Foothills Sentry November 2020

NEWS INSIDE East Orange • Old Towne Orange • Orange Park Acres • Villa Park • Anaheim Hills • Silverado/Modjeska Canyons• North Tustin A Monthly Community Newspaper November 2020 *********ECRWSSEDDM**** Residential Customer Letters To The Editor Page 4 Guest Commentary Page 5 Canyon Beat Page 6 Service Directory Pages 11-13 Prof. Directory Page 13 Classifieds Page 13 Real Estate Page 15 Obituaries Page 15 FOLLOW US at Foothills Sentry The Best News In Town Since 1969 See "Construction" continued on page 5 CIRCLE THE WAGONS Orange City Hall seems intent on protecting itself, not citizens. See Guest Commentary, page 5 The Makers Club at Cerro Villa Middle School built a replica of the Wright brothers' 1902 glider using the materials and techniques of the day. The project took two years. They plan to get the glider airborne, flying it like a kite, once COVID restric- tions are lifted and groups can gather. See story, page 3 Delivery Alert The October issue of the Foothills Sentry languished in the post office for two weeks before it was delivered to most of the City of Or- ange. Some neighborhoods received it earlier, but most did not. The post office has assured the Sentry that this “will not happen again.” The Sentry comes out the last Tuesday of the month. If you do not receive your mailed copy in a timely manner, please mention it to your letter carrier or Postal Service Consumer Affairs at (714) 662-6215. Copies may be picked up at libraries, civic centers, or outside the Foothills Sentry office. Debris stockpiling stops; hearing decision still to come By Tina Richards Chandler Rio Santiago LLC, operator of the construction waste disposal site in East Orange, un- expectedly removed all of its heavy equipment and closed the gates, Oct. 14. The closure came two weeks before a ruling on the county’s cease and desist order was issued. The Oct. 8 and 9 hearing was to settle a dispute between the county Local Enforcement Agen- cy (LEA), Chandler and property owner Milan Capital over the va- lidity of the cease and desist order levied to halt the illegal stockpil- ing of debris on the Santiago Can- yon Road property. Chandler/Milan claimed that the order was for an Inert De- bris Type A Disposal facility and didn’t apply because the site is an Inert Debris Engineered Fill op- eration (IDEFO). LEA held that the site is not an IDEFO, that it is a disposal facility and that the op- erator/property owner had previ- ously accepted that definition and applied for a registration permit. Permit problems The hearing, held via Zoom and open to the public, also ad- dressed the revocation of that per- mit. LEA had issued the registra- tion permit in June. The Orange Park Association challenged the permit and asked for a hearing to present its opposition. Before that hearing was sched- uled, however, LEA asked Chan- dler/Milan to surrender the per- mit because their application was incomplete, in that the site was not listed on the county disposal Siting Element, as it should have been. After two months of ignor- ing the LEA’s demands to surren- der the permit, Chandler/Milan gave it up, claiming they no lon- ger needed it because the site was an IDEFO. IDEFOs are generally tempo- rary operations wherein clean fill dirt and debris is collected to fill in holes and level terrain in ad- vance of construction. The clean fill is graded and compacted un- der the oversight of an engineer to provide a solid base that can be built on. IDEFOs do not require a permit; however, the county agency must be informed when one commences. Dueling definitions The hearing addressed both OPA’s permit challenge and Chandler/Milan’s position that the property was not a disposal site and did not fall under the jurisdiction of LEA. The per- mit issue was settled by Hearing Officer Eric Blum, as all parties agreed that it had been revoked and was no longer contested. Chandler/Milan is now claim- Council delays vote on diminished DRC until after election By Tina Richards The Orange City Council de- layed its decision on a resolution that would reduce the scope of the Design Review Committee (DRC) until its Nov. 10 meeting, after the election. The city’s Design ReviewCom- mittee, composed of architects, landscape designers, and other building-related professionals, is tasked to review development projects for overall aesthetics, compatibility with the surround- ings and adherence to city stan- dards. The committee rarely re- jects a project outright, but gives suggestions for the improvement of substandard proposals and tells them to return for another review. A few developers reportedly complained to the city about the delays and expense wrought by the DRC’s attention to detail. Claiming to streamline the review process and consolidate overlap- ping requirements in various sections of the municipal code, the city drafted a resolution that would restrict the DRC review to historical districts only and give the planning director final author- ity on projects citywide. The resolution sailed through the planning commission before the public, or DRC members, were aware of it. It came to the city council Sept. 8, but was con- tinued to Oct. 13 and then contin- ued again. More nay than yea The changes to the DRC’s re- view authority are unpopular with many Orange residents. Over the last two council meetings, public OUSD taxpayers saved $18 million Due to prudent financial plan- ning and increased overall prop- erty values, residents in OUSD’s boundaries were taxed only $16.64 per $100,000 of the as- sessed property value on their 2020-21 property taxes, a 42 per- cent reduction from the original estimate. According to district records, this equals $18 million in total taxpayer savings since 2017-18. In November 2016, voters re- siding within OUSD’s boundar- ies approved Measure S, a $288 million general obligation bond. Voters agreed to a $29 tax per $100,000 of assessed property value. “OUSD has been thoughtful and careful in the financial plan- ning and overall debt structure,” Superintendent Gunn Marie Han- sen said. “To initiate construction documents and plans, the district advanced $12 million of reserve levels to pay architect fees and other associated construction costs. That decision saved home- owners $10 million in assessment for 2017-18 alone.” In June 2018, completed the sale of $188 million in bonds to fund Phase One of Measure S. Prior to the pricing of the bonds, district staff sought credit rat- ings from both Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Global Ratings. Fitch assigned its high- est rating of “AAA” and S&P assigned “AA,” its second-high- est rating. The bonds were sold through a competitive bid pro- cess involving seven firms, with RBC Capital Markets submitting the winning bid. The bond sale timing, combined with OUSD’s favorable credit rating, resulted in additional taxpayer savings of $4.7 million. See "Council" continued on page 2 MOVERS AND SHAKERS With SMRPD board seats in play, canyon voters asked to confirm addresses and consider conflicts. See Canyon Beat, page 6 A CLEAN SWEEP EMHS campus is getting spruced up using science center savings. See ElMo, page 7 TRUE COLORS Some candidates take campaigning words and deeds more seriously than others. See Potholes, page 9 ALL ABOARD First-of-her-kind Irvine Railroad engineer is on the right track. See First female, page 11