Planned Development below Yucaipa Ridge Road – Ongoing


A developer is trying to get variance to the General Plan approved, that would let them build a 51 single family houses on ¼ acre lots in an area that is zoned for one acre minimum.

The proposal was presented to the Plannings Commission on August 15th (Agenda, Section 5.) Here is that Section in question:

Tentative Tract Map

"Premium Land Development on behalf of Yucaipa 52, LLC (Case No. 20- 136/PDP/FDP/TTM 20375): A Planned Development project that includes a Preliminary Development Plan and Tentative Tract Map (TTM 20375)/Final Development Plan for the proposed Serrano Estates Project, which will establish 51 Single Family Residential lots on parcels greater than 12,000 square feet, several lettered lots for water quality basins, and a 27- acre remainder lot that would include space for vineyards as well as 13 acres of permanent open space, located on three existing parcels totaling 52 acres along the east side of Yucaipa Ridge Road directly south of the City limits to unincorporated San Bernardino County. APNs: 0320-161-08, 09, and 28."

Our take on it - Added Sept. 3th, 2022

The translation of this is that the developer wants to maximize the profit by building on all the buildable land. The part that is open space is a) directly over the San Andreas Fault (Earthquake) and because the property is sloped not all land can be built up (Yucaipa’s Hillside Ordinance). That the plan provisions for a vineyard may look great on paper, but it seems primarily to squeeze as much out of the property as possible. Further the "greater than 12,000 square feet" remark is misleading as well, because each lot includes a steep area that divides it from the next property as the whole development is conceived just like terraced fields for rice in a mountainous area.

There is a sliver of open space in the South-East, but we would not be surprised if this is only there because there was not enough dirt available to compensate for material necessary the fill up the area.

The most obvious point is that this development would most certainly be used as a precedence for other variations in the North Bench or other one acre plus areas. This is probably the most worrisome aspect of the proposal, because where would it stop if this project goes through!?

There is a reason why this lot is zoned for one acre plus, it is because the land is at the outer boundary of Yucaipa where the land transitions from being developed to undeveloped, natural terrain. Having such a dense housing development is completely against the vision for how Yucaipa should be developed. Plus, for many of our neighbors the fact that this area was zoned as one acre plus, was the primary reason why they moved to the North Bench in the first place. Nobody moves to the North Bench to find dense housing tracks.
Because we have some engineers as our neighbors here are some of their thoughts:

  • The property is directly above the San Andreas Fault as far as we know it and although it is true that nobody knows when the next big earthquake (up to ~M8) happens, what we know is that it the closeness to the epicenter matters as does the composition of the soil. Most soil in the area is relatively young and unconsolidated, that is any earthquake would have a major impact to life and property. A sparsely populated area mitigates to a certain degree, because a) there are fewer people, structures, and infrastructure, b) it is easier for people to flee in an emergency, and c) emergency personnel can access more easily.
  • Besides proposing to build in a less than optimal location, there are questions about the current infrastructure. There are only two small public access roads (both neighborhood streets) from Bryant St, which is not only dangerous because of fire but also increases traffic dramatically on a day-to-day basis. If we assume that every property will add two cars, then this is more that 100 cars with people going to work, bringing their kids to school, or getting groceries.
  • Developments such as the one proposed, will increase the demand for water significantly, because the new property owners will understandably want a green yard, even if it not mandated by any HOA. One acre or bigger lots tend to be less intensely watered. Another question that is not clear is that of wastewater. Is the current capacity of the sewer system sufficient or do these new properties need septic tanks?

    Notice for Public Hearing - (Sept. 4th, 2022)

    Some of us have received a noticed that at the next regular Council Meeting on September 12th there will be time allotted for public comments concerning the project off Yucaipa Ridge Road. The reason for this is that the issue was moved for the City Council to decide, after the Plannings Commission voted against it.

    Letter from Developers - (Sept. 4th, 2022)

    On Friday Sept 2nd some of us received a letter promoting the development project and trying to sway the public opinion, which was largely negative at the last Plannings Meeting. This letter included some deceptive and untrue wording and one of our neighbors wrote a rebuttal, listed below.

    Rebuttal of Letter from Developers (Sept. 6th 2022)

    One of our neighbors wrote up a rebuttal to the letter from the developers above for the Public Comments section. As it was rather elaborate, we decided to put it on a separate page.

    Agenda and Minutes are posted on the City’s website (Sept. 11th 2022)

    Agenda Item #25:
  • Yucaipa General Plan 2021-2029 Housing Element
  • Yucaipa Housing Element
  • 2021–2029 Housing Element Update - Addendum

    Agenda Item #26:

    Agenda Item #27:
  • Preliminary Planned Development Report - Serrano Estates
  • Tentative Tract Map No. 20375

    The documents posted are huge they include a variety of information about the Yucaipa Ridge project (Serano Estates) as well as updates to the General Plan (multiple documents, hundreds of pages). We are still reviewing the documents but preliminary found two additions that seem concerning and requiring some more thoughts and interpretation. The sections are in the Yucaipa General Plan 2021-2029 Housing Element , page 176, 19. Planned Development and/or Specific Plans and 20. Small Lot Subdivision.

    If you have time, please read these sections, and share your insights with us. This is a community effort. –
    Thank you.

    Letters to City Council (Sept. 12th 2022)

    These are letters to City Council Members that we recived so far, we will post all that we get, with your name or anonymously.
  • Letter freom Matt and Lynda U.
  • Letter freom Pierre A

    Public Comments of the Hearing on Sept. 12th

    We will post all public comments from the meeting that are read tonight and that we get here after the meeting. - Please send in you pbublic comments!

    Letter from developers to immediate neighbors(Jan. 6th 2023)

    Interpretation of letter from developers to immediate neighbors(Jan. 7th 2023)

    Public Comments