Court ruling due in Arantine Hills suit

1,806 HOMES: This is the development plan for Arantine Hills. The property currently is being graded.

UPDATE: May 26, 2017

Superior Court Judge Craig G. Reimer on April 27 heard attorneys’ arguments in the Arantine Hills writ of mandate suit filed by Citizens for Responsible, Economical and Environmental Development (CREED-21), against the city of Corona and developer New Home Company.

The judge had issued a partial tentative ruling favoring the city and developer prior to the April 27 hearing.

After hearing the arguments, Reimer indicated he’d issue a final decision by the end of May, according to Anthony Kim, an attorney with Briggs Law Corp. representing CREED-21.

If granted, the writ of mandate would not stop the project, but could force the city to correct what CREED-21 says were improper actions taken in the approval of the 1,800-home development.

CREED-21 alleges the city should have had a new environmental impact report for the project instead of a supplemental EIR, and that the necessary infrastructure should be in place before the homes are constructed. 

READ THE COURT REPORTER TRANSCRIPT OF THE APRIL 27 HEARING

(Published April 17, 2017)

The Arantine Hills hearing set for Tuesday, April 18 in Department 5 of the Superior Court in Riverside has been taken off the calendar.

Information sought by the court was to be submitted in both hard-copy and digital format. The record of material in this case was either submitted in an erroneous manner or too late for review prior to the hearing date.

When both sides agree that all documentation is acceptable, a new hearing date will be set.

(Published March 29, 2017)

The March 30 court date has been continued, according to Anthony N. Kim, an attorney with Briggs Law Corporation representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed against the city of Corona and the Arantine Hills developers. The new date could be Tuesday, April 18, but as of now there is no official confirmation of that date.

(Published March 26, 2017)

A suit seeking a writ of mandate filed against the city of Corona and the developer of the Arantine Hills housing project will be heard by Judge Craig G. Reimer at 1:30 p.m., Thursday, March 30 in Dept. 05 of the Riverside County Superior Court, 4050 Main St., in downtown Riverside.

Citizens for Responsible, Economical and Environmental Development, a San Diego-based non-profit corporation known as CREED-21, in October filed suit against the city and New Home Company regarding the Arantine Hills project. www.wearetv.org/blog/arantine/lawsuit.pdf

The Corona City Council approved the 1,806-home development last May and grading has begun on the property located south of Eagle Glen and north of Temescal Valley’s Weirick Road neighborhood. The development agreement between the city and New Home Company allows homes to be built prior to improvements being made to the Cajalco interchange.

In seeking the writ of mandate, CREED-21 maintains that because the developer was requesting changes to the project’s original approval in July 2012, a new environmental impact report should have been prepared. Instead, the city allowed adjustments to be made to the original EIR, creating a supplemental EIR which was used in last year’s project approval.

CREED-21 states in the suit, “It is important to note that Petitioner is not anti-development and is not trying to shut this project down. Instead, Petitioner wants the City’s officials to fulfill their duty to be transparent about the true impacts of the project and to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place before the project moves forward.”

The city responded to the suit’s allegations in a brief filed in early December (www.wearetv.org/blog/arantine/city_brief.pdf), and CREED-21 responded to the city in a brief filed later in the month (www.wearetv.org/blog/arantine/reply_brief.pdf).

Two declarants are listed in the suit, Richard Lawrence who states he is president of CREED-21 and Mercedita Valdez who states she is a CREED-21 member and a Corona homeowner.

Corona City Council OKs Arantine Hills

(Published May 23, 2016)

The Corona City Council at its May 19 meeting approved the 1,800-home Arantine Hills project. The development agreement between the city and developer New Home Company allows homes to be built prior to improvements made to the Cajalco interchange. Grading for the housing project is expected to start immediately.

The first 308 homes could be ready for sale mid-2017 — the same time improvements to the bridge are expected to begin. The development agreement also allows the possibility of 1,300 homes being constructed before the interchange project is half finished.

MORE INFORMATION
View the meeting HERE

Related Press-Enterprise report:
Vote paves way for nearly 2,000-home Arantine Hills project

City Council to vote on Arantine Hills

(Published May 4, 2016)

The fate of the 1,800-home Arantine Hills project should be determined at a Corona City Council public hearing, 6:30 p.m., Thursday, May 19 at City Hall, 400 S. Vicentia Ave.

