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Villages at Lakeview project, nearly 3,000 acres, goes to county panel

By in Press Enterprise on October 3, 2017

By Shane Newell

A proposal to bring thousands of dwelling units and up to 1.4 million square feet of commercial projects between Perris and the San Jacinto Valley could soon be moving forward.

The Riverside County Planning Commission will host a public hearing Wednesday, Oct. 4, on the the Villages at Lakeview proposal.

Nuevo Development Corp. is seeking to build a maximum of 11,350 dwelling units, spread across nearly 2,800 acres.

But Riverside County officials are recommending the planning commission go with an alternative proposed in an environmental report that would lower the maximum number of units to 8,725.

The hearing is a continuation from the Sept. 6 meeting, according to a staff report.

County officials wrote the alternate plan “is an environmentally superior alternative compared to the applicant proposed specific plan.”

Nuevo Development Corp.’s plan calls for up to 500,000 square feet of commercial use across the property. More than 1,000 acres would be left as open space under that plan.

The proposed development has critics, even after the proposed housing development project was dealt a setback in 2012 when a judge ruled the environmental study had major flaws.

Some such as Tom Paulek, conservation chair for the Friends of the Northern San Jacinto Valley nonprofit, oppose the development and argue the project could affect traffic and surrounding wildlife areas.

“The current land use is very conducive to wildlife conservation,” he said. “This project would only disrupt that and only further urban sprawl in Riverside County.”

Susan Nash, a lawyer who was part of the team to challenge the development, echoed Paulek’s concerns about the project’s potential impact on surrounding nature.

“They want to urbanize the whole San Jacinto Valley and create a new city of Lakeview,” she said.

“It’s certainly not a planned community that’s going to be under anybody’s control,” she later added.

The alternative plan with fewer housing units, however, […]    

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