18 September 2017

Tonight's Chino Hills Historical Society Presentation on Don Antonio María Lugo

Thanks to great publicity, including two articles in the Chino/Chino Hills Champion, a good crowd of nearly 150 people came out tonight for a presentation for the Chino Hills Historical Society on Don Antonio María Lugo, grantee in 1841 of Rancho Santa Ana del Chino, previously a ranch under the auspices of Mission San Gabriel, and the western border of which extended into Carbon Canyon just east of Sleepy Hollow.

Approximately 150 people turned out tonight at the Chino Hills Community Center to hear the story of Don Antonio María Lugo, grantee in 1841 of Rancho Santa Ana del Chino, which extended west to near Sleepy Hollow within Carbon Canyon.

The talk covered the Lugo family's migration from the state of Sinaloa in Mexico to Baja California and then to Alta California, where Don Antonio was born in 1778.

From his birth at Mission San Antonio (hence his name?), the story followed his military career, settlement on Rancho San Antonio (that name again!) southeast of Los Angeles, political involvement in the puebelo, acquisition of other ranchos, including Chino, and more.

A lively crowd included descendants of the Lugo, Rowland, Workman and Temple families, as well as local residents interested in the history of the area.

Lugo, an unusually tall man at 6 feet and known as el viejo Lugo, because he lived a longer-than-typical life of 81 years, died the last day of January 1860, and impressed a great many people with his stature, bearing and personality.

A post on this blog from 2010 about Don Antonio can be accessed here, but there is also some other information that will be posted here in upcoming days, so check back for those.

17 September 2017

Chino Hills to Sue City of Industry Over Tres Hermanos Ranch Sale

The Chino/Chino Hills Champion reported in its edition yesterday that the City of Chino Hills intends to file a lawsuit challenging the late August sale of the 2,450-acre Tres Hermanos Ranch, immediately north of Carbon Canyon, to the City of Industry, which has been planning for a large solar farm on the ranch.

This development came after a closed door session of the Chino Hills city council meeting last Tuesday night. City Attorney Mark Hensley cited a "number of issues" including Industry's not presenting the proposed solar farm to the Chino Hills Planning Commission, which determines appropriate use to the city's general plan.

City Manager Rad Bartlam decried a lack of transparency in the process, telling the council that the city had to file public records requests for thousands of documents in order to learn of the plans for the ranch. Mayor Ray Marquez observed that the farm would cover most, if not all, the property and be visible from Grand Avenue.

A City of Industry spokesperson responded that going to the Chino Hills planning commission before a purchase "would have been premature" and added that Industry was committed to following all applicable laws and regulations from the local jurisdictions up to the federal level.

A view from the south of Tres Hermanos Ranch, March 2016.
Jim Gallagher, a Chino Hills resident and member of the grass roots organization Save Tres Hermanos Ranch, told the city council during the open portion of the meeting that people [most, presumably] in Chino Hills are against housing and the traffic it would bring to the area if these were built. Chino Hills and Diamond Bar together allow nearly 1,100 units (meaning a few thousands new residents) on their respective portions of the ranch.

Gallagher went on to say that "Tres Hermanos is a critical natural area with a natural waterway. Our residents say yes to open space and green infrastructure." This latter refers to the publicly stated intention of Industry to build a large solar farm on the ranch and Gallagher told the council that it was too big, noting he mentioned this to Industry officials. He then observed that there are misperceptions in the public mind about what solar farms are.

Chino Hills council member Cynthia Moran stated that the idea of the sale was "not necessarily a good one" and that she would like to see a public meeting to explain how the decision to sell the ranch will affect the city. She also said that while "people are quick to say they don't want houses," there is also the matter of residents comprehending "the reality of the situation."

Stay tuned as this issue ramps up!

15 September 2017

Carbon Canyon Road Slope Retaining Wall Project Begins This Monday the 18th

This project starts on Monday.  Note that, though the wall is 200 feet in length, the affected area in terms of warning signs, cones and so forth, will go from the county line to Canyon Hills Road.

They're talking 8 hours a day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each weekday until the end of the year.

San Gabriel Valley Tribune Editorial on Tres Hermanos Ranch

The editorial board of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune has weighed in on the Tres Hermanos Ranch issue and the editorial can be viewed here.

The last post here linked to an article on a request by the cities of Chino Hills and Diamond Bar for a state review on the legality of the sale of the ranch to the City of Industry, so we'll see what is forthcoming from Sacramento.

30 August 2017

Chino Hills & Diamond Bar Seek State Rejection of Tres Hermanos Sale

A new twist to the ongoing saga of the City of Industry re-acquisition of Tres Hermanos Ranch, as the cities of Chino Hills and Diamond Bar are petitioning the State of California to reject the sale or undertake a review to determine if the purchase meets legal criteria.  The stated harm to the cities involves the loss of tax revenue from the lower price ($41.5 million rather than in excess of $100 million) paid by the terms of the 24 August sale.

Read more in this San Gabriel Valley Tribune article.

29 August 2017

City of Industry Reacquires Tres Hermanos Ranch

In a 4-3 vote last Thursday, the Successor Agency to the City of Industry's Urban Development Agency approved the sale of the 2,500-acre Tres Hermanos Ranch, originally acquired by the UDA forty years ago, to the City for $41.5 million.

Tres Hermanos Ranch from the south, March 2016.
Although there had been offers by the City and an Irvine developer of $100 million or more, the lower amount was approved on condition of guarantees by the City for public access to portions of the ranch, in addition to a proposed solar farm intended for the area.

Read more in this San Gabriel Valley Tribune article about the purchase.

09 August 2017

18 September Talk on Antonio Maria Lugo and Rancho Santa Ana del Chino

Chino Hills Historical Society Presents:
“A Look Back at Antonio María Lugo and the 
Early Years of the Rancho Santa Ana del Chino”
Monday, September 18th 

The Chino Hills Historical Society will host a presentation by Chino Hills resident and historian Paul R. Spitzzeri at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, September 18th at the Chino Hills Community Center, 14259 Peyton Drive.  Spitzzeri will share the history of Antonio María Lugo and the early years of the Rancho Santa Ana del Chino.

According to Spitzzeri, Antonio María Lugo (1775-1860), born near Monterey, Mexico just six years after the Spanish first settled California, was one of the most prominent and remarkable persons in greater Los Angeles during his lifetime.  A soldier in the Spanish Army during his younger years, Lugo was granted the Rancho San Antonio, encompassing nearly 30,000 acres southeast of Los Angeles.  Later, he and his family acquired the Rancho San Bernardino and Rancho Santa Ana del Chino, the latter including today’s cities of Chino and Chino Hills.

“Lugo was torn by the loss of California to the Americans during a war that included the Battle of Chino, which was fought on what is now Boys Republic,” said Mr. Spitzzeri, “He was known for his forthright personality, hospitality, and strength of character.”

Mr. Spitzzeri has lived in Chino Hills for 20 years.  He is the Museum Director at the Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum in the City of Industry, where he has worked since 1988. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Arts degree in history from California State University, Fullerton and has published on local, regional and state history in many journals and anthologies.  His book, The Workman and Temple Families of Southern California, won a 2009 Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History.  Since 2008, Paul has maintained the blog www.carboncanyonchronicle.blogspot.com.

“Paul really captivates the audience as he paints a picture of the history of the area,” said Chino Hills Historical Society President Denise Cattern.  “We are so happy that he has returned to share the story of Antonio María Lugo!”

The Chino Hills Historical Society is a non-profit organization funded through memberships and donations.  For additional information, please call (909) 597-6449 or send an email to chhistory@aol.com.