Foothills Sentry February 2020

NEWS INSIDE East Orange • Central Orange • Orange Park Acres • Villa Park • Anaheim Hills • Silverado/Modjeska Canyon Areas • North Tustin A Monthly Community Newspaper Est. 1969 February 2020 *********ECRWSSEDDM**** Residential Customer Canyon Beat Page 6 Letters To The Editor Page 10-11 Service Directory Pages 12-14 Prof. Directory Page 14 Classifieds Page 14 Obituaries Page 19 Real Estate Page 20 Soup's On Page 20 Sports Page 22-23 FOLLOWUS at Foothills Sentry The Best News In Town See "OUSD" continued on page 7 Condos to replace commerce The only shopping center serving Anaheim Hills is losing its ground to high- density dwelling units. See Anaheim, page 2 Fire when ready Orange PD defines emergency exit routes for East Orange residents fleeing the threat of flame. See Evacuation, page 4 Standing room only University wants to increase enrollment, with provisions to reduce the student burden on Old Towne. See Chapman, page 4 Strolling space County collects input for promised park slated to replace neglected Crawford Canyon corner. See Long-awaited, page 8 Green in between Villa Park considers upgrades for languishing lawnscape between Collins and VP Road. SeeWanda, page 17 Tustin Girl Scout Trinity Brewer, named a “cookie pro” by the national organization, is featured on packages of Thin Mints and Shortbread cookies this year. The annual cookie campaign is now underway. See story, page 5 The Foothill Communities Association annual meeting will be held Mon., March 2 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Trin- ity Presbyterian Church. OC Sheriff Don Barnes will provide opening remarks, followed by keynote speaker Third District Supervisor Don Wagner. Representatives from local and county agen- cies will be on hand to update residents and answer ques- tions. Trinity Presbyterian is located at 13922 Prospect Ave. For more informa- tion, contact Rick Nelson at (714) 730-7810. The OC Registrar of Voters certified the number of signatures required to place a referendum on the ballot challenging the City of Orange’s approvals of a housing tract in East Orange. The Jan. 8 certification paves the way for a measure to be placed on the November General Elec- tion ballot. The measure will en- able voters to challenge Orange’s resolution No. 11188 that amends the city’s general plan, certifies an environmental impact report and accepts a development agreement between the city and real estate investor Milan Capital. Petitioners needed to gather 7,001 valid signatures, 10 percent of registered Orange voters, to qualify the referendum. The regis- trar reported receipt of 13,209 to- tal signatures (the City of Orange count was 13,192) and verified the needed number after examin- ing 8,723. Of those, 1,718 were determined to be invalid because the signatories were not registered voters, lived out of district, were registered at a different address, were duplicates or provided in- complete information. The reg- istrar also disqualified signatures that did not match what was on file. Thirteen were withdrawn by the original signers. The City of Orange will be billed $29,716, reflecting a $3.40 charge per signature examined. “This was direct democracy in action,” said petitioner Theresa Sears. “The city refused to listen to its residents, so residents used their right to petition the govern- ment for relief.” The Orange City Council may choose to rescind its approvals voluntarily and avoid the need for a costly ballot measure. It is ex- pected to address the issue at its Feb. 11 meeting. Referendum petition certified By Tina Richards Chapman University and the Orange Unified School District have entered into a purchase agreement for the sale of the Killefer School site for $3.7 mil- lion. The district originally accepted bids on the 1.7-acre property in 2014. At that time, Chapman was outbid by four other potential buyers. The high bidder, the Ol- son Company, planned to demol- ish the building and put in town- houses. The schoolhouse, however, came with a history too important to dismiss. Killefer was the first school to voluntarily desegregate in 1944, years before federal leg- islation made it mandatory. Built in 1931 in Spanish mission reviv- al style, it is also an architectural gem, as most of its original detail remains intact. The Old Towne Preservation Association moved quickly to get the structure placed on the National Register of His- toric Places. High bidders balk Olson walked away from the deal after the building earned its historic designation and was, therefore, protected from demoli- tion. The second highest bidder, Western States Housing, tried to work around the structure, but it, too, abandoned its plans in 2018. The next bidders in line, also developers, subsequently with- drew their offers; Chapman stepped up to the plate. “We’ve been interested in this site for a long time,” Jack Rau- balt, Chapman’s vice president of community relations, told the board at its Jan. 16 meet- OUSD signs purchase agreement with Chapman to buy Killefer By Tina Richards The escalating number of short-term rentals (STRs) throughout Orange has led the city to consider setting policies, ranging from an outright ban, to strict regulations, to boosting enforcement of existing codes in order to lessen the strain on resi- dential neighborhoods. The city estimates it has be- tween 150 and 200 STRs spread all over town. Any rental period less than 30 days is considered short-term. The popularity of such websites as Airbnb and HomeAway have made it easy for property owners to rent their condos, guest houses and entire residences for several days. The city attempted to regulate them in 2013, requiring short- term landlords to get a business license and pay a transient occu- pancy tax. In 2017, the city de- termined that the municipal code does not specifically allow STRs in residential neighborhoods, so the license and tax requirements were lifted. Since then, the city has relied on code enforcement to address negative impacts on neighborhoods. Home invasion Residents who reported their experiences with STRs at the Jan. 14 city council meeting were equally divided between those suffering from noise, parking, il- legal activity and bunkhouse be- havior who wanted STRs gone, and responsible landlords who self-regulated, limited rentals to families or single guests, enjoyed the added income and wanted them to stay. Several people living on a cul- de-sac noted how their lives had changed when a family home be- came an STR that sleeps 18. “We now have a motel at the end of our street,” Mike Banko report- ed. “I have no idea who’s stay- ing there,” Maryanne Ballestero said. “There’s no phone number to contact. Code enforcement isn’t willing to come out.” “I came home one night, and there were 10 people and five cars at the house,” another neigh- bor told the council. “You never know what you’re going to get.“ Short-term rental complaints spur Orange council to action Dominick Rodriguez added that his kids don’t feel safe and no longer play outside. David Hillman has lived next door to an STR for two years. The owner rents it to sports teams in town for competitions. “There were 22 guys there in Oc- tober, 16 over Christmas,” Hill- man said. “The property owner is mining our neighborhood for its quiet and peaceful charm. They are depleting that resource. Imagine a hotel with no manage- ment on-site? It’s a business and should not be allowed.” It’s on the owner “I have a good neighbor pol- icy,” Robert Bell, an STR land- lord advised. “My rental house is the nicest house on the street. My neighbors have signed off on it.” Barbara Sobel rents a small dwelling in her backyard. “I en- joy having people come to visit Orange; I show them around town. We live there. We have lovely guests. Being owner-oc- cupied should be a regulation.” Kathy Guzman rents her rear apartment, “mostly to Chapman parents coming for the weekend. It’s a maximum of four people and we have off-street parking. We’ve never had a problem.” Another STR supporter point- ed out that they bring commerce to Orange. She rents to Chapman parents, vacationers and conven- tioneers. After hearing both sides from the public, the city council seemed ready to pull the plug. “This comes down to compatible use,” Chip Monaco said. “STRs are a clear commercial use. They can’t be regulated enough to sat- isfy families and neighborhoods. Code enforcement closes at 5 p.m. After that, it’s a patrol unit. Some landlords are responsible, but my threshold is ‘the greatest good for the greatest many.’ We should outright ban them.” Fast and furious “I feel the exact same way,” Mike Alvarez agreed. “Business- es should not be allowed in r-1 zoning. We have to move quickly See "Short-term" continued on page 5