Esperanza Hills

The Project Description

  • The Esperanza Hills/ project proposes approximately 340 units on over 460 acres.
  • The project is not within Yorba Linda city limits, therefore all decisions related to this project will go through the County of Orange.
  • Esperanza Hills a Bridge to Stonehaven as the sole access point for the hundreds of additional houses.  An emergency access is proposed to Via del Agua (a third of a mile from the daily access point).
  • The November 2008 Freeway Complex Fire burned this site down and stalled consideration of the projects.
  • This project is side-by-side with Cielo Vista and there is dependency on joint use of Aspen and San Antonio as the main egress and ingress, the commenting jurisdictions – City of Yorba Linda, the Yorba Linda Water District and the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) have all suggested the projects be considered as one project. Thus far the two project proponents continue to go their separate ways.

Environmental Review Process

  • The 4th District Court of Appeals ruled in POHAH’s favor on three of the four key issues on October 13, 2017.
  • Judge Claster sided in favor of the County on the Return of the Writ in October 2017.
  • The County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to approve the project on May 9, 2017.
  • The County Board of Supervisors recommended the project go back to the Planning Commission for a secondary daily access on the western side of the project (to Aspen) and rescinded all project approvals on December 13, 2016.  The revised Greenhouse Gas section has not be considered/certified by the Board.
  • The developer proposed a primary access (500′ long Bridge) to Stonehaven and an emergency access only to Via del Agua.  It was recommended for approval by the Orange County Planning Commission and Subdivision Committee in November 9 and 16, 2016 (respectively).
  • Protect Our Homes and Hills won the lawsuit (on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Deferred Mitigation) in June 2016.  The Judge ordered the project approvals, specific plan, and environmental documents all be rescinded.
  • The Yorba Linda City Council has yet to certify the Environmental Impact Report for the Esperanza Hills project which violates state law and their duties as a responsible agency.
  • Protect Our Homes and Hills filed a lawsuit in Superior Court against the County of Orange and City of Yorba Linda on July 2, 2015.
  • The County Board of Supervisors approved the project’s General Plan Amendment, Zone Change and Specific Plan on June 2, 2015.
  • The County Board of Supervisors approved the project’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on March 10, 2015.
  • The Orange County Planning Commission recommended for approval the Esperanza Hills project at its January 14, 2015 hearing.
  • The Notice of Public Hearing by the County for the Planning Commission though scheduled for Tuesday, December 17,2014 at 1:30 PM was postponed due to a Brown Act violation.
  • The Notice of Availability for the Final Environmental Impact Report was released December 5, 2014.
  • The Draft Environmental Impact Report was released for public review December 3, 2013. This document and its appendices can be found on the County website. Comments were due February 3, 2014.
  • The Notice of Preparation for the Environmental Impact Report was released August 23, 2012.

City of Yorba Linda Review/Approval Process

  • The City Council will consider an appeal of the City’s Planning Commission decision that roads through open space/parkland are consistent with city documents at its January 5, 2016 meeting.  This appeal was submitted by Protect Our Homes and Hills in November 2015.
  • The City of Yorba Linda is considering a pre-annexation agreement between the City and developer of the Esperanza Hills project, likely at its January 5, 2016 meeting.

Maps on the Projects

Our Comment Letters

The Leadership Team for Protect Our Homes and Hills hired attorney Kevin Johnson and multiple experts to write substantive comments on the Draft and Final Environmental Impact Report for the Esperanza Hills project.  Below are links to those PDFs:

Draft EIR

Final EIR

Our Letters to the City of Yorba Linda

In addition to sending letters to the County on the Environmental Review process, we’ve also sent letters through our attorney Kevin Johnson to the City of Yorba Linda.

Protect Our Homes and Hills also hired law firm Shute, Mihaly and Weinberger to assist with overturning the City’s decision on the pre-annexation agreement which allows a road through public open space and parkland.  Our attorney on this endeavor, Gabe Ross, sent the following letter to the City.