Guest Opinion: Industrial Uses Harm Yucca Valley’s Tranquil Neighborhoods

By Fritz Koenig
(June 4) As the political birthplace of a string of successful politicians such as Paul Cook, Karalee Hargrove, and Chad Mayes, is the region around Yucca Valley a trend setter that can not be ignored?
Perhaps the latest Yucca Valley push to liberalize government controls and empower government bureaucrats may provide a roadmap for radical changes of residential living across the entire county of San Bernardino.  Or, hopefully not.
Citizens and homeowners may have an interest in an issue that is soon to be decided by elected officials of the Town of Yucca Valley. While many actions taken by town officials have only minimal impact on citizens as a whole, this one, relating to the activities to be permitted next door to homes and residences, could directly impact the quality of life people can enjoy.
In many ways the Yucca Valley lifestyle is quieter, more peaceful, less dangerous, and slower paced than that of busy urbanized areas of Los Angeles or Orange counties.  At issue is whether the town should continue to protect people at home from the noise, commotion, dangers, and visual display of daily business activities originating right next door to them.
Gun dealers and industrial users (indeed heavy industrial users with forklifts, cranes, and diesel trucking, that are not legally permitted under Yucca Valley’s codes) are currently using a few selected homes for such business operations and proposals exist to expand those operations.
On occasion, the town’s code enforcement division has been prompted to confront circumstances where illegal business activity is ongoing in residentially zoned areas of Yucca Valley. In recent months there has been some back-and-forth between residents seeking to prevent the intrusion of business activity into their neighborhoods and those individuals who believe the community’s standards should indulge a few who want to perform gun sales, heavy product manufacturing, diesel trucking, and metal welding and fabrication on their residential compounds and also use public property to support such operations.
In response, town officials, led by Acting Town Manager Shane Stueckle, are seeking to liberalize the town’s code to permit such industrial and commercial activity in all the town’s home neighborhoods similar to communities who pride themselves on being “Industrial City” California. (City of Bell, CA; Industry, CA, South San Francisco, CA)  Along with the revision is proposed a massive increase in the discretion of the bureaucrats and commissioners of the Town to allow activities that do not meet the standards adopted by the Town.
The Town’s planning commission and town council is holding hearings which are now well attended with citizens promoting their viewpoint about the desired character and identity of Yucca Valley.  The next hearing is on June 10, 2014 6 PM at Town Hall.  Your viewpoint may not matter unless you contribute your thoughts and feelings by mail or in person. The feedback the planning commission receives may have a bearing on the non-binding recommendation it will make to the city council.

How do you feel about this issue? Do you want to continue to conduct industrial type of activities at your home, including welding and finished product construction? Do you own, drive or operate heavy pieces of equipment exceeding the town’s current 10,000 pound weight limit which you want to be allowed legally to drive, park and operate on public pavement and in your residential neighborhood? Do you want the town to liberalize its codes so industrial activity can take place in residential areas? Or would you rather that the city maintain the zoning standards and protections it now has? Do you have safety concerns about industrial uses in areas where vulnerable elderly and children reside? Do you want more stringent enforcement of the town’s zoning codes to prevent the proliferation of annoying commercial or industrial activity in residential areas?
Whatever your view, it can count if you contact Yucca Valley Town Council members at the following phone numbers and email addresses:

Regarding Home Occupation Code Update and HOP 11-05 Permit:

Robert Lombardo, (760) 228-1733,;

George Huntington, (760) 365-4253,;
Merle Able, (760)-792-2090,,

Bob Leone, 760-369-7207 x6,,

Dawn Rowe, (760-369-7207 x6,

Town Hall

57090 Twentynine Palms Highway
, Yucca Valley, CA 92284

760-369-7207 extension 226

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