First, the positives: the location is great -- a reasonable drive to anything you want (major metropolitan centers, mountains, beaches, deserts); we have lots of parks, restaurants, and shops right here in town; it's very family-oriented and ethnically diverse; it's safe (lived here five years and have no problem taking a stroll after dark if the whimsy strikes). And, of course, for about three-and-a-half weeks out of the year (end of February to middle of March), it's heaven on earth: while much of the country is buried in snow, we're enjoying mid-70's temperatures, and loving the views of those gorgeous green hillsides under our vibrant SoCal skies.
And then, unfortunately, the little bit of annual rainfall ends. The hills dry up to their plain, ugly beige, the sunshine becomes too warm for far too long (summer means week after week of 95+ temperatures, often lasting well into October), and Chino Hills is once again just one more too-crowded, overpriced L.A. suburb, where you have to sit for two and three lights at every intersection and you're lucky if your neighbors so much as glance at you as you pass them on the way to the communal mailbox. There's too much money in this town: sixteen-year-olds at the high school are driving Mercedes and BMW's with the dealer plates still on them, and there's a pervasive sense of materialism even among the adults (who, of course, are the ones buying the upscale cars for said teens), meaning that you're something of an oddity if you don't carry designer handbags and casually drop $50 bucks on lunch.
Basically, if you don't mind intense heat, if you like a community in which people tend to stick to themselves, and if you pull in about $150K a year, there are a lot of advantages here. But for those of us who don't get into the accumulation game, or who can't afford $300 A/C bills all summer, I'm really hoping there are better places.
Diane | Chino Hills, CA