The removal of more than 400 trees, including oaks and walnuts, was one of the top concerns expressed by residents of Carbon Canyon about a proposed 53-lot development called “Hidden Oaks” across the street from Circle K on Carbon Canyon Road and Canyon Hills Drive.
Almost 60 residents attended a meeting Feb. 6 at Western Hills Golf and Country Club to hear project manager Jeff Weber present a tentative map site plan showing the large homes.
The meeting was not run by the city of Chino Hills but initiated by the developer to give residents a look.
Other concerns were traffic on the already congested Carbon Canyon Road, potential water runoff into the creek and adequate water supply.
The homes would be concentrated on flat portions of the sloped parcels and most of the land would remain open.
Consultants K.V. Kumar and Ed Graham, former mayor and Chino Hills councilman attended, as did Councilmen Ray Marquez and Peter Rogers, who both live in the canyon.
“I was surprised the people were more okay with it than opposed,” said Councilman Marquez. “I was surprised at the positive responses.”
He said concerns about traffic, water and trees will be addressed as part of the city of Chino Hills review process.
He said the city’s capital improvement budget includes a 5-million-gallon reservoir to replace the 1-million-gallon reservoir at the north end of Live Oak Road above Carbon Canyon Road that will supply the canyon.
The tree removal is a big concern for residents, Mr. Marquez said.
Sleepy Hollow resident Ron Nadeau shared photographs he took of fallen oak trees a previous developer had chopped in anticipation of a project on the same site in 1990-1991. The oaks were left to die in buckets alongside the road. The development was never built.
Councilman Rogers said there was more audience participation than he anticipated and was glad that he and Mr. Marquez were able to alleviate some fears and concerns.
“The meeting gave residents an opportunity to see where the project stands,” he said. “There will be a time and place for residents to speak with city staff.”
The property owner is a group of investors called Hidden Oaks Country Club, LLC.
The developer will be required to contribute a fair share towards a traffic signal that will eventually be built at the intersection of Canyon Hills Road and Carbon Canyon Road.
Community development director Joann Lombardo said there will be extensive environmental reviews, a tree survey, traffic study and the evaluation of water service.
The project will eventually come before the Chino Hills Planning Commission.
It is six months to a year away, said Mr. Marquez.