21 January 2014

Tonight's Madrona Public Hearing

It was a packed council chamber this evening as the appeal of the Madrona (formerly Canyon Crest) housing development was heard by the Brea City Council.

The appellant team, led by former council member and mayor Bev Perry and consisting of several Brea and Carbon Canyon residents, including another former council member, assisted by an excellent PowerPoint presentation handled by Melanie Schlotterbeck, did an fantastic job of letting the council and others present know what the real issues are with this project--from water issues to wildfire risk to traffic and others.

Conversely, the ponderous, overly-technical and insubstantial presentation that followed by the applicants was given to a room that was largely emptied.  The electricity and enthusiasm that existed during the appellant's presentation was basically sucked out of the room.  The contrast could not have been more striking.

This is not to say that an outcome is easily predictable.  The next council meeting, on Tuesday, 4 February at 7:00 p.m. will include public comment, followed by rebuttals by both sides.  Beyond that, the council will likely ask staff for findings to guide their decision, which will come subsequent to that upcoming meeting.

Key, however, is for those who are opposed to Madrona and concerned for the future of Carbon Canyon to show up in two weeks.  No one should assume that, because the two parties have given their initial presentations and then offer rebuttals that public comment is not as important.  It may well be far more useful--elected officials need (and usually want) to hear from their constituents.

If all that was said was a plea for the council to uphold the appeal and reject Madrona, that would be plenty.  Meantime, log on to stopmadrona.org (click here for the link) and learn more about the project.


CanyonNative said...

Yes, we need the public's input, either by speaking, by email to the Council, or just your presence at the next hearing. Three Brea Council Members are up for election next November. A strong public voice will influence their decision.

Concerned for the Canyon said...

For the public comment segment of the council meeting, do you have to be a Brea resident to participate?
Also on a separate note, a project for building 76 houses at Carbon Canyon Rd/Canyon Hills Rd, looks like it may be starting. Why is this going on, knowing all the negative conditions that already exist. Was there no opposition to this project? Can anything still be done to stop that? Can you shed some light on what is happening here? Thank you.

prs said...

Hello Concerned for the Canyon, you do not have to be a Brea resident to comment at council meetings. In fact, having speakers from Chino Hills which "shares" Carbon Canyon with Brea can actually help let the council know that Madrona is not just a Brea matter, it is a canyon-wide one.

Regarding Forestar Canyon Hills, it has started with work on sewer lines. This project has long been in the works--it was approved by the county back in 1987. The final map was approved in 1997. Unfortunately, these maps are basically good forever, even if conditions change, as they most certainly have. Nothing can be done about this one--it's going to be built.

Meantime, come to the 4 February Brea council meeting and speak about Madrona--every bit helps.