Foothills Sentry February 2022

NEWS INSIDE East Orange • Old Towne Orange • Orange Park Acres • Villa Park • Silverado/Modjeska Canyons • North Tustin A Monthly Community Newspaper February 2022 *********ECRWSSEDDM**** Residential Customer Letters To The Editor Pages 4-5 Canyon Beat Page 7 Obituaries Page 11 Service Directory Pages 11-13 Prof. Directory Page 13 Classifieds Page 13 Real Estate Page 14 Sports Pages 14-15 The Best News In Town Since 1969 TALK OF THE TOWN Readers take on land uses, lame excuses and bombastic abuses. See Letters, Commentary, page 4, 5 FOLLOW US at Foothills Sentry ALL’S WELL Serrano Water District turns on the tap for PFAS-free water. See One of, page 6 LOCAL NOTIONS Old Towne annual meeting is a mix of news, views, clues and cues. See OTPA, page 3 PLAY IT AGAIN Winter athletics season extended to make up for lost games. See Community Sports, page 15, 16 PAST AND PRESENT TENSE Old dumpsite has always been open space, will buried contaminants keep it that way? See History, page 8 See "OUSD" continued on page 6 By Tina Richards Except for the man in the park- ing lot with a bullhorn, the Jan. 13 meeting of the Orange Uni- fied School Board proceeded without disruption from audience members opposed to mask and potential vaccine mandates that has characterized previous board meetings. That night’s agenda featured a resolution drafted by trustees John Ortega, Rick Ledesma and Angie Rumsey that challenged the legality of a potential vaccine mandate, urged the governor to rescind any and all mask man- dates, supported parents' rights to choose whether to vaccinate their children or not, and stated that OUSD would not adopt any ille- gal vaccine mandates for students or staff. The resolution, Ortega ex- plained, was a follow-on to a pre- vious resolution that he, Ledesma and Rumsey had written that was tabled at the November board meeting. That resolution, and an- other version indicating OUSD’s duty to follow COVID protocols, were set aside, with the goal of finding a “middle ground” draft that all board members could agree on. A push for parental choice That didn’t happen. Ortega thought it was important to ad- dress it again. “Everything in this resolution is law-related,” he explained. “Vaccines are not FDA approved, but there is a push to mandate them. What we want to do is seek parental choice. We’re elected by constituents; we’re representing them. We can be- come their voice, let those mak- ing the laws hear us.” He mo- tioned to approve the resolution; Rick Ledesma seconded. “I am not anti-vax,” Angie Rumsey said. “I can’t find the truth out there. Everyone can find a Google search to support their views. I put my name on the resolution not to argue masks, but for parents' rights to choose.” Trustee Kris Erickson offered that the board represented ev- OUSD board rejects resolution to defy mask and potential vaccine mandates, approves a less combative version eryone in the district -- 27,000 students, parents and families -- and she was hopeful there could be a resolution that reflected ev- eryone. “Parents out there come from every perspective,” she said, “A resolution that supports only one side is not fair.” To that end, she said, she iden- tified the points made in the reso- lution “that we can all agree on.” Those points included a commit- ment to keeping schools open for safe learning; the certainty that OUSD is not going to create a lo- cal vaccine mandate, nor impose an illegal mandate; and that ev- eryone has a choice. She moved to amend Ortega’s motion and ap- prove a resolution that contained those points and strike everything else. Kathy Moffat seconded. Not so fast While the board did agree on those points, Ledesma asked to SIlverado Canyon mudslide areas may get federal cleanup funds Orange County will seek fed- eral funds to remove mudslide debris and obstructions from two Silverado Canyon sites to protect a county-owned bridge and cul- vert from future damage. At its Jan. 11 meeting, the OC Board of Supervisors authorized Public Works to request funding from the Natural Resources Con- servation Service (NRCS) Emer- gency Protection Program. Following the severe December mudslides in the Bond Fire scar area, the NRCS assessed several locations in Silverado Canyon to determine if they qualified for federal funding. The agency iden- tified five potential projects, two of which impacted county facili- ties. One involved debris remov- al along Silverado and Anderson Creek, upstream of the Kitterman Bridge. The other would clear the Wildcat Creek channel, upstream from a culvert under Silverado Canyon Road. Digging out dollars Under the program, NRCS will fund 75 to 90% of the projects, with the county responsible for the remainder. The work must be performed by a qualified lo- cal sponsor, in this case, Public Works. If left unchecked, the accu- mulated debris could contribute to more flooding and mudflows during the next heavy rain. If cleared, water will flow freely into Silverado Creek. While the projects are intended to protect county property, adjacent home- owners will also benefit from the clearance. Because the canyon streets off of Silverado Canyon Road are private property, it is up to the residents to clear mud and debris there. The rainstorm in mid-De- cember deposited so much mud and clogged so many low areas, that residents were overwhelmed by the cleanup. Five homes were red-tagged (deemed uninhabit- able), and many areas remain im- passable today. Upper Anderson Way is undrivable and Water Way See "Silverado" continued on page 2 Orange extends urgency ordinance An urgency ordinance intended to mitigate the impacts of state legislation (SB9), passed by the Orange City Council in De- cember, was extended by 10 1/2 months at the Jan. 11 council meeting. SB9, which took effect Jan. 1, allows single-family homes to be replaced with two duplexes, regardless of zoning restrictions. Neighborhoods zoned for single- family residences can now be home to duplexes and accessory dwelling units, resulting in up to six units on one lot. Local juris- dictions have little say in the mat- ter and are required to approve such developments. What little authority a city can exert is captured in Orange's ur- gency ordinance. It prohibits SB9 development in historic districts, restricts lot splits and defines setbacks, design standards, floor- area ratios, height limits and max- imum unit size. Urgency ordinances expire af- ter 45 days, unless they are re- newed. Orange’s 10 1/2 month extension can be renewed again for a year. The city council also confirmed its December approvals of two additional ordinance amendments pertaining to land-use noticing re- quirements and fence heights. Procedures to alert the public to pending development that will affect their properties have been amended to include earlier no- ticing, larger posted signage and expanded boundaries for mailed alerts. The state proscribes notic- ing requirements for general or specific plan amendments, zon- ing amendments, zone changes, conditional use permits and vari- ances. The city has developed its own requirements for other actions, including design review in historic districts, development agreements and minor site plans. The amended ordinance per- tains to procedures within the city’s purview, and now requires notice for design review applica- tions and administrative review prior to any action being taken. Under the former procedure, no- tice was given after the fact. Where mailed notices of pro- posed development were once mailed to neighbors within 300 feet of the site, they will now be provided to residents/businesses within 400 feet. Walls and fences in Orange have long been limited to six feet in height. As density has in- creased, residents have requested taller fences to dampen noise from street traffic and commercial activities, and for greater privacy and security. Therefore, sound wall height has been increased to eight feet for properties in high- noise environments. Ron Spence, a pastor and OPA resident, had always wanted to be a contestant on TV game show,“Wheel of Fortune.” When he finally made it, he swept the Triple Toss Up with his quick recall and reflexes, identifying cities and countries with just a few letters as clues. The show aired Jan. 21.