Developer proposes massive project for rural Riverside County community of Sage
By Craig Shultz
A proposal that could see a mini-community popping up in rural Sage south of Hemet is drawing opposition from residents.
A developer is proposing to build Diamond Valley Estates in the unincorporated community near Hemet. Plans call for 540 housing units, a private K-12 school and private university, two museums, a hotel, commercial area and open space.
The housing would be a mix of houses, duplexes and condominiums.
While still in the preliminary stages, a presentation about the project drew about 100 residents to a meeting of the Sage Town Hall Association on Tuesday, Jan. 9. Most were against the project.
“We feel that this kind of massive commercial development and high-density housing is not in the best interest of Sage and its residents,” association president Bill Donahue wrote in a message to members. “The increased traffic, light and noise pollution would be detrimental for our quality of life. We are also extremely concerned that allowing rezoning of this portion of Sage could open the floodgates for other developers to begin rezoning and building further south, along Sage Road.”
Bill Donahue, president of the Sage Town Hall Association, speaks at a meeting where plans for the proposed Diamond Valley Estates Project in Sage were discussed Tuesday, Jan. 9, at the Sage Fire Station. (photo by Craig Shultz / Staff)
Adam Rush, from CASC Engineering, which is working with owner/developer Diamond Valley Estates, said public input is important.
“Our No. 1 goal is to not have an impact on the existing community,” Rush told a standing-room-only crowd in a chilly Sage fire station on a rainy night. “We want to work with you. We want to listen to you. We want to incorporate your ideas into the plan.”
He said that the property is currently zoned for 470 houses, so the proposal isn’t too different.