The economic future of the City of Murrieta reflects a larger trend in Southern California. That is: a focus on sustainable job growth and centralized community-strategies that facilitate greater mobility and healthier lifestyles.
Murrieta planners recently updated the City General Plan to reflect the need for long-term job centers within the city. According to Bruce Coleman, Economic Development Director for the City of Murrieta, hundreds of acres of land have been re-designated for business-related uses rather than existing residential zoning.
“We are evolving as city toward long-term sustainable job growth,” said Coleman in a recent interview. “To facilitate that we needed to change some of the prior land use designations to accommodate uses such as research and development, light manufacturing, high-tech, bio-tech, medical campuses and other clean job-producing options.”
With more than 81 percent of residential land built out, the city is turning its development focus on infrastructure that will allow more people to work in the city. Future residential growth will likely take place in centralized mixed use projects developed in central cores of the city.
“The vision for the City of Murrieta has not changed,” said Coleman. “It’s still one of the best places in Southern California to live and a great place to raise a family. Our challenge now is to allocate the available land we have left in the city to its highest and best use for current and future generations of citizens.”
That vision is one where residents drive less miles to work, and have access to multi-modal transportation options, which is a planning trend for Southern California initiated by recent legislation (SB-375, AB-32).
Coleman said the revised General Plan outlines three business centric zones. The South Murrieta Business Corridor, the North Murrieta Technology Corridor and Central Murrieta, a suburban central business district (CBD).
The South Murrieta area will accommodate light manufacturing and clean industrial uses along with commercial centers and some retail, which is an extension of what has already been developed in Murrieta Business Center (formerly Rancon Business Center) and other locations along the northern Jefferson Avenue Corridor.
The North Murrieta Technology Corridor will accommodate a variety of medical related and R&D uses centered around Loma Linda University Medical Center (Murrieta).
Central Murrieta will feature a variety of medical uses as well, located around Rancho Springs Medical Center. In addition a large area north of The Golden Triangle has been re-designated to accommodate commercial and retail uses including a significant hospitality segment.
“None of this going to happen overnight,” said Coleman. “But it will happen and if we don’t do the initial planning now, it could lead to major challenges down the road. In Murrieta, we aren’t going to wait for the future; we’re going to encourage the future.”