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User avatar
By Windlord
#86046
Just read the news article and it is definitely an enviromental disaster
waiting to happen. :ahh:
Fires, earthquakes, mud slides and wild life disruption, heck yes, on helluva
location for new homes, those dirty bassstards. :punch: :cuss:
The thing is if they build, they will probably sit empty for quite awhile, unless
they plan on giving away the homes.
Thanks for the update Rob! :thumbsup:
User avatar
By Rebardan
#86055
the fire threat is real.
here are some photos from 2003 October / November.
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User avatar
By Windlord
#86061
Yep, fire is definitely a threat. Thanks for the pics "Rebardan". :shock:
The developers just see a hunk of land and profits. Don't really care what
happens to the homeowner.
Hmmm, this isn't good what-so-ever! :x
Just posted my 2 cents worth in the comment section of the newspaper.
Hope someone gets the message.
User avatar
By Rob McKenzie
#86067
Panorama Fire.
Hot day at Pine Crest Air Park. (original LZ at Crestline)
http://www.cccarto.com/cal_wildfire/panorama/fire.html

That Monday I was on my lunch break from my work in Yucaipa and riding my motorcycle into Redlands to the bank when I first saw the 20 mile distant massive spray of smoke pushed by the santa anas. In a few seconds I realized it was coming right from the Marshall Peak / Waterman Canyon location. I twisted the throttle to the limit that my little 125 Honda could muster and I headed back to work to clock out. I was on a mission.

Arriving at the Air Park, Andy and Nita were there along with a couple others including whack westfall. We were at this point still 2 or more miles crosswind of the blaze. Winds were gusting to 100 mph but averaged and mostly lulled to a much mellower 60. It was fascinating to see a news chopper parked beside the 1000' tall, miles long wall of smoke. It was easy to see the front of the main rotor was far lower than the rear. It was working hard and flying very fast just to hover. At one point I saw this huge 1000' tall 100' wide fire tornado that back dropped our view of the chopper. Not a good day to fly hang gliders I suspect. And a side note, the tornado was directly over what is now the Andy Jackson Airpark. Not that it matters. All areas here are vulnerable.

Whack suggested we go over to Andy's house, which was for sale, and was somewhere inside the smoke wall. I followed on my trusty 125 Honda.

As we got close to Andy's the bright California sunny day had become like night. A blizzard of ash blasted past. Andy's Palm tree was on fire and we were perhaps a mile downwind of the fire front. It was what I imagine it would be like in a war zone. I had this feeling that the fire would be unstoppable and it would burn all the way to Mexico 100 miles to the south. I was now more scared than any time in hang gliding. But I reluctanly followed whack who now said... "let's go north to the fire".

As we turned the corner on F street a block south of Northpark Blvd a cop was directing traffic to not go further north. Visibility was about 400' at most but with that all I could see was every house on the north side of Northpark engulfed in 100' tall flames. I saw no people. I worried that the grapefruit sized burning embers would find a gas source and my bike would die along with all these homes. I also thought for a moment that the cop might arrest us for not leaving like he was telling us to do. It's the dudley doo right in me I suppose. But that thought passed as I knew he was WAY too busy to worry about us.

Whack said... "let's help fight the fire. " I thought sarcastically "yea right."

But whack was out of his truck and running up to a house. The owner was on the lawn screaming and crying about his house burning. Smoke was billowing from a single crack on the roof. Whack climbed up to the roof and hollered to the owner to hand him the garden hose. Whack jumped up and down and kicked a hole in the roof and applied what little flow there was into the attic of the house. I took whack's lead and ran across the street to do the same to another house that had a similar roof issue.

I had a hose running, and tied around my waist and had found a way up to the roof. Nobody was home. Jumping up and down on the roof I could see in the back yard, upwind of me, a wooden shed beginning to grow flames that now were easily 10' high. Cops drove by with loud speakers announcing to evacuate the area. A fire truck soon followed using its own PA system telling people to not leave but to water their roofs. As the fire truck came closer I jumped down from the roof and waved them to stop pointing at the shed in the back yard.

