HRB MINUTES, AUGUST 7, 2014
The meeting was called to order at 4 p.m. Present were Steve Cauffman, Chair, Michele Walot, Brad Conley, Sandrine Scherson, Barbara Taborek, Mike McNally, Victor Van Zandt, Andrew Herndon and Ron Reid.
The Lego Movie night was very well attended, with close to 300 residents in attendance. The Girl Scouts, under the direction or Tammy Smecker-Hane, gave out popcorn supplied by Andrew.
ICHA will host a Coffee-On-Us on Wednesday, August 20th from 7:30am-9 am. Victor will have the design boards and maps to explain the construction to residents. The staff of ICHA and HRB members will hopefully introduce themselves.
Movie Night and Campout is scheduled for Friday, August 22nd. The movie is Brave. Andrew will increase the popcorn to 10 bags. Adding to the campout festivities will be Astronomy Graduate students with their telescopes and a campfire. Eric Charles’ Boy Scout troop will supervise the fire. The HRB felt it imprudent to arm unaccompanied children with sharp sticks and therefore decided that all campfire roasting would be "BYO" (bring your own stick, bring your own items to roast).
The Fall Fiesta will be Sunday, October 12th. This year, the new Chancellor will be invited to attend. This is the 30th Anniversary of UHills, and the UCI Volleyball Coach Dave has volunteered to bring the team up, and to lend us his tee-shirt launcher if desired. Food (maybe tacos, hamburgers and hot dogs, in addition to pizza), alcohol (Light and Dark Beer), entertainment (20 person Swing Band; we decided no dance floor required) and possible amusements (2 bounce houses, 2 or 3 Hamster balls, kiddie train on rubber wheels) were discussed. We think if we can convince ICHA staff to sit in a dunk tank, we could raise a lot of money for construction of a new observatory. But this is at odds with the proposed theme of Water Conservation, featuring booths from drought-tolerant garden tradespeople, water agencies, and home repair/maintenance contractors. In the past, over 1200 people have attended the Fall Fiesta.
The Halloween/Day-of-the-Dead Costume Party/ candy trade-in will be Saturday, November 1st. Volunteers are needed for ideas, planning and implementation. Otherwise it may not happen.
The Holiday Bazaar is scheduled for Saturday, December 13th, 10am – 4 pm. Marta Crane and Sandrine Scherson will jury the artists and crafts people.
Trio Celeste will perform again at the end of April, if arrangements can be made with the University Club.
Maintenance / Improvements
New soccer goals have been installed in at Vista Bonita Park. The grass has been mowed shorter, and it has already seen use by the younger kids. The park facilities may be reserved through the website. Currently, there is no distinction, in the reservation system, between the Vista Bonita field and the picnic area, since those reserving the picnic area often make use of the field as well.
The Trellis/shade structure over the picnic tables in Vista Bonita Park will be replaced; bids have ranged from $8,000-15,000.
Some kiosks at the entrances to the Preserve are in poor shape. One has been knocked down. The entrances are a reminder to people that this is an active ecological study area. Signs reminding residents to keep dogs on leash disappear daily, and dog droppings are disturbing this ecosystem. Andrew offered to contact the UCI biologists in charge of the Preserve to discuss maintenance of the signage.
A resident put up solar panels without the required architectural approval. Several modifications to the installation may now be required.
The ventilation grille near the bottom of the door to the women’s restroom at Gabrielino Pool was vandalized. It did not appear that entry was gained, however, so we assume the perpetrator ended up having to relieve herself elsewhere instead. Which brings us to this month's UHills Public Service Announcement: Did you know that your pool key doubles as a bathroom key? It's true! Bring it. Use it. Don't pee in the pool.
Victor answered questions about the grading and timetable for Phase 10. Major grading operations are expected to be completed in about 4 months (by mid November). The slabs for the homes will be poured in February and those for the townhomes, a few weeks later. Drought tolerant plants will be used in community landscaping.
A map and other details about the ongoing construction can be found here:
Per the sign posted near California and Gabrielino: "If you see dust coming from this project call: Paul Ingels (949) 517-8690. If you do not receive a response, please call the AQMD at 1-800-CUT-SMOG." (Paul is the project foreman. He has reclaimed water trucks in regular circulation to help control dust as much as possible when moving such large quantities of dirt.)
After some false starts on the first couple of days, the construction crews have been better about waiting until the City-mandated 7:00 am earliest allowable start time before firing up their engines.
Increases in projected construction costs have led to various cost-cutting measures to meet desired price points. Firm quotes on the next set of structures have not yet been obtained. Depending on the actual costs, there might be more money in the budget for enhanced amenities, which have also been pared back due to cost.
Asked about the possibility of another exit from Phase 10, via Coltrane, Victor said that although there’s such a road on the Long Range Plan, the need for direct egress from that area to Anteater or Bonita Canyon isn’t supported by traffic studies of the completed neighborhood. Future university development closer to Anteater would likely involve a road from Anteater that would connect to Coltrane, however.
There was a suggestion that there be steps from the sidewalk at the intersection of California and Twain up the slope to the hilltop paseo and overlook, so that pedestrians from Phase 8 need not backtrack up California to reach the paseo. ICHA is concerned that ADA rules for wheelchair access require that there be a 5%-max-slope ramp located within a reasonable distance of any stairway. An official determination about whether the planned paseo access closer to Gabrielino & California would satisfy this requirement is being sought, since the existing slope along California exceeds 5%. As an alternative, the upper paseo branch point location may be adjusted to minimize the backtracking required for pedestrians from Phase 8.
The Phase 10 pocket park/playground should be completed this fall. The Phase 10 pool will likely not be constructed until 2016 or later. It will be Junior-Olympic (25-yard) length, with one end deep enough to allow for diving. Original plans called for 6 lanes, but cost constraints have led to a reduction to 5 lanes. The plan is still conceptual, and has not been sent out for bids, but ICHA claims an additional lane increases the cost by $200k, because larger heating and pumping systems are required, in addition to the increased pool volume. If construction costs come in lower than initial projections, the design could revert to the original 6 lanes.
It is possible that a new Observatory might also be built in 2016, at the earliest, on a (non-UHills) parcel of land adjoining the area where the Phase 10 Pool and outdoor cooking area will be located. This depends on whether the Physics Department can obtain sufficient support from donors, but ICHA is working closely with the Physics Department to ensure that the adjacent amenity layout would support the possibility of shared use. Victor will go to Westmont College with architects and representatives from the physics department to view the state-of-the art observatory building they recently built. HRB members feel that an attractive observatory structure would be a wonderful cornerstone for the new neighborhood.
Unnamed sources have confirmed that the UCOP has, per their prerogative, and consistent with past precedent, mandated that the outgoing Chancellor be permitted to purchase a home in Phase 10 prior to his retirement from UCI. We are grateful for all he has done for the University, and excited to have him as a neighbor, albeit concerned that his post-retirement commute will be somewhat tedious.
Townhome Name Game
75 entries were submitted suggesting names for the new Area 10-4 townhouse development, using an on-line entry form. HRB members will each choose their top five entries to generate a list of finalists, and then the finalists will be scored to determine the winners of the HRB-sponsored portion of the contest. Prizes have yet to be chosen. The list of finalists will be provided to ICHA for consideration, but it is not guaranteed that the name chosen by ICHA will be taken from the list of resident suggestions.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:30pm.