Is the City Council Looking Out for Residents Interests?

The City Council is elected by the voters. The City Council chooses a City Manager, and oversees expenditures and City priorities and policies.

The City Council also has the option or obligation, depending on your perspective, to look out for the interests of the residents in a broader realm.

For example, under the last City Council, La Habra Heights joined surrounding communities to form HOSEC, the Hillside Open Space Education Committee, to preserve strategic hillside areas, such as the 3000 acres proposed to be developed by AERA.

Since the 2007 Election, the City Council has taken a turn.

Long time city staff have been replaced by more expensive, part-time, or contract workers.

Ushered in has been a focus on weakening the development code, weakening view protection, and removing grading and hardscape limits for benefit of land subdividers, builders and developers; at the expense of residents property rights and property values.

Lost in the shuffle has been looking out for the broader interests of residents.

Below are examples of issues of interest to, or affecting, residents:

Issues and Actions

City Action
Action by Others
Power Line & Tower Expansion
Pending at the Public Utility Commission is a plan by Edison to install 500kv power lines & 18 story high towers along the northern city border. This will be a huge visual and sound blight.More info here Sent a letter in 2007 Cities and agencies have opposed this or asked for mitigation or rerouting. Example: Chino Hills City Council voted $600,000 for an attorney and actions to reroute the lines.
Los Angeles - Orange County Border Revision
Orange County and Los Angeles County have been negotiating minor changes to the border to account for natural borders and ability to provide services.See the LAFCO Report here.

This is an opportunity to have the Los Angeles County islands east of City Hall, annexed into La Habra/Orange County, where they better blend with the neighborhood and could receive services from La Habra.

The alternative is possible eventual annexation into La Habra Heights where they are incompatible, and would greatly dilute the voter support for our rural lifestyle and acre zoning.

If no action is taken now, who knows when the counties will revisit border adjustment.

None Known
Cities on the Los Angeles and Orange Counties borders have been involved to serve the interests of their residents and more efficient provision of services.
Industry Stadium and Shopping Center
A Football Stadium and 3 million square foot Shopping Center is proposed in the City of Industry, at the intersection of the 57 and 60 Freeways.

It is on fast track for approval.

The City of La Habra Heights could (have) comment on the draft EIR as to adequecy of traffic management, request additional freeway lanes be built.and/or other congestion reduction mitigation.

If more traffic is added to this gridlocked area, it will increase travel time for Heights residents and divert commuters to Hacienda Rd and Harbor Blvd seeking alternatives to the 57 and 60 Freeways.

This likelihood was seen in full impact when the 57 Freeway was closed during the Brea/Yorba Linda fire on November 15/16, 2008. Harbor Blvd and Hacienda Rd became gridlocked with diverted traffic.

None Known
Surrounding Cities, including Walnut, Rowland Heights, Diamond Bar, have opposed the project, had meetings to inform their residents, and/or requested more time to read the complex Environmental Impact Report in order to respond.

All are concerned with traffic impacts.

New Septic Tank Regulations
The State Water Resources Control Board has released proposed regulations for septic tanks, including additional measures for those within 600 feet of impaired water bodies,required inspections, and minimum depths to seasonal high groundwater.The Board had previously sought input in creating the regs. See the proposed regulations here.

The City Council should review the proposed regulations, inform residents and offer comments to the Water Board if any beneficial changes should be made

None Known
Meetings are being held to take public input across the State.
Proposal to Widen Harbor Blvd to 6 Lanes with a Bus Route
An Intercounty Transportation Study shows a proposal to widen Harbor Blvd to 6 Lanes, with a Bus Route. See details here

The Plan still must be approved by the OCTA and Metro Boards at their January 2009 meetings.

None Known A number of meeting were held, with the item on the agenda, with La Habra Heights Council member in attendance.
Plans to add lanes to Hacienda Blvd & Fullerton Rd just outside City Limits
The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and MTA presented plans to add a NB lane on Hacienda Blvd, at Colima, and a SB lane on Fullerton Rd at Pathfinder. Plan can be found here

City Representatives on SCAG are Layne Baroldi and Howard Vipperman.

Adding additional lanes on roads into and out of LHH increases traffic through the City and pressure for us to add more lanes.

Our representatives should be looking out for impacts on our city and opposing such plans.

None Known The Plan was approved in June 2008.
rhna water