It was amazing to see a crew of 4 or 5 firemen run the hose the 100' or more and tear into that shed both with water and axes. Half the shed lay across the backyard. All of the shed was wet and no longer burning. And the whole attack lasted about 90 seconds and they were again driving up the street.

My eyes now hurt really badly. In spite of having kept my full face motorcycle helmet on and visor down, the ash had made it almost impossible to keep my eyes open. Returning to the roof to attack the source of the smoke trail I had now made a personal mission, I had to lay on my back for a bit and with eyes open, poured water into them to help wash away some of the ash and soot. And my right heel was pretty bruised.

The remainder of the day was a blur both in memory and literally.

By evening at the LZ, the fire front was now just 1/2 mile to the east and a small group of pilots and distant neighbors had arrived to help out. We gutted his mobile home of furnishings and gliders and anything that could be carried. It was all piled into vehicles and departed to places unknown. Andy had no clue who had his property but trusted it would eventually show up again.

It did all come back.

Overnight a dedicated fire crew set up a point of attack on the upwind side of Andy's mobile home. At about 3AM as the flames approached the crew timed a backfire and water attack and in about 10 minutes they had saved the home at the Air Park. They then packed up to leap frog other crews to a point further west to the next area of need.

I heard later that 250 homes in the area north of Northpark Blvd had burned within a 2 hour period. The two homes that Whack and I had climbed onto didn't burn. But the street we were on turned out to be first line of homes that stayed mostly intact. We did play a small part as fighting the blaze was a massive effort by a lot of folks. What an experience.

And history repeats about every 20 years on average.

And then comes mud.
User avatar
By Windlord
#86069
One helluva experience Rob! :shock:
Yes, history will repeat itself, but do you think the developers really care? Nah!
Except with the development partially built, maybe. But hey, that's what insurance is for.
They just don't seem to get it. :crazy:
User avatar
By Windlord
#86186
Sorry gang, had to bump this thread back in the line-up, too important.
Deadline for your letters is Sept 15. They are preprinted, just fill in the blanks
and mail'er off.
Don't forget to read Rob's latest update found on post #39. :thumbsup:
User avatar
By Rob McKenzie
#86200
The meeting with the developer this morning was short. The developer was barking and it was obvious that he had no intention of not building under the approach pattern. If you haven't written yet, please do.
User avatar
By NMERider
#86219
Rob McKenzie wrote:The meeting with the developer this morning was short. The developer was barking and it was obvious that he had no intention of not building under the approach pattern. If you haven't written yet, please do.

Rob -
Would it help to send additional letters? Should I canvas my neighbors and ask them to fill in the blanks, or would this look like sandbagging? We're having a block party on August 30th. That would be the time to do this. I could set up one of my gliders on my front lawn to attract attention for the cause. You tell me whether this would help or look ridiculous.
Thanks,
Jonathan
User avatar
By HGXC
#86220
This may sound stupid but have you tried to align your efforts with local environmental groups? I mean building expansion to areas that are reclaimed all the time is right up their alley.

Dennis
User avatar
By MysticWizard
#86225
I have been on the other side as a housing developer. If things work out there like they do down here (in S FL) the scariest thing for a developer who needs approval from the city council or county commission is a bunch of voters (not hang gliding non-residents) signing petitions and showing up at a meeting.

I know it may be some work, but if you riled up the local voter residents as to the fact that a developer was seeking permission to add housing inventory in a sensitive area, where housing values have already lost - say 30% or so, and got the momentum going to derail the entire project.. I would feel safe to speculate he may negotiate with you to stop the resistance.

You could then "back down", as long as he refrained from adding the houses in that one area.

I'm sorry if this reeks of "hardball", but you must play like the developer. Shoot ammo that hurts and threatens do do significant financial harm. Then, back down to get what you really need. Sadly, it's not so much about "safety" and consideration to the elected decision makers - as it is about "votes". Ruthless, but true.
Last edited by MysticWizard on Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By NMERider
#86226
HGXC wrote:This may sound stupid but have you tried to align your efforts with local environmental groups? I mean building expansion to areas that are reclaimed all the time is right up their alley.

