06 September 2015

Stonefield Housing Project Moving Forward

The new owners of the former Stonefield project approved in 2009 for 28 units in a gated community on 35 acres at the northeast corner of Carbon Canyon Road and Fairway Drive, Ausmas Properties, LLC, a Las Vegas-based company, is moving forward with development.

As reported in today's Champion, Ausmas is submitting an application to the City of Chino Hills for a final tract map, along with plans for grading and street, water and sewer improvement plans for the development, which would include homes ranging from about 4,000 to some 5,500 square feet.

Stonefield, the former owner which received approval of the project, lost an appeal for requirements by CalTrans for some $1.2 million in traffic "improvements" to Carbon Canyon Road that would create acceleration/deacceleration lanes, dedicated turn lanes, through-lanes and associated restriping that would, theoretically, better the traffic situation at the Fairway intersection.  It is assumed Ausmas will be subject to the same mandate.

The company, formed in 2011, is led by Newport Beach-based attorney Jeffrey M. Verdon, who specializes in taxation and estate planning.  He is involved in an interesting area of international asset protection dealing with offshore tax shelters offered on the Isle of Man, a small island in the Irish sea thirty miles off the coast of England, and the Cook Islands, where the practices of offshore aset protection was the subject of an interesting piece in the New York Times in 2013 (click here to read the article) and which have been increasingly scrutinized by the feds.

Verdon is a frequent speaker for "free market" forums (opposed to "big-government welfare statists"), investor workshops on cruise ships, the "Freedom Fest" event at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, and the World MoneyShow in Orlando.  He has also been a manager or otherwise involved in about a dozen other incorporated companies in California and Nevada over the years, including some that appear to be for housing projects.

This blog had a number of posts dealing with the project in its original Stonefeld iteration.  While the concerns expressed then hold today, there is the added issue of our chronic drought condition.

Whether or not the situation is helped by possible deluges in the winter from an El Niño system out in the Pacific, the question of how much water larger homes on large lots will use when we're being asked to conserve water in an extreme drought condition is one that should be considered with any permits being issued for new construction.

It should be noted, again, that the 76-unit Canyon Hills project is now under construction just a short distance west of the former Stonefield site.  Hills for Everyone and fellow litigants are suing over the 162-unit Madrona project approved for a location just over the county line in Brea.  Finally, the 107-unit Hidden Oaks development, across from Canyon Hills, is inching closer to fruition.  This could mean 275 houses in Carbon Canyon within several years.  For now, it looks like we could have 103 in the near future just on the Chino Hills side.

How will this make Carbon Canyon a better place to live?

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