City Spotlight: Eastvale’s Important Role as an MSCHP Permittee

Jul 25, 2023 | City Spotlight, MSHCP

Aerial photo of Banning, California

Once a quaint dairy farming and agricultural community where cows outnumbered people, Eastvale witnessed its population surge in the 1990s and early 2000s as more people moved to Riverside County. The influx of new residents began to change Eastvale’s farming identity to one of a family-centered suburban community.

In 2010, nearly two decades after experiencing significant growth, Eastvale incorporated as a city and became one of 18 permittees of the MSHCP. As a permittee, the City contributes to the habitat conservation of MSHCP-protected species by processing permits for development, collecting fees, and implementing MSHCP goals. Within the City of Eastvale, a high goal of protecting 290 acres was established as part of the MSHCP. As of the end of 2021, 107 acres of Additional Reserve Lands (ARL) are saved for future generations.

Eastvale is located along the banks of the Santa Ana River, home to protected species such as the Arroyo chub and Santa Ana sucker. Like other rapidly growing communities in western Riverside County, strains to species and their habitat are not just mitigated by the MSHCP, the MSHCP also protects surrounding lands. Eastvale’s contribution as an MSCHP permittee helps drive progress forward for habitat preservation and infrastructure development in western Riverside County. One such contribution is the City’s involvement in the Hamner Avenue Bridge project.

Aerial photo of Banning, California

The project site is near the border between Eastvale and Norco. Due to its proximity to the sensitive ecological area in the Santa Ana River and Criteria Cells of the MSHCP, the RCA, the County of Riverside, and the cities of Eastvale and Norco work together to mitigate potential impacts. Other projects that benefited the City of Eastvale include the I-15/Limonite Avenue Interchange and the 15 Express Lanes. All of these projects not only help Eastvale keep up with the growing population but also help protect and conserve essential habitats through the MSHCP.

The MSCHP helps streamline development, allowing communities like Eastvale to accommodate new growth while flourishing economically and preserving precious habitats and open space that make western Riverside County such a great place to live.