Download the Press Release

Download the Press Release

Protect Our Homes and Hills submitted this Press Release to local papers on the most recent court victory.

Download the Press Release.

Well, the Appellate Court Decision is In…

We just learned that the 4th District Court of Appeals rendered its decision on our appeal of the original 2015 lawsuit.

We won–again!!

In this appeal stemming from the original lawsuit, we included four issues that we had lost. They were: 1) Project Description (adjacency to Chino Hills State Park), 2) Fire Evacuation and Access, 3) Biology (impacts to sensitive plant species), and 4) the Project’s Water Use.

The Friday the 13th decision means the County needs to recirculate the Esperanza Hills Environmental Impact Report because of its deficiencies and inadequate analysis on project description, fire evacuation/access, and water use.

That’s the great news.

About 10 days ago, Judge Claster sided in favor of the County on the Return of the Writ–meaning we lost– but because we just won the appeal… it may not matter.  We are gathering Intel on this currently.

And, because of this appeal win, our 2017 lawsuit may be moot. We shall see on this too!

We are going to celebrate on Saturday, October 21st at 6 PM at Wise Guys Pizzeria.  The restaurant is located at: 4957 Yorba Ranch Road.  Join us on the patio for an explanation and, better yet, celebrate a second court win. We’ve reserved the picnic tables.

Get your dinner at 6 PM and we’ll have some celebratory remarks around 6:30.  Please let us know if you plan to attend so that we can give Wise Guys a heads up on the number of guests.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” –Margaret Mead

Expected Activity on Esperanza Hills

We have several bits of news for you:

1. CC&Rs Needed Immediately. If you live in Tracts 12850 or 12877 (see the streets this covers below), then we are on a hunt for the CC&Rs for each of those developments. The CC&Rs are the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions for a development  Something is a brewing and we need to verify it within the CC&Rs, but the City doesn’t appear to have a copy.  We thought we’d turn to you and see if any of you happen to have them.  If you have the CC&Rs please let us know immediately.  We need a copy from both Tracts, so someone from each development will need to step forward. We’d like to borrow them, scan them, and return them to you.

The streets include:

  • Tract 12877: Stonehaven (top of the hill down the east side of the street to Aviemore), Heatherridge, and Cardiff.
  • Tract 12850: Stonehaven (top of the hill down to  Via del Agua), Stirlingbridge, and Devonport.

2. Esperanza Hills Activity. We’ve received word from the developer of Esperanza Hills that they plan to do borings on the property.  These borings will likely take place over the next few weeks. So, if you see activity up there–we know about it. And we’ve asked them to test the soil for hazardous waste while they are at it–we don’t think they will.

3. Court Hearings.  Several of you remember the comments from the Wise Guys Pizzeria night.  We had expected the judge to hear the Return of the Writ on Friday, August 11th but that has been moved to September 8th.  Stay tuned.

4. Monthly Donors.  Thank you to all the new donors that stepped forward to help us reach our goal.  We appreciate your generosity and assistance.  Every little bit helps because we are maintaining four separate legal challenges and staying on top of our legal bills is the goal!

Remember, if you have the CC&Rs AND live on any of those streets above, please email me immediately.

We Were Right, More Exits Are Needed

The team is constantly researching things and asking for public records from the City and the County.  One of the most disturbing things we just got a copy of was a letter submitted to the County from the Sheriff’s Department. It was like pulling teeth to get this. 

Here is what a Sheriff’s Department Internal Memo from January 31, 2014 states:

“The project area includes the 112 home Cielo Vista project and the 340 home Esperanza Hills project
Together, these projects present significant evacuation issues because of their proximity to and the fire dangers associated with Chino Hills State Park. There are five potential entrance and exit points and it is recommended that as many of them as possible be built and that all of the homes from both of the developments have access to all of the exits during an emergency evacuation. The EIR identifies two access points for the Esperanza Hills project which would present evacuation challenges during less than ideal conditions.” (emphasis added)

Yep — this completely validates everything we’ve been saying.  Safety first.  But no, the Board of Supervisors insists it’s safe even when the Sheriff said FIVE exits makes these two projects safer.  There is only ONE daily access for Esperanza Hills.  What gives?  Why is our public safety so easily compromised?

This tidbit is just one of things we relayed to the community on Sunday.

Donor Steps Up the Game For Us

Our previous challenge grant to raise $5,000 in July was successful.  Thank you to all those individuals that helped get us to our goal!

We have a new announcement.  Our next challenge steps things up a notch, but it all keeps up the pressure on the developer of the Esperanza Hills project.

Here it is:
For every new household that commits by August 14th to $100 or more a month for the next year, $500 will be given to the ongoing effort up to $5,000!  

That’s right!  If 10 just people commit to $100+ a month for 12 months… we get $5,000 immediately!

Hills For Everyone, our fiscal sponsor, already has a monthly donation program in place. They will process your donations on or around the 15th of the month. Enroll using this form.

Print, complete, and mail the form to:
Hills For Everyone
P.O. Box 9835
Brea, CA 92822-1835

or scan your completed form and email it to info@HillsForEveryone.org.

The entire leadership team has already been donating monthly for a long time and our time weekly!  Other friends and neighbors have been generously giving too.  We need your help to keep this effort going.

Fundraiser Kick-Off Sunday, July 30th

There has been a lull in the legal activity on Esperanza Hills until now.  Things are just about to pick up. So, to keep everyone informed and raise some funds, we are hosting another restaurant fundraiser with Wise Guys.

