is being proposed for development at the Northeast corner of Laguna Seca Drive and Cahuilla Road, which is about two miles east of the Town of Apple Valley and within the Town’s sphere of influence, according to the staff report.

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The proposed project includes 3,114 residential units, which calls for the development of 2,815 active adult units and 299 single-family units.

The report also states that the Specific Plan allows for 15 acres of neighborhood commercial uses that include a two-acre public safety center, 336 acres of parks, recreation, and open space that includes a 10-acre equestrian center.

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First introduced in 2007, the project received much attention for being almost a city in itself. Much of that project’s attention is due to it’s potential demand on nearby public services, such as water and sewer.

According to the staff report, the provision of public services will be handled possibly through the formation of a community service district, which would maintain and operate funding mechanisms for such needs as landscaping, street lighting, emergency vehicle access, recreational trail systems, and wastewater treatment facilities.

The staff report states that the proposed project is located within the Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company (AVR) service area but is not currently served by the Water Company.

“Presently, the residents in the vicinity of the Specific Plan draw water from onsite wells or have access to water that is commercially transported into the region,” the report stated. “A Water Supply Assessment for the project (completed, and adopted by AVR, in 2008), and the Urban Water Management Plan (prepared for the region), show that there will be adequate water supplies even during multiple dry years to serve the project.”

The applicant may consider using onsite treatment for sewer service operated under its county service area through the Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority, according to the report.

“The majority of Hacienda at Fairview Valley is planned to have residential densities that are greater than the half-acre minimum (for septic tank usage) and will require greater wastewater treatment than septic tank systems provide,” the report stated.

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According to the staff report, if the plan is adopted by the Board of Supervisors, the project would require actions by the board to incorporate the changes into the General Plan by resolution, the change in zoning by ordinance and the changes to the Development Code by ordinance.

The project includes a general plan land use zoning district amendment from RL-5, RL-20 and RL-40 to SP (specific plan) on 1,557 acres and a Development Code Amendment to add the project to the county’s list of Specific Plans.

“In the future, if development agreements are sought, they also must be consistent with the HFVSP and the county’s General Plan,” the report explains.

The report also reveals that the project’s applicant has worked closely with the Town of Apple Valley staff “to ensure that the Project satisfies the Town’s General Plan and Zoning requirements, as well as future demands on the Town’s municipal services.”

“The HFVSP creates a master-planned community in an area that is currently rural and
undeveloped,” the report states. “The purpose of the specific plan is to facilitate the orderly development of a complementary pattern of land uses that will occur over the next 15 to 20 years.”

Apple Valley has requested that language be added to the project document to address such areas as revisions to the Drainage Plan to ensure as much water as possible is retained onsite using detention basins; and the payment of traffic impact fees for an established traffic program and submittal of traffic impact reports.

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According to the report, the Hacienda at Fairview Valley Specific Plan is a master planned residential community focused primarily on active adults, age 55 and above. The plan “provides opportunities for family-oriented lifestyles, equestrian uses, and commercial development,” according to the report.

The project is organized around four neighborhood villages, with each village linked together through a network of local roadways, multi-use trails and pedestrian paths, parks and natural open space.

The report states that the project site consists primarily of undisturbed vacant land, while noting that “historic ranching/ grazing activities, current off-road vehicle use and illegal trash dumping have disturbed portions of the project site.”

The report said that implementation of the Hacienda at Fairview Valley Specific Plan is anticipated to occur over a 20-year period, while emphasizing the need to address the “growing demand for residential product-type to accommodate active adults.”

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For more information on the Hacienda at Fairview Valley Specific Plan, view the staff report at sbcounty.gov/…/hacienda.pdf.


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