Oak Hills Property Owners Association

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Our Mission

The Oak Hills Property Owners Association is a non-profit organization comprised of local residents who are concerned with the rapid growth within the Oak Hills Planning Area and its potential adverse effect on our "rural lifestyle." Our mission: to present a unified voice for our community to local government, see to it that developers adhere to the Oak Hills Community Plan as it relates to land use issues.


OHPOA Board of Directors
Public Meeting


Thursday, May 1, 2014
7:00 P.M.
Oak Hills Community Center
(Fire Station # 40)
6584 Caliente Road, Oak Hills







Oak Hills, California



Click for Oak Hills, California Forecast




Welcome

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Welcome to the Oak Hills Property Owners Association website.

Here you can view information on proposed changes to our community. Some of these changes will impact our rural way of life for better or worse. Join us and get involved.

To our current members; we thank you, each and everyone, for your membership and your continuing support to keep our community rural.

"Keep It Rural"


Measles Cases on the Rise in California

posted - April 5, 2014


The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has received reports of 51 confirmed measles cases in California residents so far this year. Cases have occurred throughout California. Only four measles cases had been reported through the end of April 2013.

Measles Case Distribution by County

County

Cases with onset in 2014

Alameda

2

Contra Costa

4

Los Angeles

10

Orange

21

Riverside

5

San Diego

4

San Mateo

4

Santa Clara

1

More information can be found on the California Department of Public Health web site by clicking here.



Help shape San Bernardino County's renewable energy future

posted - April 2, 2014

To view the news release in full window click here



Road Dust Problems Around Oak Hills High School

posted - March 21, 2014(latest update)


Note: This is a copy of the latest email sent out by Jim Babinski to update those who had signed up to receive such updates regarding the dust problem around Oak Hills High School. If you'd like to receive these email updates, please contact him directly by email at jimbabinski@verizon.net.

Oak Hills Residents,

I would like to ask for some help regarding the traffic and dust situation around Oak Hills High School. I received an indication from Supervisor's Lovingood's office that the dirt roads around the High School would receive addition enforcement from the CHP, County Sheriff, and the School Police for a few days during the month of March. I did see a CHP unit parked on Ranchero and Cataba on Wednesday at 7:30 AM (School starts at 8:15 AM on Wed. and 7:30 AM the rest of the week), I also saw a CHP unit parked Cataba and El Centro on Thursday at 2:30 PM when school gets out. I have not seen any other enforcement and the School is on Spring Break next week. My observation is that the dust and possibly the traffic has been reduced slightly since the last rain. The roads are in poor condition and this might explain the reduction in traffic.

If any of the residents have seen any other enforcement activities in the last 2 weeks please email me with the details. Also, please include in your email, your recent experiences with the volumes of dust and traffic around the High School. This information would be very helpful toward resolving this issue and you will remain anonymous. Thank you!

I have received no other communications from the County Supervisor's Office, the School District or the Mojave District Air Quality Board; regarding signage, County Traffic study, or the paving of Coyote Trail.

Jim Babinski
760-953-7814
jimbabinski@verizon.net



Compliments, Thanks & Appreciations

posted - March 19, 2014


High Desert Section of the Victor Valley Daily Press, Letters to the Editor March 18, 2014

We've received many emails expressing appreciation regarding our victory over the proposed solar farm in the community. We really enjoy hearing from our membership and concerned others.

Knowing that our efforts are appreciated motivates us to do even better and we will continue to keep our "ear to the ground" to help insure our rural lifestyle.

Remember, our efforts are your efforts and vice-versa. We cannot have a strong voice in our community without your support.

If you'd like to contact us with a concern or comment, we can be contacted at OHPOANews@aol.com.



March 12, 2014

Dear Oak Hills Community Members,

I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank every member of this community who contributed to the success of the solar appeal being denied yesterday.

The results of the unanimous Board of Supervisor's vote ends a long road of the tireless effort of so many people. It also supports what the OHPOA has been saying for a long time, "There is power in numbers".

Oak Hills has established a reputation for not being hesitant or complacent when facing any negative issue that presents itself as a threat to the community. The way this community immediately stood up, faced and actively responded to this very real threat is a perfect example of how that reputation was earned.

Getting the Planning Commission to unanimously deny the solar project was an outstanding battle to win. Having the Board of Supervisor's unanimously deny the appeal of the solar project meant we finally WON THE WAR!

You have all made me extremely happy and grateful to be a part of this community.

Thank you again and remember to KEEP IT RURAL!!!

Terry Kostak



Supervisors reject solar developer's appeal for Oak Hills site

The Civic Bee
Jim E. Winburn
Wednesday, March 12, 2014

OAK HILLS - The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously rejected a solar developer's appeal to build and operate a 20-acre solar facility in the community of Oak Hills.

THE CIVIC BEE

Supervisors turned down the appeal by Sycamore Physicians Partners, an Ohio-based solar project developer, which upholds the Planning Commission's decision to deny a conditional use permit for a 2.7 megawatt photovoltaic solar power generating facility in the unincorporated county area south and west of Hesperia.

The proposed site was in a rural living land use district on the northeast corner of Fuente Avenue and El Centro Road - too close for comfort for many residents who took an aggressive stand against the project.

Terry Kostak, president of the Oak Hills Property Owners Association, told the Bee that fellow residents joined together to lobby elected officials, to testify at all public hearings, and to raise awareness in neighboring communities against this ill-advised project from being built in residents' backyards.

"Everyone's hard work really made a difference in the outcome of what happened today," Kostak said in an email to the Bee on Tuesday. "Oak Hills has truly become one huge 'neighborhood' with neighbors looking out for neighbors."

The Sycamore Physicians Partners' proposed project was denied by the Planning Commission in September 2013.

According to Planning's denial findings, attention was given to public comment from the Planning Commission's Aug. 8, 2013, public hearing, where "many speakers expressed concerns about land use compatibility, given the location of the project site in an area surrounded by rural residential uses."

The commission's findings revealed that these compatibility concerns extended to "aesthetic qualities and a variety of potential impacts on the surrounding neighborhood."

It was noted in the findings that the City of Hesperia also had taken a formal position against the project "due to inconsistency with the city's plan for its sphere of influence."

Based on the testimony provided at the Aug. 8 hearing, the Planning Commission found that the project's proposed use of development was not consistent with the policies and standards of the county's General Plan and the Oak Hills Community Plan.

The commission specifically noted the project would be inconsistent with the Oak Hills Community Plan's goal to "retain the existing rural desert character of the community," while also "respect(ing) the existing positive characteristics of the community and its natural environment."


Visit THE CIVIC BEE by clicking here




Today, March 11, the County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to deny Sycamore Physicians Partners' appeal for a Conditional Use Permit to establish a 2.7 megawatt photovoltaic solar power generating facility here in our community.

Everyone did a good job seeing this through.

Power in numbers!

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!



YOUR COMMUNITY SUPPORT IS NEEDED!!!

Now is NOT the time to become passive and complacent just because the County Planning Commission voted unanimously to deny the proposed solar project in Oak Hills back in September.

As you should be aware of, the solar applicants filed an appeal to that decision and the County Board of Supervisors will be conducting a Public Hearing to review the denial and come up with their decision to either allow the denial to stand OR reverse the denial and approve the solar project.

We have been told that is not necessary for all of the letters and documents that were previously submitted to the planning department and commission to be duplicated. The Board of Supervisors is supposed to have been given all of that information to use in their review.

It IS necessary for a POWERFUL show of COMMUNITY SUPPORT for an appeal DENIAL!!!

We have only very recently been informed that the solar applicants, Sycamore Physicians Partners, submitted a "revision" of their project to the County. They have attempted to make it appear that this revision was done out of their concern for our community. NOT TRUE!!! By all indications, one of the two Purchase Agreements they had with Southern California Edison has been cancelled. One remaining Purchase Agreement is still in force.

This action on their part DOES NOT change any of our reasons for opposition of the project. The planning staff even agrees with that statement and is still recommending denial of the project in their staff report and is supporting the Planning Commissions 5-0 denial vote. There is NO GUARANTEE that the Supervisors will approve the denial and not side with the applicant.

The hearing is being held in the Covington Chambers of the Board of Supervisors on the First Floor of the County Government Center at 385 N. Arrowhead Ave in San Bernardino. The public portion of the meeting begins at 10 A.M. on Tuesday, March 11, 2014.

You may also participate in the hearing from the teleconference center located on the Second Floor of the Jerry Lewis High Desert Government Center, 15900 Smoke Tree St. in Hesperia. It is just across the street from Hesperia City Hall. This location uses interactive video to communicate live with the Board of Supervisor's meeting.

At either location you may opt to speak up to 3 minutes when Agenda Item #68 is being discussed during Public Comment. If you do not wish to speak, you may just fill out a comment card prior to the item being discussed to get your opposition on record. There will be county staff and experienced OHPOA members at both locations to assist you if you have questions or concerns.

