Foothills Sentry March 2024

NEWS INSIDE A Monthly Community Newspaper MARCH 2024 Letters Page 4-5 Canyon Beat Page 6 Service Directory Pages 11-13 dzƇȷȷǛ˚٪Ʋƫȷ٪٪ Page 13 Real Estate Page 13 Community Sports Page 14-15 The Best News In Town Since 1969 FOLLOW US at Foothills Sentry A NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM The newly expanded Hilbert serves as a vibrant venue for Old Towne annual meeting. See OTPA, page 8 JE FAIS, JE FAIS Annual faux French wedding at VPHS is perfectly pitched by Madame Pazargadi’s students. See Cloches de Mariage, page 11 THE BUCKS START HERE The list of donors to the OUSD recall campaign (both for and against) illustrates who’s got the power and who’s got the pluck. See Campaign, page 2 A CENTURY OF SERVICE Iconic Orange ǾȉǾȬȯȉ˚٪Ʌ٪ƇȬȬȯȉƇƤǕƲȷ٪ 100th anniversary with new leadership, new purpose. See Friendly Center, page 7 MUDDY WATERS OUSD board majority selects contractor with questionable past for preliminary VPHS pool work. See OUSD, page 9 See "Agreement" continued on page 5 See "OUSD Board" continued on page 3 Milan Capital ƇǾƫ٪ȯƇǾǍƲ٪ ƇǍȯƲƲ٪Ʌȉ٪ƲɫȬdzȉȯƲ٪ "alternate" uses njȉȯ٪ƫɍǼȬ٪ȷǛɅƲ By Tina Richards Milan Capital, the owner of the Mara Brandman Arena and the mounds of construction waste along Santiago Canyon Road (Sully-Miller site), entered into an agreement with the City of Orange to extend the expiration dates of two housing project ap- plications. The "pause" will give both parties time to evaluate non- residential uses of the property. The agreement was approved by the city council, Feb 13. In re- WXUQ IRU WKH H[WHQVLRQ RI VWD൵ V UH view of the applications and Mi- lan’s expected compliance with city requests, the property owner agrees not to sue the city. 7KH DJUHHPHQW R൵ HUV D WHPSR rary “common ground” to the city DQG 0LODQ ZKR KDYH GL൵ HUHQW LQ terpretations of state law regard- ing the housing applications. At issue is the scope of the materials Milan must provide to the city, and the city’s duty to process and approve the project. Milan as- serts that the application must be processed pursuant to California Government Code, the so-called “builders remedy” provision. The city asserts that it doesn’t. Incomplete applications Last fall, the Mulholland Drive FRPSDQ\ ¿ OHG DQ DSSOLFDWLRQ WR build 118 units on the arena site. 0LODQ ¿ OHG DQ DSSOLFDWLRQ WR EXLOG 231 units (Creekside Village) on the Sully-Miller parcel. The city responded with a request for ad- ditional information and noted, “A preliminary application shall be deemed to have been submit- ted when an applicant has pro- vided all of the information listed under government code.” The applicants balked at the suggestion that a more detailed plan must be submitted, and in- sisted that the city was bound to approve the applications. The resulting agreement extends the relevant statutes of limitation to ¿ OH DSSOLFDWLRQV DQG RU ODZVXLWV “Why now?” OPA resident Dru Whitefeather asked during the council hearing. “Why is Milan looking for a good faith agreement now? It put my neigh- borhood through 12 years of a Supreme Court case and two referendums. For me, good faith would be donating the property to the neighborhood.” Whitefeather is one of several citizens work- ing with the Local Enforcement Agency (LEA) to compel Milan to clean up the dumpsite. He re- minded the council that the Sully- Miller site is under LEA’s juris- diction, and nothing can be done Treavor Saunders, sponsored by Elks Lodge 1475, was named the Duke of Orange, Feb. 17, taking over the WLWOH IURP -& &RUWH] OHIW ZKR VHUYHG DV WKH ¿ UVW HYHU QREOHPDQ RI WKH FLW\ 6DXQGHUV HQJDJHG WKH FURZG LQ D VLQJ DORQJ RQ KLV ZD\ WR FODLP WKH FURZQ 6HH SKRWRV SDJH Ä¯%٪ ȉƇȯƫ٪ȉɥƲȯȯǛƫƲȷ٪ƤȉǾȷɅǛɅɍƲǾɅ٪ƤȉǾƤƲȯǾȷؙ٪ ǍȯƇǾɅȷ٪dzǛƤƲǾȷƲ٪Ʌȉ٪ƤǕƇȯɅƲȯ٪ȷƤǕȉȉdz٪njȉȯ٪ƫǛȷɅȯǛƤɅ٪dzƇǾƫ By Tina Richards 7KH 2UDQJH 8QL¿ HG %RDUG PD jority