several years Diamond Bar has coveted the Diamond Bar Golf Course near Golden
Springs and Grand Avenue. In order to generate more money for City functions, the City Council wants to turn the open space into a commercial venture, like a
mall. Learn more by following this link.
But Los Angeles County owns the Golf Course and the County has told Diamond Bar
that they would need to replace the golf course if they want existing golf
One June 6th, 2006, under agenda Item 6.6, the City Council finally took its
first step toward replacing the golf course. They entered escrow on the 170-acre
Reed property in Rowland Heights for a purchase price of $3.2 million.
Learn more by following this link. Since this is
hilly terrain, more land is needed in order to build a flat golf course like the
current one along the 60 freeway. So, on December 5, 2006 the City Council approved
the purchase of 120 acres of open space property from the City of Industry near
the Reed property. Learn more by following this
to this quest for a replacement golf course, Diamond Bar entered discussions
with Aera Energy, a division of Shell-ExxonMobil and owner of 3,000 acres of
land along the Los Angeles – Orange County border. This is the oak and walnut
woodland sthat border the 57 freeway and provides a buffer between the Cities of Brea and Diamond
Shell-Aera’s land is adjacent to both the Reed and the City of Industry properties.
See the map to the right for location information. A portion of Shell-Aera’s land
would serve as a linkage between the two parcels Diamond Bar is buying.
In 2003, Shell-Aera submitted proposals to Los Angeles and Orange Counties to
build 3,600 dwelling units and three commercial centers on its property. Because
the Shell-Aera land is considered a Significant Ecological Area (SEA) under Los
Angeles County’s General Plan, the proposal required extra scrutiny. The
Advisory Committee that oversees SEA’s determined that the extensive impacts of
Shell-Aera’s project were not in compliance with the law. The Committee told Shell-Aera
to redesign its project. This kind of rejection is actually quite rare.
Learn more by following this link.
Rather than comply with Los Angeles County rules, Shell-Aera went shopping for a
development friendly city and found it in Diamond Bar. Though Shell-Aera denies
that its project was rejected by Los Angeles County, there really is no other
reason for them to go shopping for a different approval entity. Shell-Aera clearly
believes it can have its way with Diamond Bar since it couldn’t have it
with Los Angeles County.
of the other cities and communities surrounding the Shell-Aera project (across
county lines) have come together in an effort to save this land. This coalition
is known as the Hillside Open Space Education Coalition (www.HOSEC.com).
The founding members include the Cities of Brea, La Habra, La Habra Heights, and Whittier,
and the communities of Hacienda Heights, and Rowland Heights.
At a HOSEC meeting in August 2006 Shell-Aera representatives and Diamond Bar
Assistant City Manager David Doyle said that discussions were causal and
preliminary and HOSEC would be kept informed.
Apparently this was not their intention after all. On December 19, 2006 during a
time when most City Councils cancel meetings because of the holidays, Diamond
Bar’s City Council met to approve a huge agreement with Shell-ExxonMobil. This
meeting caught Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe by surprise and he
registered his concern in a letter. Learn more about this by following this
The City Council unanimously approved an agreement that upon examination by
experienced eyes appears heavily slanted in Shell-Aera’s favor.
There was not even any discussion on a massive project that will change the face
of Diamond Bar and the region forever. Every new house adds 10 more vehicle
trips a day to area streets and freeways – the Diamond Bar City Council seems to
believe the region can absorb another 28,000 vehicles every day. Since
Shell-Aera intends to pursue the rest of its project in Orange County and a portion
off of Harbor Boulevard, this will add even thousands of more cars to our
crowded roads and freeways.
The Diamond Bar staff report describes a study that was conducted that showed
that the Shell-Aera project would bring in $1 million a year to the City. Learn
more by following this link. The City
was asked for a copy of the report – since it was referenced as a public
document and was the foundation upon which the City Council made its decision.
Learn more by following this link. But the
refused to release the document declaring it was in a draft state. Learn more by
following this link. So no one can
independently analyze the validity of this study because the City refuses to let
the public have access to it.
In the early stages of HOSEC’s cooperative effort they funded a poll that asked
100 residents in each of the communities if they wanted to save the hills. The
answer was the same whether it was in Whittier or Diamond Bar – over 75% of
those polled wanted to see the hills protected. This poll can be viewed on the
Hills For Everyone website.
Since that time, hillside preservation supporters have identified and worked to
find four different funding sources for purchase of the Shell-Aera. Now that
Diamond Bar has opened the door for Shell-Aera’s development, the door has
closed on purchase of the land.
Learn more about how you can help by following this