Study: Californians Don’t Want Houses in Fire Areas

Study: Californians Don’t Want Houses in Fire Areas

According to the UC Berkeley Institute of Government Studies Poll, the majority of Californians support restricting home building in high fire prone areas.

Read the Los Angeles Times article.

Should More Houses Be Built on Fire Prone Land?

There was a statewide poll on this, so we are curious about the local perception on this issue. In light of the massive wildfires causing home losses and deaths… do you think more houses should be built in areas that burn frequently?

The results of our poll: 33 votes–100% agreement that NO, more houses should NOT be build in fire prone areas.

Lessons Learned from Paradise

Check out this article on wildfires and the lessons learned from the Camp Fire which destroyed the town of Paradise in Northern California. Most of the communities surrounding our wildlands are in VERY HIGH Fire Hazard Severity Zones. It is imperative for us to hold our leaders accountable and demand they face the music–we will have another catastrophic fire like the 2008 Freeway Fire. Where is our evacuation plan? Is it available to the public? Maybe we should do practice drills like Paradise. How will you keep us safe?

View the Paradise Post article.

Houses Are Built to Burn

This is exactly what we’ve been saying about Esperanza Hills. “Even the best mitigation can’t make a development fire-proof. Homes can add fuel to fires” and “California can’t solve its housing shortages with homes that are essentially built to burn.”

Read the Voice of San Diego article.

Appellate Court Case Decision

Not much has been happening on the Esperanza Hills case … until just now. Here are a few updates related to our efforts:

Not much has been happening on the Esperanza Hills case … until just now. Here are a few updates related to our efforts:

  1. Last Thursday the Appellate Court ruled in OUR favor over the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions appeal. The Court noted the County and developer need to show its work on the GHG calculations or the project will be overturned a THIRD time. A “trust us approach” doesn’t cut it.
  2. Our 2018 lawsuit goes to Superior Court Judge Claster next week. The focus of this litigation is the September 2018 approvals and how the County failed to follow the law on several occasions and the developer failed to secure access to his property at Stonehaven.
    To conclude, we continue to fight because we know what disaster looks like from 2008 and don’t want to ever experience it again or risk additional lives based on a bad project.

What Protect Our Homes and Hills has accomplished with its partners, legal team, and you–the residents that fund the effort–is unprecedented. We continue to win, and but for our leadership, connections, and hard work we’d have bulldozed hills and 340 McMansions existing off Stonehaven.

Please consider a donation to support this work to protect our future.

Hardening Your Home

Check out this article. It is a timely reminder as our green hills turn to a golden brown that we need to harden our homes–vegetation removal simply isn’t the “end all” answer.

Check out the Los Angeles Times article.

Fire Science & Gov. Newsom

What do you think? Keep building in very fire hazard severity zones or apply wildfire history/science? (You can guess where we land!!)

Check out the KSBY article.

The Battle Continues…

It has been a while since we’ve sent out an update on the Esperanza Hills project. You’ll recall this is the larger of the two projects in the hills above Yorba Linda. Here are a few updates related to our efforts:

Last October we filed another lawsuit on the Board of Supervisors approval of the project. We expect this to go before the judge in late spring.

In March, our appeal of the Greenhouse Gas decision went before the 4th District Court of Appeal. We expect this decision in the next two months. If the panel finds in our favor it could mean the project gets overturned AGAIN. If this occurs, our October 2018 lawsuit would likely become moot.

The project applicant continues to fight the award of attorneys’ fees. The law is clearly in our favor on this, but we still need to defend our “wins” and fight for the money that is rightfully ours.

With the change at the Board of Supervisors, we have new decision makers and new appointments to the Planning Commission. If this project does go back to the Commission or Board–there will be a change in the dynamics. We have met with both new Supervisors on this project.

In short, we are trudging forward and continuing to come up with new ideas on dismantling this project. Thank you for all your support.

We LOVE You!

A shout out saying “Happy Valentine’s Day!” to all our friends, supporters, and donors! We are stronger because of you!

What’s Happening with Cielo Vista?

We’ve gotten a few questions from the community about what is happening with Cielo Vista’s land. Per our conversations with the attorney for the project, we’ve learned:

The City issued an encroachment permit to allow access onto the site from Dorinda.

Cielo Vista is NOT grading the site, they are clearing the first few inches of the dirt to decrease the likelihood of new or additional species using the land as habitat. This is common practice prior to grading/developing a site.

This clearing may occur a few more times prior to the homes actually being built. (Read: the development is still a few years out.)
There appears to have been some confusion about process/notifications from the city’s side and Cielo Vista relayed that they and the City mutually “learned some lessons” on this go round.

In short, the development site is simply being prepped, but there is no date certain when future development may begin.