Idyllwild and all of Riverside County above 4,000 feet in elevation will be exempt from the proposed modifications to section 18.18 of the land use and zoning ordinance (348) regarding detached buildings.

For much of the year, the county’s planning staff has been revising the decades-old ordinance. But limiting the proximity of garages and carports to the property lines has been a concern to local designers and real estate people.

However, the latest version, which was recommended to the board, includes language “that would exclude the proposed restrictions to properties located above 4,000 feet in elevation,” planner and author of the amendments David Mares wrote to the Planning Commission.

At several public hearings, both this summer and fall, and in correspondence to the commission, Idyllwild residents spoke out in opposition to the original changes. At the most recent session last week, the Planning Commission approved the changes to Ordinance 348 and recommended the Board of Supervisors also approve the revised ordinance.

In his memorandum to the Planning Commission before the Oct. 15 meeting, Mares explained the new language. “The proposed language would allow garages or carports to be constructed up to the front or side lot line on such properties, but only if configured to prevent a vehicle directly exiting or entering onto the adjacent roadway. Properties above an elevation of 4,000 feet would be excluded from this development standard.”

The planning staff’s latest revision to section 18.18 appears to respond to many comments similar to what Kay Jennison, Idyllwild Realtor, wrote to the commission.

“In Idyllwild, where many lots are on slopes, being able to build near the property line is the only way to have cars not parked in the street and often in the right of way,” Jennison wrote in her Sept. 29 email. “As Idyllwild is not a subdivision community, with standard-width streets with curbs and sidewalks, parking is an issue of concern. This is especially true in the winter with ice and snow on the ground.”