Questions and Answers about the Idyllwild Community Center project as of October 3, 2018
Who is the San Jacinto Mountain Community Center DBA Idyllwild Community Center?
The San Jacinto Mountain Community Center DBA Idyllwild Community Center is a private nonprofit organization established in 1999 to provide recreational opportunities to mountain residents and visitors. The SJMCC is governed by a board of seven local residents: Tony Allen, Janice Lyle, Chris Singer Perreault, Robert Priefer, Wendy Read, Terry Shirley, and Barry Wallace. There are three committees of the board: The Building Capital Campaign Committee, CSA 36 Management Committee, and the Design Committee. Information about community members involved in the SJMCC can be found on our website.
What is the ICC project?
The Idyllwild Community Center project is an effort to build amenities on the SJMCC site in downtown Idyllwild. Currently the five-acre site which includes a children’s playground and a par course for exercise is closed while site development for the new project is underway. A pickleball court, skate park, and dog park managed by the SJMCC are adjacent on the Idyllwild Pines Camp property. Building a community center building has been a goal for more than 15 years.
What information is the basis for the Idyllwild Community Center’s CUP (conditional use permit) review with its MND (mitigated negative declaration)?
The Idyllwild Community Center worked through the county review process to obtain a conditional use permit for the development of its Idyllwild property to provide recreation to mountain residents. This was a two-year process that included 10+ reports on all facets of the development from water issues to oak tree mitigation. The Idyllwild Community Center project achieved a recommendation from the county’s planning department to move forward on December 7, 2016 and from the Board of Supervisors on January 17, 2017. Following the complex effort of meeting 100 required conditions to pull the grading permit, construction on Phase 1 (site development and amphitheater) began in May 2018 and completion of Phase 1 is projected for summer 2019.
What is the timeline for Phase 1 and Phase 2?
The timeline for the current ICC project involved a closure of the site in May 2018. The site development including driveways, lighting, and parking began immediately and will be completed by summer 2019. The outdoor amphitheater and the sculpted hillside for concert seating is also underway with expected completion by summer 2019. Based on the ability to secure funding, the Idyllwild
Community Center building will be constructed in Phase 2 starting January 2020.
What will happen to the trees on the site when it is developed?
The trees on the site are impacted only if they are in the direct path of the driveways, buildings, or hillside amphitheater seating. Any oak trees that are removed will be replaced according to the county’s mitigation requirements. The landscaping is designed to emphasize the natural character of the site with minimal impact on existing live trees.
Where did the money come from to develop the site and build the amphitheater?
The five-acre site was a gift to the SJMCC from Loie and Dave Butterfield in 2008. The Butterfields subsequently donated $4 million toward the development of the site and the amphitheater. In recognition of this generous donation, the SJMCC voted to name the site--Butterfield Commons on Strawberry Creek—and the amphitheater—Butterfield Amphitheater.
Where will the money come from to build the ICC building?
The community has raised just under $400,000 for the Idyllwild Community Center building with its youth center, activities rooms, community kitchen, restrooms and outdoor decks. The current estimate for the building is $4 million. The county Economic Development Agency with support from Supervisor Chuck Washington has indicated a willingness to assist in the building project by providing a grant of $1.2 million from Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. The remaining $2.4 million will be part of a new fundraising campaign targeting other available public and private grant sources.
What will the closure of the site mean to the parents of children who use the playground and pickleball players?
We will make every effort to keep the site closed for the shortest time possible but the construction effort requires that the site be fenced. The fencing of the entire site is expected to be required for nine to twelve months for Phase 1. The playground will be off limits due to safety concerns. New pickle ball courts are available at the Idyllwild Pines Camp which has partnered with ICC to provide recreation amenities to the community.
What kind of programs and activities can we expect at ICC in the next two years?
Following the completion of the amphitheater, summer concerts will resume in this outdoor space with hillside seating. Additional programs appropriate for outdoor music and theater events can also be scheduled. The monthly art fairs can resume on ICC property, the children’s playground and par course will reopen, and Easter egg hunts, horseshoe tournaments, and yoga/tai chi classes can resume. The Halloween Carnival and Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony are currently being presented by the ICC at other locations in downtown Idyllwild.
How does the County fit into the future picture?
Supervisor Chuck Washington and county staff have been enormously helpful in trying to find a creative solution to recreation opportunities in Idyllwild. The SJMCC came to the table with a site and $4 million in funding for Phase 1. The county collects the CSA 36 funds for recreation so it has an annual obligation to provide recreational programming (which can best be accomplished primarily in a new building on the ICC site). The county also has access to federal funding that can be allocated to meet special community needs. Downtown Idyllwild was declared a “target community” when the Idyllwild Public Library project was adopted in 2010. That “target community” designation applies until 2020 and can make development of a recreation project possible through CDBG funding.
Who will run the recreation programs in Idyllwild?
The creative solution to recreation on the mountain brings together the property tax dollars collected by the county under CSA 36 (and overseen by the Board of Supervisors) and the private funding donated to San Jacinto Mountain Community Center. The ICC, a local nonprofit, was awarded management of the CSA 36 funding as of January 3, 2017 for the purpose of delivering quality recreation programs to mountain residents and visitors.
How will CSA 36 work with SJMCC once the building is open?
The details of this relationship are being developed. The oversight of the CSA 36 dollars remains a responsibility of County Supervisor Chuck Washington. The goal is to designate the annual revenue from CSA 36 to the SJMCC who will oversee the implementation of local programs and respond to local requests for recreation programs that meet the community’s needs. The current recreation program is being offered at Town Hall and other local sites.
Will there be fees to rent the ICC indoor spaces and the site?
When the site was open there was a fee structure for exclusive use of particular parts of the site. The fees were discounted for nonprofit use. The current structure will be adjusted when the building project is completed. The goal is to maintain an affordable fee structure that also helps to support the operation of the Butterfield Commons on Strawberry Creek.
How do we lease the site and/or the facility?
Check the ICC website (idyllwildcommunitycenter.org) for current information about site availability. The site is expected to reopen in June 2019 and our Facility Use policy and agreement will be updated to reflect the new site opportunities. Check back in early 2019 for new information.