Before the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors began the public
hearing on redevelopment plans for Cedar Glen on Tuesday, Nov. 9, Third
District Supervisor Dennis Hansberger briefly discussed a recent story
published in The Sun newspaper alleging he had power of attorney for
landholdings in and around the boundaries for the Cedar Glen Redevelopment
Area. The story alluded to the possibility of his benefiting financially
from the redevelopment boundaries.
He emphatically denied any conflict of interest - later affirmed by opinions
from county counsel members present at the hearing - and said the story was
misleading. Hansberger said he had "no reportable conflict of interest for
the purposes of the project" but he excused himself from any discussion or
vote on the issue and left the chambers. Vice-chairman Bill Postmus
conducted the hearing before Hansberger returned to his seat following the
The highest ranking elected officials in the county, the members of the
board of supervisors are also members of the San Bernardino County
Many Cedar Glen residents filled the seats in the board chambers eager to
learn of any redevelopment plans for their community following last year's
John Nowak, the county's redevelopment administrator, outlined how the plan
reached a point where the hearing could be held.
He said on March 16 the supervisors adopted a resolution authorizing a study
to be conducted on the possibility of establishing a "redevelopment survey"
area in Cedar Glen. The area not only included the burned area but also
surrounding streets and neighborhoods where infrastructure improvements
would be needed or other areas that could benefit the burn area.
Nowak reported the many narrow Cedar Glen roads are of concern to the fire
department as they have no way to effectively maneuver fire equipment. Fire
officials said they need the streets to be widened to 20 feet.
By establishing a redevelopment area some of the property tax revenue the
county receives goes directly back into the redevelopment area to pay for
infrastructure improvements. Twenty percent of the tax revenue must be used
to provide low-income housing for people who financially qualify within the
Nowak said the original redevelopment area included 1,500 acres but it has
now been reduced to 387. He also said while an environmental impact report
is not required for the plan to be adopted, a voluntary EIR is already
underway and should be completed by next spring.
Several people who spoke during the public comments period were concerned
with the "vagueness" of the plan document citing a lack of specific
information such as on which properties or when and where eminent domain
proceedings can take place, or specifically which infrastructure systems
will be replaced.
PAC chairman Dick Pretzinger, whose family lost 11 buildings on their Hook
Creek property, reminded everyone the plan is like a large "outline" and the
specifics will be added into the document later as the process moves
When specific redevelopment projects are being planned the public will have
the opportunity to comment as they do now, and have done so, at four PAC
meetings in Lake Arrowhead. Pretzinger added, "I'm in favor of it. Let's get
on with it!"
One resident, Marcella Moya asked whether eminent domain would be used only
for public benefit or whether it could also be used for developing homes.
Nowak said legal eminent domain procedures are used as a last resort when
negotiations break down for the county to purchase property at "fair market
Several people who addressed the redevelopment board said they received
little or no notice as the process moved along including when and where the
PAC meetings were being held, the fact that eminent domain was part of the
program, and even the time the Nov. 9 public hearing was scheduled.
Nowak said several thousand letters were sent to affected property owners
who were listed with the assessor's office and only a small percentage were
returned by the post office. He also said all the meetings had been
"noticed" properly and Tuesday's public hearing was advertised in The
Mountain News and Sun newspapers.
Kitty Johnson, executor for the estate of her late husband's business,
Arrowhead Manor Water Company, told the redevelopment board she needed some
answers so she would know what to do as far as pursuing a new owner for the
She said the talk of eminent domain leaves her in a difficult position
because she has a buyer who is interested in taking over the company - but
not if there's a possibility it might be taken over by eminent domain. She
said her buyer needs more information about what is occurring and whether or
not he is going to be able to make improvements should he decide to purchase
REDEVELOPMENT PLAN ADOPTED
Following the discussion and public comments the board members approved a
resolution adopting the Disaster Recovery Redevelopment Plan for the Cedar
Glen Redevelopment Project. The resolution was passed unanimously by all
four redevelopment agency (board members) present.
Another resolution, accepting the report outlining the same recommendations
accepted by the redevelopment agency was put off until next week's board of
supervisors meeting when the supervisors will adopt an Ordinance accepting