We ABSOLUTELY need to have as many people as possible show up in person at the appeal hearing.
We ask that you wear a green shirt or blouse, if possible, to show we are a cohesive group.
Remember!!! There is power in numbers!!!

I'm hoping to see two PACKED HOUSES on Tuesday.

See you there!!! Terry Kostak,
President,
Oak Hills Property Owners (OHPOA)


County Government Center - San Bernardino

South on I-15 S toward San Bernardino

Keep left to continue on I-215 S

Take the West 5th Street exit toward California 66

Turn left onto 5th St/John Knabenbauer Fifth Street Memorial Bridge

Turn right onto N Arrowhead Ave
Destination will be on the left
385 N Arrowhead Ave, San Bernardino

Jerry Lewis High Desert Government Center - Hesperia

Second Floor of the Jerry Lewis High Desert Government Center, 15900 Smoke Tree St., Hesperia.



Contacting The Planning Director Prior To The County Board of Supervisors' Appeal Hearing

Those wishing to give their continued opposition, in writing, to the proposed Sycamore Physicians Solar Project or make other comments, may do so be emailing Terri Rahhal, Planning Director at Terri.Rahhal@lus.sbcounty.gov.

Your emails must be received by her no later than Monday, March 10 by 5 p.m.



To view this posting in a full window click here



Road Dust Problems Around Oak Hills High School

posted - February 25, 2014(latest update)


Note: This is a copy of the latest email sent out by Jim Babinski to update those who had signed up to receive such updates regarding the dust problem around Oak Hills High School. If you'd like to receive these email updates, please contact him directly by email at jimbabinski@verizon.net.

Oak Hills Residents:

On Feb. 18 we made a presentation to the School Board. (You can view the presentation online at www.hesperia.org -under ABOUT HUSD, select- Meetings, Minutes, Agendas) The presentation went well and the School board was very attentive, but made no comment and asked no questions. The Mojave Desert Air Quality District, sent a letter to the School Superintendent asking to meet to discuss the issue and that meeting has taken place. We attended the MDAQMD meeting on Monday Feb. 24 and the Oak Hills High School Dust issue was discussed as an agenda item. Based on this meeting I believe that the MDAQMD, Supervisor Lovingood's Office, and the Hesperia Unified School district all have recognized the severity of the problem and are looking at both short and long term solutions.

These short term solutions might included signage on the dirt roads limiting speeds to 15 MPH, improved enforcement, education flyers from the MDAQMD regarding the dangers of dust and distributing these flyers to the parents at the Schools, and the intersection improvements at Ranchero and Escondido. Longer term solutions included research into the Environmental Impact Reports (EIR) that were done prior to the construction of the School, Specifically, why those traffic circulation conditions were not met. Also, discussions at the State level regarding the EIR traffic circulation issues and to determine if funding is available to paved some of the dirt roads near the High School as originally recommended. As we mentioned previously, Coyote Trail from El Centro to Cedar was to be paved. The County, through Supervisor Lovingood's Office, has provided us with documentation indicating that County felt some urgency in paving this stretch of dirt road and completed 95% of required planning and purchased a number of private properties necessary for the paving. Based on this documentation, the paving of Coyote Tr. was to be completed by the Summer of 2011. That never happened because the Hesperia School District did not approve a shared funding agreement with the County.

We are planning to meet with the Sheriff's Dept., the CHP, and perhaps the School Police to discuss traffic enforcement near the School. MDAQMD and County staff has expressed an interest in attending that meeting. We will also try to get the Hesperia Unified School District representation to attend.

I will continue to use the "blind copy" process to assure that the 70 or so email addresses are not made public. This was at the requested of some of the residents. I have added members of the School District and the MDAQMD to the list in the interest of keeping everyone informed on the issue. I would also like thank Terry Kostak (President, Oak Hills Property Owners Association) for her extensive work on this issue and Dave & Cathy Blevins for their work particularly with law enforcement and documentation.

If you have questions or comments, please email me. Thanks

Jim Babinski
jimbabinski@verizon.net



In their effort to reverse the county planning commission's unanimous denial of the Sycamore Physician's proposed solar project to be located in an residential area of Oak Hills, the applicants filed for an appeal hearing in front of the Board of Supervisors.

The OHPOA learned yesterday, February 6, that the appeal has been scheduled to take place on March 11, 2014.

Please be assured that we will have additional information posted here soon.



Important information about your 2014 fire tax bill

posted February 6, 2014

Cal Fire is preparing to mail the next round of fire tax bills to people in the so-called State Responsibility Area. CalFire will bill you every year until the class action lawsuit is won.

Some people have already begun to ask whether they should protest their bill again. If you filed the Petition for Redetermination last year according to the instructions on FireTaxProtest.org, and you received a denial, you will have to file your protest again.

The lawsuit continues to wind its way through the process and we will be in touch with more information when it becomes available. Please be patient as lawsuits typically take a long time.



Hesperia Planning Commission Meeting January 23
Primaco: Ranchero/I15 Interchange Hotels, Restaurants and Golf Course Project

posted - January 17, 2014


For those who are interested or have concerns about the proposed Ranchero Interchange Hotel project, please click here to view the agenda.



Primaco Project Site Plan

posted - January 4, 2014


Here is the most current site plan for the proposed Primaco Inc. project which includes 2 hotels, 3 restaurants, 9-hole executive golf course and clubhouse.

The area for this project is west of the I15 freeway at the new Ranchero Interchange.

Click here to view the site plan. The file is rather large and may take some time to download.



OHPOA Endorses Road Dust Petition

posted - December 11, 2013


Issues concerning the Fugitive Dust Problems caused by increasing traffic using dirt roads surrounding Oak Hills High School

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Problem:
Each School Day hundreds of vehicles use dirt roads to get to Oak Hills High School, resulting in intolerable amounts of "fugitive dust" spreading throughout the Oak Hills Area including the School itself. While some dirt roads may be exempt from some local fugitive dust rules they are not exempt from state nuisance laws regarding fugitive dust or visible airborne dust emissions rules.

- When Oak Hills High School was opened in 2010 inadequate consideration was given to providing paved access roads to the High School. After the High School was opened, El Centro St. was paved from Coyote Trail east to Escondido Ave. which helped take some of the traffic off of the dirt roads.

- Unpaved dirt roads are used by hundreds of vehicles every morning and afternoon as they attempt to bypass long traffic jams on the paved roads. These dirt roads include Coyote Trail, Cataba Road, El Centro St. (west of the school), and a number of other roads surrounding the school.

- In addition to vehicle traffic on the dirt roads students walk or use bicycles to and from home using these dirt roads, creating a breathing hazard for the students.

- Many residents of Oak Hills assumed that a one mile section Coyote Trail would be paved from Cedar Avenue in Hesperia to the High School since the road was used to bury the utilities supporting the High School.

- San Bernardino County and Hesperia Unified School District (HUSD) had discussed a cost-sharing plan to pave the one-mile section of Coyote Trail. San Bernardino County has spent thousands of dollars and has indicated that have completed 95% of the design and right of way issues required to pave the road. However, HUSD backed out of funding their portion of the agreement.

- The majority of students come from housing tracts in the City of Hesperia north of the High School. The most direct route from these housing tracts in Hesperia to the High School is via these dirt roads. Vehicle backups on paved routes to the High School can add 20 minutes time to a relatively short commute, enticing drivers to use the dirt roads.

- School bound drivers frequently exceed 20 mph creating dangerous situations at uncontrolled intersections and have damaged resident's fencing numerous times. Fugitive dust generated by all this vehicle traffic affects residents who live in the area, Oak Hills High School itself and the High Desert in general.

- While rains in the winter months can somewhat easy the problem, fall and spring months result in choking dust for several hours each school day.

- Inhaled dust can contain crystalline silica, heavy metals, disease spores, as well as a number of other naturally occurring or man-made chemicals. When inhaled, dust particles can easily travel to deep parts of the lungs and remain there, causing respiratory illness, lung damage and even premature death in sensitive individuals.

- We are asking the Mojave Desert air quality management District to review the situation and provide relief from the fugitive dust problem and potential health issues.


Possible solutions include but are not limited to: (some of these solutions will required cooperation between the City of Hesperia, The Hesperia Unified School District and the County of San Bernardino)

- Continue with the planned paving of Coyote Trail. Thousands of dollars have already been spent on design and right-of-way work for the paving of this one-mile route and paving it would provide direct access to housing tracts in the City of Hesperia where a large portion of the students live.

- Place traffic control personnel at the corners of El Centro St. and Escondido Ave. and at Mesquite St. and Escondido Ave. at the heaviest school traffic times in the morning before school and after school. This could have a dramatic effect of decreasing traffic backups and ultimately reduce traffic and dust from the dirt roads.

- Consider paving of other routes including Cataba Rd. north of the High School, and Mesquite St., between Cataba Rd. and Escondido Ave.

- Stagger High School starting times in order to allow traffic to more easily use pave routes without traffic backups and delays.

