Of, By, and For the People of Chino Hills (and Chino)!
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About Chino Hills - A Personal Perspective
Chino Hills is a group of communities nestled in the beautiful hills that carry the same name. It’s a town with a lot of history. It’s a town where people and the government work together to solve problems and improve the standard of living. It’s a community, where people know and care about each other.
When I brought my wife and two sons from Chicago to live Southern California in 1986, one of my goals was to find a place where I could raise my kids and give them roots. The same kind of roots I still value today from my childhood. I loved growing up in a town where I knew people and people knew me and where I could still go back after 40 years and say hi to old friends. I found that place in Chino Hills.
We bought our home here in 1989, before the town became officially incorporated. It was still known as Chino Hills and had an estimated population of 15,000 to 20,000 people at that time. Since incorporating in 1991, it has grown to approximately 82,000 in population. We kind of grew up with the city. I still remember when Ed Graham, the father of one of my son’s friends, knocked on our door and asked for our support as he was to run for the city’s first city council. Ed still serves on the council today. Ed is typical of the type of government leader that we have here. We have a town where the government is approachable and where they listen to the community. Ed and Councilmember Gwynn Norton-Perry are original members from that first sitting council in 1991. They serve today with Mayor Peter Rogers and Councilmembers Bill Kruger and Art Bennett. Chino Hills rotates the duty of Mayor amongst the five City Council Members each year to spread out the work and responsibility and to save the city money.
The government in Chino Hills operated out of Spartan headquarters located near Grand Avenue and Chino Hills Parkway for over 15 years, but this year, has moved to a modern facility built on Peyton Avenue, south of Grand Avenue, near the new Shoppes at Chino Hills. The city employs about 190 people, most of who work in administrative, planning, finance, recreation, and public works. Chino Hills contracts with the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department for Police services and with the Chino Valley Independent Fire District for emergency services. The city is also served by the Chino Valley Unified School District (CVUSD).
The city is often referred to as "The Best Kept Secret in the Inland Empire" and for good reason. Honestly, I always thought that was my own saying until I saw it referred to that way in a newspaper article. Although it has grown tremendously, it is surrounded by nature. On the western and southern borders is the Chino Hills State Park, consisting of 13,000 acres, 31 miles long, and full of hills, valleys, and wildlife. My sons and I experienced the sighting of our first wild Tarantula during one of our frequent hikes in those hills when we moved here. There are deer, coyote, owls, raccoons, skunks, opossums, rabbits, reptiles, and even a few bobcats and mountain lions in the hills.
The hills provide a natural border from the hectic and fast paced lifestyle of Orange and Los Angeles Counties. On the eastern border of Chino Hills is a huge Army Corp of Engineer flood plain and Lake Prado that run along the route of the Santa Ana River. This flood plain looks like a giant forest and runs alongside the 4 lane, 71 Freeway.
At night, a drive from the 91 northbound into Chino Hills still gives the impression of being in the middle of nowhere. There is nature on both sides for miles around; all hills and rocks to the west, and a forest as far as you can see to the east.
The flood plain also serves as a natural nitrate cleanser and filters water flowing down from the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains into Orange County. The area contains a large hunting dog training facility, and archery and shooting ranges left over from the 1984 Olympics. On weekend mornings you can hear sportsmen shooting far off in the distance from where we live. There is also the Prado Regional Park with fishing, horseback riding, RV and camping hookups, and sports facilities. The park is always busy on weekends with locals and with visitors from out of town. More
- Hunting Information (CA Dept. of Fish & Game)
The Mission of the Department of Fish and Game is to manage California's diverse fish, wildlife, and plant resources, and the habitats upon which they depend, for their ecological values and for their use and enjoyment by the public.
- Omnilink Bus Service for Seniors
OmniLink is a demand-response transportation system providing curb-to-curb service for the general public in Yucaipa (and portions of Calimesa) and Chino Hills. OmniLink minibuses do not go on a regular route, but respond to customer’s telephone requests for service on a daily basis.
Omnitrans is the public transit agency serving the San Bernardino Valley. Founded in 1976 through a joint powers agreement, Omnitrans carries over 15 million passengers each year throughout its 480-square mile service area.
- Omnitrans Access Service
Access is a service designed to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The purpose is to provide equal access to public transportation for persons who are physically or cognitively unable to use regular bus service. Access provides curb-to-curb service to complement the Omnitrans fixed-route bus system.