Join team members from Protect Our Homes and Hills at Wise Guys Pizzeria (YL Blvd. & Yorba Ranch Road) to kick off our fundraiser and learn about the status of the Stop Esperanza Hills effort. Your purchases between Sunday, July 30 and Thursday, August 3 will support our work to stop Esperanza Hills because Wise Guys has agreed to donate 20% to our effort!

Download the event flyer.

Sunday’s Community Meeting (July 30th) will be held on the outdoor patio from 5:00 – 6:30 PM.Come hungry and with a flyer.

The fundraiser:
– Is five days long: Sunday, July 30 through Thursday, August 3 (11A – 9P)
– You must present the flyer.
– All orders (dine-in, take out, and delivery) count.
– To phone in an order call: 714-777-4700.

Let us know if you are able to make it so we have an idea about the head count for Sunday’s Community Meeting.

All in all I’d rather be in our shoes…

Look at it this way. The developer, who is willing to put lives at risk to make a buck, is spending oodles against those of us trying to save lives.

He had to pay the $1200 an hour legal fees to fight the original 2015 lawsuit. And he had to pay the County’s costs as well.

Now he has to pay those same fees to fight our appeal of the 2015 lawsuit. And he has to pay the County’s expenses too.

With the May project approval, the County will contend they have complied with the Court. We will substantiate how they haven’t. He will pay for that as well.

We also filed a lawsuit on the May project approval and so did Cielo Vista.  He will be carrying the costs of those two lawsuits as well as the County’s costs.

There are many of us, there is only one of him.

We are half way to our $5000 match. Join in and get us to the goal. We can do this.

Donate online or send in a check to Hills For Everyone at P.O. Box 9835, Brea, CA 92822.  Be sure to write YL Defense on the memo.

381, 340, 1,754, 740, and now 1…

We’ve been stewing on the indefensible Orange County Board of Supervisors’ decision since last month.  We tried to be proactive… we met with the City of Yorba Linda to brainstorm ideas.  We have a few opportunities there, but the clock was ticking.

So here it is by the numbers:

  • 381 homes destroyed or damaged in the Freeway Complex Fire.  Lives were ruined, memories, family heirlooms, and cherished items lost forever in the ash. It’s because of how devastating this fire was that we launched this battle to stop…
  • 340 more houses in the hills.  The developer has proposed a dangerous and likely devastating development situated in the hills above Yorba Linda.  And we’ve been at it a long time…
  • 1,754 days ago the County notified residents its intent to create an Environmental Impact Report for this hideous project. And, …
  • 740 days ago we filed our first lawsuit on the Esperanza Hills project. We won enough to overturn the development approvals last December. But we had to file an appeal to keep our options fully open as we defended our neighborhood.  But with the 4-1 Board vote to re-approve the project last month, we were force to file …
  • One more lawsuit last Friday.  Frankly it infuriates us that the Supervisors ignored us and completely reversed their position on the project.

We decided we needed to keep the pressure on. We are not done, and we hope you aren’t either. 

To file this newest lawsuit, we needed funds. We are so grateful several residents stepped forward to continue the fight.

Right now and through July 4th, we have a challenge grant of $5,000 being pledged by residents to continue this fight. 

We know you care deeply about the community.  We know you are tired of the traffic, safety impacts and shenanigans.  Great… so are we…

We need your support for this current effort.  Will you donate $100, $250 or $500 (or more!) to help us meet our challenge grant? Donate online here.

In the end, we are all in this together and by sticking together we have an opportunity to affect the outcome of this proposal.  Let’s send this developer and his cronies back to Arizona!

Please donate as generously as you can so we meet this $5,000 challenge grant!

What an Outrage Tuesday Was…

Unfairness just does not sit well with us Americans. We are descended from Adams and Washington and Jefferson.

We know the strength and power of sticking together.  We are descended from Abraham Lincoln and Susan B. Anthony.

That is the stuff we are made of.

The County did not listen, so let’s take it to the home front: Yorba Linda. The City has to agree to widen the easement for the developer to reach Stonehaven with his proposed road. 

We’ve not given up, and we hope you won’t either.  We still have a lot of options, including our appeal.  We’ll have a court date set for early this summer.

Let’s dust ourselves off and put other stoppers in the queue and potential ways to mess up this smelly out-of-state developer. 

Join us for an impromptu meeting in the parking lot at City Hall on Tuesday, May 16th at 5:45 PM at 4845 Casa Loma. We’ll be the ones in the red shirts.

We’ll give you a quick update and then we will head into the Council Chambers (by 6:30 PM) to let the City know that they now have leverage that they didn’t have before.

And if public safety truly is important to them, now is their opportunity to make a difference.

Board Approves a Dangerous Project

Despite well orchestrated presentations and impassioned speakers, the Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to approve the Esperanza Hills project, the Environmental Impact Report, and Vesting Tentative Tract Map.

Thank you to the dozens of people that came today wearing red shirts and those who spoke for the community.  You did a great job!  We are proud to call you our neighbors and friends.

The project was approved with one daily access to Stonehaven and an emergency access for first responders (ONLY) through Cielo Vista. Our presentations offered many solutions to overcome the challenges we see in the project.  But they fell on deaf ears.

A big shout out to Supervisor Todd Spitzer for standing up for his community and district. Please phone his office at 714-834-3330 or email him to say thank you. 

All of the arrows in our quiver have not been shot.  We will get back to you when we catch our breath.