- Utilize water trucks on the most heavily used dirt roads just prior to the start of school and again and just prior to the end of the school day. These dirt roads would include Coyote Trail and Cataba Rd. north of the school.

- Close these dirt roads off entirely from 7 AM to 8 AM and again from 2 PM to 3 PM each school day. On Wednesdays road shut downs would occur between 7:45 and 8:30 AM. due to a later school start time. As an alternate to closing the roads, restrict traffic access through signage during the same times as listed above.

Contact: Jim Babinski
760-948-7973
jimbabinski@verizon.net

Click here for the flyer.

Click here for the petition.



The Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the new solar ordinance today, December 3, that will enable the moratorium to be lifted. It will be on the consent calendar and adopted at their next meeting on December 17, 2013.

We will be discussing what this new ordinance will mean to Oak Hills at our OHPOA monthly board meeting on Thursday, December 5.

The ordinance can be viewed by clicking here.

When viewing the new ordinance document, please note the portions printed in red are the new additions to the ordinance and the portions lined out in red are what has been removed.



Sand and Sandbag Distribution Facilities

Have you ever wondered where you would get sand and/or sandbags to help stop the water if flooding occurred on or around your property?

Click here for a list of local fire stations that have supplies.



Solar Update

SB County Planning adopts draft ordinance to amend solar regulations

written by Jim E. Winburn - The Civic Bee

Original article - http://civicbee.com/2013/10/19/sb-county-planning-adopts-draft-ordinance-to-amend-solar-regulations/

SAN BERNARDINO - The county Planning Commission on Thursday approved a major draft ordinance that takes the first step in overhauling the countywide development code for solar energy facilities.

The proposed Solar Energy Ordinance was approved unanimously by commissioners and now will go before the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, intending to "amend regulations expeditiously to end the temporary moratorium," according to a staff report by Terri Rahhal, the county's planning director for the Land Use Services Department.

The proposed Solar Energy Ordinance is intended to amend San Bernardino County Development Code for solar energy generation facilities, requiring approval standards that will "guide appropriate siting, protect sensitive natural resources, safeguard existing and future neighborhoods and rural residential uses, and promote a vibrant tourist economy," the report said.

Rahhal summarized the Planning Commission's public hearing for the Civic Bee, saying about 20 members of the public made comments on the draft ordinance, "and all their comments will become part of the record for review by the Board of Supervisors."

She also said that staff will compile all the letters and minutes from the Planning Commission meeting and will prepare a summary report to review with the board of supervisors in a few weeks.

County officials said Tuesday, Dec. 17, would serve as a tentative date for the board of supervisors to consider the proposed ordinance. Staff then will present the draft ordinance, along with all the public comments and input from the Planning Commission, according to Felisa Cardona (CAO), the county's deputy public information officer.

* * *

The proposed ordinance is only the first step toward a long-term process for the renewable energy plan required for the county's Renewable Energy Element (slated for completion by the end of 2014) - which is to establish "a comprehensive body of policies and standards to guide all development of renewable energy in the county," according to the staff report.

The county received $700,000 in grant funding from the California Energy Commission to prepare a Renewable Energy Element for the County General Plan - with companion regulations for the development code.

According to Rahhal's staff report, the board of supervisors directed that "an ordinance amending the commercial solar energy project development regulations of the development code be proposed to end the moratorium within six months."

The board adopted a temporary moratorium on the approval of commercial solar energy generation projects on June 12, while county staff drafts proposed amendments to the renewable energy chapter of the development code. The moratorium on approving solar projects was extended on July 23 for 10 months and 15 days.

The proposed ordinance contains supplemental requirements for approving commercial solar energy facilities, along with development standards and application process requirements to "ensure compatibility of the project with surrounding properties and adequate notification of surrounding property owners," according to the report.

In fact, among the provisions of the proposed ordinance are requirements that affirm appropriate siting and screening (if required to maintain compatibility with existing communities and residential areas), as well as consistency with "sphere city policies and standards."

Of particular concern regarding a city's sphere of influence is the Sycamore Physicians Partners solar project planned for Oak Hills.

The permit for the 2.7-megawatt photovoltaic solar facility on 20 acres was denied by the San Bernardino County Planning Commission in September, with the action report concluding that not enough evidence was introduced to show the project would not have a "significant impact on the environment, specifically with regard to scenic resources."

Though Sycamore Physicians Partners have recently appealed the commission's decision (hoping to reverse the denial at a future board of supervisors meeting yet to be announced), the City of Hesperia has told the county that it is opposed to "solar farms within residential or agricultural zones," and that development requirements within the unincorporated area of Oak Hills falls within Hesperia's municipal sphere of influence - thus holding any proposed solar projects to the city's own development restrictions.

Hesperia adopted a resolution on Aug. 20, expressing its opposition to the proposed solar farm in Oak Hills, declaring the project was "inconsistent with the city's regulations."

Dave Reno, principal planner of Hesperia's Planning Department, suggested that language in the county's ordinance be revised to reflect the city's position on solar projects in its sphere of influence.

"As we discussed, Finding No. 30 (of the ordinance) says, 'When located within a city's sphere of influence, the proposed commercial solar energy facility is consistent with relevant city requirements that would be applied to similar facilities within the city,'" Reno said in an email to Land Use Services Department Senior Planner Chris Conner - an email that was shared with the Civic Bee by a concerned Oak Hills resident. "While this finding can certainly be interpreted to include development requirements, such as landscaping or screening, it may not be construed to include zoning regulations for prohibited uses. This finding should be revised to make this clear that zoning regulations for permitted or prohibited uses are given consideration when reviewing a proposed solar project."

* * *

According to the Newberry Springs Community Alliance website, http://newberryspringsinfo.com, "the proposed code enhancements will have a significant and direct impact upon Newberry Springs' future regarding solar power installations."

Newberry Springs residents are upset over a recently-completed 27-acre solar farm constructed in a residential area of their community - which prompted the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors to impose the current moratorium on future solar project applications. Residents were outraged after the project's new owners increased the size of the photovoltaic panels from about seven feet in height to about 27 feet tall.

The Community Alliance said that though the Planning staff's proposal extends safeguards to neighborhoods and rural residential uses, it disappoints with several omissions.

"Despite the Community Alliance speaking at the workshop held on the subject on September 10, 2013, requesting that wind energy generation be included in the solar energy ordinance, only a brief mention (page 7, line 44) is commercial wind facilities briefly noted," the alliance stated. "This is actually counterproductive in differentiating a separation between wind and solar; whereby, wind energy production facilities is not later mentioned in the ordinance."

The Community Alliance also observed that the proposed draft ordinance omits notices of application for approval of commercial solar energy facilities being sent to communities that operate under a Community Service District, mandating only that notices "be provided to the Municipal Advisory Council for the area."

The public may view the Solar Energy Ordinance online at http://www.sbcounty.gov/uploads/lus/PC/SolarOrdiancePC10-17-13.pdf, which outlines the proposed amendments to the county's development code on renewable energy generation facilities.



A Message From The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association:
Attention Rural Homeowners Subject to the Fire Tax

posted - October 8, 2013

Fire Tax Protest Update:

You may need to take further action to secure your opportunity for a refund.

As you know, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is in the process of suing the state, asking the court to order refunds of what we believe to be an illegal tax.

We have been urging those paying the tax (the state calls it a "fee") to appeal the fee by filing a Petition for Redetermination. If HJTA is victorious in court, it will be easier to secure refunds for those who have filed the Petition for Redetermination.

Until now, we have been advising those who filed the Petition after receiving last year's bill that it would not be necessary to file again when paying this year's bill.

While we believe our recommendation to be correct, a Cal Fire Public Relations Representative is saying that people should send in a Petition for Redetermination for this year's bill, even if they filed previously.

In the interest of caution, then, we are now telling property owners that they should protest every billing by filing a new Petition for Redetermination each time.

If you need more information, copies of the forms to be submitted and the addresses to which they should be mailed, please go to firetaxprotest.org.



Sycamore Physicians Partners
(Oak Hills Solar Farm)
Appeal Application

Below are links to the appeal application and additional information that was submitted by Sycamore Physicians Partners in their attempt to have the unanimous Planning Commission denial vote for their solar project reversed at a future Board of Supervisors meeting.

Public Notice will go out when the agenda item is calendared.

We will be posting additional information as it becomes available.

Appeal Application

Additional Information/History Letter



Illegal Fire Tax - Information and Protest Instructions

posted - October 4, 2013

Please go to www.firetaxprotest.org for information and protest instructions regarding the recently received fire fee/tax bill from the State Board of Equalization. Click on the blue "Complete Petition" button when you have accessed the site. You will also be able to download the protest petition.

We advise that you do pay the bill on time, along with filing the protest petition, so you are not penalized for not doing so. Penalty fines can be recorded against your property if you do not pay.

The class action lawsuit declaring the fee as an illegal tax is working its way through the Court system which will take time.



PLEASE BE ADVISED...

The Oak Hills solar project applicants, Sycamore Physicians Partners, filed an appeal to overturn the Planning Commission's denial of their project yesterday, September 27th.

