Foothills Sentry July 2020

NEWS INSIDE East Orange • Old Towne Orange • Orange Park Acres • Villa Park • Anaheim Hills • Silverado/Modjeska Canyons• North Tustin A Monthly Community Newspaper July 2020 *********ECRWSSEDDM**** Residential Customer Guest Commentary Page 4 Letters To The Editor Page 5 Canyon Beat Page 8 Service Directory Pages 11-13 Prof. Directory Page 13 Classi eds Page 13 Real Estate Page 14 Obituaries Page 15 FOLLOWUS at Foothills Sentry The Best News In Town Since 1969 Morgan Green has been enriching the scenery along Chapman Avenue for several months now, turning the streetside wall of Villa Animal Hospital into a sweeping menagerie of pets. The Orange-based artist has created other murals in select locales, but she insists she’s not look- ing for work. “I’m going to paint this entire wall,” she says, “and I expect it to take about a year.” Most of the dogs and cats that appear on the mural originated in Green’s imagination. Others, however, are real pets, included as a favor by the muralist. She won’t say which ones, however, leaving that up to the viewer’s whimsy. Readers and Friends Thank You This issue of the Foothills Sentry is made possible by the generous contributions of our readers and the con- fidence of our advertisers. Thank you for bringing us back from the brink of the COVID shut down. We, however, continue to need your support during these difficult times. Please patronize our ad- vertisers. Tell them you saw them in the Foothills Sentry. Advertise your business with us; our readers shop lo- cal and use local services. Become a contributor. Your donation will allow us to continue providing you with the best local coverage. Visit . By Tina Richards Public discourse has been miss- ing from Orange City Council meetings since COVID-19 re- strictions forced the switch from in-person assemblies to online socially distant gatherings. Most public meetings afford citizens the right to air grievanc- es, clarify issues, make sugges- tions and/or comment on general topics within the jurisdiction of the specific council, commis- sion or board. At Orange council meetings, members of the public have always been allotted three minutes each to address those on the dais. Since the first remote coun- cil meeting in April, however, the Orange City Council has not heard any public comments. The names of the individuals submit- ting comments are read aloud, but not the comments themselves. They are included in written form in the public record, and can be read after the fact, but no one watching the online meeting is privy to what has been proffered by citizens. Sounds of silence While the council cannot ad- dress items brought up by the public that do not appear on the agenda, those topics often signal the pulse of the community. Off- agenda comments call attention to topics residents are thinking about, talking about and are con- cerned about that might not, oth- erwise, be heard. For example, of the 31 public comments received at the June 9 council meeting, 12 of them (boilerplates) demanded the po- lice department be defunded. One begged the city not to. Two reported continued problems with a short-term rental in their neighborhood, suggesting that city assurances that they would be “regulated” have fallen short. Had those letters been read aloud, the remote audience would have been reminded that the ordinance proposed in February to regulate them has fallen by the wayside. Public opinion not being heard in Orange virtual council meetings See "Public" continued on page 4 Opponents of landmark racquet club rezoning explore their options By Tina Richards A gathering of residents who live near the Tustin Hills Racquet Club was held, June 7, on a quiet street in North Tustin. The meet- ing, attended by some 60 people, was called to discuss strategies to stop the county from rezoning the 5.88-acre racquet club to accom- modate 37 housing units. Peter Zehnder of Newport Beach purchased the property and has asked the county to change its zoning designation from ag- riculture (a-1) to residential (r-2 5,000). That specific zoning al- lows higher density housing to be constructed, as long as the net development area translates into 5,000 sq. ft. per unit. Don’t rezone for homes The club’s neighbors, many of whom have used its facilities for decades, prefer that it remain a recreational resource for the com- munity. Failing that, they would accept fewer homes on larger lots. But their focus now is to prevent the property from being rezoned at all. The project is moving through the county development process without an Environmental Impact Report (EIR). County planners concluded that replacing tennis courts with townhomes would not have a significant impact on traffic, noise, air quality or carbon emissions and issued a Negative Mitigated Declaration, meaning no EIR is required. North Tustin residents disagree. They wrote some 180 letters to the county, explaining how high density housing would indeed significantly impact their neigh- borhood. The comments won’t cause county planners to change their minds, but they do lay the groundwork for a lawsuit down the road -- if it comes to that. Homeland security “Stay resolute,” John Sullivan, chair of the committee formed to fight the project, told the group. “We bought our homes here with the existing zoning in place. Changing it now will make our properties less valuable.” The committee has been active for two years, ever since neigh- bors learned of the racquet club sale. Its outreach is reflected in the comment letters and 600 sig- natures on a “save the racquet club” petition. Looking forward, commit- tee member Jill Wallace advised project opponents to “count to three.” The "three" refers to the number of votes needed from the county Board of Supervisors to reject the rezoning. Before it gets to the board, the project will first go to the North Tustin Advisory Committee (NTAC) for review, and then to the county planning commission. Both of those bod- ies make recommendations to the supervisors, but they don’t make decisions. Say it loud “Still,” Wallace says, “it’s im- portant to attend those meetings and voice your opposition. NTAC will hear the item in July, with the planning commission taking it up in August or September.” No one knows yet when the Board of Supervisors will hear it, but resi- dents were advised to attend that See "Racquet club" continued on page 3 Photos by Tony Richards Screen shots Class of 2020 dons caps and gowns for electronic pomp and circumstance. See OUSD, page 2 Trust or bust Candidates considering a run for office urged to put people ahead of politics. See Guest Commentary, page 4 A senior moment Do-it-yourself celebration musters local luster to honor Silverado and Modjeska grads. See Canyon Beat, page 8 Worth their weight Orange council ready to reinstate stipends, reversing requirement that city electeds serve as volunteers. See Ordinance, page 9 Gimme s’mores Annual Dad’s Club campout takes tents, sleeping bags and starlight to tablets and laptops for virtual night out. See Camp Bobcat, page 14