Foothills Sentry October 2020

NEWS INSIDE East Orange • Old Towne Orange • Orange Park Acres • Villa Park • Anaheim Hills • Silverado/Modjeska Canyons• North Tustin A Monthly Community Newspaper OCTOBER 2020 *********ECRWSSEDDM**** Residential Customer Canyon Beat 5 Letters To The Editor 10-11 Guest Commentary 12, 16, 17 Service Directory 1 2-14 Prof. Directory 14 Classifieds 1 4 Real Estate 21 Obituaries 23 The Best News In Town Since 1969 FREE FOR ALL Orange council members will retain “volunteer” status as a motion for modest stipends falls short. See Split vote, Page 2 FOLLOW US at Foothills Sentry See "Design Review" continued on page 4 Little Bear the Llama hoofed it over to the Orange Home Grown Farmers and Artisans Market, Sept. 19, to help locals spread a community campaign message to two-legged voters. Decision to disable DRC delayed By Tina Richards The Orange City Council’s un- ceremonious attempt to limit the purview of the Design Review Committee (DRC) by rewrit- ing its governing ordinance was thwarted when members of the public got wind of it. The DRC was established in 1974 to provide architectural and landscaping review of de- velopment projects, primarily in historic districts, but also those impacting neighborhoods city- wide. Back then, the city believed that “the inclusion of specific aesthetic development standards is impracticable from one time period to another and from one neighborhood to another, it is in the public interest to establish an authority for project review.” The five-member committee considers design elements, mass- ing and scale, color palette, con- text, landscaping and signage. Committee members are appoint- ed, but must have professional experience in either architecture, landscaping, urban planning, or historic preservation. The goal is to ensure new developments are compatible with their surround- ings and meet city standards. Better not fettered The committee rarely rejects a development proposal outright, but often identifies a project’s shortcomings and asks the build- er or property owner to make changes and bring them back to the DRC. “Most applicants want their project to be better through this process,” says DRC mem- ber Tim McCormick. “It seems to work, and most applicants are pleased with the experience.” Most, but apparently not all. According to several committee members, a few developers have found the DRC process inconve- nient and complained to the city. Determined to give applicants more “protection” and stream- line the timetable for new devel- opment, the city embarked on a scrub of the DRC’s focus and re- sponsibilities. “We wanted to eliminate redun- dancies in the code and remove outdated terminology,” Assistant City Attorney Mary Benning ex- plained. “We found items in the code already covered by council resolution or state law.” City hall knows best The purge removed all projects in non-historic districts from the DRC’s review. Old Towne, the Eichler tracts and buildings on the historic survey would remain in the committee’s domain; all other design and compatibility decisions would be made by the city’s director of community de- County disputes claim that construction waste mounds are “engineered fill” By Tina Richards Chandler/Rio Santiago, op- erator of the construction waste dump on Santiago Canyon Road, and property owner Milan Capital agreed to surrender their disposal permit, while taking up semantic arms against the county and state over the definition of what activ- ity is actually occurring on the site. The county agency that rep- resents CalRecycle had issued a registration permit to Chandler/ Milan for an Inert Debris Type A Disposal Facility (recycling) in June, but revoked it a few weeks later because the site was not properly listed on the county’s waste disposal Siting Element, as required. Chandler/Milan refused to re- linquish the permit, and the Local Enforcement Agency (LEA) re- sponded with a notice, Aug. 3, to cease and desist collecting waste on the site. The operator ignored that notice as well as a more strongly worded Aug. 11 order to cease and desist. Chandler asked CalRecycle to stay the order, and requested a hearing with LEA on the permit revocation. Don’t cease to resist CalRecycle denied the opera- tor’s request for a stay, Aug. 26. The county scheduled a hearing on the matter with an independent hearing officer presiding. But Chandler/Milan now claim that none of that really matters. Because, they say, they are not operating an inert debris dis- posal facility, but an inert debris engineered fill operation. That activity, shortened in disposal in- dustry lingo to IDEFO, does not, according to Chandler, require a permit, does not need to be listed on the county Siting Element and does not fall under the auspices of LEA. Chandler advised the El Modena pool project takes a dive A delay in the progress of the new El Modena High pool was announced at the Sept. 10 OUSD Board of Trustees meeting. Of the seven contractors bid- ding on the project to replace the leaking and retired pool at El Modena with a new 30-meter one, four protests were filed re- garding the qualifications of the subcontractors listed in the Re- quest For Proposal (RFP). Per public contract codes, contractors and subcontractors must be pre- qualified and pre-approved for public school projects; there was a question as to the preapproval of some of the subcontractors. Scott Harvey, OUSD Facilities, together with the district’s attor- ney, determined that it would be more efficient to reject all bids and put the proposal out to re- bid, clarifying the subcontractor clauses. The Request for Proposal was sent out Sept. 17. Proposals are due Oct. 29, and the winning bidder will be selected at the Nov. 19 OUSD Board meeting. The project had experienced previous delays at the state and county level. Plans were submit- ted to the California Division of the State Architect in December, but COVID slowed the approval process until July. The original plan to use the ex- isting locker and restroom facili- ties in the gym to accommodate pool users was shelved by Or- ange County Health Department requirements. It became apparent that it would cost more to update the facilities to new code require- ments than it would be to build new ones. The straightforward pool project blossomed into a $7 million pool and aquatics center, to include lockers, restrooms, training supplies and storage, all of which altered the original timeline and budget. Following the selection of the contractor, construction of the aquatic center is slated to begin in early December, with the facility opening in spring 2022. See "Dump site" continued on page 4 SCHOOL DAZED Classes began remotely while classrooms are reconfigured to protect returning students from infection. See TUSD, page 3; OUSD, page 18 SEATS NOT YET TAKEN Candidates for Orange City Council offer voters a look at their qualifications. See Election 2020, page 7, 8 and 9 THE ROAR OF THE CROWD Orange citizens sound off on the shortcomings of city government. See letters, page 10, 11; Guest Commentary, page 12, 16 and 17 BREAK THE BANKS Floods happen. A long- time safety valve for inevitable overflow deserves respect. See Santiago Creek, page 20