Housing project gets new life

first_imgHACIENDA HEIGHTS – A housing project near Schabarum Regional Park that started 10 years ago is back on track. The 47-home development had been stalled for the past two years as the firm, Pacific Communities Builder, revised its plans to allay concerns from residents and planners, said company President Nelson Chung. He said the planning process for this project has taken an exceptionally long time. “Most other projects couldn’t be like this,” Chung said. “If they were, I’d be broke.” The company has to resubmit its plans, update its environmental review, go before the planning commission, and hold public hearings, said Susan Tae, acting supervising regional planner for Los Angeles County Planning Department. Some residents, however, wonder what has taken them so long, especially when it looked like they would be breaking ground two years ago, said Mike Hughes, who serves on the Hacienda Heights Improvement Association. Residents have in the past expressed concern that the homes would block their views of the hills and they would see an increase in traffic, said Hacienda Heights resident Barbara Fish. “This is a very beautiful hillside, and the hillsides are already filling up enough with houses,” Fish said. Hughes said nearby homeowners don’t want to see the land developed. “The big thing is people that live there would like to see that area as open space,” Hughes said. The property is on 114 acres, and close to 80 acres will be used as open space, said Bob Henderson, chairman of the Puente Hills Landfill Native Habitat Preservation Authority. “The plan has always been that they would donate the undeveloped lands as wilderness open space,” Henderson said. “It is certainly better than having all the land developed.” The project has taken on several faces since its inception in 1997, and even before Chung took hold of the land. The previous owner had plans to build 200 homes. The plan was again revised in 2004, Chung said, to appease the concerns of residents. The number of oak trees that will be removed has been reduced from 120 to 60. Grading will go from 690,000 cubic yards to 506,700 cubic yards, the lot sizes will be smaller, and the number of homes will go from 50 to 47. “There was no justification for knocking out three units, but one of the planning commissioners said it is an act of good will to do that,” Chung said. Chung started Pacific Communities in the 1980s, and since then has built thousands of homes in Southern California. [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2477160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsThe project retreated in 2004 after residents pleaded with the developer to lessen the impact to the hillsides, including cutting back on the number of homes and alleviating potential traffic impacts. County officials suggested taking time to review some of these concerns and work them in to a revised plan, which Chung said has taken years to do. “Basically, all of our approvals were subject to certain modifications,” Chung said of the planning commission’s comments in 2004. “The modifications are easy to say, but hard to do.” The property is at the end of Apple Creek Lane. Chung said they are still at least a couple of years away from breaking ground. last_img read more