The appeal will be heard in front of the Board of Supervisors. The hearing date has not been scheduled yet.

Once again strong support, from the Oak Hills community, will be needed to make sure the denial stands.

More information will follow as it becomes available.



Solar Energy Project Moratorium Progress Report

posted - September 26, 2013


Click here to view the report.



BREAKING NEWS!

The Planning Commission today voted unanimously
(5-0) to DENY the Oak Hills solar project!

The applicants stated they will be filing an appeal to the Board of Supervisors.

More details to follow.



County Planning Releases September 19th Agenda

Recommendation To Deny Oak Hills Solar Farm

posted - September 14, 2013


On September 19th, the County Planning Commission will revisit the application for a conditional use permit by Sycamore Physicians Partners for their proposed Oak Hills Solar Farm.

This time the commission will vote on the recommendation to deny the permit.

The agenda can be viewed here.

The recommendation for denial of the conditional use permit can be viewed here.



County Releases September 10th Solar Workshop Agenda

posted - September 9, 2013

This is a 4 page document, click here to view it.




Citizens invited to participate in solar energy workshop

posted - August 31, 2013

To view the news release in full window click here



The Great California ShakeOut

posted - August 26, 2013

Millions of people worldwide will practice how to Drop, Cover, and Hold On at 10:17 a.m. on October 17 during Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills, which began in California in 2008.

Participating is a great way for your family to be prepared to survive and recover quickly from big earthquakes- wherever you live, work, or travel.

Click here for more information.


City of Hesperia's Resolution Opposing
Oak Hills Solar Farm

posted - August 16, 2013

Hesperia's City Council will vote on a resolution regarding their opposition to the Oak Hills solar project which will then be forwarded to the County. The resolution is on the city council agenda for August 20, 2013 and is listed as item #10 under New Business.

Click here for a full view of the resolution



OHPOA RECEIVES
CONFIRMATION of DENIAL!

The OHPOA wants everyone in opposition to the local proposed solar project to know that we have received information yesterday from the County Planning Director which confirmed the Planning Commission did positively, unanimously vote (5-0) to deny the solar project at their August 8, 2013 meeting. They also requested a continuance of the item to September 19, 2013 in order to have the county planning staff prepare, in writing, the negative findings to support their denial votes.

The September 19th Planning Commission meeting is a public meeting. It will be up to the chairperson of the commission to decide whether or not public comments will be accepted. It is not an absolute necessity for you to either attend and/or speak at the meeting. The OHPOA is not telling you that you should not attend the meeting or fill out a speaker's card to speak when/if the chairperson decides to allow public comments. We are only saying that we feel it is not necessary because your comments are already on record. By speaking that day, you may be only delaying the actions of the commission that day to officially finalize and record their denial of the project. There will be OHPOA board members who will be in attendance to help insure the proper and expected outcome.

After the September 19th planning commission meeting, the project applicants will have 10 days in which to file an appeal to have the project brought before the Board of Supervisors in hopes of reversing the denial to an approval. If an appeal is filed, Public Notice will go out to those originally notified of the proposed project and to those who have since then officially requested to be notified regarding such events. It could take six weeks or longer for the appeal to be calendared on a Board of Supervisors' agenda.

We have won a huge battle at the planning commission level, but we will have not won the war until the Supervisors vote to deny the appeal if one is filed.

If an appeal is to be heard in front of the Supervisors, we will again launch actions to voice our opposition. That will also be the time for all of you to again begin submitting your comments to the County.

The City of Hesperia will have an item on their agenda at their next city council meeting, Tuesday, August 20, 2013, regarding their opposition to the solar project. They will produce a resolution accentuating their opposition which will be forwarded to the County. Attendance at that meeting to show our appreciation of their support would be very appropriate and welcomed.

The OHPOA Board Members would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has participated in the opposition battle thus far. Please refer to the OHPOA website often to keep aware of any new information.

I cannot express enough how extremely proud I am of the residents of Oak Hills and the community as a whole for stepping up to the plate to defend our community in its time of need.

Thank you!

Terry Kostak
President,
Oak Hills Property Owners Association (OHPOA)



Planning Commission moves to deny request to build Oak Hills solar farm

The Sun

By Joe Nelson, Staff Writer

August 8, 2013

The San Bernardino County Planning Commission unanimously voted Thursday to deny a permit to an out-of-state investor group of physicians to build a 20-acre solar farm in the High Desert community of Oak Hills. The commission continued the item until its Sept. 19 meeting, where it will adopt findings backing its denial of the permit, county spokesman David Wert said. Ohio-based Sycamore Physicians Partners wants to build the unmanned facility in a residential area bound by Fir Street, El Centro Road, Fuente Avenue and Bandicoot Trail, in the unincorporated area of Oaks Hills, nestled between the Cajon Summit and Hesperia The solar farm would include 54 rows of photovoltaic solar panels on fixed tilt systems and would generate enough electricity to power all the homes in Oak Hills and on the southern rim of Hesperia. The facility would connect to the local electricity grid via an existing Southern California Edison line. Bruce Barnett, the environmental consultant retained by Sycamore Physicians Partners, said his client will appeal to the Board of Supervisors. The project is being opposed by Oak Hills homeowners and the city of Hesperia. Homeowners believe the project will cause erosion and flooding and diminish their property values, while the city of Hesperia argued the project is in violation of the city's Alternative Energy Technology ordinance. Hesperia's ordinance mandates that solar projects not be within 660 feet of roadways, railway spurs, or any residential properties and must have a decorative screening wall or fence. Though the proposed solar farm is not within city limits, Hesperia argues that the project still lies within its sphere of influence for potential future annexation and should therefore comply with its ordinance. Barnett said Thursday that Oak Hills residents are concerned the project will cause flooding and that the solar panels will obstruct their views of the neighboring mountains. He said the solar panels will only be about 8 feet high - not even the as tall as a single story house, and will not obstruct views. And he said the project will actually alleviate, not cause, flooding. "We believe that the facts we presented and the data we presented and the information we based our conclusions on are sound, and the project can only benefit the community," Barnett said. A countywide moratorium remains in place for solar renewable energy projects. The Board of Supervisors last month extended the temporary ban last month by 10 months, 15 days to give the county time to incorporate design standards and land use parameters for such projects into its general plan. But the moratorium doesn't apply to the proposed Oak Hills project because the application was submitted to the county for consideration before the moratorium was created, Wert said. Supervisor Robert Lovingood, whose district includes Oak Hills, said in a statement Thursday that Oak Hills is the wrong place for commercial solar projects. "My position has always been that San Bernardino County welcomes renewable energy project applications, but they must be placed in the right locations," Lovingood said.



Planning Commission Votes Down Oak Hills Solar Farm
Supervisor Lovingood's Press Release

posted - August 8, 2013


Click here to view the press release

Lovingood: Keep solar projects out of
Oak Hills

After more than two hours of public comment, the San Bernardino County Planning Commission voted 5-0 Thursday against a 20-acre solar project proposed for a rural Oak Hills neighborhood.

First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood, who watched the hearing via live video, welcomed the move as a step in the right direction and said Oak Hills is the wrong place for commercial solar projects. "My position has always been that San Bernardino County welcomes renewable energy project applications, but they must be placed in the right locations."

More than three dozen people spoke against the project, which many Oak Hills residents say will harm property values, create dust, blight, glare and excessive rainwater runoff. One Oak Hills homeowner said the solar proposal has already hurt values, citing a lot adjacent to the solar project that sold in recent days for less than half its fair market value.

Hesperia Mayor Pro Tem Thurston "Smitty" Smith was among those who spoke against the project. Smith said that although the solar proposal is outside Hesperia's city limits, it is within Hesperia's sphere of influence. He added that the City Council voted to oppose the project and that the proposed development would not be allowed under Hesperia's development code.

The 2.7 megawatt solar project would be located between Fir Street, El Centro Road, Fuente Avenue and Bandicoot Trail.

The Planning Commission directed county staff to incorporate public comments and draft negative findings on the project. The commission will then consider those negative findings when it votes on the project Sept. 19. If the commission rejects the proposal, the applicant could appeal to the Board of Supervisors. In July, the Board unanimously extended its temporary solar moratorium, however the Oak Hills project application was not subject to the moratorium because county staff had deemed the application complete.



SHARPENING OUR SOLAR FARM OPPOSITION STRATEGY

WE NEED EVERYONE TO MAKE A PHONE CALL TO ALL 5 SUPERVISORS

If you get a secretary or an answer machine, leave your message of opposition.

Make sure it is understood that you are talking about the Oak Hills Solar Project being considered by the Planning Commission on August 8.

These calls need to be made today, August 6 or tomorrow.

Please be respectful, but to the point.

