History of Chino Hills

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The city of Chino Hills has a rich history that goes back to 1771 when it served as grazing land for cattle owned by the San Gabriel Mission. Eventually, the land was transferred from Mexico to the United States, and in 1848, Richard Gird purchased it.

During the early 1920s, Chino Hills experienced a rapid growth in population due to the development of mineral springs and a country club in an area known as Sleep Hollow or Carbon Canyon. These attractions quickly became popular escapes from urban life, leading to the construction of small homes nearby.

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During the 1960s, the springs became a popular spot for hippies to gather, resulting in the construction of numerous permanent houses. However, currently, the springs are no longer accessible, but the houses from that era still remain. Additionally, the Los Serranos country club was established in 1925, enabling its members to purchase small parcels of land in the vicinity. Many members took advantage of this opportunity to build cabanas or casitas for weekend retreats, eventually leading to the development of more permanent housing options.

In the 1970s, Chino Hills preserved its countryside allure with its hilly terrain and mainly functioned as a center for dairy farming and horseback riding. Nonetheless, the County of San Bernardino initiated the Chino Hills Specific Plan in 1979 to address the increasing housing demand in the region. This innovative plan covered more than 18,000 acres and was significant because it extended to an unincorporated area.

Chino Hills, which was approved in 1982 and later incorporated as a city on December 1st, 1991, experienced an influx of housing developments during the 1980s and early 1990s. As a result, its population has grown significantly from 42,000 to over 78,000 today. Presently, Chino Hills is recognized as an upper middle-class suburban community with an average household income of $106,825. Families in this area typically consist of three or four members. The cost of a typical new house in Chino Hills exceeds $1 million, while older houses are priced at around $600,000.

The majority of city residents in this area have completed college and enjoy a high average income. The primary ethnicities are approximately 50% White, 27% Asian, and 6% African American. Hispanics make up around 28%, with some belonging to other ethnic groups as well. The residents here have an average age of 32, with about one-third being under 18 years old and approximately 4% being over 65.

Notable recent developments in the area include the construction of the Shoppes in 2008 and the establishment of the Vellano country club in 2005. The Shoppes is an outdoor shopping center that features over 65 upscale stores and restaurants.

Chino Hills boasts a range of establishments, including Borders Bookstore, Forever 21, Yardhouse Bar and Grill, PF Changs, and California Pizza Kitchen. The aim was to create a new main street for Chino Hills that not only comprises stores but also incorporates the government center, library, and police station.

Vellano country club is an extravagant golf course and housing development with homes exceeding the 2 million dollar threshold. This establishes it as the most expensive housing in the inland empire.

The city of Chino Hills operates under a city council form of government. This council holds responsibilities such as establishing city ordinances, approving plans, and adopting budgets.

The city council of Chino Hills is responsible for selecting a city manager who is responsible for enforcing laws and supervising the daily operations of the city. The council members are elected by residents and take turns serving as mayor every four years. Residents have the opportunity to express their opinions during bi-monthly Tuesday meetings, which are broadcasted on local television and streamed on the city’s website. Peter Rogers currently holds the position of mayor in Chino Hills, along with other government officials.

C. Kruger, along with council members Art Bennet, Ed Graham, and Gwenn Norton-Perry, serves as mayor pro term. Peter Rogers has been running his own business, Peter Rogers Photography, for more than 25 years. He earned his communications degree from Cal Poly Pomona and continued his studies at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.Before being elected as mayor in 2006, he also served on various city committees.W. C. Kruger obtained a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Cal State San Diego and a master’s degree in business administration from National University.

Art Bennet has a diverse professional background. He previously worked for Kodak until his retirement in 1998 and currently teaches engineering and management classes part-time at different colleges. In 2000, he was elected to the city council and served as mayor in 2005 before becoming mayor pro term in 2006.

In addition to his political career, Art Bennet also earned a degree in business/real estate and works as a property tax consultant. Before winning a council seat in 2008, he actively participated on various committees. Interestingly, Art Bennet’s victory can be attributed to having fewer opponents challenging him.

Gwenn Norton-Perry, the current vice president of a land developing firm, possesses an impressive political background. She obtained a journalism degree from Humboldt State University and has been elected as mayor for four terms, holding various positions on multiple committees. In 2008, she secured a council seat due to insufficient candidates.

On the contrary, Ed Graham is currently serving as the vice principal at Pioneer Junior High. He achieved his physical education degree from Cal State Fullerton and also boasts a noteworthy political career. Prior to being reelected to the city council in 2006, he served four terms as mayor.

It is essential to mention that the city does not possess its own police or fire departments; instead, it relies on outsourcing these services.

The city is serviced by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s and the Chino Valley Independent Fire District. They have a station located in the city, adjacent to the new Shoppes. Despite my previous dislike for their presence at parties and events when I was younger, I now understand that they were just doing their job well. The Fire department operates three stations in different parts of the city – two close to the shoppes and another near the 91 freeway.

Born in Chino Hills in 1987, I have lived there all my life. I remember when the area only had an Albertsons, a gas station, and a few small stores near the Albertson’s. If you needed anything else, you had to go to Chino or Diamond Bar. Some of the roads were not paved; some were just dirt roads. In the mornings, the air was filled with the smell of cows. Nowadays, the city is thriving with many restaurants and popular retail chains to choose from.

Over time, urban living has been replaced by suburban development, resulting in a shift in lifestyle. During my childhood in the city, there were only a handful of parks and a library as available activities. The construction of a movie theatre did not occur until the late 90’s, but it necessitated driving downtown to Chino which took approximately 10 to 15 minutes. At present, we have an impressive 18-screen theatre with stadium seating that offers reasonable prices and student discounts. Nonetheless, it fails to fully meet the entertainment requirements of local residents.

The city of Chino Hills could benefit from more activities and hangouts specifically created for teenagers that offer a safe and enjoyable environment. One idea is to establish a bowling alley with both bowling lanes and video games. Chino Hills already provides an excellent upbringing for young people due to its high safety level, quality schools, and cleanliness. As the city grows, it is important that it maintains these exceptional qualities as a great place for families to live. I confidently recommend Chino Hills as a residential choice not just because I am a resident myself but also because I truly believe in its incredible potential for future success.

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History of Chino Hills. (2018, Feb 03). Retrieved from


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