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Yucca Valley Citizens Prevail at Planning Commission Meeting

By   /   May 14, 2014  /   Comments Off

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YV Planning 05_13_2014

Yucca Valley, Ca.,- Let’s hear it for the concerned citizens of Yucca Valley! They turned out in force to request the promised workshop to express their concerns and suggestions on Home Occupation Permits  during the Development Code update. That workshop will be held on May 27th at 6 PM. Save the date!

Acting Town Manager/Community Development Manager Shane Stueckle took it upon himself to interpret the “intent” of the FOUR Commissioners at their meeting of March 11, 2014 requesting a workshop. He chose to bypass that step and fast-track this ordinance in order to submit the Development Code update for Council’s approval in July. Stueckle suggested the May 27th meeting be designated for the continuation of the “public hearing” and no workshop would be necessary.

Stueckle’s statement on August 27, 2013 reflects his attitude :

“…just because there is opposition, it is not always a basis for change. If the application is consistent with the General Plan and the Development Code and all other code requirements are met, public input is not always a basis for denial.” See stamp page 17>LINK

Over 35 residents attended last evening’s Planning Commission meeting to voice their concerns on allowing certain businesses to be conducted out of the home or apartment. There were suggestions to prohibit massage parlors, beauty shops, dog grooming, brothels, mortuary and gun sales out of apartments or residential housing tracts. (At a previous meeting, a wood cutting business was suggested to be prohibited by Commissioner Drozd.)

Last evening, the consensus was to have stricter guidelines in multi-family units and residential developments less than 1/2 acre lots and relax the requirements for home occupation permits issued to someone living on a 5, 10 or 20 acre parcels. Some Commissioners also suggested gun sales out of multifamily residential be prohibited.

The most passionate pleas came to rework the home gun sales and to my surprise, address the concerns about artists working out of their home. It was pointed out the Staff report did not have any information on other similar areas to compare their HOP requirements during public input.  Then Chair Humphreville closed the public comment on this hearing.

The Commissioners weighed in with some good suggestions and additional information on the matter. Commissioner Lavender stated his research indicated other ordinances, while somewhat similar to the updated version, were more detailed to define which occupations would be allowed or prohibited. Commissioner Bridenstein suggested HOP for homes on 1 acre or more, no sales of ammunition and creating a new section to address the needs of artists accessory buildings. Commissioner Drozd was in agreement of no ammunition and this needs further revisions. Commissioner Steve Whitten was not present and missed out on a great deal of discussion by his fellow commissioners, staff and citizens. Chair Humphreville was clearly off-balanced and resorted to saying it’s no different whether selling Avon or selling guns out of the home.

Chair Humphreville Lied and Loses his Temper

Humphreville then lied to the citizens when he said the last gun sales permit issued involved gun parts that were not assembled. No Tim…that is a lie. The applicant was assembling Assault Rifles and selling those arms from his home situated on 5 acres butting up to BLM land on the Mesa.

In light of the conversations and new information revealed, I raised my hand to request the Chair re-open public comment. Again, Tim Humphreville was rude with his condescending reply.  I asserted my request to open up public comment. Humphreville lost his cool, flying off the handle to rant I was out of order disrupting the meeting and to leave the room. I remained calm in my seat. Then Humphreville banged the gavel declaring a 5 minute recess and walked off the dais.

My Plea to the Citizens to contact Mayor Robert Lombardo

I stood up at the front of the room and addressed the citizens in attendance during this break.  I explained I am assertive, not disruptive, to request our rights to address the new information and suggestions voiced by the Commissioners after the public comment was closed. I stated I have attended many meetings where the Chair or Mayor re-opens the Public Hearing to allow the citizens to comment on the new information without any problems.

I also used this 5 minute break to suggest Mayor Robert Lombardo be contacted about the rude behavior of his appointed planning commissioner, Tim Humphreville. This 5 minute window provided a wonderful opportunity for me to connect with everyone that came to this meeting with their concerns.  I then re-emphasize the importance of letting Mayor Lombardo know about the actions of his disrespectful appointee that took place at this meeting.

At the end of the break, Stueckle offered up a suggestion to make the next scheduled meeting a “citizen workshop” in a more casual setting for further discussions and continue this formal “public hearing” on the following meeting on June 10th. As the room was clearing out, another 5 minute break was declared.

With only one person remaining in the room, Humphreville came up to me and got into my face. With his beet red face and bulging neck veins, he sputtered he would have “gladly given everyone an additional 3 minutes except that it was me voicing the request and he hated this blog.”

Stupidity must be Tim’s middle name to admit he was aware he could have reopened the comments but chose to punish the community because of his poor attitude towards me.

Mayor Lombardo’s contact information:





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About the author

Margo Sturges

Yucca Valley Editor

Note: Margo Sturges has written many articles for Cactus Thorns and is the founder of Citizens4Change.info. Email contact: MargoSturgesYV(at)aol.com "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."- George Orwell

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