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Notice of Availability and Completion for Environmental Impact Report

Notice of Availability and Completion for Environmental Impact Report

PLEASE NOTE: The public review and comment period has been extended to Friday, September 23rd, 2022 (5:00pm)

This notice is to advise that the County of Riverside, as lead agency, has completed and is issuing notification of the availability and completion of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR), State Clearinghouse No. 2019049114, for General Plan Amendment 1207 (GPA 1207), Winchester Community Plan project as described below.

Project Information

Project Description: The project as evaluated in the Winchester Community Plan includes the proposed general plan amendment (GPA No. 1207), which would amend the Riverside County General Plan by:

  1. Expansion of the existing Winchester Policy Area from approximately 287 acres to approximately 23,153 acres of land within the General Plan’s Harvest Valley/Winchester Area Plan.
  2. Amending the boundaries of the General Plan’s Harvest Valley/Winchester, Sun City/Menifee, and Southwest Area Plans so that the expanded Winchester Policy Area falls within the limits of the Harvest Valley/Winchester Area Plan only.
  3. Revising land use designations within the expanded Winchester PA, including Foundation Component amendments. Approximately 227 parcels totaling 1,480 acres would require Foundation Component Amendments that include changes from the Rural and Rural Community components to the Community Development component. Consistency zoning revisions would occur in the future for approximately 921 parcels as a result of the revised land use designations proposed as part of the project, and are analyzed as part of this EIR.
  4. Amending the General Plan’s Harvest Valley/Winchester Area Plan, Southwest Area Plan, San Jacinto Valley Area Plan, and Sun City/Menifee Valley Area Plan to revise the existing Highway 79 Policy Area language by removing the 9% reduction in density for residential projects. This policy will be replaced with a fee on newly entitled dwelling units (not dwelling units already entitled), to fund mobility related improvements, such as but not limited to, a vehicle park-n-ride and transit station within the Winchester downtown core area. These revisions to the Highway 79 Policy Area language will be carried throughout the General Plan document, where necessary, for internal consistency. The Highway 79 Policy Area boundary includes approximately 50,061 acres. Additionally, revisions to several policies within the Area Plans to address the transition from level of service (LOS) to vehicle miles travelled (VMT) thresholds in environmental assessment such as this document

The project also proposes the creation of new Design Guidelines for the Winchester Policy Area. The project proposes planning policies and direction to guide change, promote quality development, and implement the community’s vision for the area. The project includes amended General Plan Land Use and Circulation Elements, Design Guidelines, and administrative and implementation programs to encourage high-quality development within the community by addressing the following topics: 1) Land use and housing; 2) Community character and design; 3) Preservation of natural resources; 4) Open space and recreation; and 5) Mobility and transportation.

As an implementing action of the project, future zoning consistency changes will be undertaken by the County as a result of the modified land use designations proposed as part of the project. This effort would be limited to rezoning impacted parcels to create consistency between the General Plan Land Use Designation and Zoning. Future consistency zoning has been analyzed in sufficient detail in this Program EIR and the project is considered a community plan per State CEQA Guidelines Section 15183.

Project Location: The project is located within the southwestern portion of the County of Riverside (County). The project area is surrounded by unincorporated County land and the city of Hemet to the north and east, unincorporated County land and the cities of Murrieta and Temecula to the south, and the cities of Murrieta and Menifee to the west. The project area is almost entirely within the General Plan’s Highway 79 Policy Area (Approximately 50,061 acres) boundary.

Public Review/Comment Period:  The public review period for this document is 45 days. The Draft EIR is available for public review and comment beginning on July 5, 2022 and ending August 19, 2022

PLEASE NOTE: The public review and comment period has been extended to Friday, September 23rd, 2022 (5:00pm)

Contact Information

All comments should be sent to the Riverside County Planning Department,


Manuel Baeza, Principal Planner

4080 Lemon Street, 12th Floor, Riverside, CA  92501

Phone (951) 955-9294), or via email to [email protected]

Draft Environmental Impact Report Documents