Foothills Sentry - August 2022

NEWS INSIDE East Orange • Old Towne Orange • Orange Park Acres • Villa Park • Silverado/Modjeska Canyons • North Tustin A Monthly Community Newspaper August 2022 *********ECRWSSEDDM**** Residential Customer Letters To The Editor Page 4-5 Canyon Beat Page 7 Service Directory Pages 11-13 Prof. Directory Page 13 Classifieds Page 13 Real Estate Page 14 The Best News In Town Since 1969 WHEN THE SPIRIT MOVES YOU Homespun parades celebrate the Fourth of July with horse, people and pedal power. See Photos, page 6 & 8 FOLLOW US at Foothills Sentry NO REST, NO PEACE Neighbors of a proposed cemetery balk at a burial site built in their backyards. See Orange residents, page 7 NO PLACE FOR HOMES Residents object to high-density multistory units penciled in for mall property on Tustin Street. See Orange Council, page 2 ON TOP OF THE WORLD Young writer/director transforms towering childhood landmark into feature-length film. See Local filmmaker, page 10 GALLANTLY STREAMING Locals stir national soul by placing American flags at the homes of local veterans. See Flags, page 9 See "Orange breaks" continued on page 3 Orange council breaks silence on illegal landfill in East Orange By Tina Richards After years of official silence on the illegal landfill, known col- loquially as the Sully-Miller site, the Orange City Council finally held a discussion on the topic at its July 12 meeting. The discussion was first re- quested by Councilwoman Kim Nichols in January 2021, then by Arianna Barrios in November 2021 and again by Nichols last month. It came on the heels of an agreement signed in June by the property owner Milan Capital and the Local Enforcement Agency (LEA) that oversees landfills and disposal sites for CalRecycle. The agreement forgives Mi- lan’s history of illegal unpermit- ted dumping of unknown, unre- corded materials on this site, if the company complies. It directed Milan to test the soil for contami- nants that may produce methane and perform a geotechnical sur- vey to determine the exact bor- ders of the stockpiled material. If no contaminants are found, Milan will be allowed to use the stockpiled material as infill on its Sully-Miller site or the horse arena property. If contaminants are found, Milan must come up with a mitigation plan that LEA must approve. Swept under the rug The city staff report presented to the council refers to the 40-ft. mounds of construction waste as a sand and gravel operation, which, under the city’s zoning al- lows clean stockpiling and back- filling. It defers to LEA for any regulatory authority. City Attorney Gary Sheatz says the city has no jurisdiction over the site, that all it can do is issue a grading permit. Turning the site into an engineered land- fill, he says, was permitted by an old Conditional Use Permit and it was up to the property owner to get the required permits from LEA. After hearing the staff report, a half dozen residents addressed the council to, as Bonnie Robin- son put it, “fill in the gaps.” Rob- inson, along with Adrienne Glad- son, Chuck Emanuelle and David Hillman, advised that the site is not a clean engineered landfill, but instead an illegal waste dis- posal facility, that residents have become “experts” on the topic, and that the city should ensure the entire property is cleaned up, not just the portion identified in the agreement. Villa Park dedicates its first park The official grand opening cer- emony of the Villa Park Knowles, formerly known as the Wanda Greenbelt in Villa Park, was held June 29. And – surprising all who know the humble and shy honor- ee -- Mike Knowles was on hand to cut the ribbon. Knowles, the city’s beloved Maintenance Supervisor for over 30 years, normally shuns the spotlight. His tireless dedication to as- sist at any and every city function or with any problem – whether it be staging and lighting for the HalloweenFest, holiday trees for the Villa Park Women’s League, chairs for the Foundation, or even a resident’s sewer issue – is much appreciated by the community. As Mayor Chad Zimmerman and City Manager Steve Franks noted, it is only fitting that the city’s first park be proudly dedi- cated in honor of Mike Knowles. The beautification of this greenbelt area, originally a train depot for the Villa Park Orchards Association’s packinghouse, was a coordinated effort by city staff with support of the city council, sponsorships from the Villa Park Community Services Foundation and Villa Park Women’s League. In a tribute to the city’s agricul- tural history, photos of old pack- ing house labels were incorpo- rated into the project. The park’s design was created by Terrain Integration and construction by Marina Landscape. Residents hear from district supervisor, county sheriff at FCA annual meeting By Tina Richards “My position on the Tustin Hills Racquet Club [develop- ment] hasn’t changed,” Supervi- sor Don Wagner told the audience at the annual Foothill Communi- ties Association (FCA) meeting, July 19. “Property rights are important, but there are caveats. When you buy a linchpin in a community (the racquet club), where others have bought property due to its character, you need to get the sup- port of the neighborhood before you change it. That hasn’t been done,” he said. Wagner stressed that neighbors have property rights, too, and that they have every right to expect that the character of their neigh- borhood will remain. He advised that the proposed 37-unit racquet club development will likely come to the Board of Supervi- sors, and that he will vote against it. He also noted that it will take a "no" vote from three supervisors to defeat it. Due to redistricting, he added, he now represents only two-thirds of North Tustin. The other third is now in District 2, which will be electing a representative this No- vember. The Supervisor was one of sev- eral speakers to address the 200- plus North Tustin residents who attended the meeting. Sheriff Don Barnes reported that while crime has increased statewide over the past decade, Orange County has not been hit as hard as neighbor- ing counties. “We do something unique and innovative here,” he said, “we still arrest people.” North Tustin has not been ex- empt from the rising crime rate. Barnes noted that there have several residential burglaries in the foothill area, but that sheriffs caught three intruders in the act and took them into custody. “It’s important that you call us when you see something in your neigh- borhood that shouldn’t be there,” he said. “We’d rather be preven- tive than reactionary.” Barnes also addressed school safety and assured the audience that the OC Sheriff’s Department has made major investments to protect schoolchildren. The de- partment has two programs tar- geted to school campuses. Sher- iffs now investigate every report- ed incident or unusual behavior on school grounds. “We’ve taken bombs and guns from lockers and kid’s bedrooms,” he said. A divergent program gets trou- bled kids into treatment rather than “dumping them into the sys- tem.” The department has a re- source officer on 16 high school campuses, and maintains a hot- line for students to call. A spokesperson from OC Parks provided an update on the long- delayed park slated for Newport Blvd. and Crawford Canyon. "All the construction documents are finished and the permits are in place," Natilia Gaelan explained. But now OC Parks is waiting for Public Works to finish putting in sidewalks and a deceleration lane to allow access to the park once it's built. The project will not like- ly start until 2023. The FCA convinced the county to buy that parcel for parkland in 2012. It did, but had no fund- ing to do anything more. When Clearwater Senior Living on Newport was approved in 2018, the developer agreed to give the county $850,000 to design and build the park. That obligation was met, but the start date on park construction has been slip- ping from year to year ever since. Mike Knowles and Villa Park Mayor Chad Zimmerman