Yucaipa Plans Expansion of Wine Country Area Despite Community Concerns

The community of Yucaipa recently gathered for a Town Hall Meeting at the Yucaipa Performing Arts Center to discuss the Wine Country Specific Plan (WCSP). The goal of the meeting was to address community questions and concerns about the proposed plan.

Yucaipa City Manager Chris Mann explained that the WCSP is a concept that aims to bring significant changes to land use, particularly in the North Bench area of the city. He emphasized that the plan has been developed over the past five years with input from multiple City councils, City staff, and community members.

Mann clarified that the WCSP is still in the analysis phase and not yet set in stone. The City is seeking feedback and engagement from the community before moving forward. The ultimate goal is to create a plan that incorporates input from the community and benefits the city as a whole.

The history and background of the WCSP were presented by Yucaipa Associate Planner Madeline Jordan. She highlighted the efforts of the Yucaipa Wine Alliance, a non-profit organization that formed in 2015 to support the growth of the wine industry in Yucaipa. The City Council awarded a grant to the Wine Alliance to support their efforts.

Phase 1 of the WCSP involved hiring a consultant and forming a community advisory committee. Challenges were faced due to the lack of agricultural zoning in the city, but after extensive meetings and consensus, the committee recommended moving forward with a plan.

Phase 2 of the WCSP focuses on the development of a Specific Plan based on the analysis and constraints discovered in Phase 1. The proposed plan encompasses a 1,000-acre portion of the city’s North Bench area, which includes 11 previously approved projects. Concerns have been raised during public hearings about the desire to protect open space instead of building more houses.

Director of Development Services/City Engineer Fermin Preciado explained that the majority of the land in the proposed plan is vacant and undeveloped. The plan maintains a build-out capacity of the General Plan and allows for a range of lot sizes, including farmland designated for agricultural use. The proposed plan also frees up space for open space, vineyards, wineries, and the possibility of tasting rooms.

Although the proposed plan has garnered some community concerns, the City of Yucaipa remains committed to moving forward with the expansion of the Wine Country area. The plan will be implemented in phases over a span of 20 years, allowing for the development of new homes while also preserving open space and supporting the growth of the wine industry.

FAQ – Wine Country Specific Plan (WCSP)

1. What is the Wine Country Specific Plan (WCSP)?
The WCSP is a concept aimed at bringing significant changes to land use, specifically in the North Bench area of Yucaipa. It has been developed over the past five years with input from multiple City councils, City staff, and community members. It is currently in the analysis phase and not yet final.

2. What is the goal of the Town Hall Meeting?
The Town Hall Meeting was held to address community questions and concerns about the proposed WCSP. The City of Yucaipa is seeking feedback and engagement from the community before moving forward with the plan.

3. What is the background of the WCSP?
The Yucaipa Wine Alliance, a non-profit organization formed in 2015, has played a significant role in supporting the growth of the wine industry in Yucaipa. The City Council awarded a grant to the Wine Alliance to support their efforts. Phase 1 of the WCSP involved hiring a consultant and forming a community advisory committee to develop the plan.

4. What does Phase 2 of the WCSP entail?
Phase 2 focuses on the development of a Specific Plan based on the analysis and constraints discovered in Phase 1. The proposed plan covers a 1,000-acre portion of the city’s North Bench area, including 11 previously approved projects. It aims to accommodate a range of lot sizes, including agricultural land, open space, vineyards, wineries, and the possibility of tasting rooms.

5. How does the proposed plan balance development with open space?
The majority of the land in the proposed plan is currently vacant and undeveloped. The plan maintains a build-out capacity of the General Plan, allowing for the development of new homes. It also includes provisions for open space, vineyards, and wineries, supporting the growth of the wine industry while preserving open spaces.

6. Are there concerns about the proposed plan?
Yes, concerns have been raised during public hearings, particularly about protecting open space instead of building more houses. However, the City of Yucaipa remains committed to moving forward with the expansion of the Wine Country area.

7. What is the timeline for implementing the WCSP?
The plan will be implemented in phases over a span of 20 years. This timeline allows for the gradual development of new homes while also preserving open space and supporting the growth of the wine industry.

Related Links:
Yucaipa City Website