29 Planning Commission discuss Starbucks at Four Corners; proposed cell tower near school administration communications may creates problems

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The 29 Planning Commission met tonight at City Hall. Two important agenda items turned into the issues of whether or not variances can be worked out for Fountanhead Development to build a 1800 square foot Starucks coffee shop & drive-through, and for a “conditional use” permit for a 34′ plus wireless antenna tower on the right-of-way way of Wildcat Way.



Francis Chu, Senior Development Manager, Fountanhead Development, told the commissioners that “They have been looking for an idea location in the area with the correct demographics“.

Chu expressed that although they are willing to work with the city with this location in spite of the fact that the site has “many constraints”.

Another concern was the entire land site would be raised and paved. This means that the Bank of America ATM would disappear. During comments, one person expressed he moved away from a location that had no BOA ATM.

Said individual asked Chu if he “had a solution” about the loss of the ATM. Chu said he did not.

Commissioner Greg Mendoza raised an important issue of making left hand turns into the parking lot of the proposed Starbucks. The tricky situation is that the site is smack dab in the most busiest part of town, at Four Corners (Adobe Rd. & SR 62) four-way stop light.

This could be a long process (with the council and PC) pounding out a solution to the many constraints this location offers.

Further, Caltrans was not discussed. But the site is located along SR 62. Caltrans has controlling jurisdictions. What say they? Too early for Caltrans feedback.

Time will tell if the city is willing to concede to not yet identified issues of constraints.  One of which for Fountainhead Developers will likely be access from three directions into the Starbucks Coffee Shop parking lot.

A problem with the commissioners is that they speak softly and — away from the mike. It is very difficult to understand what they are saying. Could they speak in the mike clearly and coherently? That would certainly have helped during this public hearing.

Anyone wanting more information from the Developers, can contact Mr. Chu, as follows:

Francis Chu, NCARB
Senior Development Manager
1401 Quait Street, Ste. 100
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Cell: (714) 875-7715


Staff recommends construction of the wireless communications utility pole.

Robert Lewis,  for Mobiletech Communications, said this is a mini-tower. That it would take a week to complete. Lewis spoke with pride when he told the commissioners that his company first transmitted the emergency signal concerning the tragedy in Los Vegas.

Commissioner Chair, Kenneth King, raised the issue of foreseeable complaints about the cell tower.

It appeared cell tower concerns were also connected to possible interference with school district wireless communications with school bus communications between driver and the district.

Lewis asked for a continuance. It was granted.


An application from Silver Valley Propane for a Conditional Use Permit to construct an office and storage facilities on North Adobe Road. This writer wasn’t present to report on the outcome.


There is one woman, Leslie Paaland, on the planning commission. It is an odity for women to hold public office in the Morongo Basin. There is very little diversity in our area pertaining to planning commissions and councilmembers; it’s mostly devoid of women in important appointed or elected positions.

Planning Commission 2017-2018

Kenneth King – Chair
Greg Mendoza – Vice Chair
Larry Briggs – Commissioner
Jim Krushat – Commissioner
Leslie Paahana – Commissioner

The commissioners seem to be gentlemen. They don’t appear to be bullies like bullies on the council — when they bullied and railroaded Councilmember Cora Heiser. Accomplished with self-satisfying smiles.

By Branson Hunter







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