08 August 2016

Hillcrest Housing Development in Carbon Canyon Coming Soon

It began life as a property that, in the mid-1980s, was granted a "negative declaration," meaning that it was not subject to an environmental impact report because it was considered "blighted" stemming from its days as part of the Camp Kinder Ring and subsequent recreational uses.

This also meant that, even though in 1986 conditions concerning Carbon Canyon's environment were at one level, the construction of Hillcrest, a 76-home community, in the Chino Hills portion of the canyon, was allowed to take place a full three decades later without any consideration for changing circumstances.

No consideration for much worse traffic (and it has considerably worsened just in the last few years), no consideration for changes in water supply, no consideration for the fire risk that led CalTrans on the Orange County side to declare Carbon Canyon a "hazardous fire area", no consideration for the continuing destruction of native oak woodland habitat.

Most likely, even if an environmental impact report had been done, issuing "statements of overriding consideration" that would bypass whatever significant, unavoidable impacts would be identified would have been a matter of course.

In any case, Woodbridge Pacific is nearing completion of the model homes for Hillcrest and has begun publicizing the project via email and a web page.  For example, the second email received by this blogger proclaims that the project "honors nature" by having "estate-sized residences individually sculpted into the tranquil canyon locale."

There are professionals who are paid a lot of money to write copy like that.  "Sculpted" connotes an artistic rendering of nature that has been honored by ripping out substantial portions of the landscape--maybe akin to destroying the village in order to save it.  Other well-chosen words stand out, such as "luxury," "exclusive," "elevated," and others.

What's missing and will always be absent from the high gloss and sheen of the promotional materials will be, for example, the "elevated" levels of traffic and the "elevated" risk of fire due to historic drought.  And, there will be no mention of the "elevated" use of water that homes from about 3,500 to 5,300 square feet on large lots will mean for a parched region that is facing greater uncertainty in water supply as that unparalleled drought continues.

Speaking of elevated, prices for Hillcrest are "anticipated from the $1,100,000s."  But, they might elevate even higher by the time sales start in upcoming months.  Then, we'll see where the economy goes after the elections.

At any rate, check out the early promotion on the Hillcrest web page here.

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