approved a license agree- ment with Orange County Classi- cal Academy (OCCA), at its Feb. 8 meeting, giving that charter school use of a portion of the dis- trict’s Peralta property for up to 25 years. The agreement, wherein OCCA will pay the district an annual fee of $275,000 for use of the ex- LVWLQJ J\P DQG ORRVHO\ GH¿ QHG “ground space,” bears all the characteristics of a lease, but en- tering into a lease agreement re- quires approval by a supermajor- ity of the board. A supermajority RQ WKH 286' ERDUG LV ¿ YH YRWHV only four trustees supported the OCCA deal. A license agreement requires only four votes to pass. The four approving votes were Rick Ledesma, John Ortega, An- gie Rumsey and Madison Miner, who noted that the district needs the income and that the property is not being used right now. The dissenting votes were cast by Kris Erickson, Andrea Yamasaki and Ana Page, who suggested their colleagues were prioritizing a charter school over the best inter- ests of the district and its students. Equal opportunities The agreement will enable OCCA to open a high school campus to augment its current K-8 program. OUSD is using state legislation to explain its non-competitive approach to the agreement. Under Proposition 39, school districts must provide fa- cilities to charter schools based on the number of students enrolled who would otherwise attend dis- trict schools. The goal is to pro- vide equivalent accommodations for all district students, regardless of what school they attend. Most districts comply by shar- ing space or entering into short- term leases. Charters are expected to pay their fair share of the re- sources they use. OUSD entered into an in-lieu agreement with OCCA in 2021 to provide equiva- lent funding instead of space. This new agreement overrides that one. The license agreement was ap- plauded by OCCA students, par- HQWV DQG VWD൵ ZKR DWWHQGHG WKH board meeting in full force to sup- port the “lease.” It was, however, roundly disparaged by OUSD constituents. Of the comments made during the public hearing on the agreement, not a single OUSD parent, teacher or taxpayer QRW D൶ OLDWHG ZLWK WKH FKDUWHU VXS ported the deal. $൵ RUGDEOH KRXVLQJ" The OUSD public and board minority raised a number of con- cerns, among them, questions about OCCA’s ability to pay for َãƲȷَ٪ȷǛǍǾȷ٪ȷɅȉdzƲǾ؛٪َvȉَ٪ȷǛǍǾȷ٪ƇȯƲ٪ǼǛƤȯȉƤǕǛȬȬƲƫ The OUSD Recall committee reports that its “Vote Yes” yard signs are being stolen at a brisk rate. Since ballots were mailed out Feb. 5, more than 100 signs have gone missing, most of them removed from private property. A large sign erected in a back yard near Chapman Elementary was stolen by individuals who, the homeowner says, were obvi- ously prepared. The thieves had to scale a six-foot wall and then cut the zip ties holding the banner in place with a sharp object. <RX GRQ W QHHG D NQLIH WR VWHDO yard signs," she says. "This was not a random act." The "parental rights" commit- tee installed tracking devices in its signs. A paid consultant tracks the missing signs and calls law enforcement to help retrieve them. In one reported case, a missing sign was tracked to a school where a known "Yes" sup- SRUWHU ZRUNHG 7KH 6KHUL൵ ZDV called and told she had stolen the sign. She was taken aside and in- terrogated. She did not steal the VLJQ LW WXUQHG XS LQ WKH SULQFLSDO V R൶ FH 7KH SULQFLSDO KDG UHPRYHG it because it had been illegally erected on school property. In a similar case, the consultant and Madison Miner came to a IDPLO\ V IURQW GRRU DFFXVHG WKHP of stealing a sign and called the police, who responded. The sign, it turned out, had been posted on WKH KRPHRZQHU V SURSHUW\ DQG therefore, taken down. When the errant signs are tracked to an address, the consul- tant videotapes the "suspect." $ ODUJH <HV RQ 5HFDOO EDQQHU ZDV VWROHQ IURP D EDFN \DUG 3KRWR E\ 7RQ\ 5LFKDUGV