UNITED WALNUT TAXPAYERS PRESS RELEASE
Walnut California, April 16, 2018
After a lengthy 4-year battle between Mt San Antonio Community College and the community and city of Walnut, Mt SAC and the City of Walnut reached a Memorandum of Agreement on April 11, 2018. While the City has settled and will dismiss all of its lawsuits, UWT has one further Measure RR spending lawsuit against Mt. SAC filed before Mt. SAC’s bid for the 20/20 Olympic trials.
Mt SAC agreed to permanently abandon the construction of an 11-acre Solar Farm designated for the West Parcel, the busiest intersection in Walnut at Grand and Temple. Additionally, Mt SAC has agreed to abandon the 2200 stall 5 story parking structure at Lot A within 120 feet of the Timberline community. Although the agreement did not indicate that a restrictive covenant will be recorded on the parking structure, UWT believes it was an oversight and could be corrected in an addendum to the agreement.
This is a victory for the Walnut community and a step in the right direction towards the preservation and protection of our environment, and ultimately, the quality of life in Walnut.
UWT continues to have significant concern that the settlement agreement will allow the dumping of 140,000 cubic yards of dirt at the West Parcel. Geotechnical studies conducted by a licensed engineering geologist and geotechnical engineer on this site indicate serious landslide and stability problems remain (as acknowledged by both the City and Mt. SAC in their joint press release dated 04/12/18), and adjacent residential properties would be in jeopardy of failure. There have been two major landslides at this location in the past few decades and residents close to the site indicate that they continue to see cracking and shifting at their properties. Substantial geotechnical engineering studies must be done to determine if dirt can be dumped safely at the site.
UWT remains hopeful that the City of Walnut and Mt. SAC will do their due diligence and contract with a qualified, licensed geotechnical engineering firm to review proposed grading plans as well as ensure review by California Geological Survey as required for large school grading projects with significant geological problems.
Finally, UWT will remain vigilant on the use of taxpayers money on bond projects. We strongly urge Mt. SAC to adopt the guidelines provided by California Taxpayers Action Network (CALTAN) to promote and to protect the welfare and rights of California’s residents and taxpayers through the encouragement of sound fiscal policies, practices and business methods by California’s public entities (www.caltan.org).
“Our primary goal was to get Mt. SAC to consider concerns of the community for its large-scale projects on the outskirts of its campus because they are highly impactful and affect the quality of life in the entire Walnut community. We’ve been calling on Mt. SAC to sit down with the community, talk to the community, and create a balance with their needs and the community needs. Hopefully, that is where we are now, however, only time will tell whether Mt. SAC will change its errant ways” stated Layla Abou-Taleb President of UWT.
Go to Resource tab for link to UWT Geotechnical Study, City-Mt. SAC MOA and City Mt. SAC Press Release.
** UWT is a public nonprofit 501 (c)(3) corporation formed to preserve and protect the quality of life in the City of Walnut.
United Walnut Taxpayers Layla Abou-Taleb, President