For the last year, FCA has opposed a proposed development along Newport Blvd. across from the Rocking Horse Ridge development. We were opposed to the proposed higher density (10,000 sq. ft. per lot) than the surrounding North Tustin properties, the view from Newport Blvd., and potential fire issues. We filed a lawsuit in January to protect a statutory time limit. After several months of negotiation, we have reached an agreement with the developer. We could have continued the lawsuit with a very uncertain result and considerable expense to the community. The agreement is a reasonable compromise that improves the development. The OC Board of Supervisors approved the revised plan on February 6, 2018.
Key changes to the plan are:
Reduction in the number of homes from 22 to 16.
Screening of the view from Newport Blvd. with landscaping and trees. This preserves the scenic view of this part of the highway (Newport Blvd.). This was included in the Conditions of Approval (COA) which mandates the HOA maintain and preserve this landscaping and trees.
Replacement of hammerhead turnarounds for fire authority equipment with full cul-de-sacs at both ends of the internal street.
Three car garages which will reduce parking on the street which will enhance fire safety.
FCA is grateful to the Steering Committee, comprised of Cowan Heights’ residents, for helping to bring this opposition to a reasonable conclusion. We are particularly thankful for the leadership of Jane Rice, Chair of this FCA initiative.
This was not a perfect resolution. The Supervisors did approve a rezoning of the property in spite of obvious very large objection by residents of North Tustin. Fortunately the project, as finally approved, will be less dense and considerably improved. With the existence of other large parcels in North Tustin, requests by developers for high density projects will continue. For example, there is current interest in development of the Tustin Hills Racquet Club. We must be tenacious in protecting the zoning of our community. As we have seen, it is a simple matter for the OC Board of Supervisors to rezone and provide a developer a denser and more valuable development. This is one reason North Tustin might want to incorporate.
FCA is not opposed to development, but developments need to be consistent with the neighborhood.
Rick Nelson, FCA President