Hemet and SJ differ in their approaches to residential development

H■ Matt McPherson / Contributed

emet and San Jacinto are taking two separate approaches towards residential development as the real estate market continues to improve throughout the valley. Hemet emphasizes low-income housing developments within the heart of the city while encouraging single family developments to the east and west. In contrast, San Jacinto is advancing an assortment of developments from affordable 55+ communities to affluent equestrian neighborhoods along the periphery of the city.
Hemet has taken a path towards high density residential. Speculation suggests this is an attempt to cater to the low-income demographic within the nucleus of the city. Properties such as the northeast corner of Sanderson and Devonshire are rezoning from commercial C1 to high density residential R3, which will allow 18.1-30 units per acre. Although no development project is proposed currently, the zone change paves the way for low income apartment expansion within the proposed area. The total acreage is 5.57 acres, which could allow 85-112 units with a maximum of 139 units within the designated zoning area. The C1->R3 rezoning was initiated due to little or no commercial interest in the site. Ingress and egress issues did not favor a commercial development, in addition to other factors.
A few surrounding residents have expressed some concerns in relation to the proposed multi-family development attributing public safety, density and quality of the adjoining streets. The development would produce a rise in property tax revenue and increase surrounding property values. One requirement to become compatible with the existing surrounding residential is to create a buffer through gated access.
Carole Kendricks, the Associate Planner at The City of Hemet, was able to provide nine other projected developments that are currently approved by the city.

1. An approved 395-single-family-residence development proposed by Jefferey Homes (Stoney Mountain developer) on 232.5 acres on the south side of Esplanade Avenue about 844 feet east of Warren Road.
2. Jasmine Gardens on the south side of Johnston Avenue, west of State is an approved 124-unit complex, that has attempted to secure federal tax credits, but has been unsuccessful as of yet.
3. Large 20,000 square foot ranch style estates have been approved along the south side of Charlton Avenue in between Soboba and Hemet streets. This 7.27 acres is anticipated to have 10 single-family homes.
4. A 40-unit condominium complex is approved on the east side of Cawston Avenue between Stetson and Thornton avenues.
5. Another 40 units in eight buildings are approved on 3.29 acres located on the east side of Copenhagen Street south of Sydney Street and north of Anchorage.
6. Senior apartments totaling 120 units have been approved on 3.31 acres on the southerly side of Latham Avenue east of Lyon and west of Elk Street in an R-4 zone (“very high density residential.”)
7. 37 single-family residential lots have been approved on the south side of Eaton Avenue, between Kirby Street and Sanderson Avenue.
8. 12 single-story single-family residential homes have been approved on the west side of Hemet Street north of Annisa Avenue and south of Paloma Drive.
9. Conditions of Approval that have been modified hints at progress in the halted McSweeny Farms development, located east of State Street north of Newport Road and south of Gibbel Road.

San Jacinto has taken a very diverse approach and has five incredibly different residential developments on the horizon. San Jacinto Council member Andrew Kotyuk says: “San Jacinto took a proactive approach to retaining its existing approved housing plans to provide the flexibility to allow growth to occur again without a lot of red tape and save valuable staff time.
These actions have started to pay off as existing builders accelerate and a national builder is attracted back to San Jacinto. Priced from the mid $200’s to the low $300’s San Jacinto will have an advantage to attract home buyers as interest rates rise. FHA loans are offered to homes below the mid-$300’s. As rates rise, the difference in mortgage payments on even a $100k will be significant on a traditional loan.
The market is not hot yet, but it is warming up, with many other builders assessing the opportunities in San Jacinto. Whether a retiree, raising a family, or a millennial, there are many options to choose from. My advice, buy now while rates and prices are low, and before the highways and new development come. Here are the five developments currently underway.

1. Stonecrest at the Cove
This sustainable community by Kirby Homes will include solar panels in addition to other energy options. Settled above the valley against the western hills this master planned community will offer four floor plans ranging from 1700-2500 square feet at a price from $255,000-$287,000.

2. Luz Del Sol-Frontier
Located near the intersection of Sanderson and Ramona Expressway, it will emerge as a very desirable development near San Jacinto’s Gateway project. The project will include four different floor plans offering 1850-2311 square feet and priced from $275,000-$320,000. A park central to the project— Colonel Lewis Millet Park—will provide the community with basketball courts, soccer fields, barbecues, restrooms, and large shaded structures for gatherings.

3. Kirby Village
This gated community is nearing completion and is accelerating it’s finalization in recent months. Close to Esplanade and Sanderson, it affords low yard maintenance, with a pleasant setting, and a private park.

4. Maravilla Estates
Up against North Mountain, the Soboba Country Club, Casino, and Ramona Expressway this 55+ community will offer more than 200 ranch themed properties. The homes will range from 1500-1600 square feet and pricing will start at $240,000. Some luxuries included will be a 7000-square foot clubhouse, fitness center, library, in addition to the adjoining San Jacinto River trail system, which will be included in the city’s master trail plan.

5. Harvest Pointe at Potter Ranch DR Horton
The return of this national builder into San Jacinto since the recession should serve as a catalyst for other developers to follow. This project will serve as the major test market for future developments as the market warms up.
Within 40 days a new president will be leading the charge in Washington and with projected rises in interest rates, much speculation fuels the urgency of proposed developments, especially here in the valley. As San Jacinto moves forward towards a diversity of residential developments, Hemet struggles to rezone checkerboard pieces of land in an attempt to cater to the ever changing demographic. Considering all these developments and factors, one thing is certain. Development is here and on the horizon, and no slowdown in construction is in the near future.

To contact Matt McPherson, call him at (951) 315-7914 or email McPhtown@aol.com.

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