Community Center wins supervisors’ approval: Construction next step

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A drawing of the future Idyllwild Community Center.
Drawing courtesy Mount San Jacinto Community Center board


Tuesday, Jan. 17, the Idyllwild Community Center at the Butterfield Commons on Strawberry Creek received its final approval from the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.

The board accepted and agreed with the Planning Commission’s unanimous December decision to approve the conditional use permit for the site.

Local resident Sue Nash asked the board to return the Community Center’s CUP to the Planning Commission to address several issues which she raised. However, 3rd District Supervisor Chuck Washington advised his colleagues that this would be an unnecessary delay for the project.

In addition, Deputy County Counsel Shelli Clack told the board that its action was to simply receive and file the approval. This would start a 10-day period for appeals of the decision. A legitimate appeal would return the project to the Planning Commission

The board voted 4-0 to accept the Planning Commission’s decision to proceed with the project subject to many construction conditions.

The first phase, which may begin this spring, will be constructing the amphitheater and parking. Phase two, which will follow soon after the first phase, will be constructing the community center building, which will have an activities room, a youth center, a kitchen and restrooms.

As a result of discussion during the Planning Commission session, Janice Lyle, president of the San Jacinto Mountain Community Center board, which is overseeing the sites development, sent a letter to Steve Weiss, director of the Planning Department, confirming the board’s intention to designate the Community Center, after construction, as an emergency shelter.

Lyle agreed with Planning Commissioner Mickey Valdivia’s suggestion that the board consider using the proposed facility as an Emergency Preparedness Center in the event of a fire or other natural disaster.

In his letter to the Board of Supervisors, Weiss explained the conditions imposed on the SJMCC, including concerns relating to potential trespassing on neighboring property, noise reduction and adequate restroom facilities for large amphitheater events.

Also, SJMCC will post signs designating its property boundary in an attempt to discourage visitors from trespassing on adjacent private property.

Prior to the supervisors’ meeting, Lyle said, “We are anticipating unanimous support of the ICC project from the members of the Board of Supervisors and are grateful that Chuck Washington [3rd District Supervisor] has continued to champion our project as we move through the Riverside County approval process. We are poised to proceed with the long awaited start of site development and construction of the Butterfield Amphitheater.”

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