The public can comment on the project at the meeting, with statements not to exceed three minutes. Comments also can be emailed to City Clerk Lisa Mobley at lisa.mobley@ci.corona.ca.us  and must be received no later than Tuesday, May 17.

MORE INFORMATION
Public Hearing Notice

Commission says ‘yes’ to Arantine Hills

(Published April 26, 2016)

The Corona Planning Commission gave thumbs up to the 1,800-home Arantine Hills Development following a public hearing on April 25, and will recommend the project’s approval to the City Council.

Nineteen people spoke at the hearing — five people were in favor of the project and the remaining speakers opposed it.

Most of the opposition — primarily Temescal Valley and Eagle Glen residents, was against the plan’s proposal to allow 308 homes to be built before construction begins on improvements to the Cajalco interchange.

The Development Agreement between the city and New Home Company, the developer, outlined how building permits/certificates of occupancy will be issued. After the first 308 homes are built and bridge improvements begin, 600 more permits will be issued, 390 more permits will be issued when the bridge is 50 percent complete and the rest of the permits issued when the bridge construction is 95 percent complete.

Construction should start on the interchange in July 2017 and will take two years to complete.

Riverside County Transportation Department sent Patty Romo to address county concerns, primarily that traffic studies had under-estimated the number of vehicles that would be using Temescal Canyon Road and that funding should be made available for improvements to TCR.

Speakers for the project represented the Building Industry Association, The Crossings, The Shops at Dos Lagos and the Corona Chamber of Commerce, which favored homes and less commercial/retail.

City staff, in presenting the project to the planning commissioners, recommended approval based on the offer by the developer to pay not only its share for the bridge improvements, but to front the entire amount, including the city’s two-thirds share of the estimated $67 million costs.

Staff reasoned that the offer by the developer would enable the improvements to be made sooner, rather than later, because the city does not have the funding to make the improvements.

Staff also said by reducing the amount of commercial acreage from 38 to 10 acres, estimated daily trips would be reduced by 11,000. Staff said this reduction in daily trips would allow 308 homes to be built without impacting traffic.

Eleven people from Temescal Valley attended the hearing. Seven offered comments and voiced concerns about the proximity of the development to the valley’s Weirick Road neighborhood, where zoning allows only one home per five acres.

All opposing arguments addressed gridlock on the I-15 and surface streets, and some questioned the timing of the project with the 1-15 toll lanes construction set to begin in 2018. The resounding message voiced by the opponents was to “Build the bridge first.”

The Corona City Council will vote on the project following another public hearing, possibly scheduled at its Thursday, May 19 meeting.

MORE INFORMATION
DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT
Video of Planing Commission Public Hearing

Related Press-Enterprise report:
Arantine Hills gets nod from Planning Commission

Arantine Hills hearing is April 25

(Published April 13, 2016)

A Planning Commission public hearing for the Arantine Hills development will be held at 6 p.m., Monday, April 25 at Corona City Hall, 400 S. Vicentia Ave. People who have opinions either for or against the changes and can’t make the April 25 hearing can email their comments prior to April 21 to city planner Terri Manuel at terrim@ci.corona.ca.us

The project is located west of the I-15 in the Bedford Wash between Eagle Glen and the northern boundary of Temescal Valley. The 1,806-home development was approved by the city in July 2012. New Home Company, which purchased the development from Bluestone Communities after the city’s approval, is asking for changes to what was originally approved, creating the need to amend the specific plan and modify the environmental impact report.

The amended specific plan and modified environmental impact report, as well as documents outlining the project’s 2012 approval can be found at http://discovercorona.com/City-Departments/Community-Development/Planning-Division/Arantine-Hills-Project.aspx After hearing comments from the public and city staff at the April 25 hearing, planning commissioners are expected to vote on the project as a recommendation to the City Council whether to approve or deny the changes. The City Council, at a future public hearing, will make the ultimate decision on changes to the project.

Comments sought on changes to Arantine Hills documents

(Published Feb. 13, 2016)

The city of Corona is accepting comments on the Arantine Hills amended specific plan and draft supplemental environmental impact report. The deadline to submit comments is Monday, Feb. 22.

The project is located west of the I-15 in the Bedford Wash between Eagle Glen and the northern boundary of Temescal Valley. The 1,806-home development was approved by the city in July 2012.

