Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My solution to Carbon Canyon overcrowding

I often drive through Carbon Canyon - an act that in and of itself probably irritates the local residents - and I've seen the various signs protesting some new development or another.

Well, I predict that signs will be going up again, based upon what I read in the Carbon Canyon Chronicle:

As reported in this week's Chino Hills Champion, "a plan to build 117 custom homes at Carbon Canyon Road and Canyon Hills Road is on the horizon. A pre-application for the project was submitted to Chino Hills for the gate-guarded community project . . ." Unfortunately, nothing more was said in this tidbit regarding the exact location, the developer, or any other information, other than that there is a proposed traffic signal for this intersection....

Combining this project with some other proposed projects, you get some interesting math:

[A]ssuming that all four projects pan out and are built, means that there are potentially 319 (yes, 319, or some 650 cars and about 1,000 people!) houses that could be built on the Chino Hills side, 174 of which are already approved and some of which are now built. While the Canyon Crest development, planned for 165 units, in Brea has stalled because the developer has not come up with the money for fund further environmental review study called for after the Freeway Complex fire last November, that project would raise the number to 484 houses that could be built someday and about 1,000 cars and some 1,500 or more people.

Existing residents aren't happy:

This, in a canyon that has a two-lane highway not built for this kind of suburban use, a vanishing wildland habitat, an extreme and growing fire risk, in an era when basic infrastructure relating to water, school, refuse disposal, and others are increasingly becoming harder to acquire and maintain. One can only hope that environmental impact reports for any future projects not already approved will demonstrate beyond a doubt that Carbon Canyon simply cannot keep accomodating housing development any longer without radically altering the fundamental nature of the Canyon.

It all sounds like a wonderful argument, except for one teeny tiny little fact -

Most of the homes in Carbon Canyon are less than 100 years old.

This isn't a situation in which a community was established early in the 20th century, remained stable, and then all of a sudden was invaded by evil developers. Many of the current canyon residents came into the area based upon previous developers who built homes and communities in the space, threatening wildlife and increasing the fire risk.

If people were truly dedicated to preserving the beauty of Carbon Canyon, then they'd agree to raze all homes built after 1951.

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