The Orange County Board of Supervisors is again poised to consider approving a gated residential development in the Yorba Linda area despite appeals from neighbors about the potential hazards of evacuating homeowners in a disaster such as a wildfire.
The 340-unit Esperanza Hills project, which has been tied up in appellate court proceedings, has bounced back between the planning commission, supervisors and the courts for the past six years.
County officials have tweaked the proposal to address Fourth District Court of Appeal rulings last October and in April.
The project is planned on nearly 469 acres north of the Riverside (91) Freeway off of Yorba Linda Boulevard and south and west of Chino Hills State Park.
Officials say 62 percent of the project will include open space, parks and landscaping.
Some neighbors are concerned that there is only road in and out of the project. Stonehaven Drive is for the public, but there’s an emergency vehicle-only road at Via Del Agua, officials said.
The board had approved the project on March 10, 2015, and June 2, 2015.
An appellate court ruling in December 2016, however, prompted officials to withdraw their support. The supervisors, however, approved it again in May 2017.
Planning commissioners approved the project on Aug. 22.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Andrew Do said, “I’m ready to take action” again on the project.
Do said he trusts the Orange County Fire Authority’s evacuation plan for wildfires and other disasters. Do noted the agency’s plan has remained the same over the past several years.
“It’s the same today as it has always been,” Do said. “The OCFA’s analysis hasn’t changed in the last three years.”