20 January 2016

Carbon Canyon Housing Project Editorial

This view looks east from near Olinda Village in Brea across the hills on the north edge of Carbon Canyon, including the proposed Madrona project site (162 units, recently denied by an Orange County judge) and, at the right further in the distance, the 76-unit Hillcrest development, now under construction.
Here is the text of a letter to the editor which appeared in the Champion's current edition concerning pending housing developments in Carbon Canyon:
Concerning the “Chino Hills planners bless Canyon project architecture” article from January 9, planning commissioner Karen Bristow’s comment about Carbon Canyon residents not welcoming the Hillcrest community “because it was the beginning of subdivisions which they are not used to” may apply to some people, but here’s another reason. 
This project was not only approved by the county in 1989, but under a negative declaration engineered by then-Supervisor Robert O. Townsend.  This meant the project did not have an environmental impact report, because the declaration determined one was not needed.  
However, not only have conditions in the last 27 years changed enormously in the Canyon, with respect to traffic volume, fire risk, and loss of habitat, but our general water supply and other environmental conditions have transformed, as well.  No development should get this type of protection for decades.  
Significantly, Chino Hills appears ready to approve a zoning variance for another project, the 107-unit Hidden Oaks development, just across Carbon Canyon Road—this can’t be blamed on “the county days.”  The Hidden Oaks area was zoned under the city’s general plan with plenty of due consideration for legitimate reasons.  A change to benefit the developer at the expense of zoning appropriate for the canyon will compound the wrong perpetrated with Hillcrest decades ago.
We already have other projects in the pipeline on the Chino Hills side of the canyon that will potentially add nearly 250 houses.  The 162-unit Madrona project just over the county line on the Brea side was dealt a rare court defeat recently, but will probably be appealed.   Can we really see a viable future with what could be over 400 new homes in Carbon Canyon?  Conditions have changed, but accommodations for developers evidently have not.
The Hidden Oaks project will likely be coming before the Chino Hills Planning Commission soon, after which, pending approval by that body, the matter goes to the city council.

Anyone concerned about the effects and ramifications of another large-scale (over 100 units) development coming to the canyon, on the heels of the 76-unit Hillcrest development, now under construction, and the 28-unit Stonefield tract, now up for sale, and a couple of other smaller pending projects, should be ready to express their views when the time comes.

No comments: