The year 2021 started off with a COVID bang with holiday surges resulting in increased hospitalizations and deaths—and ended with Delta and Omicron variants and yet another indoor mask mandate. 

Sandwiched in between were vaccination rollout plans, the return of elementary-grade students to school in a hybrid format, lawsuits against the governor, new mask mandates and ever-changing state guidelines. 

The Chino Valley Unified School District was most impacted by the pandemic when parents opposed to vaccination mandates for teachers, staff and students held protests and jammed school board meetings waving flags and calling out individual school board members.

In comparison, state mandates imposed on the Chino Valley to build thousands of affordable housing units over an eight-year period didn’t generate half as much controversy, although residents and the two city councils expressed frustration with squeezing in high-density apartment units. The two cities spent 2021 holding workshops, meetings, and figuring out where to put the units.

The 2020 Census numbers were released late because of COVID, leaving the two cities scrambling to redraw their districts by the spring deadline of this year. The school district and fire district are doing the same. 

Congressional and state representation is also changing because of the new boundaries drawn by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.

The City of Chino Hills still hasn’t convinced Caltrans to ban semi-trucks on Carbon Canyon Road despite several road studies and ordinances requested by the state agency, although changes are anticipated in 2022.

After a tug-of-war between the school district and the City of Chino, it looks like a new school district administration building will be constructed at 13461 Ramona Ave.   concerns about truck traffic coming in and out of a 325,000-square-foot warehouse on Yorba Avenue that is part of the package. 

Both police departments in Chino and Chino Hills express frustration that state laws are allowing the release of criminals shortly after they are arrested. 

Chino Valley united to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks with 300 community members attending a solemn event hosted by the Chino Valley Fire Department. 

The Tres Hermanos Conservation Authority is taking its first steps to plan a vision for the future of 2,500 acres of ranchland straddling Grand Avenue in Chino Hills and Diamond Bar. 

Pickleball finally found a home in Chino Hills and the city is working on ways to attract equestrian events to McCoy Equestrian Center. 

The City of Chino tackles growth in The Preserve and bans warehouses at three locations north of Schaefer Avenue for 45 days until it can figure out environmental, health, and fiscal impacts as industrial development surges. 

The year ends with a Republic Services sanitation worker strike in Chino Hills that is resolved in eight days while the city considers whether to re-hire the company for its new trash contractor, a decision expected in early 2022.

Here’s how Chino Valley spent the year 2021:

January

●City of Chino Hills extends closures of most city facilities until Jan. 31. The city submits a letter to Gov. Newsom asking for greater flexibility on state policies that mandate the closure of businesses without consideration of the economic impacts.

●Bishop Alberto Rojas becomes the third bishop for the San Bernardino Catholic Diocese, replacing Bishop Gerald Barnes who was the leader since 1995.

●Surges from holiday gatherings and traveling has made January one of the worst for COVID with increased cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. 911 calls increase with residents reporting COVID conditions.

●Curt Hagman is re-elected chairman of the Board of Supervisors for a second consecutive two-year term despite a policy that forbids it. The board suspended the policy for continuity of leadership during the pandemic.

●Four new fire engines are purchased for $2.9 million for the Chino Valley Fire District to replace models from 1997, 1998, and 2002.

●The City of Chino Hills files an “amicus letter of support” of the lawsuit filed by the County of San Bernardino against Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home orders. Several residents attend a Chino Hills council meeting opposing the letter in the midst of a pandemic surge.

●The Board of Supervisors announces its vaccination rollout plan with doses being distributed to caregivers with In Home Support Services, public and community centers, urgent care facilities, home health agencies and primary care physicians who are able to receive and handle the vaccines and clinics.

●The City of Chino Hills reaches a settlement agreement with WGP Vellano, LLC, owner of the Vellano Golf Course, to remove the chain-link fence it illegally installed in 2018.

●James Hill is named acting warden for the California Institution for Men, replacing Mona Houston who transferred to California Institution for Women as warden.

●Chino Hills resident Charlie Blank and Peter Pirritano are named co-winners of the 2020 Fred L. Burns Community Service Award.

●California Supreme Court rejects the lawsuit filed by San Bernardino County against Gov. Newsom for his stay-at-home orders. The City of Chino Hills, Yucaipa and Rancho Cucamonga filed amicus letters in support of the county.

●Some Chino Valley farms are thriving during the pandemic because of the increased demand for fresh, locally grown food, including Garcia Farms in Chino and Amy’s Farm in Ontario.

●Chino Hills Community Foundation commits $100,000 for an inclusive playground at Crossroads Park where children with disabilities can play side-by-side with children without disabilities.

●The City of Chino Hills revives discussions on converting a tennis court at Vellano Park to four pickleball courts due to continued requests by residents and a surge in pickleball activity since the pandemic. The courts were installed in November.

●The City of Chino begins discussions on how to annex properties within its sphere of influence after multiple requests from residents and developers.

●The Chino Hills BAPS Hindu Temple was illuminated in amber light for five minutes to remember those who lost their lives to COVID-19. The number of deaths in the United States from the coronavirus has exceeded 400,000.

●San Bernardino County establishes large-scale vaccination events including the Ontario Convention Center after residents 65 and older raise concerns they still haven’t been vaccinated. The county informs residents that as soon as supplies come in from the state, more vaccinations will be conducted.

●Chino Hills installs first round of art on four utility boxes in Chino Hills. If the art is well-received by the community, the city will continue the program. 

●City of Chino Hills holds the first of numerous public workshops to find room to build 3,720 housing units over the next eight years to comply with state mandates on affordable housing.

February

●City of Chino Hills installs AT&T cell tower 50 feet away from walking path on Madrugada Trail. 

●Chino Police Department announces a 24 percent increase in aggravated assaults in 2020, with more than 50 percent of those domestic violence incidents, a nationwide trend resulting from COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. 

●Chino Hills must build 3,720 housing units in the next eight years to comply with state housing mandates. Of that number, 2,202 must be classified as “high-density” which would accommodate 20 to 30 units per acre. The city identifies 20 potential sites for high-density housing at its first workshop.

●A major storm drain system in the Preserve will be built under a partnership with Richland Ventures, owner of Altitude Business Center, the County of San Bernardino and the City of Chino. Construction could begin in spring.

●Churches in California may legally worship indoors as long as they limit attendance to 26 percent of a building’s capacity, as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning the state’s ban on indoor worship services as a violation of the First Amendment unless the state can show they are the least restrictive means of achieving a compelling government interest. As a result, Gov. Newsom announces new guidelines allowing churches to reopen with restrictions.

●Chino Hills Police announce statistics showing that automated license plate readers have proven to be successful at helping solve crime since they were installed in 2018, including 89 arrests for stolen vehicles and 17 solved crimes, including a murder, a bank robbery, and residential burglaries. Chino Police, which installed their readers at the same time, have also credited the system to keeping their city safe.

●Henry “Hank” Decker, owner of Decker Farms in Chino that he took over from his father in the late 1940s, dies at 93 from complications related to COVID-19. His “Sweet Decker Corn” stands that also sold strawberries and other produce items were community landmarks.

●The Chino Valley School Board votes unanimously to allow elementary-grade students to return to school in a hybrid format, meaning instruction will be a combination of in-person in the classroom and online. Children in kindergarten to second grade return on March 4 and third to sixth graders on March 8.

●Hills for Everyone, Chino Hills State Park Interpretive Association, and the Chino Hills State Park receive grants from the California State Parks Foundation to rebuild the campground, trail fencing, bridges, and install fire cycle panels in an effort to rebuild the park after the Blue Ridge fire in October 2019.

●$5 million filtration system to be built on Boys Republic by City of Chino Hills to remove a chemical known as 1,2,3-TCP, likely to be carcinogenic to humans according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The state established a new contamination level for the chemical at five parts per trillion.

●Cities of Chino Hills and Chino must redraw council district boundaries to accommodate new data from the U.S. 2020 Census.

●Chino and Chino Hills branch libraries allowed to reopen for limited in-person services after being closed since December 2020 on orders of Gov. Gavin Newsom. 

March

●Chino Valley Unified School Board votes, without discussion, to begin the process of carving out districts for board elections after threatened by Malibu law firm Shenkman and Hughes that the current at-large election system dilutes the minority vote. It is the same law firm that challenged the City of Chino, which went to district elections in 2016. Chino Hills went to district elections shortly afterwards, after being threatened by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

●Big League Dreams is in negotiations for a new ownership. The buyer would purchase Big League Dreams USA, the parent company for 10 individual parks, including the one in Chino Hills on Fairfield Ranch Road. The company owes Chino Hills $75,819 in utility bills after it stopped paying its water bill and is behind in payments to the City of Redding where it owes $100,000.

●Massive $450 million wastewater treatment plant under construction by the Inland Empire Utilities Agency, an expansion of its plant next to headquarters on Kimball Avenue in Chino.

●City of Chino Hills narrows down high-density housing sites from 30 to 13 as workshops continue on where to place “lower income” housing over the next eight years as mandated by the State of California.

●The 25-year lease agreement between the late Helen McCoy and the City of Chino Hills for her 20-acre ranch comes to an end and the city exercises its option to purchase the property for $1. After more than 25 worried horse owners who live, board, or ride in Chino Hills expressed concerns at a city council meeting that the city would do away with the center’s equestrian use, councilmembers vow to keep its equestrian heritage.

●Junior high and high school students in the Chino Hills school district are allowed to return to in-person classes two days a week on March 23 after San Bernardino County reaches the required state guidelines.

●The City of Chino begins public meetings on where to place high density housing as mandated by the State of California. The city is mandated to build 6,978 new housing units, of which 3,388 units must be high-density housing over the next eight years.

●Al McCombs, publisher emeritus and owner of Champion Newspapers from 1956 to 2017, dies from complications of pneumonia in the skilled nursing unit at Inland Christian Home in Ontario where he resided. At the age of 91, Mr. McCombs was still driving to work to oversee the opinion page and to pen his long-running Rolltop Roundup column.

●Longtime Chino Hills Public Information Office Denise Cattern retires after almost 33 years with the City of Chino Hills. She is replaced by Nicole Freeman, who worked for the city as a recreation leader, recreation specialist, and permit technician. She also was a teen volunteer for three summers.

●The City of Chino begins holding housing workshops to meet state mandates to build 6,978 housing units over the next eight years, of which almost 49 percent must be lower income housing, which the city can satisfy by zoning properties for 30 dwelling units per acre.

●Chino Hills Mayor Brian Johsz declares a conflict of interest because he works for trash disposal company Athens Services that is bidding for a waste hauling contract with the City of Chino Hills. The Republic Services contract is set to expire in January 2022.

●City of Chino announces plans to build the first inclusive playground at the future Chino Rancho Park that will be built at the southeast corner of Central Avenue and Phillips Boulevard.

●San Bernardino County’s efforts to vaccinate all its residents shifts into high gear when everyone 50 and over becomes eligible for vaccines, followed by everyone 16 and over. 

●One month before he died, former Chino Police Captain Lou Moreno receives the Edwin Rhodes Community Service Award for his involvement in Chino including establishing the youth boxing club in the late 1960s to divert gang activity and serving for three terms on the Chino Valley school board. His daughter accepted the award on his behalf. Mr. Moreno died April 27 at age 85.

April

●Chino Hills City Attorney Mark Hensley warns the community that cities across the state are losing control to the State of California over housing decisions and it’s only going to get worse. He referred to the unprecedented volume of housing legislation coming out of Sacramento dictating the number of houses that can be built and other loosening of municipal guidelines.

●Chino City Councilman Mark Hargrove dies of cancer, two weeks after his 57th birthday.

●Basketball courts and horse arenas reopen in Chino Hills after being closed for one year because of the coronavirus.

●San Bernardino County announces that in-person graduations will be allowed in spring, with COVID limitations. The new standards also apply to the reopening of amusement parks, live concerts and sporting events, with limitations.

●Four-story housing above ground-level retail buildings proposed for The Shoppes at Chino Hills as part of the continuing effort to build state-mandated high-density housing.

●San Bernardino County moves from the red tier to the less restrictive orange tier, meaning that many businesses and institutions may now open to 50 percent capacity.

●The Department of Toxic Substances Control sends an Aerojet-related survey to Chino Hills residents living within a quarter-mile of the former munitions plant on Woodview Road to gauge interest for a future community meeting as work is about to begin on the final phase of Management Areas 1 and 2. 

