A screenshot of the Lake Elsinore City Council meeting showing the council members on the dais, residents in the audience and city staff at a table in the background.
The Lake Elsinore City Council heard from residents on Tuesday, March 28, about its proposed Good Neighbor Policy. (Lake Elsinore/Screenshot)

The Lake Elsinore City Council last week continued discussion over its proposed Good Neighbor Policy to the end of April.

“We had a request from the business community to go ahead and continue the item as we continue looking at the policy and refine it,” Mayor Pro Tem Steve Manos said at the March 28 meeting.

The proposed policy is meant to address issues arising from large warehouses and logistics centers near residential structures, schools, daycare facilities, hospitals, senior and assisted living homes and outdoor recreation areas.

“The goal here is really to keep megawarehouses away from sensitive receptors, like single family homes,” Councilmember Robert Magee said. “For the majority of us, that is our biggest single personal investment, and to have a warehouse move next to it, I think runs contrary to the quality of life that we anticipated when we plunked down that big downpayment and started making those mortgage payments.”

A draft of the proposed Good Neighbor Policy can be found here.

And while the item on the agenda was for this proposed policy that both Manos and Magee said would apply to the entire city, those who spoke during public comment had only one project on their minds — a proposed industrial park by NorthPoint Development in the back basin area behind Summerly.

“I appreciate the fact that the city wants to have logistics companies coming in,” Ann Geib, a resident of Summerly, said. “It’s good for the city financially to get the taxes from that. I just don’t think it should be in our neighborhood or any other residential area. I’m worried about the air quality, traffic congestion, noise and nighttime lighting around homes.”

Following public comment, both Manos and Magee made it clear that the council was not discussing or voting on anything related to the proposed NorthPoint project.

“The public, folks that came out today, I think it’s important to impress upon them that we’re not voting on NorthPoint today,” Manos said. “We are literally drafting a policy that addresses a subject that’s not very well detailed in our general plan, our specific plan, that subject of megawarehouses.”

Taking that one step further, Magee said NorthPoint had yet to even present the city with a full application for the proposed development.

“NorthPoint has tried three times to have a complete application, they have yet to do that,” Magee said. “We are continuing to encourage them to look elsewhere, and hopefully they will.”

In addition to the three speakers at the meeting, the city also received two written comments on the item and Magee said he had “forwarded on at least six [more], all from homeowners, all in opposition to industrial development moving next to homes.”

Magee also told the audience about AB1000, a bill introduced by California Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gómez Reyes, which would mandate large warehouses and logistics centers of more than 100,000 square feet be placed 1,000 feet away from “sensitive receptors” such as schools, homes and daycares with the ability to be placed within 750 feet of those locations with certain mitigation measures.

“We want to put a little more finesse on our policy, which is why we are working with the business community and our homeowners to make something that we can all be proud of, not just an arbitrary 1000 feet,” he said.

The council unanimously voted to continue the item to the regularly scheduled April 25 meeting where residents will again have an opportunity to make their voices heard.

“I would hope that folks would go ahead and actually familiarize themselves with the document that’s being discussed and please comment on it,” Manos said. “And if there’s concerns, we’re happy to go ahead and address them.”

A full recording of the March 28 meeting can be found here.

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