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Commission to Hold Workshop on Portola Hills Project

Residents are invited to attend a Planning Commission meeting Thursday at which commissioners will discuss the project's grading and retaining walls.

A workshop is scheduled Thursday for a city commission to discuss specific aspects of the Portola Hills development project.

The Planning Commission will consider the applicant's proposed grading and retaining wall plans during a open discussion, during which the public is invited to speak.

Approximately 930 housing units would be built under the current plan in Portola Hills.

The project would include about 10,000 square feet of commercial space and approximately 12 acres of park land. The project site is located near the intersection of Glenn Ranch and Saddleback Ranch roads, just south of the existing Portola Hills development.

Find more information about the proposed grading and design here.

According to a staff report, the goal of the workshop is to provide the commission with feedback on the proposed grading and retaining wall plans.

The meeting will consist of a discussion about the concepts, but no formal action.

For more information about the project, visit the city’s New Neighborhoods page at www.lakeforestca.gov/newneighborhoods.

Jim Gardner September 27, 2012 at 02:01 PM
It appears that come hell or high water the City is moving ahead with plans for 900+ homes in Portola Hills and another 2000+ nearby. Despite the appeals of the residents most of whom are opposed to the project, despite the errors in the EIR, and despite the traffic tsunami this will help create for everyone in the city, not just the people who live in Portola Hills. So, by all means come and see what will inevitably happen, but it's a bit like re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titantic. The real issues are the traffic and the destruction of the habitat, not the color or size of the retaining walls.
Mick September 28, 2012 at 12:23 AM
As I said once before...I was sick of thr hills and mountain views anyway. Who needs 'em.
Mick September 28, 2012 at 12:23 AM
As I said once before...I was sick of thr hills and mountain views anyway. Who needs 'em.
MisturChips September 28, 2012 at 07:34 PM
It was indeed interesting to hear the spokeshole remind the planning commision about how they're 'legally bound' etc... 800-930 homes allowed? let's make sure it's closer to 800 than 930, eh? On a second note - I see 'gated communities' as an eyesore. For some reason, though, it seems to artificially inflate property values. Move somewhere that is beautiful? great. Take somewhere that is already beautiful (minus some scourge from previous intervention), trash it, alter the land to allow cramming and stuffing of the maximum-possible unit-count? Screw you. If it were me, and I 'owned' this land, I'd simply sell it to someone else who's more trusted to do a good job. With only a 0.3% park space requirement, that is sad - more 'micro-parks' and such, but no real large areas, except a paltry 5-acre park right across the street from a beautiful preserve. 10,000 ft^2 oc commercial space? I suppose that may be enough for a tiny, tiny general store or something - we could use it (would cut traffic to FHR for minor necessities, assuming their prices are kept under control [which is easy if the developers don't over-value the land and building when it is sold]). I"m glad the 'feedback' was given on the retaining walls. I'd rather live on a sloped lot than stare at a 75 foot overgrown zig-zag of a wall.
Merijoe Axe September 28, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Sounds like Planning Commish feels like they can do whatever they want-citizens are more powerful than this crew and will not allow that, sounds like some media presence is needed. Patch? you in? Need to contact radio, TV to send the troops.
Jim Gardner September 28, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Hi Merijoe Actually I thought the Planning Commission raised good points and I think they were trying to get the developer to "do the right thing" for the city. But it seemed to me that the developer was clearly in charge and the Commissioners were "asking" rather than "telling" the speaker what to do. This particular "workshop" was focused on walls and to a lesser extent the precious little open space that will remain. In creating a "cul de sac community" as they called it, adjacent to an area with lots of people and few roads in or out, my major concern is the problem of evacuation. The developer talked a lot about the fire prevention steps they were going to take, and that's good to know, but I fear what would happen if the fire isn't prevented and all those people try to exit the "gated community". There was also some discussion about the need for stabilizing the earth, and the Commissioners pressed the developers on this point too. Bottom line - I think our Commissioners did a good job, given the limited circumstances of this situation. It's getting into this situation that is the problem. At this point the developer seems to be in charge and the process seems inevitable. I'm not sure this is correct, but it's the impression I got. Perhaps someone else who was there (Mr. Chips) can give us their impression.
Merijoe Axe September 28, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Between this and other things I have heard about the planning C. this PC doesn't do much BUT ask questions and either does what they want or does nothing, the PC should remember that they work for the citizens and are representing the citizens The developer is looking out for the developer - there is an architect who sat on the PC board recently who they should be contacting regarding this- Ken Carrell.
MisturChips September 28, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Thought I did... My take is the city is locked in some legal requirements due to flipping /swapping land to build 'the sports park' on Portola by the toll road, and now it's mostly damage control. That being said, I think they did a reasonable job at dealing with the developer spokesholes regarding walls in general (the topic of the meeting). As far as the traffic concerns on our island, I feel there is not enough interconnection to existing neighborhoods, and that SBRroad will end up like my arteries when it's all said and done. That was my first time seeing the planning commission, so I reserve any comments / feelings until I have a better grasp. Afterward, there was a very defensive gentleman attempting to shove these plans down my face who didn't seem to want to hear about how we don't want gated communities, interconnected roads, and more reasonable design. His excuse that no lot size was right at 5,000 ft^2 was that the 'usable space for placing the home' was limited on these lots because of the steps / retaining walls on each lot. If that's the case, those shouldn't be part of the homeowner's lot (and then not their responsibility to re-build them when they have faults), and more 'open space' should exist between each home. If this means the builders have to practice better design techniques, so be it. Without more involvement of the community, we will be handed another B/S sandwich and sent on our way without a beverage or napkin.
Merijoe Axe September 28, 2012 at 09:27 PM
MisturChips- I like the way you think... I will be at the next panning commish meeting on thursday 10/4!
MisturChips September 28, 2012 at 09:36 PM
10/4 like 10-4 good buddy, or is that a date? I thought the next one was on the 11th, but I may have heard wrong.
Merijoe Axe September 28, 2012 at 09:54 PM
MisturChips- whatever motivates you to get there! I will check the city calendar, I may be wrong with the day- I thought it was every 1st and 3rd thursday- whoops you're right I just looked at the calendar PC meetings are every 2nd and 4th thursday 10/11 is the next PC meet, got it confised with city counsel meets. See, I was right about your thinking! thanks
MisturChips September 28, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Glad it's not the 1st Thursday... that's the Vintage Corsa corvair club meeting night! Heh. Either way, if I can help out, it would be good to have a get togerher before-hand to discuss a strategy etc. perhaps that's already being done on the facebook group I heard about last night.
Merijoe Axe September 28, 2012 at 10:51 PM
MisturChips-what FB group? I wanna join!
MisturChips September 28, 2012 at 11:10 PM
I'll have to play back my recording of the meeting to find it. A very nice lady mentioned it to me near the end. downloading now Is there a way to PM someone here?

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