●The Vietnam War exhibits created by Chino Hills resident Ed Denzin and other veterans are now at the American Legion Post 299 on Central Avenue in Chino, having been moved from its former location at the Chino Senior Center. The displays contain mementoes left behind by loved ones at the Vietnam Mobile Memorial Wall that came to Ayala Park for six days in 2016.

●Spectators are now allowed to watch outdoor live events and performances under new state guidelines.

●Accessory dwelling units may now be built in Chino Hills with fewer rules under new state standards that allow more flexibility in hopes of putting a dent in the housing shortage in California. The City of Chino adopted a similar ordinance last year.

●Students in the Chino Valley Unified School District return to school fulltime. 

●Man lives in a church built in Sleepy Hollow in 1946 for more than 50 years. Stan Good was brought into the forefront when a resident made a negative comment about his garden along Carbon Canyon Road, at the Rosemary Lane curve.

●San Bernardino County pauses distribution of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in accordance with recommendations made by state and federal health agencies because six women reported cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot, with one of them dying. The shots resume about a week later.

●High school graduations and proms will be allowed in-person with a limited number of family members present.

●Frightening accident of a Freightliner that crossed over the double yellow lines on Carbon Canyon Road and collided into a Chevrolet sedan raise concerns and protests from residents about big rigs that are unable to navigate the S-curves.

●Chino purchases half an acre to expand Monte Vista Park for $525,000. The property, owned by the successor trustees of the Mary Esparza Partida Living Trust, is at 13146 Monte Vista Ave., north of the park between Riverside Drive and Chino Avenue.

●Tesla supercharger under construction at The Shoppes at Chino Hills between Wood Ranch Barbecue and P.F. Chang’s. Tesla converted 17 parking spaces that are no longer available for restaurant-goers.

●The Chino Planning Commission narrowly approves a proposal by the Chino Valley Unified School District for a new administration building at 13461 Ramona Ave., and a 325,000-square-foot warehouse on 14 acres on Yorba Avenue, between Schaefer and Chino avenues. Xebec Building Co. agreed to build both buildings at no cost to the school district in exchange for a 66-year lease on the warehouse. Planning commissioners Brandon Blanchard, Jody Moore and Kevin Cisneroz vote against the project, citing a lack of a turning lane into the warehouse from Yorba Avenue, which has one northbound and one southbound lane.

●The City of Chino Hills will begin meeting one-on-one with equestrian community members who live on English Road and English Place to gather input on how to build up McCoy Equestrian Center on Peyton Drive to its full potential. Members of the equestrian community have raised concerns that the center is no longer hosting horse shows and equestrian activities.

●Two hundred twenty townhomes are approved for Butterfield’s Vila Borba development on 23 acres north of Avenida de Portgual, across the street from Vila Borba Park where the dog park is located.

May

●Small fire shuts down Christ Lutheran Preschool in Chino. The fire occurred at the same time that equipment on a power pole on Vernon Avenue melted and dropped onto a lawn, causing a small fire. The church is placed on restricted use by the City of Chino prohibiting everybody but staff and workers from entering the preschool building. The insurance company will pay for damages and the church is raising money for a new playground that will be installed while the children are not present.

●Capt. John Walker, who has served at the Chino Hills Station since 2018, is transferring to the West Valley Detention Center. He will be replaced by Capt. Garth Goodell, who used to work at the Chino Hills Sheriff’s Station as a deputy and sergeant.

●City of Chino to build $20 million water treatment facility to maximize groundwater supply and reduce dependence on imported water.

●Concerned about potential traffic from a proposed warehouse, the Chino City Council sends school district project that includes new headquarters and a warehouse, back to the Chino Planning Commission to reconsider the warehouse traffic study.

●Homeless man calls a dumpster enclosure his home in a shopping center at Chino Hills Parkway and Pipeline Avenue. David James talks about his life and what made him homeless. He disputed the Point-in-Time number of “two” homeless people in Chino Hills.  

●Caltrans announces it will begin a traffic study on Carbon Canyon Road. Driver hit by a big rig that crossed the double yellow lines while navigating the S-curves tells his harrowing story.

●Chino Police Chief Wes Simmons says that proposed state legislation (SB 210) that would regulate the use of automated license plate readers could hinder police department access to crime-fighting data.

●Vendors selling T-shirts, flags, and apparel with political messages against President Biden, some containing expletives, have been the subject of controversy in Chino Hills for several weeks. The pop-ups are appearing in two shopping centers. The city says the vendors are legal because the owner has a business license and political speech is protected under the First Amendment. City staff has been working on a street vendor ordinance that should come before the city council soon.

●Chino Planning Commissioner Walt Pocock is appointed to the District 2 seat to fill the vacancy created by Mark Hargrove, who died March 28. Mr. Pocock stepped down from the planning commission to serve until the 2022 city council election.

●LifeStream and American Red Cross appeal to the community for blood donations to make up for the decrease in donations during the pandemic.

●Chino Valley Unified School District relaxes high school graduation requirements in consideration of the pandemic’s impact on education. The district also waives the minimum 2.0 grade point average.

●Chino Hills Police Capt. Garth Goodell is introduced to the community at a city council meeting.

●In the first public gathering since COVID, the Chino Valley Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast drawing 375 people is held at 3 Point Play Zone gymnasium in the Gordon Ranch Marketplace in Chino Hills. 

●Chino Hills announces that its street vendor law is no longer enforceable because of a state mandate (SB 946) that prohibits cities from banning sidewalk vendors. The law was passed because of concerns that local jurisdictions were banning food carts. As a result, the vendors selling apparel with expletives against President Biden could not be removed because it is considered political speech and protected by the First Amendment. The city council approved a street vendor ordinance that requires general liability insurance for vendors and imposes distance limitations from busy intersections and city events.

●Illegal street racing surges in the Chino Valley. Law enforcement officials said the increase began during the pandemic when the streets were empty. The police departments in Chino and Chino Hills have joined the Inland Empire Street Racing Task Force.

●Centers for Disease Control announces that residents do not have to wear masks or social distance indoors if they have been fully vaccinated. They also don’t have to wear masks outdoors except on public transportation, in hospitals and in crowded venues such as concerts. Gov. Newsom announces that California residents must continue to wear masks indoors until June 15. 

●Housing numbers and locations under consideration for high-density housing in Chino Hills undergo the sixth round of study by the Chino Hills Planning Commission. 

●In-person graduation ceremonies are held for Chino, Ayala, Chino Hills, Don Lugo, Buena Vista Continuation, and Chino Valley Adult School. 

●Chino Valley School Board votes 3-2 to add 30 minutes to the school day in the 2021-22 school year to make up for the loss of instruction during the pandemic. Boards members James Na and Andrew Cruz opposed the decision, stating that funds should be directed to specific students in need of remediation.

●Five “unsung heroes” are announced during the Chino Hills State of the City address:  Ed Denzin, Lisa Price, Linda Briney, Sharon Wilkins, and Glen Anderson. The event was held over Zoom.

●Chino Hills announces in-person concerts in the park and movies in the park are returning for the summer. City facilities will re-open June 1. Council chambers will open to the public June 22. Most of the facilities in Chino, including parks, playgrounds, and council chambers, remained open during much of the pandemic.

●Chino Hills Pastor Brian Benson and Chino Pastor Jody Moore join forces to invite men in the community for a motivational unity breakfast stating that the tumultuous events of 2020 have driven Christians apart.

June

●Gov. Gavin Newsom orders an independent investigation into the 1983 murders of four people in Chino Hills as part of a clemency request from Kevin Cooper, the person convicted in the crimes. San Bernardino County District Attorney Jason Anderson said recent DNA testing ordered by governors Brown and Newsom confirm his presence inside the victim’s home.

●Two ridgeline parcels located in the City of Chino Hills immediately adjacent to the Chino Hills State Park are approved for funding by the Wildlife Conservation Board: the 80-acre Eastbridge parcel and the 320-acre First National Investment Properties. The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority agrees to be the interim owner and manager of the two properties.

●The Chino Hills City Council holds its first public meeting to redraw its five election districts to reflect new data received from the 2020 Census.

●Gov. Gavin Newsom announces that the State of California will fully reopen, saying good-bye to the color-coded county tier system for good. Restaurants, bars, retail stores, theaters, hotels and entertainment centers may return to usual operations, meaning no capacity limitations and no requirements for social distancing.

●Census forces redistricting for jurisdictions, including Chino Hills, Chino, and San Bernardino County, meaning those with by-district election systems must use the new census data to redraw district lines to reflect how local populations have changed.

●Chino Valley Unified School District begins to carve out boundaries to establish district elections after being threatened by a Malibu law firm that its at-large election system violated the California Voting Rights Act because it diluted the minority vote.

●The last major dairy and cattle farm in the Chino Preserve, the former Alta Dena Dairy, is slated for development with up to 1,139 residential units planned. The applicant, Falloncrest Farms, proposes to subdivide 100 acres on Pine Avenue between East Preserve Loop and West Preserve Loop roads.

●The Chino Valley school board announces that the Chino Preserve school won’t be built until August 2024, despite the housing boom occurring in that area.

●The Tres Hermanos Conservation Authority takes the first step in a “visioning process” for the 2,500-acre undeveloped cattle ranch located on both sides of Grand Avenue in Diamond Bar and Chino Hills. Hills for Everyone and other groups urge the Authority to conduct a baseline inventory of the land before making any decisions.

●The Chino Planning Commission rejects for the second time the proposal to build an administration building and warehouse on Yorba Avenue because staff did not address truck traffic as requested. The commission asked that the project come back for the third time.

●The Chino Hills City Council is unhappy with the Inland Valley Humane Society for increasing its contract by approximately $300,000 for fiscal year 2021-22. Humane Society CEO Nikole Bresciani said the city is no longer sharing revenues with the cities it serves because revenues have been declining as more animals are spayed and neutered. The council extended the contract by one month to allow negotiations to continue between the city and the Humane Society.

●Independence Day celebrations resume in Chino and Chino Hills now that COVID-19 restrictions are gone. 

July

●The City of Chino Hills submits its housing plan to the state after eight public workshops. The draft plan includes the locations for 3,720 residential units mandated by the state, that must be built in the next eight years. Of this number, 59 percent must be affordable housing, which in Chino Hills, means high-density housing that is 20 to 30 units per acre. 

●The City of Chino holds its first public hearing on redrawing district lines to reflect changes in the population. Every 10 years, cities with by-district election systems must use new census data to redraw their lines.

●Members of the Chino Planning Commission and Chino Community Services Commission will get a bump up in the stipend they receive per meeting. Members of both commissions receive $50 per meeting. The planning commission will be bumped up to $125 per meeting and the community services commission will receive $75 per meeting. 

●The Inland Valley Humane Society is rebuked by the Chino Hills City Council for forcing the city to accept a contract that ballooned to $680,000 per fiscal year for two years and doubling fees for residents such as license, impound, and kenneling cost fees. The council vows to seek alternatives during the next two years.

●Dave Williams, a 25-year fire veteran, is selected as the new fire chief to replace Tim Shackelford who retired Dec. 30. 

●The City of Chino Hills will spend $27,100 for another truck restriction study for Carbon Canyon Road in the hopes that Caltrans will finally ban big rigs on the state highway. The city spent $70,397, with costs split with the City of Brea, for a previous road study after taking Caltrans’ advice that both Brea and Chino Hills submit resolutions to Caltrans. 

●City of Chino announces that Kimball Avenue will be closed until December between Rincon Meadows and Euclid Avenue in The Preserve for road widening and storm drain construction. The road did not open as scheduled, but will be delayed until February 2022. 

●A plaque is dedicated to the late Amado “Mayo” Briones at Ayala Park who helped establish Chino American Little League in the 1950s. He also helped maintain the field that was named “Mayo Briones Field” in his honor. Mr. Briones died in 1998.

●Chino city attorney Fred Galante announces that his firm has filed a lawsuit against the state because of housing mandates, on behalf of his client the Orange County Council of Governments. He will ask the City of Chino to support the lawsuit and invites all cities to do the same.

●Chino Valley Unified School District announces that masks will be required of students, teachers, and staff indoors when school starts Aug. 9. Masks may be taken off outdoors.

●Calvary Chapel Chino Valley celebrates its 40-year anniversary pastored by David Rosales who started the church in a home in Pomona. 