New Home Company, which purchased the development after the city’s approval, is asking for changes to what was originally approved, creating the need to amend the specific plan and modify the environmental impact report.

Notable changes include a reduction in general commercial acreage from 38 to 10 acres, increasing open space from 36.6 to 56.8 acres, reducing parkland from 15.2 to 8.7 acres and deleting from the plan a recreational trail and bikeway that would have been available for public use outside the gated community.

Additionally, the developer wants to construct 308 homes before construction starts on improvements to the Cajalco interchange, and once bridge construction begins, homes could continue to be built. The 2012 approval was conditioned on bridge improvements being completed prior to building permits being issued.

Total cost of the bridge improvement is about $62 million with New Home Company being responsible for one-third. If allowed to build homes prior to the improvements, New Home Company will advance the entire amount including the city’s share. While New Home Company can pay its share of about $21 million, the city says it has no funds available to pay for the remaining $41 million.

A development agreement between the city and New Home Company will outline how the city will repay the advanced funds for the improvement. City staff, in May, told the City Council the bridge was over capacity now, and the costs to make improvements would only increase the longer it takes to correct the problem. Staff also told the council no money in paybacks would come from the city’s general fund.

Temescal Valley residents, as well as Corona residents living in Eagle Glen, are citing concerns about school overcrowding and additional gridlock to the I-15 caused by homes being built prior to interchange improvements being made. Additional concerns are keeping open the access to the Bedford Wash hiking trails and the proximity of proposed medium density homes to the estate-zoned parcels (one home per five acres), in the Weirick Road neighborhood.

People are questioning why New Home Company would purchase the approved project knowing the conditions of the approval and the stipulation that no homes could be built prior to interchange improvements being completed.

Comments should be emailed prior to Feb. 22 to city planner Terri Manuel at terrim@ci.corona.ca.us. The dates for public hearings have yet to be determined.

MORE INFORMATION
Amended Specific Plan & Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report
Project Fact Sheet
About the project

Related Press-Enterprise reports:
June 19, 2015: Developer revises Arantine Hills plan
Jan. 9, 2015: Huge proposed housing project faces obstacles
Aug. 6, 2014: Corona housing develpment back on the drawing board

Arantine Hills back on drawing board

(Published June 14, 2015)

The city of Corona held two meetings in May with New Home Company, the developer who wants to make changes to the plans for Arantine Hills, the 1,600-plus home development approved by the city in July 2012. The project is located west of the I-15 in the Bedford Wash between Cajalco Road and the northern boundary of Temescal Valley.

New Home company, which purchased the development after the city’s approval, is asking for considerably less commercial retail acreage and wants to start building the homes at the same time construction begins on improvements to the Cajalco interchange. The 2012 approval was conditioned on bridge improvements being completed prior to homes being built.

During the May meetings, New Home Company told City Council members they are willing to build a smaller retail center — 80,000 square feet, outside the community’s gates at Eagle Glen Parkway and Bedford Canyon Road. New Home said there would be no family apartments, but when questioned further, said there could be senior apartments which could bring the housing total up to 1,800-plus.

In the original agreement, the developer was responsible for funding one-third of the costs for the bridge improvement — the total cost today being about $62 million. New Home now has offered to advance the entire $62 million if the city will allow construction on the bridge and the homes to begin simultaneously. While New Home can pay its share of about $21 million, city staff said there were no funds available to pay for the remaining $41 million.

If the city accepts the offer, a development agreement between the city and New Home Company will outline how the advanced fees will be repaid. City staff said the bridge was over capacity now, and the costs to make improvements would only increase the longer it takes to correct the problem. Staff also told the council no money in paybacks would come from the city’s general fund.

Temescal Valley residents speaking at both meetings cited concerns about school overcrowding, gridlock, keeping access to the Bedford Wash hiking trails open and the proximity of proposed homes to the estate-zoned parcels (one home per five acres), in the Weirick Road neighborhood.

A Weirick Road resident, whose home would be adjacent to proposed homes in the project, said he owns many horses and doesn’t want complaints about noise, odors and flies from Arantine Hills residents.

