11 November 2017

Tres Hermanos and Potential Public Use

Today's Champion has an article by Marianne Napoles on Tres Hermanos Ranch, located in Tonner Canyon just north of Carbon Canyon, and the continuing controversy over its potential future uses.

Napoles repoted that "The City of Industry reiterated its commitment to use the 2,450-acre Tres Hermanos Ranch for open space, public use, and preservation purposes" following last week's determination by the state's Department of Finance that it would not act on the sale of the ranch to the city for $41,5 million. 

Further, it was observed that Industry stated "it is not proposing a 450-megawatt solar facility" on the property, with documents suggesting the possibility of one up to that size.  This was confirmed in a statement made by Chino Hills City Attorney Mark Hensley, who told the paper that document he'd seen indicated that the project "could be up to 450 megawatts, but there are various numbers in various documents."

Paul Philips, city manager in Industry, was quoted as saying "we will collaboratively with interested stakeholders and residents to ultimately create a space for people to enjoy."  A restrictive covenant was part of the sale that would only allow for the three stated uses cited above.  Philips went on to say that there will be a plan for Tres Hermanos coming in the near future.

Officials in Chino Hills and Diamond Bar continue to express the belief that their lawsuits challenging the legal validity of the sale will be upheld in the courts, with Chino Hills council member Peter Rogers referring to "this shroud of secrecy" about Industry's plans keeping the city "vigilant in seeking information that defines this project."  Hensley added that "when you [Industry] are constantly working to hide the facts from the public and are untruthful when you are caught, it results in a lot of mistrust and confusion."

Diamond Bar City Manager Dan Fox stated that the sale, executed, in his view, "so Industry could have more cash to develop a massive solar generating facility is clearly inconsistent with" the long-range property management plan for the Successor Agency to the City of Industry Urban Development Agency.  The argument is that the sale should have been for the maximum monetary value for the benefit of public entities like the two cities.

To further explain their positions, Chino Hills and Diamond Bar have added pages to their web sites, with the former offering this page and the latter presenting this one.  The City of Industry has posted this press release on its website in the aftermath of the finance department's announcement.

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