Dennis
Make the call Dennis - San Bernardino Valley Audubon. Society. COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN. CONSERVATION: Dave Goodward (909) 783-2417

It will help your ankle heal even faster!
User avatar
By NMERider
#86227
MysticWizard wrote:..........I'm sorry if this reeks of "hardball", but you must play like the developer. Shoot ammo that hurts and threatens do do significant financial harm...........
Reeks you say? "You smell that? Do you smell that?...Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that..........Some day, this war's gonna end." - Robert Duvall
User avatar
By HGXC
#86312
NMERider wrote:
HGXC wrote:This may sound stupid but have you tried to align your efforts with local environmental groups? I mean building expansion to areas that are reclaimed all the time is right up their alley.

Dennis
Make the call Dennis - San Bernardino Valley Audubon. Society. COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN. CONSERVATION: Dave Goodward (909) 783-2417

It will help your ankle heal even faster!
Its not my call to make. The effect of a NH HGing pilot on local CA politics would be minimal. Someone from that area needs to make that call. The wiszardman is right fire with fire. You may get the attention of a local government site with letters but with a developer you have to screw with his risk/reward equation. Mess with his WIIFM.

Dennis
User avatar
By NMERider
#86323
HGXC wrote:.....
Its not my call to make. The effect of a NH HGing pilot on local CA politics would be minimal. Someone from that area needs to make that call. The wiszardman is right fire with fire. You may get the attention of a local government site with letters but with a developer you have to screw with his risk/reward equation. Mess with his WIIFM.

Dennis[/quote] I also agree with using the economic pressure angle. My earlier post was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. I'll call the audubon guy myself later today and see whether they're doing anything besides talking to reporters.
User avatar
By MysticWizard
#86326
another thought..

have breakfast with the lawyer submitting the ap for the developer. Explain to him that not only are you extremely concerned with the safety of building the homes underneath the approach, but as a resident of San Bernardino, you are concerned with the prospect of all the potential additional housing inventory in a very over saturated housing market. And you are looking at spearheading a petition drive to alert the existing residents/voters of the detrimental effects on the tax base, city services, housing values, traffic, etc...

well, perhaps if he could persuade his client, the developer, eliminate your initial and overriding concern regarding the hoses under the approach.. you may not consider the petition drive

believe me, he'll communicate the situation in an objective, non-confrontational manner, to the developer. developers often listen and respect lawyers they have hired to "grease the wheels" and move their petitions forward, better than complainants.
User avatar
By Windlord
#86489
Once again, back into the line-up.
Was wondering if the developer could shift his common area/park area to the
side/corner where the approach problem area is? :crazy:
Or is the developer hell-bent on doing it his way?
User avatar
By MysticWizard
#86508
Windlord wrote: Was wondering if the developer could shift his common area/park area to the
side/corner where the approach problem area is? :crazy:
Site planning seeks to maximize unit count and lot premiums against the constraints of required ingress/egress, street circulation, drainage, open space, setbacks, etc. Most likely, the site planner has determined that having houses under the approach allows for a couple extra units and or reduced infrastructure costs costs at another part of the site.

Its all about "site density" when it comes to development economics. A couple extra units as well as some reduced site infrastructure costs could mean $ tens of thousands. That's probably why the developer is resistant to shifting the plan layout.
User avatar
By Windlord
#86547
MysticWizard wrote:
Windlord wrote: Was wondering if the developer could shift his common area/park area to the
side/corner where the approach problem area is? :crazy:
Site planning seeks to maximize unit count and lot premiums against the constraints of required ingress/egress, street circulation, drainage, open space, setbacks, etc. Most likely, the site planner has determined that having houses under the approach allows for a couple extra units and or reduced infrastructure costs costs at another part of the site.

Its all about "site density" when it comes to development economics. A couple extra units as well as some reduced site infrastructure costs could mean $ tens of thousands. That's probably why the developer is resistant to shifting the plan layout.
Got it! :thumbsup:
Maybe we'll just have to leave it up to Mother Nature, when she gets pissed off.

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