Supervisor Mitzelfelt Addresses Issues Raised By Oak Hills Residents At Town Hall Meeting – Water and Roads and Developments -2

Supervisor Mitzelfelt Addresses Issues Raised By Oak Hills Residents At Town Hall Meeting – Water and Roads and Developments – Part 2

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(Best Syndication) The Oak Hills Property Owners Association (OHPOA) President Herb Morin said “We believe strongly in a community to determine their own destiny.” Morin’s remarks were made at a town hall meeting sponsored by the group at the Baldy Mesa Elementary School on Monday, and stem from a planned high-density developments on property located in the Oak Hills Community Plan zone.

County Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt spoke and took questions at the meeting on Monday. After opening statements which included Mitzelfelt’s efforts to bring jobs and businesses to the area, he fielded questions from the audience. Although most in attendance were from the Oak Hills community, there were attendees from Pinon Hills, Phelan and Hesperia as well.

One function of the County Board of Supervisor’s is an “appellate” board responsibility to the planning commission. There are high density housing projects that were rejected by the planning commission and have been appealed to the board for consideration.

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Mitzelfelt said that he has to make “fair and impartial” decisions, and is barred by law from taking a position on land use questions until they comes before the board. The supervisor said that he must “give due process to people who are before the government.”

The Oak Hills community plan is part of the county general plan and any change to the local plan would be a “general plan amendment”. The county amends the general plan four times per year, according to Mitzelfelt. The process requires a public hearing, notification and a considerable amount of “environmental” due diligence. See what others are saying and join the discussion at our Forum

Since by law the supervisor can not take a position on a specific land use question that will come before the board, he could not say whether he supports the developer or the community. Mitzelfelt said “My philosophy is, like I said, I live in an unincorporated area, and I do respected the differences between unincorporated areas and the city.”

Water availability and the cost of water are major concerns for the high desert community. Although Mitzelfelt was unaware of the amount of the increase in water rates, he did mention some things he wanted to do to increase the amount of water available for the high desert.

Mitzelfelt said he had a focus on “regional water needs”. He wants to get a grant for the water agency to put a well project in the Mojave River basin. To ensure a sustainable water supply the supervisor wants to do a “pipeline project to the aqueduct”. When a land use development proposal is made, state law requires the county “to identify the availability of water, and if it is on a subdivision of certain types, you have to show that you have water available projected for 20 years,” Mitzelfelt said.

A question was raised about the lack of roads and the fire danger. Mitzelfelt said that this year the county is looking into a mitigation fee for new developments that would help cover the cost of “fire facilities”. Since state law (AB 1600) says you can not charge new developments for a current deficiency, we can’t do a lot to make developers pay for deficiencies.

Mitzelfelt said that future funds may be tighter and we have been getting more than our “fair share” from the other regions of the county. He said he wants to keep it that way.

It is very difficult to enact a moratorium on building in the county or any particular area, according to Mitzelfelt. He said that the county can pass a moratorium but it can only last for 45 days and has to be passed on an emergency basis. The emergency has to be “based” on a health and safety issue. He said that “you can’t really use a water company or water authority to limit growth.” These agencies have to accommodate the new developments, according to the supervisor.

There were concerns about putting high density housing developments where the new proposed 395 Freeway will be built. One audience member said it did not make sense to build homes and then have to buy them back to build the freeway. Mitzelfelt said that he is opposed to every proposed freeway alignment except for the one that would go along the current 395 highway.

See what others are saying and join the discussion at our Forum

By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Writer

Oak Hills Property Owners Association (OHPOA)



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