July 2, 2019
WGP Vellano filed a lawsuit against the City of Chino Hills seeking to keep the illegal chain link fence and to add additional fencing to total 3.5 miles of chain link fence. WGP Vellano claims the fence is needed to protect the public from the dangers of their open space.
Statement from Mike Konrad, President Vellano HOA
The punitive and bad-faith tactics of developers WGP Vellano and their members Bobby Heath and Michael Schlesinger continue. WGP Vellano filed a lawsuit against the City of Chino Hills petitioning the court to allow the illegal chain link fence to remain and to add additional fencing for a total of 3.5 miles of chain link fence. City code enforcement deemed the unpermitted fence illegal. WGP Vellano took the matter to the Planning Commission who unanimously deemed the fence illegal. They appealed to the City Council who also unanimously determined the fence to be illegal.
WGP Vellano claims in court documents that the city’s rules and ordinances do not apply to them and that they require the fence to protect the public from the dangers of their open space. They claim that their open space can lead to injuries and death, if not fenced in. Using that logic, we should consider fencing in large areas of Chino Hills, including the State Park. Obviously, their “logic” is designed to further pressure the residence of Vellano and the citizens of Chino Hills.
The residents of the Vellano Community are not opposed to the installation of a fence, even though we question its intention. Vellano homeowners were required to build fences that complied with the architectural standards of the Vellano community. The City of Chino Hills, through its ordinances, state all fences must match the neighboring standards and specifically prohibits the use of non-temporary chain link fence. If protecting the public from the “dangers of open space” is a priority for the developer (WGP-Vellano LLC), then by all means, install a legal fence which complies with City codes and ordinances and consider your dirt protected.
We need to put an end to aggressive and predatory developers attacking our city. This is not just a Vellano neighborhood issue. This is a City of Chino Hills issue. WGP Vellano wants to build 250 homes on the former golf course property, even though the land is zoned for recreational use. If we allow developers to flaunt the law and terrorize homeowners in order to build more housing on protected land, there will be a long line of developers headed to our hills eying the large beautiful open spaces that make our city so attractive to its residents. This city belongs to the people, not to developers. We look forward to our city official’s commitment to fight for what is right.
April 4, 2019
Chino Hills Begins Enforcement Actions Against Golf Course Owner WGP-Vellano
After denying all of WGP-Vellano’s appeals, the City of Chino Hills began enforcement action. WGP vellano has cited for:
C.H.M.C. 8.12.020(9)(c): Remove overgrown, dead, decayed, diseased or hazardous trees, weeds, vegetation that constitutes an unsightly appearance.
C.H.M.C. 8.12.020(19): Inadequate landscaping on property that is visible from any public street that exist on a front yard, front or side parkway area, planter area, slope area, or either along or in combination with other conditions on the subject property that results in a diminution of the appearance of the subject property as compared with adjacent property, including, without limitation:
(a) Lack of vegetation, lawns, shrubs, or other softscape groundcover.
(b) Insufficient groundcover or landscaping creating an unsightly appearance.
C.H.M.C. 8.12.020(43): Any violation of any development permit (as that term is defined in Section 16.02.280), granted or approved pursuant to the Chino Hills Development Code (including Appendix D).
04CUP01 37(D) The maintenance shall conform to the Chino Hills Municipal Code.
04CUP01 35(8) The Applicant shall resubmit landscape architecture documents for major changes, for
review and possible acceptance, to Landscape Development.
The City of Chino Hills has ordered WGP-Vellano to:
Remove overgrown vegetation throughout the property and maintain in a clean and healthy manner on a consistent basis and remove the unpermitted chain link.
The City of Chino Hills has put WGP-Vellano on notice that they will be fined as follows:
“You have fourteen (14) days to correct the violations listed in this Compliance Order. If you have met the terms of this Compliance Order you may request a Code Enforcement inspection prior to the deadline. If the violations remain after the time set forth in this Compliance Order an Administrative Citation will be issued. An Administrative Citation is punishable by a $100 fine for the first citation. If the violation is not corrected, subsequent Administrative Citations may be issued. The fines are $200 for the second and $500 for every violation thereafter. Each day constitutes a new violation.
March 12, 2019
Chino Hills City Council Denies Developer’s Request to Keep Illegal Fence
The Chino Hills City Council, in an unanimous (5/0) decision voted to deny WGP-Vellano’s request to overturn the Chino Hills Planning Commission’s decision to allow the chain-link fence to stay in place. WGP Vellano argued unsuccessfully that the fence was needed to protect the public from the dangers of open space. The City Council did not find that argument compelling perhaps because there are thousands of acres of open space within Chino Hills, including a 14,000 acre unfenced state park.