The phone numbers are:

Robert A. Lovingood, First District Supervisor
(909) 387.4830

Janice Rutherford, Second District Supervisor
(909) 387.4833

James Ramos, Third District Supervisor
(909) 387.4855

Gary Ovitt, Fourth District Supervisor
(909) 387.4866

Josie Gonzales, Fifth District Supervisor
(909) 387.4565



REPORT ON THE HESPERIA CITY COUNCIL MEETING - AUGUST 6

The meeting went well. The strength of our resolve was obvious by the number of people who showed.

The city council and the mayor again repeated their opposition to the Oak Hills solar project.

Terry Kostak, OHPOA President, thanked the mayor and council members for their support and stressed how important it is for the City of Hesperia to make their opposition known to the County.

A couple of members spoke to the council in opposition of the project citing the adverse effect on property values and water damage from rain run-off.

The mayor made available copies of a letter of opposition written to the county solar project planner, Chris Conner. That letter can be viewed below.

click here for full view



TO ALL OAK HILLS RESIDENTS AND PROPERTY OWNERS

EVERYONE NEEDS TO ATTEND 2 VERY IMPORTANT MEETINGS

CITY OF HESPERIA
CITY COUNCIL MEETING

TUESDAY, AUGUST 6 at 3 P.M.


HESPERIA CITY HALL
COUNCIL CHAMBERS
9700 SEVENTH AVE., HESPERIA

The City of Hesperia is in total support of our adamant opposition to the OH solar project and is currently composing another letter to the County Planning Commissioners detailing their very strong opposition. Hesperia has the sphere of influence over Oak Hills meaning that sometime in the future, not anytime soon, they could annex either part or all of Oak Hills. They have their own ordinance not allowing solar projects to be located in the residentially zoned areas of their city and do not want Oak Hills to have solar project within its residentially zoned areas when or if an annexation takes place.

They will also be discussing their opposition at their next city council meeting and we need to be there both to let them know how large our united front is and to thank them for supporting us. We need to REALLY make a statement with our presence at the council meeting.

The Hesperia City Council meeting is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, August 6 in the council chambers within the Hesperia City Hall, 9700 Seventh Ave., Hesperia. Please arrive a few minutes early to enable you to find a seat quietly before the meeting begins. Their meetings are streamed and archived for future viewing.

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

THURSDAY, AUGUST 8 at 9 A.M.

COUNTY HIGH DESERT
GOVERNMENT CENTER
VIDEOCONFERENCING CENTER
15900 SMOKE TREE ST., HESPERIA
SECOND FLOOR

OR

COUNTY GOVERNMENT CENTER
385 NORTH ARROWHEAD AVE.
SAN BERNARDINO

Because this project has generated so much community concern, Supervisor Lovingood has requested that the County videoconferencing center in Hesperia be opened to cover this important Planning Commission meeting.

Everyone is urged to attend and offer public comment at either the County Government Center, 385 North Arrowhead Ave. in San Bernardino or at the County High Desert Government Center videoconferencing center at 15900 Smoke Tree St., Hesperia, second floor.

Supervisor Lovingood believes public comments on this issue will be vital to the Planning Commission's decision making process.

If you are unable to attend, you can submit written comments to: San Bernardino County Planning Commission, c/o Michelle McCoy, Land Use Services Department. Email her at Michelle.McCoy@lus.SBCounty.gov.

We recommend all participants wear a green shirt to show we are a cohesive, collective group.



Board Extends Solar Moratorium

posted - July 23, 2013

Click here for full view



Moratorium Extension on Board of Supervisors' Agenda

posted - July 20, 2013


This Tuesday, July 23rd, the County Board of Supervisors will consider extending the Commercial Solar Moratorium for an additional 10 months and 15 days while the planning department establishes a new development code to address current problems that have affected residence in the High Desert.

Agenda item #50 is the item for the moratorium extension. The agenda for the Supervisors' meeting can be viewed by clicking here. Please pay special attention to the supporting material to this item.

Additionally, if you'd like to attend the Board of Supervisors meeting, videoconferencing of the meeting will take place in the second floor Multipurpose Room of the Jerry Lewis High Desert Government Center at 15900 Smoke Tree Street in Hesperia. The room seats 20 people and seating is on a first-come first- served basis. The public portion of the meeting begins at 10 a.m

If you have opinions, for or against the extension, it would be a great time for you and your neighbors to express them to the Supervisor at supervisorlovingood@sbcounty.gov or they could be sent to us at OHPOANews@aol.com and we will make sure your voices are heard.



County Press Release
Videoconferencing in Hesperia starts July 23

posted - July 16, 2013

Click here for full view



The date for turning in solar project petitions has been extended to August 5 and the Planning Commission meeting for the same project has been postponed to August 8.

Please continue to gather signatures. Details can be found below.




UPDATE: THE PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO AUGUST 8.
THE NEW DEADLINE FOR HAVING PETITIONS TO US IS AUGUST 5.

The recent Notice of Hearing for the Oak Hills solar project reflected an incorrect hearing date of JUNE 18 rather than JULY 18, 2013.

The County is required to provide at least 10 days notice for this hearing, therefore, this project is now scheduled to be heard at the AUGUST 8, 2013 meeting of the Planning Commission. Land Use Services will immediately prepare and send a corrected notice, along with a letter explaining the error, to everyone who received the initial notice.


URGENT "CALL TO ACTION"
TO ALL OAK HILLS RESIDENTS AND PROPERTY OWNERS

It has never been more important than NOW for every Oak Hills resident and property owner to step forward to help defend our community before it is too late.

There exists an extremely serious problem with solar energy projects, not just being allowed, but encouraged and mandated to locate here in our high desert areas with minimal conditions required by the County.

The current number of projects already in the pipeline is staggering, with a great many more anticipated to follow in the near future.

As you may know, currently in Oak Hills we are being threatened with a 20-acre solar project pushing to be constructed in one of our own residential neighborhoods. This proposed project does not fall under the recently County approved 45-day moratorium and it is still moving forward in the County system. The project will be presented to the County Planning Commission on August 8 for approval under the current/original County rules and guidelines. These are the exact same rules and guidelines in force when our own County government declared, "Existing zoning regulations do not adequately regulate the development of solar energy generation projects in a manner that will ensure compatibility with other land uses." as part of their reasons for passing the moratorium. They also publicly recognized and admitted, "There is a current and immediate threat to the public health, safety and welfare if permits or entitlements for construction of new solar energy generation projects are issued." These are the exact concerns echoed by Oak Hills residents for months now, yet we in OAK HILLS WILL NOT REAP THE BENEFITS OF THE MORATORIUM TIME-OUT so the County can study and adopt their goal of a new, more resident and community friendly ordinance.

In the past there has been little or no opportunity for us, the people these projects will and have impacted the most, to truly affect the outcome of the placement and conditions of these large and small commercial utility projects. Sometimes when we have had the opportunity, a large number of the public just ignored the facts and figured that just because a project isn't currently proposed across the street from their home or investment property, they have nothing to worry about and have gone on about their busy daily routines. Others, who totally support the idea that solar energy is the only solution we have to save us all from the environmental evils in the world, never took the time to be concerned or aware enough of the negative impacts these projects could bring if not placed and buffered appropriately. Another group of citizens may have been knowledgeable of the issues at hand but preferred to sit back and just complain and/or relied on others to take care of it for them.

Now there is a perfect opportunity and desperate need for all of us to submit our input to the County. Please do not allow this "out of the area" solar company and investors, who stand to handsomely benefit financially from this very lucrative proposed project, to call all of the shots and blight Oak Hills. Become informed of the facts and respond. This is not a debate about if solar produced power is beneficial or not. It is all about fair and equal representation and why this commercial utility project should not be approved and inappropriately located in one of our residential neighborhoods surrounded by homes. This is also not the time to remain uninformed, complacent, dependent on others or too busy. There is way too much at stake for all of us here in Oak Hills.

Please have your thoughts and comments officially heard by signing the OHPOA petition, downloading a copy to collect signatures, sending your comments and concerns to our County representatives and attending the Planning Commission meeting on August 8 in San Bernardino. You may elect to speak at the meeting or just submit a speaker's slip and when your name is called just state that you don't care to speak but do want to go on record as being in opposition of the project. We need to have a large turn out at the meeting to show just how concerned the residents of Oak Hills are.

If you are truly not able to participate in all the needed actions mentioned above, PLEASE at least complete those that you can!!! Always keep in mind, the next proposed renewable energy project could be next door or across the street from YOUR home!!!!!!!!!!!

Email and mail-in addresses are listed below along with the options available to return the signed petitions to us. We will need to submit them to the Planning Commission in a timely manner prior to the meeting.

1. Download the OHPOA petition by clicking here

Download the informational hand-out by clicking here.

2. Circulate the petition and share the informational hand-out. Ask your friends, family members and neighbors in your area to sign it.

3. Scan the signed petitions and email them as an attachment to OHPOANews@aol.com

OR

mail them to our address at:

Oak Hills Property Owners Association
13312 Ranchero Rd.
Ste. 18, PMB 378
Oak Hills, CA 92344

Deadline: We need to have these in our hands no later than August 5. Give plenty of time if you mail them.

4. It is very important that the following County people be contacted with concerns and comments. Please use the following references in your comments. "Oak Hills solar project" and "Project No. P201200220/CUP"

Christopher Conner, the project planner
email: Christopher.Conner@lus.sbcounty.gov

Tom Hudson, County Land Use Director
email: Tom.Hudson@lus.sbcounty.gov

5. Attend the Planning Commission meeting. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, August 8 at 9 a.m. in the County Government Center, Covington Chambers, 385 Arrowhead Ave., San Bernardino. We will post the meeting agenda on the web site when it becomes available to the public.

This is it! Let your voice be heard!

Terry Kostak, President
Oak Hills Property Owners Association



SOLAR FARM OPPOSITION UPDATE!

The OHPOA has been researching and discovering any and all options we have regarding our opposition to the locally proposed solar farm which unfortunately was not included in the recent County approved solar farm moratorium.

We will be sharing those possible options with the community shortly.

Thank you for your patience!



SHOCKING NEWS!!!

The OHPOA just found out today that the Oak Hills proposed solar project we have been opposing is NOT being included within the County approved moratorium.

County Land Use has informed us that the project is calendared to go before the planning commission for approval or denial on August 8th which means this project will be considered under the OLD rules and guidelines.

These are the same rules and guidelines that they themselves in their own moratorium ordinance state, and I quote, "There is a current and immediate threat to the public health, safety and welfare if permits or entitlements for construction of new solar energy generation projects are issued. Such permits or entitlements may result in the development of projects that would conflict with amendments to the County Development Code that may be adopted as a result of the study that is to be undertaken."

Please attend the Oak Hills Municipal Committee (OHMAC) meeting tomorrow night, Tuesday, June 18, for information and discussion on how this community needs to unite to confront the dilemma.

There is still hope of defeating this unwanted project but it will take a large number of Oak Hill residents to step up to the plate in order to do so.

The OHMAC meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the same location as our OHPOA meetings are held, the Community Building (Fire Station #40), 6584 Caliente Rd., Oak Hills.

Please encourage as many neighbors as you can to also attend this meeting!!!



County Board of Supervisors Pass(5-0) Temporary Moratorium on Commercial Solar Projects in Unincorporated San Bernardino County Communities

Current proposed Oak Hills solar project is frozen.

Click here to view the Daily Press article.

Click here to view Supervisor Lovingood's press release.

Click here to view the ordinance.

More information to come later.



DO YOU WANT A SOLAR FARM
ACROSS THE STREET OR NEXT DOOR?

We currently have a 20 acre solar project proposed right here in Oak Hills within homes in a location zoned Rural Living. This can happen in your neighborhood. Do you really want one across the street or next door to you?

Please help our Supervisor help us by supporting the moratorium agenda item Wednesday, June 12 at the Board of Supervisors meeting.

If you can't attend the meeting, please email the Supervisor with your comments.

This is urgent and needs to be done right away. The time to act is now!

Email comments should be sent to both the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors at COB@sbcounty.gov and to SupervisorLovingood@sbcounty.gov



NEWS FROM THE OFFICE OF ROBERT A. LOVINGOOD,
First District Supervisor, County of San Bernardino

posted - June 7, 2013

Lovingood considers solar moratorium Wednesday

Supervisor invites public comments, emails

During the past several years, commercial solar projects have been quietly earmarked for some of the High Desert's most scenic rural neighborhoods, according to First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood.

"Residents from Oak Hills to unincorporated Apple Valley and from Helendale to Newberry Springs are very concerned about how solar projects blight the rural character of their neighborhoods," Lovingood said.

So the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors will consider a moratorium on commercial solar projects in unincorporated San Bernardino County during a public meeting Wednesday, June 12. Lovingood is inviting residents to weigh in via email or to speak in person during Wednesday's public hearing in San Bernardino. (The meeting will also include discussion of the county 2013-14 budget.)

In the past few years numerous commercial solar projects have been approved without much attention in unincorporated areas of the county. Currently approximately 30 solar projects within the First District are in the county pipeline. Together, they cover 22,400 acres - the equivalent of 35 square miles. (For a list of projects, go to http://www.sbcounty.gov/bosd1/)

Notices to immediate neighbors of solar projects were not always clear and rarely set off alarms. The county Planning Commission originally approved the projects in keeping with county standards. Residents say in some cases, projects were later significantly enlarged without careful scrutiny or adequate communication to the community. Construction is now starting on some of the projects. Residents are expressing concerns about impacts to their property values from dust, blight, reflected light and visual impact of panels, which in some cases may reach 30 feet or more into the sky.

The proposed solar moratorium would allow the County to adequately plan for these projects and to incorporate a renewable energy component into its General Plan, which will be addressed later this summer.

The solar moratorium proposal will be discussed during a meeting at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 12 at the San Bernardino Government Center, 385 N. Arrowhead Avenue in San Bernardino.

Email comments should be sent to both the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors at COB@sbcounty.gov and to SupervisorLovingood@sbcounty.gov



Photos From Joe Banashek's Visit
At The May 2nd OHPOA Board Meeting

posted - May 15, 2013

click on a photo for a larger view



Lantry Lane Open To Oak Hills Residents Again

posted - April 26, 2013


On the eastside of the Interstate 15 the dirt portion of Lantry Lane originates at Mariposa Road and continues east through the Unnamed Wash before it connects with the Oak Hills (County) paved portion. It is within the city limits of Hesperia (freeway corridor). A few months ago the City quietly decided to discontinue maintenance grading of the road. remove the Lantry Ln. street sign at Mariposa and declare that it was a "dirt trail" and not a true legal road. They came to this conclusion without doing any research to establish the road's legal status and were quite adamant about their decision.

Residents of Oak Hills that have used that stretch of roadway for many years contacted the OHPOA and asked for help. The OHPOA investigated and researched recorded county documents which showed that C.A. Stevens had offered a road dedication (Lantry Ln.) which bisects his approximately 11 acre parcel to the County back in 1992. The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors then accepted the road dedication offer and took it into their road maintenance system. When Hesperia annexed what is called the freeway corridor from Oak Hills in 2003 they then also inherited the dirt portion of Lantry Ln. along with the responsibility of maintaining it.

We communicated on a number of occasions with the Hesperia director of development services suggesting that the City also research the County documents to verify our claims. We at last received their final response and decision on the issue.

Thank you Hesperia for finally agreeing with us and getting it right!!!

Hesperia's Response:

Terry - I was out of the office most of yesterday so I didn't respond to you. We have been looking at this for approximately one month. This morning, we discussed the information received from the County Surveyor's and Assessor's offices. The City Engineer corresponded with them and they determined that, although the offer of dedication (OD) granted by Mr. Stevens in 1992 does not reflect a correct legal description for the intended property, they determined that the "intent" was there. Because of that, they in turn changed the Assessor's Parcel map book on or about March 20, 2013 to reflect the OD. They also acknowledged there are more "correct" ways to validate this, with either Mr. Stevens filing a Certificate of Correction, or re-doing the OD altogether.

Regardless, at this time, the City is going to honor the County's decision, accept Lantry Lane as an OD, and replace the City street sign. In addition, Public Works staff will grade Lantry Lane within the City limits, likely one time per year.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Scott



What's Happening With The Illegal Fire Tax Protest?

posted - April 20, 2013

Click here to find out!



Newberry Springs Solar Farm Misleading Addendum to the Mitigated Negative Declaration

posted - April 5, 2013




George Runner joins lawsuit in fight over illegal fire tax

posted March 14, 2013

View the Daily Press article by clicking here.



Important information about your 2013 fire tax bill

posted February 27, 2013

Cal Fire is preparing to mail the next round of fire tax bills to people in the so-called State Responsibility Area. CalFire will bill you every year until the class action lawsuit is won.

Some people have already begun to ask whether they should protest their bill again. If you already filed the Petition for Redetermination according to the instructions on FireTaxProtest.org, and you received a denial that was not due to your Petition being late or incomplete, then you do NOT need to protest again unless you face one of three special circumstances, which are as follows:

- Your parcel is no longer located in the State Responsibility Area

- Your parcel has fewer habitable structures than the number billed, or

- Your bill omitted the $35 credit for a parcel located within the jurisdiction of a local fire protection agency.

If you have not already filed the protest paperwork on FireTaxProtest.org, you should protest now.

The lawsuit continues to wind its way through the process and we will be in touch with more information when it becomes available. Please be patient as lawsuits typically take a long time.



More Good News About Caliente Mailboxes

posted - January 16, 2013

Today is the day. The check was received by Non Profit (High Desert Community Foundation) in Apple Valley They called Jayco and spoke to installer, he is planning on installing next week. Monday is a holiday and he does not want to leave the boxes without PO locks, they should be installed on Tuesday, Jan. 22. They have/will have instructions for the residents to pick up the keys.

If all goes as planned, mail will be delivered to the new boxes next week.

