Temecula reviewing plans for Old Town affordable housing complex

Sixty-unit project, which will feature 21 units set aside for special needs occupants, has been developed by Golden West Communities.

A 60-unit affordable housing complex proposed for land at the northwest corner of Main and Pujol streets was vetted Monday by the city’s Old Town Local Review Board.

The board’s recommendation and comments on the project, which will feature 21-units set aside for special needs occupants, will be forwarded to the Planning Commission, which will hold a hearing on the complex later this year.

As detailed in the staff report for the board, the apartment complex was designed by Golden West Communities, a Southern California-based company that specializes in affordable housing developments.

Zoning for the project site is neighborhood residential, which allows for these types of developments, but Findings of Historical Significance are required because it’s the former home of a railroad turntable.

The turntable serviced a line that was abandoned due to flooding in that stretch of the creek, which has since been tamed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

In a nod to the land’s history, Golden West has designed an area between the parking lot and the pool facilities that will feature decorative color concrete arranged in a circular pattern that will resemble a turntable and train tracks.

“A plaque will also identify the historical significance of the site,” the report states.

The complex, which will feature three-story buildings and amenities such as a pool and a tot lot, has been dubbed Vine Creek.

  1. When will people ever understand that there actually has to be something “significant” before “historical significance” even makes sense? If a tree had once stood in this same spot, and that tree had once been home to an extinct variety of vulture, should we have a statue and monument? I’m sorry, but this, and turning what used to be a bank into a restaurant; and so many other such acts, misses the entire point of true maintenance of any historical meaningfulness. Only maintaining the purpose – the very spirit and soul of a location – and not a mere ghost of a former purpose, has any genuine meaning at all. For example, a new bank where a bank used to be actually respects the very soul of history; whereas putting an unrelated heart in the old body of a deceased person, building or purpose is merely sad. So much more is lost than gained when sentiment stands in the way of practicality. This point is surely too late, but there is no real point at all in reconstructing a part of a railway line where the railway line is dead. Otherwise, all you’ve come up with is a grave marker. Worse than unneeded. Let it be.

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