December 20, 2018
Chino Hills Planning Commission Denies WGP-Vellano’s Appeal. Fence must be removed.
Vellano Golf Course owners WGP-Vellano LLC lost their appeal to retain the illegal chain link fence installed in violation of Chino Hills municipal code Section 16.06.120.
Christopher S. Burt, the attorney for WGP-Vellano argued that the fence was not unsightly contrary to photographic evidence to the contrary. WGP-Vellano’s attorney also stated the need to “protect the public” from danger by fencing the property. City staff and Commissioners were not impressed by WGP’s arguments and denied their appeal on a 5-0 unanimous decision. Vellano HOA President, Mike Konrad provided a rebuttal to WGP’s argument to retain the fence and presented prepared remarks to the Planning Commission. Read Mike Konrad’s prepared remarks -HERE-
According to the Chino Champion newspaper, WGP-Vellano paid the City of Chino Hills “at least $10,000” in fees associated with the submission of a modified use proposal and appeal which were both denied by the city.
November 20, 2018
WGP-Vellano Files Appeal to Retain Illegal Chain Link Fence
On June 14, 2018, golf course owners WGP-Vellano installed an illegal and un-permitted chain link fence on the former golf course property. The Vellano HOA notified the Chino Hills Police Department and the contractor was ordered to leave the property (based on trespassing allegations) before the fence installation could be completed. The Vellano HOA stated the contractor trespassed on HOA property in order to install the fence. On July 2, 2018, the City of Chino Hills declared the fence to be illegal. On July 11, the City of Chino Hills formally notified WGP-Vellano that the fence was illegal and ordered its removal. The deadline set by the city was ignored by WGP-Vellano. On July 31, 2018, the City of Chino Hills notified WGP-Vellano that the deadline to remove the fence had passed and issued a second deadline and a threat of fines in excess of $1,000 per day if the fence was not removed. WGP Vellano expressed their desire to submit a modified use plan to the city. The city agreed to extend a deadline for enforcement until a modified use plan was submitted and reviewed by the city. A plan was submitted by WGP-Vellano but lacked any suggested updated use, rather it only requested permission to retain the chain link fence. On October 8, 2018, the City of Chino Hills formally rejected WGP-Vellano’s request to retain the chain link fence and once again ordered its removal.
WGP-Vellano filed an appeal with the City of Chino Hills’ Planning Commission. On November 20, 2018, the Planning Commission heard WGP-Vellano’s appeal. WGP-Vellano’s lawyers submitted what the planning commission described as a 400+ page “document dump” less than twenty-four hours before the scheduled appeal, causing the City Attorney to recommend a delay in deciding the fate of the chain link fence until the December 18 planning commission hearing. Several commissioners expressed outrage over WGP-Vellano’s tactics and promised no additional delays beyond December 18. The planning commission heard statements by WGP-Vellano’s attorney and several Vellano homeowners.
The Planning Commission received a recommendation from city staff to deny the appeal. The vote will take place on December 18.
October 16, 2018
Western Golf Properties Stops Maintaining Vellano Pool
The Vellano Country Club’s swimming pool was allowed to turn green due to lack of maintenance. Western Golf Properties has once again violated the City of Chino Hills’s Conditional Use Permit by ceasing maintenence of the pool. The City of Chino Hills has also notified Vector Control to respond to the growing mosquito problem caused by the lack of proper pool maintenance.
October 8, 2018
The City of Chino Hills has formally denied the golf club owner's written request to keep the chain link fence. In a letter written to the golf club owners today, the city stated
"This application was submitted in response to an active code enforcement action against WGP Vellano LLC for violations related to illegal installation of chain link fencing, inadequate and poorly maintained landscaping and non-compliance with Conditional Use Permit 04CUP01. The Project Review Committee has completed a review of the application. As further discussed below, the City has determined that the proposed project does not satisfy required findings for the approval of a Site Development Permit; therefore, Site Development Permit 18SDP07 is denied."
This is good news!
I want to thank the City of Chino Hills' Council Members and staff for their efforts.
Septemer 26, 2018
Vellano Golf Club Owners Denied Permission to Demolish Pool and Gym
WGP-Vellano’s Bobby Heath requested permission from the City of Chino Hills to demolish the pool and gymnasium. The City of Chino Hills denied their request as it would have violated the Conditional Use Permit (CUP). The City previously determined WGP-Vellano was in violation of the Conditional Use Permit when they installed an illegal and unpermitted chain link fence and when they ceased irrigation and removed irrigation systems from the golf course. The City of Chino Hills gave WGP-Vellano’s Bobby Heath until September 15, 2018 to submit a plan for the property that would comply with the Conditional Use Permit. A plan was received from WGP-Vellano and is pending review. WGP-Vellano is requesting the retention of the chain link fence which the city continues to maintain is illegal.
