14 January 2011

City of Industry Seeks Tonner Canyon Consolidation

As has been discussed previously in this blog, over the past thirty years and more, the City of Industry has acquired non-contiguous land within Tonner Canyon, north of Carbon Canyon.  Tonner has remained remarkably pristine, at least by Los Angeles metropolitan area standards, with development limited to a private ranch residence and outbuildings, scouting facilities and a few oil wells.  Yet, it has been eyed hungrily by a number of entities, including water companies, cities and private developers, for decades.

In 1978, Industry made its first significant purchase, acquiring the Tres Hermanos Ranch on the north end of the canyon, stretching from the 60 Freeway southward past today's Grand Avenue.  Notably, there was a serious attempt by a water company in the Pomona area to buy the land for development of its water resources.  Although Industry toyed with the idea of residential development in the years just after it bought Tres Hermanos, the land has remained fundamentally the same over the last three decades with cattle running on the ranch as it has for generations.  That is, excepting the building of Grand Avenue connecting Diamond Bar and Chino Hills and Industry's transfer of the far northern reaches of the property to the Pomona Unified School District for the construction of Diamond Ranch High School.  Today, the cities of Diamond Bar and Chino Hills are the principals of a Tres Hermanos Conservation Authority, with Industry being a non-voting member, to oversee any proposed development of the ranch.

Within the last decade, Industry moved to add to its holdings in the southern portion of Tonner Canyon, striking a deal with Boy Scouts of America to pick up a little under 2,500 acres of the Firestone Scout Reservation for over $16 million.  Between 1978 and 2000, a strong environmental movement arose that sought to protect land in the Puente and Chino Hills from the 91 Freeway in Corona to near Interstate 605 in Whittier, with a variety of non-profit organizations and cities banding together to buy what they could for open space preservation and passive recreational use.  Consequently, the City of Industry's purchase of Firestone raised a firestorm of protest and legal challenges, but, in 2006, a court ruling certified the legitimacy of Industry's acquisition.  Still, more land remained available and yesterday news came out of the next step.

Looking south toward Tonner Canyon from Grand Avenue Park in Chino Hills, July 2010


At a Industry city council meeting, the city's leaders discussed an intent to buy some 500 more acres consisting of what the San Gabriel Valley Tribune described as "several parcels in and around Tonner Canyon."  Because the discussion took place in closed session, details were not forthcoming and Industry's city manager was quoted as saying "we're just looking at the possibilities right now" and was paraphrased as indicating that the city had no specific intent for the land in question.

Claire Schlotterbeck, executive director of Hills for Everyone, and a longtime advocate for preservation of open space in the Chino and Puente hills region, commented that "I don't think they plan on leaving it as it is."  She noted that past action "shows they want to put a reservoir there."  According to the Tribune, Industry, indeed, "talked of building a reservoir in the canyon, but have since backed off the plan." 

For the last half-decade since the finalization of the Firestone acquisiton, Industry has used the reservation for scouting activities, with Boy Scouts still active there, as well as for programs conducted by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Youth Athletic League, which serves underprivileged children and teens.  Naturally, most of what Industry has purchased has remained open space.

At this point, there appears to be interest and intent by Industry and formal negotiations may follow.  Stay tuned for updates as they become available.

And, after an uncharacteristic month of silence, the Carbon Canyon Chronicle wishes its viewers a Happy New Year!

7 comments:

Samual said...

Its nice. I found your Blog interesting. A point of sale display (POS) is a specialized form of sales promotion that is found near, on, or next to a checkout counter.

Ry said...

http://ryzflow.blogspot.com/ please check out the first video on the blog it has to do with the that area... And maybe you can post the video on this blog and you could write a blog about it... Thanks Ry

prs said...

Hi Samual, glad you find the blog a POSitive experience.

prs said...

Hello Ry, I saw your video and am not sure how it relates. But, thanks for visiting.

danny said...

I used to camp in that area as a boy scout at camporee. I would like my children to do the same. It a shame that the BSA did not sell it to a conservation group.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

hey- could you shoot me an email? i have a couple of question for a book i'm writing - your site is fascinating - excellent detective work!

chris epting
chris@chrisepting.com