Claws vs. paws

Dear Editor:
Your cat may be more than just traumatized. 

Our beloved six-year-old long-haired indoor cat opened an unlocked screen door just after sunset. After about 15 minutes, we found her on top of a 4-foot chain-link fence (very odd) that separates our backyard and a flood control ditch. She was very traumatized, and bit me when I lifted her off the fence. I set her on the ground, and she would not move, or let us touch her. We assumed she was chased up the fence, or had chased a bird or rat, and became stuck. 

After she calmed down, we got her back in the house where she acted completely exhausted. She spent the night under our bed. We checked on her in the morning, and she seemed awake and Okay, but too far under to reach. I checked on her three hours later, and she had come out from under the bed, and was very weak. 

I rushed her to the vet, but it was too late. She had stopped breathing. The vet found four bloodless marks on her back; three were small nicks, and the fourth was a larger puncture mark. We have concluded that a hawk or owl picked her up, and the bird’s talon had punctured her vital organs. It is so hard to look back, misreading her entire situation with her having long hair and no blood being apparent. 

Please check for injuries, if you ever find your cat traumatized. A contributing factor may have been a recent large brush fire nearby that may have forced the bird of prey to attempt attacking larger animals for food.

Mark & Debbie Chaffey

Elect, then neglect

Dear Editor:
My question is: Why do we have master plans and zoning if the planning commission ignores them?

Answer: If we didn’t, then the politicians and planning commissioners would not have a source for tax-free income.

 W. Tom Foster
North Tustin

Dear Editor:
I wanted to write this letter to express my dismay with the Orange County Planning Commission and the recent comments by our own elected Supervisor Todd Spitzer recommending approval of the rezoning effort for the Sheldon high-density housing project at Newport and Kingsbridge Road.  Even other county supervisors at the recent Dec. 12 board meeting (Andrew Do, Shawn Nelson and Lisa Bartlett) expressed concerns that the developer wants too many houses in this development to meet the fire, parking and aesthetics for a new community in Cowan Heights.

The area in question is AR-20,000 zoned, requiring a minimum lot size of 20,000 sq. ft., as other areas of North Tustin/Cowan Heights are currently zoned.  The area has a specific charm and ambiance created by these larger lots, which allow greater privacy and an overall larger natural area around each home.  

The developer plans much higher-density construction and much smaller lot sizes that demand a variance to AR-20,000 and other community requirements.  

In addition, the County General Plan designates the section of Newport Blvd. as a viewscape corridor, which could be significantly impacted by this new higher-density housing project.

The purpose of zoning is to provide consistency within an area, and give existing homeowners and new prospective buyers guidance on community development requirements.  

Spot zoning, as this developer and individual property owner prefers, might be profitable and advantageous, but can have an adverse impact on adjacent property owners and the overall community in general, who depend on this zoning and quality of life. The California Supreme Court recognizes that instances of spot zoning are only considered acceptable when there is overall community benefit.  

This developer has proposed a small 10-ft.-wide horse trail as the only benefit to the community.  

This hardly advances the benefit of the horse community and, in fact, rezones this land for smaller lots without stables, recreation facilities or any extra land to accommodate the future community.  The developer proposes future residents utilize public park facilities instead.

As an example of the acknowledged shortage of parking, CC&R requirements will mandate vehicles only in garages, with regular inspections to enforce.  Otherwise, there will not be enough parking on the single street of this proposed community. 

Existing property owners nearby are impacted most significantly, but other property and property owners within the existing AR-20,000 zone will become subject to spot zoning for the benefit of a small group of property owners/developers, at the detriment to the rest of us who abide and appreciated the existing zoning requirements.

I hope that any member of the community with a preference for the open air scenery and larger lot sizes required in the AR-20,000 area of Cowan Heights will express their displeasure to Supervisor Todd Spitzer, and request the other supervisors to consider the significant number of homeowners and residents that prefer maintaining existing zoning requirements and the current atmosphere of the community.

Craig Webb
Cowan Heights

Date debate

Dear Editor:
I wanted to offer some clarification in terms of my comments at the Villa Park City Council meeting regarding the council meeting schedule.  I do not wish them to be taken out of context to further someone else’s political purposes.

It was suggested by two of our council people that we change the date of the council meeting in September to accommodate their ability to attend a Special District Association conference.  I had the item pulled, and indicated we should not change the meeting, as our citizens expect the meetings to take place on the fourth Tuesday of the month.  Bob Collacott and Bill Nelson asked to have it changed to September 18th.  I objected, using my birthday as a reason not to change it, only because my birthday is as irrelevant to the city as the special district association is. We do not derive any value from this event, and as such, I am not sure why they feel we should move the council date.  

At the end of the meeting, Nelson actually revisited the agenda item because he was upset about comments I made about the wasteful spending to utilize an outside consultant to draft a strategic plan that was not dissimilar from the one written previously by the city at no cost, and done by the internal team.  I encourage anyone to compare the two, as I did.

I am disappointed that we have council members who feel they are entitled.  Entitled to attend irrelevant events and disrupt city expectations. Entitled to become mayor because they believe it is their turn or they are next in line. I believe one should earn the position.  I am sure one could argue that our new mayor feels he has earned the position since he spends so much time creating all kinds of committees, work effort and frivolous projects that overtax our city employees and have been a significant reason for two of our top city employees to leave and go elsewhere.  We are not on the council to run the city, but to issue policy.  We expect our city manager and staff to run the city.  

Unfortunately, the new mayor wrote a letter in the last edition of the Sentry and, once again, is unencumbered by fact. He complained he was “ostracized.” 

I reviewed the voting records, and the facts are: prior to the council being seated one year ago there were a total of 277 votes taken.  Of the ones that were three to two, Bob was on the winning side 18 times; nine on the other side, of which three were substitute motions that were basically the same vote. There was one three-to-one vote, where Nelson abstained.  Of 15 four-to-one votes, Bob voted with the four. So, bottom line, six votes in two years is what he’s complaining about.  If you check the voting record this year, he has been on the winning side every time.  

I am very disappointed with the choice of mayor.  Nelson told me it was Bob’s turn and that is the way it works. Not that you have to earn the position by service to the community, but that you are entitled. I am going to hold our new mayor accountable to stay away from day-to-day city management, and let the city manager do his job. I will continue to bring up frivolous spending like that with the strategic plan and wasteful projects that overtax our staff and cause balance issues with their families.  Villa Park is an amazing place to be, and it is a shame our council is dysfunctional, not trusting and entitled.  

I am disappointed that I have to write this letter, but it is the only way I can be heard. 

Robbie Pitts
Villa Park City Councilman