Thanks for your patience,

Ken Anderson Field Representative to
Robert Lovingood
Board of Supervisors
San Bernardino County



Good News About Caliente Mailboxes

posted - January 11, 2013

Tuesday, January 8th the Supervisor signed what we believe is the last authorization necessary to write a check from this special discretionary fund. I hope that this will mean that we are at the end of this long effort to install these mailboxes.

The Contractor has the mailboxes in the High Desert waiting for the check from the County, so I'm hoping they will be installed in the next 2 weeks.

Thanks for your patience,

Ken Anderson
Field Representative to
Robert Lovingood
Board of Supervisors
San Bernardino County



UPDATE: Proposed Oak Hills 20 Acre Solar Farm

posted - October 26, 2012

The OHPOA was extremely pleased to be able to release the great news about one of the solar farm projects threatening residents here in Oak Hills being withdrawn.

However, we as a community are still not out of the woods yet as far as proposed solar farms go. Don't forget about the remaining proposed solar farm project covering 20 acres and totally within Oak Hills that is still on the books of County Planning and still a big threat to this community. The OHPOA sure hopes that all community members stand behind the opposition to that one also so it does not set precedence within our borders if it is approved. Anyone with a minimum of 5 acres or more of vacant land next to them could be facing another commercial utility project proposal right next door in the near future if it is.

Oak Hills is marketed as a desirable and upscale rural residential community by realtors. If Oak Hills becomes checker boarded with commercial utility sites, it would change how our community is viewed for those living nearby or driving through the area. Our property values could take a disastrous hit. We must fight to oppose any and all proposed projects which would negatively impact our residentially zoned areas and our community in general.

A notice of a Development Review Committee (DRC) Meeting has been mailed to those who requested to be on the official list of those wanting to be notified of pending actions regarding this proposed project. The OHPOA is on that list and has received the notice. We will be sharing any notifications with the public through this website.

This particular scheduled meeting does not require the public to attend. It is only an opportunity for the County departments involved with proposed projects to review them and state their possible requirements or concerns. No final action will be taken at the meeting. The OHPOA has requested any written result of that meeting and will share the information with the residents on our website.

Please view the OHPOA website on a regular basis to stay informed on this issue.

The notice of a Development Review Committee (DRC) Meeting can be viewed by clicking here.



Good News for Caliente Road Mailbox Users

posted - October 23, 2012

It is an extreme pleasure for the OHPOA to be able to announce receiving the outstanding news today that our 1st District Supervisor, Brad Mitzelfelt, has approved $22,500., originating from his discretionary fund, to be used for the replacement and installation of new mailboxes at the vandalized site on Caliente Road.

The subject will appear on the consent portion of the agenda of the Board of Supervisors for formal approval on November 6th.

Details and instructions for the replacement needed by the affected residents will be shared in the very near future.

A huge THANK YOU goes out to our Supervisor and his very hardworking and capable staff members who together made this announcement possible.

Please be advised that the County of San Bernardino is in no way responsible for any mailboxes whether commercial or residential. Mailboxes are considered as "private property" and the responsibility of the mail recipient according to the U.S. Postal Service.

Terry Kostak, President
Oak Hills Property Owners Association



Great News!!!!!!!!!!

posted - October 19, 2012

The OHPOA today received notice from the Hesperia Planning Department advising us that the proposed solar farm project in Hesperia (West of Caliente Rd.) has been WITHDRAWN by the applicant.

No further action will need to be taken to oppose this project...it is off the books!

The applicant, David Pitcher, stated in his notice to the planner, "Due to political issue and the lack of support we are withdrawing our use-permit application for the Hesperia 14 LLC solar project."

Thank you to everyone who participated in opposing this project!




News From the County of San Bernardino

Residents will soon receive contested State tax bills

posted - October 12, 2012


Below are excerpts from the county's press release.
Click here to view the full text.

This month more than 62,000 San Bernardino County homeowners will receive a bill from the State of California demanding a $150 Fire Protection "Fee". The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors aggressively opposed the State's imposition of this "fee", which in the County's opinion is not a fee but a legally questionable tax that will provide no additional benefit to those who pay it.

"This so-called fee is nothing but a gimmick to plug holes in the State's chronically deficit-ridden budget, and the residents who are being forced to pay it are receiving no additional benefits or services in return," said Supervisor Janice Rutherford.

"This tax is arguably the most blatant and transparent theft from taxpayers I have ever witnessed," said Supervisor Neil Derry, one of the leading opponents of the tax. "Most of our residents subject to this tax will not benefit one iota because this money is actually going to fund the state budget deficit."

"This is one of the most egregious examples of the majority party in Sacramento balancing its out-of-control state budget on the backs of our overtaxed residents," said San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Brad Mitzelfelt. "I support every effort to challenge and fight this clearly illegal tax, especially since it provides no additional benefit to the safety of those paying it."

The Board of Supervisors authorized County attorneys to explore the possibility of legal action against the state to protect residents against the tax.



We Have A New Mailing Address

posted - October 6, 2012


Oak Hills Property Owners Association
13312 Ranchero Rd.
Ste. 18, PMB 378
Oak Hills, CA 92344



Oak Hills Community Plan Draft Review

posted - October 2, 2012


After discussions with our management, we have decided to delay the hearing on the Oak Hills Community Plan to an indefinite date.

Our proposal is to give the interested citizens of Oak Hills an opportunity to review the draft plan and make suggestions to amend the draft.

We request that your comments be sent to me by Friday, October 26, 2012. It would be great if you could coordinate your suggestions; however, if you can't, we will accept all comments.

We will incorporate as many of your suggestions as possible while still trying to maintain our direction to only reformat the plan.

We'll schedule a meeting for late November in Oak Hills to discuss the revised draft of the plan. After that, we propose to go to the Planning Commission on December 20th and then to the Board in late January. Of course this time line is always subject to change.

If you have any questions, please email me or call me at (909) 387-4434.

Jim Squire
Land Use Services
County of San Bernardino



Review of the September 13th Hesperia Planning Commission Meeting

Proposed 12.5 Acre Solar Farm Adjacent to Oak Hills' West Side

posted - September 20, 2012


At the Hesperia Planning Commission meeting on September 13, 2012, approximately 20 Oak Hills residents presented their opposition to the proposed 12.5 acre solar farm location on the West side of the I15 freeway just to the West of where the Oak Hill Road bridge meets Caliente Road.

The final and unanimous vote of the commissioners was to pass the responsibility of either approving or denying the project on to the Hesperia City Council with no recommendations...a rare decision. The issue will be heard in front of the city council on November 20, 2012. When the hearing notice is made public, those that requested will be sent a copy from the City of Hesperia. We will also be posting the same notice on this website.

The proposed site is totally within the Hesperia Freeway Corridor and if approved will negatively impact numerous Oak Hills residents living both adjacent to and overlooking the site.

This thought cannot repeated too many times, "IF THIS TIME A SOLAR FARM IS APPROVED MILES AWAY FROM YOUR HOME, THE NEXT TIME IT CAN BE PROPOSED AND APPROVED RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO YOURS!!!"

Stay informed, helping yourself and the entire community, by learning what you can do to keep projects like this from being approved.

Please join the effort to keep Oak Hills from becoming a "checkerboard" of solar farms.

If you have questions or comments, please contact Terry Kostak by clicking here.

The Hesperia Planning Commission meeting of September 13, 2012 can be viewed by clicking here.



Results of the September 13, 2012 Hesperia Planning Commission
Public Hearing

posted - September 16, 2012


- Approximately 20 Oak Hills property owners/residents were present at the hearing. All who spoke in front of the commissioners or just stated their position were in opposition to the approval of a consideration of a Site Plan Review SPR12-10116, to allow a solar farm on 12.5 acres with the Regional Commercial (RC) District of Main Street and Freeway Corridor Specific Plan located at the terminus of Oak Hill Road and west of Caliente Road. (Applicant: David Pitcher: APN: 0357-063-45).

- There were only four Hesperia planning commissioners as one was absent. After the presentation of the proposed project by the planner assigned to the project, the applicant's representative spoke in support of the project and was asked questions by the commission.

- Comments from the public were heard by the commission and then the project was discussed out loud by the commissioners among themselves.

- A motion to deny the project as presented was made but was defeated by a 2-2 vote. A second motion to pass the proposed project to the Hesperia City Council without recommendations was made and passed by a unanimous vote.

As soon as the item is calendared on the city council's agenda, we will post the agenda on this site. They normally meet the first and third Tuesdays of the month.

Hesperia does not allow solar farms in their residential zoning due to their negative impacts. They only allow them in their commercial and industrial zoned areas. The project site is zoned commercial, adjacent to our residential zoning and is located in the Oro Grande Wash. How can they with a clear conscience justify approving one that will definitely negatively impact our residents no matter what the project zoning is?

We will need to pack the council meeting room with as many Oak Hill residents as possible.



Oak Hills Community Plan Draft Review

posted - September 14, 2012


The San Bernardino County Land Use Services Department has scheduled a meeting to present draft documents for the re-adoption of the Oak Hills Community Plan and a Development Code Amendment to incorporate the development standards of the Oak Hills Community Plan into the Development Code.

