Countdown to 2015: Top issues ahead for southwest Riverside County



From transportation to housing to legal woes, southwest Riverside County faces a number of developments in the next year.


The Temecula Valley Wine Country community plan has been approved, but 2015 could see proposals to build homes in the area.



The story: After four years of meetings, debate and revision, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors in March adopted a comprehensive Temecula Valley Wine Country Community Plan.  But a pair of housing projects that combined would bring over 700 homes to the area has stirred up debate about the plan’s relevance.

What could happen in 2015: Mount Palomar Winery Owner Louis Darwish would like to begin work on a proposal to build 489 houses on 318 acres north of Rancho California Road. Another project – initially approved in 2007 and since revised, called Twelve Oaks – could lead to the construction of another 216 houses near Lake Skinner.

What’s next: A portion of the Eastern Municipal Water District sewer project critical to Wine Country expansion is scheduled to be completed in spring 2015. This project is expected to improve the quality of the region’s aquifer and spur development.

Why it matters: Wine Country movers and shakers are attempting to expand the area from a weekend destination into a seven-day-a-week engine of tourism, jobs and sales tax revenue.

Quote: “As far as the eye can see in Temecula, you’re going to see rolling hills of vines,” said former Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone, one of the community plan’s chief architects.

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