By James Folmer, Editor
Highland Community News
Jun 13, 2018 / Updated Jun 13, 2018

The Highland City Council approved five resolutions Tuesday night to set in motion the Nov. 6 vote on the Harmony housing project and to elect two council members.

On 4-0 votes, with 2nd District Councilwoman Anaeli Solano absent, the council instructed City Attorney Craig Steele to prepare an impartial analysis on the referendum on Harmony. It also set deadlines.

June 25 is the deadline for the analysis and arguments for and against the referendum. Arguments must be 300 words or less. Rebuttals are due July 5 and are limited to 250 words.

The measure, which does not yet have a letter designation, reads: “Shall Ordinance No. 409 approving the Harmony Specific Plan and ordinance No. 410 approving the Development Agreement be adopted?”

Voting yes approves the Harmony project.

The ordinances cited in the question were approved in August 2016 by former council members Sam Racadio and Jody Scott and current member John Timmer. Penny Lilburn, then mayor pro tem, abstained and then- and current-Mayor Larry McCallon was absent.

The Harmony project would build some 3,600 homes in a master-planned development on 1,675 acres east of Greenspot Road after it turns south toward Mentone at the Old Iron Bridge over 13 to 15 years.

There are two challenges to the environmental impact report on the project.

The project would set aside 580 acres of natural open space and protect wildlife corridors. It would include 14 active and passive parks covering more than 100 acres. All homes would be “solar ready” and 60 percent of commercial properties would include solar panels.

The developer, Lewis Homes, would invest $50 million in development impact fees in infrastructure, including improvement to Greenspot Road to accommodate traffic. It would include a fire and police station and an elementary school.

Two City Council districts are on the November 2018 ballot, Timmer’s District 2, east of State Route 210, and Solano’s District 4, west of Cunningham Street and almost reaching Rogers Lane. Timmer has been on the council for 26 years, Solano for almost two.

When the city reluctantly switched to district-only elections in 2016, the entire council was on the ballot. The terms of Timmer and Solano were limited to two years instead of the usual four. Candidates will pay for their statements, limited to 200 words.

At 8 a.m. July 16 the window to submit nomination papers opens. At 5 p.m. Aug. 10, the window closes.