Yorba Linda City Council to Prepare Final Argument to County on 420 Proposed Hillside Homes


Courtesy of OC Public Works
An architect’s concept drawing shows how a bridge across Blue Mud Canyon would connect Esperanza Hills to Stonehaven Drive.


By Daniel Langhorne

The Yorba Linda City Council on Tuesday will craft its closing statements to the Orange County Board of Supervisors on two proposed housing developments that would add 420 homes on an unincorporated hillside north of Stonehaven Drive.

In the wake of an easement-related lawsuit between the developers, there are two proposed access points on the same half-mile stretch of Via Del Agua and Stonehaven Drive, which are essentially the same residential street. Yorba Linda city staff argue this design is contrary to the City’s recommendation that Esperanza Hills add an access point at Aspen Way and San Antonio Road, according to a staff report.

Homeowners living adjacent to the projects are concerned that the addition of 420 homes would worsen the gridlock they experienced while evacuating during 2008 Freeway Complex Fire.

Marlene Nelson, a Via De La Roca homeowner and spokeswoman for Protect Our Hills and Homes, said she is happy to hear the city staff’s concern about the potential traffic impact of having projects exclusively using Via Del Agua and Stonehaven Drive. But Nelson also argues Esperanza Hills’ density needs to be cut back significantly and the County should require more analysis of environmental impacts of a proposed bridge across Blue Mud Canyon.


Courtesy of OC Public Works
A rendering  of the proposed bridge for Esperanza Hills across Blue Mud Canyon, which is bisected by the Whittier Fault Line.

“As long as the density stays where it’s at we feel that having one daily ingress and egress is a safety issue,” Nelson said.

Neighbors are also concerned about the increase in daily vehicle trips on Via Del Agua and Yorba Linda Boulevard, the disappearance of wildlife habitat and the environmental impacts of hillside grading and home construction.

Since 2012, Yorba Linda has unsuccessfully tried to lobby the County to require a more collaborative effort between Yorba Linda Estates, the developer of the 340-home Esperanza Hills project, and Sage Community Group, the developer of the 80-home Cielo Vista project. The County has allowed the two projects to proceed in the approval process regardless of the City’s recommendation.

Yorba Linda Estates will host a public informational meeting at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Travis Ranch School, 5200 Vía De La Escuela, Yorba Linda, CA 92887.

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