The California City planning commission approved a tentative parcel map Tuesday night for the Corecivic property that houses the California City Correctional Facility (CAC).
The decision tentatively subdivides the single 321.5-acre property into three parcels, ranging from 39.6 acres to 216.5 acres “for the future of Corecivic future business dealings.” It also sets aside future rights-of-way for when construction on an expanded facility begins.
A final parcel will be needed.
While the planning commission approved the parcel map, the decision does not currently allow grading permits, building permits or other development.
“In the words of our civil engineer, this is kind of a ‘napkin sketch,’ of the final parcel map,” said City Planner Shawn Monk during the commission meeting. “The final map, which will be done after this tentative map, will be a lot more on the engineering side.”
Corecivic has owned the land since 1997. The U.S. government began holding federal prisoners at the facility in 2006; the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation began leasing the facility in 2013 to house state inmates to help alleviate an overcrowded prison system.
The prison sits on the existing single parcel. Monk said the second proposed 59.6-parcel would be used for the already-approved planned expansion of the prison facility The third, 216.5-acre parcel remains vacant “for future prison expansion.”
The current planned expansion on the 59.6-acre south of the current facility will be done under a conditional use permit granted in 2009.
Monk said a future map will deal with issues such as future rights-of-way for roads. An environmental impact report conducted by CDCR under the California Environmental Quality Act will further define those rights-of-way.
Monk added the city will request half the right-of-way for Virginia Boulevard, Gordon Boulevard and Lindberg Boulevard.
Planning Commision Vice Chair Richard Macedonio asked why Corecivic wants to split the parcel into three separate ones.
“They already own the land, pay only one parcel tax and now they want to divide it into three,” Macedonio said. “Why not just build on the land they have? They don’t have to do any lot merging or any of that stuff.”
Jim Hunter of PSOMAS, an engineering service hired by Corecivic, and Brad Wiggins of Corecivic stated the decision allows more potential flexibility.
“They (Corecivic) have the opportunity going forward that may or may not need to have discrete ownership identified by each of the three parcels that are on the property,” Hunter said. “They are wanting to be as flexible as possible for future business dealings.”
Wiggins added the move would also allow for future development and financing options associated with potential projects. Wiggins added that the current expansion plan and the EIR related to the 216 acres are the only planned long-term decisions.
Monk estimated the EIR to take 12 to 18 months to complete.
Local resident Karen Macedonio asked via electronic comment how California City would receive reimbursement for consulting fees related to the project. She also asked whether the original conditional use permit allowing the prison to operate will pertain to the subdivided property.
Monk said based on the city attorney’s analysis, the CUP will apply to all three parcels once the process is complete.
“That is because the CUP was given to the entire 321.4-acre site,” Monk said.
Recovered fees will be invoiced to the applicant, who will reimburse the city.