Foothills Sentry November 2021

NEWS INSIDE East Orange • Old Towne Orange • Orange Park Acres • Villa Park • Silverado/Modjeska Canyons • North Tustin A Monthly Community Newspaper November 2021 *********ECRWSSEDDM**** Residential Customer Letters To The Editor Page 4 Canyon Beat Page 10 Service Directory Pages 11-13 Prof. Directory Page 13 Classifieds Page 13 Sports Page 15 The Best News In Town Since 1969 DIRTY DENSING State legislation to convert single-family neighborhoods into packed pockets of people is met with local resistance . See Guest Commentary, page 5 FOLLOW US at Foothills Sentry FAIR PLAY A quieter, COVID- conscious country fair and music fest returns to the canyon. See Silverado, page 8 GREAT BELLE OF FIRE Silverado/Modjeska Fire Safe Council’s driving force receives statewide leadership award. See Canyon Fire, page 3 THE QUEENS BE High school royalty honored at homecoming game halftimes. See Community Sports, page 15 BRAGGING RIGHTS Local Elk earns Presidential Volunteer Service Award, giving more than 10,000 hours to the community. See Neessen, page 11 See "Paseo" continued on page 3 1971 Pony League World Series Champions: front row, Rick Gaulden, Jeff York, Greg Barrington, Nick Zanze, Chuck Linnert, Bill Stokes, Bob Ansari, Dennis Wheeler; back row, Manager Hal Coldren, Mike Beaudreau, Dennis Slater, Scott Bigler, Dennis Christleib, Dave Wheeler, Jim Christopher, Kevin Triggs, Coach Al Withee and Business Manager John Boozer. Fifty years later, the team reunited: front row, Rick Gaulden, Jeff York, Greg Barrington, Chuck Linnert, Bill Stokes, Bob Ansari and Dennis Wheeler; back row, Mike Beaudreau, Scott Bigler, Dennis Christleib, Dave Wheeler, Kevin Triggs and team “dad” Bill Stokes. Not pictured: Nick Zanze, Dennis Slater, Jim Christo- pher. See Pony League Champs, page 6. Orange council hedging bets on Paseo By Tina Richards Presented with two separate options that would determine the long-term fate of the Old Towne Paseo, the Orange City Council chose both at its Oct. 13 meeting. The Paseo, one block of Glas- sell on either side of the Orange Plaza, was created in July 2020 during the emergency conditions of the pandemic. The city closed those two blocks to vehicle traf- fic to allow restaurants to set up outdoor dining venues on the street. The temporary closure was a success, allowing eateries to stay open, generating sales tax revenue that the city would have otherwise lost, and becoming a destination for people anxious to get out and go somewhere during the COVID shutdown. Old Towne residents accepted the temporary rerouting of traffic and busses through their neigh- borhood, knowing it was good for the city. Old Towne merchants who did not serve food, however, were unhappy with the arrange- ment, reporting an overall loss of foot and drive-by traffic and park- ing problems for customers. Off and on The Paseo was shut down in late August to accommodate the Orange International Street Fair, but was reopened shortly thereaf- ter while the city decided whether to make it permanent, seasonal or close it. This temporary reinstate- ment of the Paseo will remain until Dec 31. After that, a CEQA (California Environmental Qual- ity Act) study will be required, whether it remains open season- ally or permanently. City staff subsequently rec- ommended making it seasonal, and solicited consultants to pre- pare a streetscape design study and CEQA review. A seasonal Paseo was Option 1. As present- ed, it included $68,120 for the streetscape study and $146,886 for environmental services. The environmental review, covering aesthetics, cultural resources, air quality, noise and traffic, is ex- pected to take 34 weeks. Considering the cost and time- line for a seasonal Paseo, staff came up with Option 2. That is, no paseo, no street closure, but instead a series of “parklets” ex- tending from the sidewalks along Chapman and Glassell into the parking spaces along those streets around the plaza. The parklets would enable merchants to ex- tend their commercial space into the street without impeding traf- fic flow. They would be subject to streetscape design standards but would not require a CEQA study. Orange voter districts will be modified By Tina Richards With the 2020 census data tal- lied, the City of Orange, like every other district-driven jurisdiction, must revisit its six voter districts to reflect updated population dis- tribution and demographics. The city’s original districts, drawn in 2019, were based on the 2010 census, as those numbers were the best available and ac- ceptable at the time. Orange had switched to by-district elections as part of a settlement in a lawsuit claiming the city’s at-large elec- tions violated the California Fair Voting Act. The Orange City Council was given a presentation on the redis- tricting process by Justin Levitt of National Demographics Corpora- tion (NDC) at its Oct. 13 meeting. It included federal and state crite- ria for drawing district boundar- ies, a timeline for the process and the results of a public meeting on the subject held in August. New rules to follow Some of the boundary criteria has changed since the city’s last effort. The Fair Map Act amend- ed the California Elections Code to specifically prohibit districts See "Districts" continued on page 2 An Orange County Appellate Court denied an appeal filed by Protect Tustin Ranch asserting that a 32-pump Costco gas station should not have been approved without a complete environmen- tal review. The proposed filling station, at Tustin Ranch Road and Bryan, will be the second Costco station in Tustin. The other is three miles away in the Legacy Center. In approving the project in Oc- tober 2019, the Tustin City Coun- cil found that it was exempt from CEQA (California Environmen- tal Quality Act) review because it met the “infill exemption.” A group of residents who neighbor the site, Protect Tustin Ranch, filed a legal challenge, claiming the project was not exempt be- cause it fell within the scope of “unusual circumstances,” that is, the likelihood of polluted soil. More prominent pollution Project Tustin Ranch lost that case, but appealed it. Just prior to their Aug. 19 appellate court date, the neighbors discovered that a portion of the site, a for- mer Goodyear Tire Center, was contaminated with perchloro- ethylene, a substance banned in 2007. The plaintiffs hoped that the higher court would remand the case back to the trial court to consider the new evidence. The neighborhood group lost again on all counts. Judges Linda Marks, Richard Fybel and Wil- liam Bedsworth affirmed the low- er court’s ruling that the City of Tustin had substantial evidence to support its CEQA exemption. Proof, not probability The unusual circumstance ar- gument was dismissed because the plaintiff’s concerns about po- tential soil contamination were “unsupported presumption or conjecture.” “It is not enough, "the court ruled, "for a challenger merely to provide substantial evi- dence that the project may have a significant effect on the environ- ment.” The judges also denied the re- quest to remand the case back to the trial court. The perchloroethy- lene evidence was, apparently, too little, too late. “First,” the court said, “we do not consider matters raised for the first time at oral argument without proper pre- sentation. Second, the documents post-date the city’s approval of the project. And, extra-record evidence, which comes into ex- istence after an agency’s final CEQA determination may not be considered by the courts.” Anne Lee of Protect Tustin Ranch reports that the AQMD also granted Costco an exemp- tion. “Our last hope,” she says, “lies with the California Air Re- sources Board. In the meantime, letters continue to stream in to our website opposing the project.” Court upholds mega gas station Photo by Tony Richards