The city made it clear to the developer that it must meet with area residents to discuss their concerns. An open meeting has been scheduled 6 to 8 p.m., Monday June 15 at the Eagle Glen Golf Club’s Monument Room, 1800 Eagle Glen Parkway. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT

9 thoughts on “Court ruling due in Arantine Hills suit

  1. Tony Willard

    I’ve read many of the Comments that people had to say against the Arantine Hills Project and I am not surprise about their Comments against it. Here are some issues that are not being addressed. Temescal Valley has a set of their own Projects going on. 1.) Trevamor Project. 2.) The new Proposed Housing next to Lee Lake or Corona Lake. 3.) The new Proposed Housing in the Alberhill area. 4.) The new Proposed Industrial building at Bedford Motorway and Knabe. 5.) 54 new homes in the Hunt / Lawson neighborhood. 6.) All the new Apartments and Condo’s on Temescal Canyon Rd.
    All of the above projects will have an affect on the following. Water supply shortage, Air quality, Gridlock on the so called 15 Freeway as well as Congestion on the side streets. Also no new plans for making the 15 Freeway capable enough to handle all the new traffic that these Projects will cause.
    All these aspects plus any other aspects I may have not mentioned need to be considered. Plus any other projects that I may not know of.

    Reply
  2. Nicole

    We have lived in Eagle Glen since 1999 and expected this development. However, a couple of years ago one of the Corona Mayors told us that there will be no permit for the housing until there is a new overpass. It looks like the high density development will feed right into Eagle Glen Parkway that already accommodates all the work traffic from people who try to bypass the overcrowded I15. With Arantine Hills and all the high density housing in Dos Lagos we can’t believe the city council agreed to this. As seniors we were happy about the closeness of the Eagle Glen shopping center. However, we already can barely find a parking space. This is terrible planning.

    Reply
  3. CC

    We need a middle school and much better freeway entrance before more homes!! A Temescal Valley resident for 15 years.

    Reply
  4. Jason

    Corona Planning Commission,

    As a resident of Temescal Valley the last 7 years, I have experienced my 30 minute commute to the city of Ontario double to become over an hour – each direction. The lack of foresight and infrastructure improvement has crippled our South Corona neighborhoods’ roads and freeways to the point they have become paralyzed with bumper to bumper traffic, dangerously often backed up onto our residential streets.

    It would be extremely irresponsible of this Commission to consider additional residential development, until our traffic issues are addressed and greatly improved upon. Furthermore, the increased traffic issues are stunting existing home values, as our neighborhoods are no longer a feasible living option for those that work in Orange or Los Angeles Counties. If these traffic issues were improved upon, we would see an increase in both our home’s values and tax revenue on those increased values.

    My family loves Corona & Temescal Valley, its family atmosphere, and our wonderful neighbors. When we moved here, we never planned on moving. However, since both my wife’s and my commute has increased approximately 10 additional hours per week, we are regrettably being forced to consider relocating to an area closer to our workplaces. This is extremely regrettable as our 4 children have come to call Corona home, and our entire family has made many personal connections here.

    It is my hope that this Planning Commission addresses and completes our need for improvement to our local roads and freeways, prior to approving any building of additional residences.

    Thank you for your consideration,

    Jason Gundersen
    Homeowner, 92883

    Reply
  5. K. Smith

    Where are all the resturants. Eastvale has plenty of different places to eat and shop. We have nothing. They need to think about adding that. Where are all these children supposed to go to school? They are just adding homes for a quick buck. Doesn’t sound like they are concerned for the people that live her and how all these homes will affect us.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      We’re told by developers we do not have enough “rooftops” (homes), to support retail establishments such as restaurants. We argue, and then they pull out studies and reports to support that claim. For an owner/developer with a fairly small parcel of land — say under 20 acres, it is more profitable to build homes. Many homes — all on teeny-tiny lots.

      Reply
  6. Nita Hiltner

    It is surprising that almost 8000 more people using water would be accepted during this drought. The I-15 will be impacted, and why allow them to diminish the parkland promsed? I think for that area, a park of 30 or more acres is needed.

    Reply
  7. Linda

    This entire project should be put on the back burner until the drought is over. There isn’t enough water for the current homes and adding a significant number of new will only add to the severe shortage. It’s time our planners do a little better planning. The traffic is horrendous now and with all the new apartments on Temescal Canyon near Dos Lagos … And now add Arantine Hills … We will be totally gridlocked. THINK!!!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *