Concerns expressed by residents over an $18 million flood control channel in Chino Hills has prompted San Bernardino County to fix errors in the notification process and extend the comment period for 30 days.
In addition, the county will hold a public workshop to explain the plans and show simulations of what the channel will look like, something the county did not provide in more than 250 pages of environmental documents.
The project, called the Carbon Canyon Channel Flood Control Improvement Project, will replace the undersized existing earthen channel where the boundaries are Peyton Drive to the west, Pipeline to the east, Eucalyptus Avenue to the north, and Chino Hills Parkway to the south.
The Champion article in the July 18 edition announcing the project raised concerns from several residents in the pathway of the channel who said they did not receive notification letters and had no idea the improvements were being proposed.
The Champion learned about the project from a Daisy Drive resident who received the letter.
The county published a legal notice about the project in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, based in Rancho Cucamonga, on May 26 at the beginning of the public comment period.
A review of the mailing list showed that out of 92 single-family residences that received notification, 59 addresses contained either the wrong city, zip code, or both, and several addresses were omitted altogether.
Many of the letters were sent to Chino and many that were addressed to Chino Hills contained the Chino zip code.
Joanne Genis, who lives on Garden Court where the channel runs behind her backyard, was one of several residents who did not get the letter.
Although her name was on the list, the letter was sent to Chino 91710, instead of Chino Hills 91709.
Flood control district spokesperson Amy Ledbetter said the addresses were pulled by the consulting firm from the assessor’s records and contained old information.
“We are unsure why this is, and we will be correcting the mailing list and sending the notifications out again to ensure they are received by the property owners and occupants,” Ms. Ledbetter said.
The county will provide a new 30-day comment period on the environmental document to make sure there is an opportunity for those who didn’t receive a letter to review and comment, she said.
Daisy Drive resident Kevin Stenson, who contacted the county shortly after receiving the letter in May to request a meeting, said county officials finally met with him Monday.
A few residents on Daisy, Bluebell Drive, and Garden Court joined him on Daisy Drive.
Mr. Stenson said the officials from the county’s Public Works Department were professional and seemed concerned about the issues.
“They realized they made errors and will correct them,” he said. “It seems to me that what they are doing now is what they should have done in the beginning.”
He said the document didn’t contain any references to the channel’s chain-linked access road that runs the entire length with a 6-foot high berm from road to gutter consisting of loose dirt, rocks, gravel, weeds, and footings that have eroded.
When it rains, the mud and gravel fall into the gutter and without storm drains, flooding occurs, he said.
Mrs. Genis said she is concerned the document didn’t contain any simulations to show residents what the channel will look like.
She also wants to see the responses made in the first comment period, especially those provided by Southern California Edison that has a large easement south of the channel, intersecting it in two locations.
Ms. Ledbetter said the responses will be included in the final “initial study document” that goes to the Board of Supervisors.
It was tentatively scheduled to go before the board on Sept. 15 but that won’t be happening now.
The Carbon Canyon Channel is a portion of Little Chino Creek that has been channelized into a trapezoidal shaped earthen channel with grouted-rock side slopes and a rocky invert, Ms. Ledbetter said. The portion of Little Chino Creek that is vegetated and more natural is upstream of the project and will not be impacted by the improvements, she said.