Questions and Answers about the Idyllwild Community Center project as of May 1, 2017

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 six local residents: Tony Allen, Janice Lyle, Robert Priefer, Wendy Read, Chris Singer Perreault, 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 includes a children’s playground, a par course for exercise, pickle ball courts and a basketball court on a cement pad. A 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)?  When is the planning commission review scheduled?

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 December 7, 2016 and from the Board of Supervisors on January 17, 2017.  Construction on Phase 1 (site development and amphitheater) can begin and the current timeline for completion of Phase 1 is summer 2018.

What is the timeline for Phase 1 and Phase 2?

The timeline for the current ICC project involves a closure of the site in June/July 2017. The site development including driveways and parking will begin immediately and will be completed by summer 2018. The outdoor amphitheater and the sculpted hillside for seating for concerts will also be built and completed by summer 2018. Based on the ability to secure funding, the Idyllwild Community Center building will be constructed in Phase 2 starting fall 2018.

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 $2 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 $2.4 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 $800,000 will be part of a new fundraising campaign to be completed before summer 2018.

What will the closure of the site mean to the parents of children who use the playground and pickle ball players (who are our seniors)?

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 may be between six and nine months for Phase 1. The playground will be off limits due to safety concerns and the pickle ball courts will be removed as part of the site development. New pickle ball courts should be available at another location in Idyllwild based on current negotiations with community partners.

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, pick-up basketball games, and yoga/tai chi classes can resume. The Idy Talks series and the Halloween Carnival are currently being presented by the ICC.

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 comes to the table with a site and $2.4 million in funding. 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, has been 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. CSA 36 is an advisory group for the Third District County Supervisor (Chuck Washington). The oversight of the CSA 36 dollars remains a responsibility of the County Supervisor. 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.

Will there be fees to rent the ICC indoor spaces and the site?

Currently there is a fee structure for exclusive use of particular parts of the site. The fees are discounted for nonprofit use. The current structure is outlined on the ICC website and 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 the Facility Use policy and agreement. Download the agreement, fill it out, and talk with our rental coordinator.