Yorba Linda residents learned important lessons from the 2008 Freeway Complex Fire after devastating losses. We formed, Protect Our Homes and Hills (POHAH) to protest two steep, residential developments above the City of Yorba Linda: Cielo Vista and Esperanza Hills. A settlement agreement was reached with Cielo Vista because the project now has reduced density, significant wildfire mitigation measures, and nearly half the site preserved. All legal challenges with the Esperanza Hills were finalized in early 2021. When the City of Yorba Linda denied grading rights for the Esperanza Hills developer, he sued and the court ruled in his favor in March 2022. The City lost all rights to the land and its ability to provide permits and oversight on Yorba Linda lands.
The City of Yorba Linda voted unanimously to NOT appeal the court’s decision in the Esperanza Hills vs. City of Yorba Linda case. The City Attorney stated it would result in the same outcome. In short, the Appellate Court would favor the developer because (in our words and the judge’s) the City failed to take firm, clear, and specific positions. The Leadership Team gave multiple legal arguments to appeal, but our pleas were ignored.
Judge Salter finalized the decision in the Esperanza Hills vs. City of Yorba Linda case on March 10, 2022. The decision entirely favored the developer and awarded the rights to put the Esperanza Hills entrance road across both open space lots along Stonehaven and at whatever width was approved by the County entitlements. The City would have 60 days to appeal this.
As part of the settlement agreement with the Cielo Vista developer, Protect Our Homes and Hills will be creating a Fire Safe Council to protect and make more resilient to fires the Yorba Linda community. If you are interested in joining this newly formed non-profit, please email us. When we get this going, we will include you in the start up announcement.