July 31, 2018
City Orders Vellano Golf Course Owners to Remove Fence or Face Daily Fines
The City of Chino Hills sent Vellano Golf Club Owners a formal demand to restore landscape maintenance and remove the illegally installed chain-link fence. In a written letter from the City of Chino Hills to WGP-Vellano LLC, the city stated “On July 30, 2018 an additional inspection of the above property revealed that there were still overgrown weeds, landscaping that was dry and not maintained and unpermitted chain link fencing remained after the deadline established in the first notice sent to you on July 5, 2018.”. The warning also threatened fines “An Administrative Citation is punishable by a $100 fine for the first citation. “If the violation is not corrected, subsequent Administrative Citations may be issued. The fines are $200 for the second and $500 for every violation thereafter. Each day constitutes a new violation.”
March 15, 2018
Video recording of Vellano HOA meeting held
March 15, 2018.
"All the grass dies, all trees die"
- Michael Schlesinger
Notable statements made by golf club owners:
Golf club was purchased for development of homes
Threats to close the golf course and build a fence around it
Owner states "all the grass dies, all trees die"
Owner states the property can remain closed for 20 years or more
July 2, 2018
City Declares Fence Illegal
The battle to remove the chain link fence has begun. The following Chino Hills Council Members have toured the Vellano community to see first hand the newly installed chain link fence:
Councilman Ray Marquez
Councilwoman Cynthia Moran
Mayor Peter Rogers
All three council members expressed support for our community.
The Vellano HOA Board of Directors voted to restrict specific activities by the golf course owner including the entry of the fence contractor. Because we have been informed by the City of Chino Hills that the fence is illegal, our CC&R's allow us to prevent entry of anyone intending to commit an illegal act in order to protect the community.
On June 26, many Vellano residents attended the City Council Meeting. I gave a presentation to the City Council about the issues with the gold course owner. A transcript of the statement may be viewed -HERE-
Later in the meeting, after the public comments were made, the City Manager, Rad Bartlam made a statement indicating the city considers the fence to be a code enforcement matter that will be pursued under assistant city manager Ben Montgomery.
I received messages from three City Council Members indicating they were impressed with the large unified turnout at the meeting. I would like to thank those who attended the meeting. The large unified attendance at the meeting made a positive impact on the city council and city staff.
In a conference call today between me, the HOA attorney and golf club owner Michael Schlesinger and attorney Ronald Richards, a verbal agreement was reached to postpone further installation of the chain link fence. The postponement will give the city time to notify the golf course owners that the fence is illegal and to order it removed. It should be noted that this is only a verbal agreement and there is not a high level of confidence that it will be adhered to. Golf course owner Schlesinger and attorney Richards indicated their desire to install security cameras on the golf course property.
I would like to remind all homeowners and their guests to stay off of the golf course property. We do not want to provide the golf course owners with any justification for the fence.
NEW UPDATE: July 11, 2018:
The City has indicated the golf course owners have violated the conditional use permit established prior to the golf course construction. The City of Chino Hills has informed the golf club that they are violating the Conditional Use Permit and has directed the golf club to restore maintenance including watering the golf course property and to remove the illegal fence.
The attorney for the golf course today demanded that information contained in this website be removed and threatened the HOA if information contained in this website was not removed. The Vellano HOA will continue to provide accurate and timely information to its members even in the face of threatening and bully tactics by the golf course. Truth always wins.
June 23, 2018
City Determines Fence Installed by Western Golf Properties is Illegal - Orders Removal
The City of Chino Hills has determined that the chain link fence installed by golf course owner Western Golf Properties is illegal.
In the June 23rd edition of the Chino Champion Newspaper, reporter Marianne Napoles wrote:
"According to Chino Hills Community Development Director Joann Lombardo, chain-link fencing is not permitted under the golf course’s conditional use permit and city code does not allow chain-link as a permanent fence material. Chain-link is permitted for temporary construction fencing but there are no active building permits on the golf course that would allow construction fencing, Ms. Lombardo said."
June 14, 2018
Western Golf Properties’ Manager Rick Adams Asked to Leave Vellano HOA Property by Police
Chino Hills Police order Western Golf Property's Rick Adams to leave the Vellano HOA property along with his fencing contractors after they were accused of trespassing on HOA property.