Those in attendance can also review a draft ordinance to revise the regulations contained in the County Development Code relative to small wind energy systems and the Accessory Wind Energy Permit.

This meeting will be held in the Oak Hills Community Center/Fire Station #40, located at 6584 Caliente Rd. in Oak Hills from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on September 18, 2012.

Everyone in Oak Hills, who is concerned with the future development of our community, should attend this meeting to review and discuss the proposed actions concerning the community plan and ordinance.

This meeting will also give us the opportunity to request an overlay to our community plan that would keep solar farms out of our rural residential zoning.

The Draft Oak Hills Community Plan and Draft Development Code Amendments for the Oak Hills Community Plan and for Small Wind Energy Systems have been posted on the Planning Department web site.

Here are the links for each document.

Draft Oak Hills Community Plan

Draft Development Code Amendment for Oak Hills Community Plan

Draft Development Code Amendment for Small Wind Energy Systems

Environmental Impact Report for the Oak Hills Community Plan

Letter from the Planning Department



TO ALL RESIDENTS OF OAK HILLS,

I wanted to update you on both the proposed solar farms. There is really no good news to report on either project as of today. In an attempt not to confuse anyone, I'll begin with the 20 acre solar project proposed in OH with the location of Fir to the North, El Centro to the South, Fuente to the West and Bandicoot to the East. This location is North of Ranchero Rd. & East of the I15 freeway.

l. Even though county planning has received an overwhelming number of responses from OH residents in opposition to the project, as of yesterday the planning department still is convinced it's okay for that project to be approved in that location. The County Development Code states that these types of projects can be located in a rural living zoning area with the approval of a condition use permit (CUP). That means conditions (requirements) can be named by the planning department to make the project suitable for it's location. It seems that the planning "experts" down the hill know more of what is acceptable here in our community than we do. The "rural" zoning "in the Desert" label continues to give the impression to others that somehow we deserve less protection from blight and projects that will devalue our residential property than the Valley residents do. This has been an ongoing problem for us for years. They don't seem to consider that the High Desert is the direction this county's residents have been migrating to in order to get out of the rat race down the hill. First District's population growth has far exceeded the growth of any other district in the last ten years. Oak Hills is still considered a highly desirable community for the migrating population who appreciate our cherished rural community.

Our First District Supervisor, Brad Mitzelfelt, has even made attempts to persuade these so called "planning experts" to change their minds but to no avail so far.

The next step in the process is for the project to go before the county planning commissioners in the SB County building in San Bernardino for approval or denial. No date for that meeting has been calendared yet. If the planning commissioners do approve the project at that time, the next step would be to file an appeal which would enable the issue to go before the Board of Supervisors for a ruling on the appeal.

It is extremely important that we all continue to stand united and continue voicing our concerns in this matter. We will most likely have another OHPOA Special Meeting in the near future to compare notes and share any additional information gathered from either the OHPOA Board or residents.

2. Our other proposed solar project is located just to the West of the intersection of the Oak Hill Rd. bridge, which crosses the I15 freeway, and Caliente Rd.. The location is within the Hesperia Freeway Corridor and is zoned commercial. This site exists from approximately Caliente Rd. and extends down into the Oro Grande Wash area. The applicant of this solar project wants to cover approximately 7 l/2 acres with 198 commercial solar panels and leave the approximately remaining 5 1/2 acres of the parcel still commercial for future use. In reality, the remaining 5 1/2 acre portion is very steep and it would be extremely expensive to create any commercial project on that portion of the parcel. This proposed project will only negatively impact the OH residents with homes within the wash area and the OH residents with homes on the West ridge of the wash opposite the Caliente Rd. location. Unfortunately for these OH residents, the City of Hesperia has emended their development code to state that these types of projects are not allowed in their residential zoning area but are allowed in their industrial and commercial zoning and hidden out of site. They have therefore admitted these projects do have a negative impact in residential zoning but there are no Hesperia residents in that location and by the parcel being zoned commercial and also out of site in the wash, it appears to be an acceptable project location to them. No consideration has been given to the OH residents who will be in plain sight of this project. The hearing notice is available for viewing on this site and has been the only notice given to the public by the City. The proposed project, as the notice states, will go before the Hesperia planning commission on Thursday, Sept. 13. All residents either living around that location or even just living in OH needs to appear at that hearing to speak or just get their opposition on record.

The City and the County have a number of different procedures when considering a proposed project. Learning those differences is important to enable us to respond to any proposed project that may present negative impacts on Oak Hills. Again, we must stand united when attempting to protect our rural community. PLEASE REMEMBER that what is proposed miles away from your home by one applicant can be proposed by another right next door to you the next time.

Terry Kostak
President,
Oak Hills Property Owners Association



PROPOSED SOLAR FARM PROJECT
OAK HILLS EASTSIDE

RE: Project Number: P201200220/CUP, Proposal: Conditional Use Permit for a 2.7 MW Photovoltaic solar facility on 20 acres located at Fir St.(North boundary), El Centro Rd.(South), Fuente Ave.(West) & Bandicoot Trail(East)

There is a proposed commercial utility project to be located on the east side of our rural Oak Hills community. It is urgent that all responses to this proposed project are received by County Planning by Thursday, September 6, 2012 in order to make sure they are included in the planning final staff report which will be presented to the SB County Planning Commission.

You do not have had to receive a project notice personally to be able to respond. Anyone who feels the proposed project would have a negative effect on them or their community definitely can and needs to respond also. There is power in numbers. Please help us reach as many people as possible and pass the word to a friend/neighbor.

This proposed project is located in a neighborhood zoned R/L (Rural Living) and is allowable with an approved Conditional Use Permit according to the County Development Code. Not only will the numerous homes surrounding this location be negatively impacted by this project if it is approved, all of Oak Hills will be negatively impacted as it will set a precedent for approval of future utility projects.

We are not in opposition to the description of this project BUT are in opposition to the attempt of locating it in an extremely inappropriate location within our rural residential community. The entities involved in applying for approval are from Canada and the state of Ohio. They only stand to make money off of this project which will not negatively impact them in any way.

When writing your response to this project, please include your name, address and the project number - P201200220/CUP

Please email your responses to:

Supervisor Mitzelfelt at: SupervisorMitzelfelt@sbcounty.gov

Or fax project responses to (909) 387-3223.

Project responses can also be hand delivered at:

Jerry Lewis High Desert Government Center
15900 Smoke Tree St. Suite 131
Hesperia, CA 92345

To view in a full window click here


Click here to view the Land Use Application Questionnaire for the above project

Click here to view the City of Hesperia's response to the above project



PROPOSED SOLAR FARM PROJECT
OAK HILLS WESTSIDE

To view in a full window click here



Oak Hills Community Calendar

Local events scheduled within the next 4 weeks

Day & Time Event Location

Thursday,
May 1, 2014
7:00pm
OHPOA
Board of Directors
Public Meeting
Oak Hills Community Center
(Fire Station #40)
6584 Caliente Rd. Oak Hills


Our Rural Lifestyle

We love our rural lifestyle in Oak Hills. Why? Because of the fresh air, beautiful skies and open spaces.

Most of us moved here to get away from "city life".

We want our space and will don our green shirts, apply our war paint and bring out the 900 Pound Gorilla to keep it.

The current Oak Hills Community Plan says it all and there is "no real justifiable reason" to annex large portions of our community, now or anytime in the future, to square-off boundaries with the City of Hesperia.


Local Public Safety Information

Telephone Numbers And Other Information


EMERGENCY..................................... 911
Phelan Sheriff's Office(non-emergency) (760) 868-1006
Illegal Dumping/WE TIP (800) 782-7463


First District Supervisor
Robert A. Lovingood
(909)387-4830
County Recorder/County Clerk (760) 995-8065
Code Enforcement/Environmental Health (760) 995-8154
Planning/Building & Safety (760) 995-8140
County Fire/Community Safety Office (760) 995-8190
Assessor (760) 995-8030
Public Works (760) 995-8220
Veteran's Affairs (760) 995-8010
County Information (888) 818-8988
www.sbcounty.gov
Animal Control (800) 472-5609 - Day
(909) 876-2504 - After 5 p.m.
Graffiti Hot Line (877)44ABATE
or (800)722-3181

Sand and Sandbag Distribution Facilities


Oak Hills - Station 305
8331 Caliente Road
760-948-7858
Summit Valley - Station 48
4545 Summit Valley Rd.
760-389-2470
Hesperia - Station 304
15660 Eucalyptus Street
760-947-1660
Phelan - Station 10
9625 Beekley Road
760-868-4728
Hesperia - Station 302
71288 Olive Street
760-947-1612
Wrightwood - Station 14
5980 Elm Street
760-249-3206


Web Sites

Visit the web sites listed below by clicking on their link.

CrimeMapping.Com - View recent reported crimes in your neighborhood

County of San Bernardino Disaster Information

Weather Watch

California Sex Offender Locator Map

Amber Alert