●Two aspects of the lawsuit against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation by the City of Chino, Chino Hills, and fire department against the 50-bed mental health crisis facility receive a favorable reaction by a judge, with the remaining causes of action denied. As a result, the Department of Corrections produces a revised environmental impact report (EIR) addressing the two matters: the first that the EIR failed to include the physical conditions of buildings near the project, and the second that the EIR did not adequately analyze alternative locations.

August

●Revised purchase agreement is approved by the Chino Valley Unified school board for a second school in the Preserve on East Preserve Loop south of Pine Avenue. The $51.6 million school is being built under an agreement with Lewis Homes, the main Preserve developer. Cost of the land is $25 million.

●Staffing shortages and extended response times by San Bernardino County’s contracted ambulance services, American Medical Response, prompts the Chino Valley Fire District to authorize the purchase of up to four ambulances for $1 million to transport patients to hospitals. The money will come from the district’s emergency fund.

●The Chino Hills City Council suspends giving itself a raise after members of the public state that people are going through job loss, the pandemic, and inflation. Councilmembers insist they are not on the council to make money but to serve the community. 

●Students return to school under safety protocols prepared by the Chino Valley Unified School District as COVID cases rise with the spread of the Delta variant. Gov. Newsom announces that public and private school teachers and staff must be vaccinated or tested weekly.

●Eighty-one COVID cases reported at Chino Valley Unified School District campuses, including 65 students and 16 staff members. 

●Southern California Edison bills going up $12.41 per month because the utility company’s proposal to insulate 4,500 circuit miles of power lines in fire-prone areas. A small increase of $1.30 per month occurred in June, and more increases will be forthcoming in the next couple of years. 

●Easy to vote and track ballots in upcoming Gov. Newsom recall election where only two items are on the ballot: do you want to recall the governor and if so, what candidate do you want?

●The Chino movie sign on the southeast corner of Riverside Drive and Central Avenue hasn’t been lit since the pandemic started in 2020 because of a lighting cost disagreement between the City of Chino and the owner of the building, which opened in 1947 as a movie theater, became a bowling alley, and is now the location of T-Shirt Mart.

September

●Chino Valley mayors oppose “duplex bill” that allows two units per parcel and permits owner to subdivide their lots so that density could be increased to as many as four units on a single-family parcel.

●California State Public Health Officer Dr. Tomas Aragon issues several orders that those who work in corrections, healthcare, and schools, must be vaccinated by specific September and October deadlines or be tested once or twice a week, depending on their position. More inmates than staff are getting vaccinated in prisons across the state, including those in Chino. 

●Chino identifies five neighborhoods for redistricting: The Preserve, College Park, downtown Chino/Civic Center, low-density agricultural areas north of the 60 Freeway, and the Park East area that includes the neighborhoods surrounding Don Lugo High. 

●Students, parents, and educators ask the school district to provide more mental health services on campus. 

●Chino Hills Post Office rejects landscaping help from Boy Scouts and community groups, stating it cannot accept gifts or labor from customers. The weeds and unkempt condition of the parkway and surrounding areas has been a point of contention by community members for several years. 

●After months of back-and-forth between the Chino Planning Commission and Chino City Council, the council unanimously approves a zone change to build new Chino Valley Unified School District headquarters and clear the way for a warehouse to be built on the end of the lot fronting Yorba Avenue. 

●Gov. Gavin Newsom keeps his seat by a wide margin in the recall election, but San Bernardino County’s votes were much tighter than the state’s votes. 

●The Chino Valley Fire Department commemorates the 20th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2021. More than 300 community members attend the event which was moved this year to Station 1 in Chino.  

●The four Chino Hills residents who were criminally charged for destroying mature oak trees and toyon shrubs on a trail behind their homes on Rancho Hills Drive are ordered by a Superior Court judge to pay $69,000 in restitution to the City of Chino Hills, for an amount of $23,000 per household. 

●The late Chino councilman Mark Hargrove receives the City of Chino’s spirit of achievement award, the highest award bestowed by the city. 

October

●The City of Chino reaches a settlement agreement with HRB Properties and the Richland Real Estate Fund for $1.8 million for 2.5 acres of road dedication and 5 acres of easements to widen the south side of Pine Avenue from Chino Corona Road to just west of Meadowhouse Avenue in The Preserve. The city filed an eminent domain lawsuit in 2018 against the owners of the former H&R Dairy, belonging to the Barthelemy family for more than 70 years, after attempts to negotiate for land along the front of the dairy, north of Pine and east of Euclid Avenue, broke down. 

