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County Extends Building Moratorium Near Santa Rosa Plateau

The moratorium is to protect scenic hillsides that border Murrieta on the Santa Rosa Plateau.

Despite the opposition of property owners, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors today extended a moratorium on building in areas of the Santa Rosa Plateau west of Murrieta and Temecula until regulations are in place to prevent over-development of the space.

Last November, the board approved an emergency ordinance that prohibited residential subdivisions, grading or land modifications of any significance throughout the northern and southern Santa Rosa Plateau escarpments.   

Supervisors Bob Buster and Jeff Stone, whose districts intersect along the ridgeline, pushed for a moratorium, citing concerns that planned developments could hasten soil erosion, damage drainage patterns and ruin the area's aesthetics.   

Land-use restrictions were imposed on tracts near La Cresta located at Camino Gatillo and Via Horca, just west of Temecula; Via Vista Grande and Claremont Street, west of Murrieta; Corte Hanna and Paseo Montana, west of Murrieta; and Calle de Lobo and Farrelly Circle, west of Murrieta.   

While the temporary ordinance has been in effect, over the last 11 months, the county's planning department was supposed to draft building and zoning regulations for the escarpments, but the process has been delayed for reasons not fully explained.

"I don't want the government or anyone else telling me what I can and cannot do with my property,'' said resident Elodel Buck. "This is just not right. Why do you keep squeezing us?''   

Riverside County Property Owners President Bruce Colbert called the board's moratorium "extreme," arguing that a brief set of design and architectural guidelines could serve the same purpose with less intrusion.   

Developer Bernard Truax said the board's "taking of property rights'' had made his parcels in the area "unsellable."   

Stone acknowledged that the ordinance was overdue and received full board support in directing the planning department to draft a set of proposed building standards by the first week of January.

"We've (dragged) our feet on this,'' said Supervisor John Tavaglione. "We owe it to the residents to move this along in an expeditious manner.''

The supervisors voted 4-0 to extend the moratorium another 12 months.

However, they can rescind that order at any time.

--City News Service

J Freidberg October 05, 2011 at 12:54 AM
The Board of Supervisors are over stepping their powers in extending this escarpment. Ordinances clearly state that they must prove that this is a matter of "Health, Safety and Welfare" of the community. It does not state that they can place this escarpment for "scenic" purposes, which is the reason they gave today for wanting this. The impact of this on peoples lives is tremendous. Property owners who have been paying for their land for decades, in hopes of building a retirement home, have just been handed a "death sentence" for their property values. However, the impact on the economy of Riverside County is even greater given they will not see revenues from property taxes on improved property. This could amount to lost revenue in the millions of dollars. This is clearly a land grap attempt, much like what happened in Mockingbird Canyon and Lake Matthews areas of Riverside during the kangaroo rat moratorium. During that land grab proprty owners lost value, were unable to sell or build and lost their properties. Developers (friends of the Board) was able to "grab" the land and magically the moratorium disappeared and building in mass began. What a tragedy these people continue to be elected by an unaware public. Maybe we can open our eyes and get a new Board. Debbie Kaser
Susan Marsh October 05, 2011 at 03:46 PM
Agenda 21, they are doing it to Los Alamos Hill and in a different way in Temecula Wine Country. Check out www.cqlm.net or google Agenda 21 for dummies.
MaryAnn Shushan Miller October 05, 2011 at 05:01 PM
We are witnessing unbridled Riverside County Supervisors who use their positions of power to circumvent the U.S. Constitution, bend State Laws, drag their feet to create yet more NEW regulations while oppressing small property owners. These property owners are being held hostage. We all need to wake up and look behind the euphemisms used, such as "protections", "habitat", "new regulations", designed to conceal the realities of oppressive government who use their positions to control. We are regulated by the UFC, building codes, EPA, Fish and Game, Fish and Wildlife, Army Corp of Eng.and now the Western Riverside Multi-species Habitat Conservation Plan, (MSHCP) admin.by the Regional Conservation Authority, (RCA's Exec. Board. is in part, these SAME five supervisors!) The property owners in this article have been subjected to the overbearing power and manuvers of 5 elected officials, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors . These five, in many cases, are not abiding by their sworn oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. and to protect priv. propt. rights. Look at the history of this story. The treatment of these property owner's, your neighbors, by these supervisors is very UGLY. The supervisors actions are deliberate and calculated and have been going on for years. Look up the laws prohibiting INVERSE CONDEMNATION, AND REGULATORY PRE-CONDEMNATION. "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely". VOTE ALL OF THEM OUT!!! MaryAnn Shushan Miller
Jane Lauhon October 05, 2011 at 07:19 PM
Another great example of the attack on our beloved Constitution by power hungry bureaucrats.
A. Dorothy February 18, 2012 at 03:46 AM
I believe it is important to get the community to understand what is being done to us and our property rights. WE MUST BAND TOGETHER TO GET THESE PEOPLE OUT OF OFFICE! That is the only way to make our voice heard.

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