Foothills Sentry September 2020

NEWS INSIDE East Orange • Old Towne Orange • Orange Park Acres • Villa Park • Anaheim Hills • Silverado/Modjeska Canyons• North Tustin A Monthly Community Newspaper SEPTEMBER 2020 *********ECRWSSEDDM**** Residential Customer Letters To The Editor Page 7-8 Guest Commentary Page 8 Canyon Beat Page 9 Service Directory Pages 12-14 Prof. Directory Page 14 Classifieds Page 14 Obituaries Page 18 Real Estate Page 19 FOLLOW US at Foothills Sentry The Best News In Town Since 1969 See "Dump site" continued on page 6 DON’T LOOK NOW After ignoring a dump for a decade, Orange jumps in to fix it for developer. See Orange City Hall, page 2 Mark Kinnison, at left with wife Kim and dog Jack, mapped out jogging routes covering every street in the City of Orange and Villa Park. Over the last two and a half years, he’s run every one of them. See "success," page 2. County cease and desist order ignored By Tina Richards Chandler Rio Santiago, the operator of the dumpsite on San- tiago Canyon Road, and prop- erty owner Milan Capital have, to date, ignored county requests to give up their recently issued waste disposal permit and cease all debris stockpiling. For years, the City of Orange has refused to address the zoning code viola- tions there and has allowed Milan to expand without oversight. The county’s Local Enforce- ment Agency (LEA), an arm of CalRecycle, had issued a permit for what it called an “Inert De- bris Type A disposal facility” on June 22. Soon after the permit was issued, the Orange Park As- sociation filed an appeal, asking for a public hearing on the LEA’s decision. The appeal letter, written by Attorney John Edgcomb, chal- lenged the validity of the permit and claimed the LEA had handled Chandler/Milan’s application in- correctly. A major flaw, he point- ed out, was CalRecycle’s deter- mination that the site was mainly “processing” (recycling) materi- al. As such, it was required to be on the City of Orange’s Non Dis- posal Facility Element (NDFE), which details a municipality’s re- cycling treatment, instead of the county’s “Siting Element,” which covers planned solid waste facili- ties and landfills. Pile it on LEA had, after numerous in- spections of the property, labeled it a “disposal facility” and issued a permit for that use, contingent on the city’s amendment to its Non Disposal Facility Element. LEA and CalRecycle subsequent- ly left it up to the city to “com- plete the process” and amend its NDEF to include the East Orange dump site (see story, page 2). “By definition, a disposal facil- ity cannot be a nondisposal facili- ty,” Edgcomb wrote in his July 22 letter. “Both CalRecycle and LEA should know the disposal facility cannot be added to the NDFE.” Chandler’s application itself reports that the site “imports and stockpiles material to be used for grading purposes. At this time, Chandler Rio Santiago will not be crushing material.” That self- defined activity translates into “landfill.” Edgcomb argued that as a land- fill, the site must be listed on the county’s Siting Element. That process, he noted, requires an En- vironmental Impact Report and a public hearing. It must also be authorized within a city’s General Plan, a “proper Conditional Use Permit,” must be obtained and “the use of the adjacent land to the property be compatible with a landfill.” Can’t do that here None of those conditions apply, or appear to have been considered by the property owner, the waste operator or the City of Orange. The appeal letter also noted other deficiencies in the permit application, ranging from no en- vironmental mitigation plan; no reclamation plan, cost analysis or financial assurances (all re- quired); an understatement (by half) of how many acres will be used for stockpiling; no indica- tion of the types and daily quanti- ties of waste to be received; or a daily maintenance plan. The county LEA apparently agreed with the points made by the attorney. His letter was dis- patched to the county and Cal- Recycle on July 22. On July 23, Chandler, Milan and the City of Orange received notice from LEA requesting a “voluntary sur- render” of the permit for the Inert Debris Type A Disposal Facility. LEA’s request was based on an “incomplete application,” in that the site is not identified on the “appropriate countywide Siting Element as opposed to Non Dis- posal Facility Element, because the site is a disposal facility.” The letter also noted that Chandler Rio Santiago had checked the box in the application indicating the facility was identified in ei- ther the county siting element or the city’s NDFE. LEA’s approval of the application was “on the ba- sis of certain emails between you, your agent and government enti- ties indicating that the site was to be identified in the appropriate Villa Park City Council incumbents, Robbie Pitts, left, and Vince Ros- sini were unchallenged in this year’s election, and were therefore reap- pointed to office at a special city council meeting, Aug. 18. The city election slated for Nov. 3 was cancelled. North Tustin development plan denied by advisory committee By Tina Richards The North Tustin Advisory Committee (NTAC) denied a zone change on the 5.8-acre Tu- stin Hills Racquet Club property, a use permit for a planned devel- opment and a vesting tentative tract map to subdivide the site in a unanimous vote, Aug. 19. Peter Zehnder, who finalized the purchase of the racquet club in March, is asking the county to change its zoning fromA-1 (Gen- eral Agriculture) to R2(5,000), a multifamily dwelling district, in order to build the 37-unit Ranch Hills Community on the site. The vote concluded a four- hour online meeting “attended” by some 100 people, 20 percent of whom offered public com- ments. Residents are almost unanimously opposed to the zone change and housing proposal be- cause they don’t want to lose the racquet club and find the project incompatible with their North Tu- stin neighborhood. Age in place Zehnder described the devel- opment as 17 duplexes and three single-family detached homes with living areas primarily on the first floor, targeted to homeown- ers 55 and older. He said his de- velopment team had studied the area and determined that it needs a luxury, active adult community for North Tustin residents who want to downsize into single- floor living. He emphasized that the senior- focused residences would create less traffic than currently gener- ated by the racquet club, enhance property values and provide housing unavailable elsewhere in North Tustin. Recognizing the intense community opposition to the project, he noted that tracts he had developed in other neighbor- hoods were also “fought against,” but once built, “thrilled the neigh- bors.” North Tustin is not thrilled yet. Public commenters from the Foothill Communities Associa- tion (FCA) pointed out the coun- ty’s decision not to require an En- vironmental Impact Report (EIR) was an “injustice to the commu- nity,” that the property had, since 1958, been used for recreation and the proposed high-density housing does not fit with the ex- isting 20,000-sq.-ft. lot neighbor- hood that surrounds it. Ambiguous access Another FCA member reported that with narrow streets and no main thoroughfare, 100 new driv- See "NTAC" continued on page 16 ALL DRESSED UP OUSD high schools spiffed up with new tracks, fields and a high- tech science center while students are learning remotely at home. See Schools, page 4 THE RACE IS ON Candidates for canyon seats and school boards introduce themselves to voters. See SMRPD, page 5; OUSD, page 10; TUSD, page 12 UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES Orange’s shift to by- district voting restarts the clock for time served in office. See Orange term, page 8 STREET SMARTS City grapples with neighbors’ plight vs. homeowners’ rights in drive to regulate Airbnbs. See Short term rentals, page 11