●A Superior Court judge rules that Measure K, approved by county voters in November 2020 with a 2-1 margin, is a violation of the 1st and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution. The Aug. 31 ruling overturned a measure that would have reduced the total compensation for members of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors to $60,000 per year and limit them to one elected term of four years.

●David Kramer, the eldest of the five Kramer brothers who manage Los Serranos Golf Course, is named the Champion’s Outstanding Citizen of the Year for 2021. 

●Chino Valley Fire Board begins the transition from at-large elections to “district” elections where the boundaries will be split into five districts. 

●Aerojet Ordnance Co., closed since 1995, enters the next phase of cleanup, which will be 20 acres of the 800-acre site located at the end of Woodview Road, south of Peyton Drive, adjacent to the Vellano Country Club development. The area will be cleared of munitions and chemicals under the oversight of the Department of Toxic Substances Control.  

●The City of Chino bans warehouse development at three locations north of Schaefer Avenue for 45 days because of the significant increase in industrial development. Staff members will produce a report on the environmental and health impacts and perform a fiscal impact analysis to determine generated income from industrial uses.  

●More than 300 people rally in front of Chino Valley Unified School District headquarters as part of a statewide walkout to oppose California’s upcoming mandate requiring students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in order to attend school. 

●The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) informs residents during a Zoom meeting that the former Aerojet Ordnance Co will be cleared for unrestricted use when the next phase of cleanup is completed. 

November

●Four trash firms out of seven that submitted requests for proposal to the City of Chino Hills for a trash contract have been advanced to the final selection process. They are Republic Services, Burrtec, Athens, and Waste Management. The three that were not chosen included Valley Vista Services, Urbaser/American Reclamation, and Ware.

●School board president Joe Schaffer aligns himself with board members Andrew Cruz and James Na in a 3-2 vote approving a resolution to Gov. Gavin Newsom urging him to rescind or revise the vaccine mandates for students and staff in California schools. A crowd of 300, mostly against the mandates, asked for the resolution. Christina Gagnier and Don Bridge voted no. 

●Residents will be required to recycle food scraps when a state law goes into effect in January requiring food waste to be separated from garbage. The city councils of Chino and Chino Hills approved ordinances to comply with Senate Bill 1383 that requires residents, businesses, and multi-family complexes to recycle organic waste. 

●Draft maps released by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission show that the Los Serranos and Fairfield Ranch communities are separated from the rest of the city in a congressional district. The district boundaries are redrawn every 10 years to reflect census population numbers.  

●Chino Hills holds a grand opening for four new pickleball courts at Vellano Park, replacing the underused tennis court.  

●Main Street in the Preserve in Chino will be redesigned to create a downtown-like atmosphere with bigger parks that will accommodate an art walk for farmer’s markets, street fairs, an amphitheatre and community events. 

●Ray Marquez is selected by the city council as Chino Hills mayor for 2022. Peter Rogers is selected as vice mayor.

December

Republic Services sanitation workers go on strike in Chino Hills and other cities it serves, citing mistreatment of employees, long and exhaustive work hours, and harassment by management. The strike is resolved after eight days. Republic Services is one of four trash companies being considered for the trash contract.

●Yolanda Holguin is selected as the 2021 Sports Legend Youth Volunteer Award recipient by the Chino City Council for her long-standing volunteer service to the Chino Boxing Club.

●Christina Gagnier is selected as president of the Chino Valley School Board and Andrew Cruz is selected vice president during a reorganizational meeting.

●Due to a surge in COVID cases, the California Department of Public Health requires that masks be worn in all indoor public settings until at least Jan. 15, 2022, regardless of vaccine status. The cities of Chino Hills and Chino post signs in front of public facilities reminding the public of the mandate. 

●Persistent flooding in The Preserve when it rains and the delayed opening of Kimball Avenue along with closures of main thoroughfares during rainstorms cause traffic snarls and a torrent of complaints to the City of Chino. The city promises to be prepared for the next storm event by clearing out storm drains, improving water flow on Bickmore and Euclid avenues, and making available public works crews and traffic officers to ensure road safety. 

 

 

 

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