A public hearing regarding a proposed—controversial for some—112-unit Murrieta apartment complex is scheduled for Wednesday.
The hearing about the project proposed by Golden Eagle Multi-Family Properties, LLC will occur during the Murrieta Planning Commission meeting, scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at City Hall, One Town Square.
Golden Eagle seeks to build the complex on a 7.47-acre parcel nestled on the north side of Murrieta Hot Springs Road, just past Via Princesa.
The development plan calls for a zone change for a 1.05-acre piece of the property that is currently designated as park and open space and sits on an unused portion of the Golf Club at Rancho California, according to a report prepared by Assistant Murrieta City Planner Aaron Rintamaki.
The other 6.42 acres are already zoned for Multi-Family-1 (MF-1), which allows for 10 to 15 residential units per acres and is what Golden Eagles is proposing to build, Rintamaki wrote.
The project would consist of six three-story buildings. Three buildings would contain 20 units each, while three would contain 18 units. There would be 24 one-bedrooms units, 64 two-bedrooms units and 24 three-bedroom units.
The 1.05-acre parcel would be the location of tennis courts and other recreational amenities.
The main entrance to the complex would be from Murrieta Hot Springs Road, Rintamaki wrote.
A gated emergency entrance would be located off of Clearbrook Drive. Daily traffic in and out of the driveway would not be permitted, according to the staff report.
But some nearby residents of The Preserve housing tract do not want to take that chance because they say traffic on Clearbrook and adjoining streets is already bad and liken their fight to improve the conditions to that of “David and Goliath.”
A group of The Preserve residents formed the Murrieta Community Values Organization in their quest to get the city to take action to improve the traffic situation they say would be worsened if the complex is built.
The issue has since been referred back to the Murrieta Traffic Commission, according to Mayor Rick Gibbs.
The following are excerpts from a letter to the editor submitted by Murrieta Community Values Organization:“...Those who were among the first to move into the new homes remember that it was a quiet neighborhood. Until, that is, the city of Murrieta decided to put a traffic light on Via Princesa and Murrieta Hot Springs Road that opened up a can of worms for our neighborhood. It wasn't just the traffic light that caused the problem. The city (or county) also decided to open a street that had heretofore been closed. There was no notice to the residents. This allowed drivers to ‘cut through’ our neighborhood and access Murrieta Hot Springs Road and thereby save themselves a few seconds or maybe minutes. (Think of a funnel with our neighborhood at the bottom.) Not necessarily bad you say. Until you realize that, according to a traffic study conducted by the city, nearly 5,000 cars are passing through some portion of our streets everyday. There are only two streets that are used for access and egress for our community (Clearbrook at the bottom of the funnel and Members Club Drive at the top). These in turn feed onto two other streets (Branwin and Woodbridge) to complete the transit.
“The volume of traffic is only half the issue. The other side of the coin, so to speak, is speed. It seems as though drivers are in a hurry to get through our streets. Average speeds are over 31 miles per hour with top speed approaching 40+ miles per hour. Don't be surprised if a driver passes you on a residential street. Would you like to have your children play outside in such traffic?
“Beginning in 2005, we met with the Traffic and Safety Commission to outline our concerns and seek some form of assistance. We ran into a brick wall. And, after several meetings, we were told that the Commission had already spent enough time on this issue and nothing more was to be done. We did receive some help. One speed limit sign and one flashing radar sign to indicate your speed. Drivers ignored both.
“We tried again in 2013. Same brick wall. Goliath knocked us out right off the bat.
“Now, the Golden Eagle Development Corporation wants to build a 112 unit apartment complex on Murrieta Hot Springs Road (next to the Jewish Temple) and Via Princesa that could add even more traffic and problems for our neighborhood.
“We have to make a stand at some point and fight Goliath. We, as a neighborhood, must demand that our streets and community be made safe once again. The Murrieta Community Values Organization was formed to spearhead this effort…
“We are opposed to the Golden Eagle development and will seek remedies for our traffic problems.”