Apple Valley Town Council is expected to review two new maps for reclassification on Tuesday before choosing one. The council voted in February to move from five council districts to four with a general election for mayor every two years.
Additionally, on Tuesday the council will consider hiring an architectural firm to design an observation deck and open space path once the iconic Hilltop House on Bass Hill is demolished.
A proposed map called “Tan Map” was created by a consultant for the city, while “Map 101” was submitted by an Apple Valley resident.
Each map divides the city into four electoral districts. According to the 2020 census, the city has a population of 76,063, and each borough represents about a quarter of the total population.
Apple Valley is approximately 45% White, 38% Hispanic, 9% Black, and 4% Asian American. Citizen voter registration in 2020 included 43,996 people. Of these, 62% were White, 26% Latino, 10% Black, and nearly 3% Filipino and Asian surnames.
The Tan card
General boundaries for District 1 are Morro Road on the north, Yucca Loma Road on the south, Interstate 15 on the west, and Navajo on the east.
District 2’s boundaries include Falchion Road to the north, Poppy Road to the south, the Mojave River to the west, and the Deep Creek/Rincon Roads to the east.
District 3’s boundaries include Morro Road to the north, Sitting Bull Road to the south, Navajo Road to the west, and Joshua Road to the east.
District 4’s boundaries include Sitting Bull Road to the north, Ocotillo Way to the south, Deep Creek Road to the west, and Central Road to the east.
General boundaries for District 1 are Morro Road on the north, Yucca Loma Road on the south, Interstate 15 on the west, and Dale Evans Parkway on the east.
District 2’s boundaries include Falchion Road to the north, Poppy Road to the south, the Mojave River to the west, and a combination of Apple Valley/Kiowa Roads to the east.
District 3’s boundaries include Morro Road to the north, Poppy Road to the south, Dale Evans Parkway to the west, and Central Road to the east.
Circle. 4 borders are Ottawa Road to the north, Ocotillo Road to the south, Apple Valley Road to the west, and Navajo Road to the east.
On January 24, the city contracted with National Demographics Corporation to provide reclassification services, including map drawing.
Several public hearings were held and the public was also invited to create potential district maps, with a final acceptance date of April 12.
The city is currently divided into five districts, which were created according to geographical aspects, the use of main roads as dividing lines and the consideration of future growth areas.
In Apple Valley, Hesperia, and Victorville, voters elect council members in their respective counties, and the councils later vote to appoint a mayor or mayor of their own.
The council voted on February 22 to move to a four-ward voting map, with a general mayoral election held every two years.
The 3-2 vote came with the support of Mayor Kari Leon and Councilors Scott Nassif and Larry Cusack for the first mayoral election since the city’s incorporation in 1988.
Mayor Pro Tem Art Bishop said he finally voted no after hearing the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?” by several residents of the city.
Councilor Curt Emick said he wasn’t sure the mayoral election was the best scenario and that many residents didn’t know the precinct boundaries, the borough they lived in or their borough representative.
In the High Desert, the cities of Adelanto and Barstow hold general mayoral elections every four years.
New district maps and the Apple Valley mayoral election are in effect for the November general election.
Appointment and Elections
In 2019, the city council passed an ordinance approving a five-county map. During this time, Cusack represented District 1 and Bishop represented District 2.
Bishop and Cusack were first elected in 2016 and re-elected in November 2020 as they ran unopposed in the city’s first post-district election.
In 2018, incumbent Scott Nassif was re-elected along with Emick, who first won his council seat in 2014. Leon also won her first choice.
Nassif, Emick and Leon do not represent districts, but that will change in November should they run for re-election.
Nassif, who is currently serving his fifth term, first received his seat in 2002 and won re-election bids every four years through 2018.
To learn more about the borough maps and process, and to identify your potential voting district, visit av.town/redistricting.
Hilltop House Project
The City Council will also consider hiring Architerra Design Group to design a viewing platform and open path on Bass Hill.
The project, which would reuse the iconic home and grounds, would begin sometime after the Hilltop House, built and condemned in 1957, was demolished.
On February 17, the city issued a call for proposals seeking a design consultant to survey the property lines, prepare an aerial photograph, and create a concept design and image boards.
The city received three proposals and polled the two most qualified companies, with Architerra Design being selected by the staff as the most qualified to proceed.
In a written statement, City Manager Doug Robertson said the city’s goal has always been to convert the property into a usable public space and viewing platform.
“We know how important this property is to the history and legacy of our community, and this next step will bring us closer to preserving that history safely and interactively,” said Robertson, adding that the city is excited about this to continue work.
Architerra design group
Based in Rancho Cucamonga, Architerra Design describes itself as a professional landscape architecture and site planning practice for California, Arizona, Oregon, New Mexico and Nevada.
The design firm has been recognized as one of the largest landscape architecture firms in the Inland Empire.
The company was founded in 1991 by Richard Krumwiede, a licensed landscape architect with over 45 years of experience in the landscape design and construction industry.
One of Architerra Design’s many projects is the renovation and redesign of two roof gardens at the Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Facility.
Destruction of the Hilltop House
In March, the City Council voted unanimously to demolish Hilltop House in preparation for building an observation deck.
The council decided to demolish the ramshackle home along Highway 18, primarily because of the structure’s safety and liability concerns.
City officials did not give a timeline for the demolition. Still, it said the estimated cost of destroying the city-owned structure is $150,000 to $200,000, using mitigation funds and allocated Community Development Block Grant funds.
The Hilltop House was built primarily by Newton T. Bass and business partner Bud Westlund, owners of the Apple Valley Ranchos Land Development Company and founders of the town.
Bass initially used the home — which spans nearly 21 acres — to lure potential average and celebrity homeowners like Bob Hope and Dean Martin.
Property confronts fires, abandonment
After a fire almost destroyed the house in 1967, the building was rebuilt and used primarily as office space.
The owner of the house changed hands several times. The building has been used as an entertainment and conference center and has hosted events such as meetings, weddings, school activities, receptions and parties.
A fence erected around the house was frequently broken down by intruders, vandals and the curious. Some stole recyclable materials from the structure, city officials said.
The city has spent tens of thousands of dollars securing the hilltop property and cleaning up the graffiti and vandalism that has plagued the building.
For more information on the Hilltop House conversion project, visit av.town/hilltophouse or call 760-240-7000 ext. 7051.
Tuesday’s meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Apple Valley City Hall, 14955 Dale Evans Parkway. The full agenda and meeting can also be viewed online at AppleValley.org.
Daily Press reporter Rene Ray De La Cruz can be reached at 760-951-6227 or RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz.