Esperanza Hills

2022 Status:

  • All legal battles are complete.
  • The City of Yorba Linda has denied access across its open space for the project entrance.
  • The landowner sued the City for the rights across the open space and the Court ruled in his favor and finalized the decision in March 2022. The City Council voted unanimously in April 2022 not to file an appeal.

The Project Description

  • The Esperanza Hills/ project proposes approximately 340 units on 469 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 includes one daily access for residents on Stonehaven.  An emergency access (for fire apparatus) has been secured near Via del Agua (a third of a mile from the main entrance) for fire personnel.  This access will wind through the Cielo Vista streets before reaching a separate road for Esperanza Hills.
  • The November 2008 Freeway Complex Fire burned this site down in 40 minutes.
  • This project is side-by-side with Cielo Vista adds 420 houses one one daily access for each project on the Stonehaven/Via del Agua loop.

Environmental Review and Decision Making Process & Court Filings/Decisions

  • Board of Supervisor decisions:
    • Recertify the EIR  08/27/19
      Issue: Greenhouse gases (GHG)/solar feasibility
      No Votes: Wagner & Chaffee
    • Approve the Project & Recertify the EIR 09/25/18
      Issues: Project description, water use, fire evacuation
      No Vote: Spitzer
    • Approve the Project & Recertify the EIR 05/09/17
      Issue: GHG
      No Vote: Spitzer
    • Rescinded Project Approvals 12/13/16
      Issue: Recommended second access
      No Vote: none
    • Approve the Project 06/02/15
      No Vote: none
    • Certify the EIR 03/10/15
      No Vote: none
  • Key Issues Litigated:
    • CEQA (Greenhouse gas mitigation, project description, water use, and fire evacuation)
    • Subdivision Map Act
  • Lawsuits Filed (Superior Court)
    • October 2018 – LOST
      Status: Appeal filed September 2019, awaiting trial date
    • June 2016 – WON
    • July 2015 – WON
  • Appeals (Appellate Court)
    • May 2019 – WON
      Status: Residents are considering an appeal of the writ
    • October 2017 – WON
    • December 2018 – LOST
    • January 2021 – LOST
  • Petition for Review (California Supreme Court)
    • May 2020 – LOST
  • Project Documents
    • 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 considered 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 considered a pre-annexation agreement between the City and developer of the Esperanza Hills project, at its January 5, 2016 meeting.  The decision was deferred.
  • In a 2020 letter, the City of Yorba Linda denies the developer the proposed access and instead relays the project entrance can only be 20-24′ which is the existing road width. View the City’s November 2020 letter. Further, the Blue Ridge Fire burned the Esperanza Hills project in October 2020. Its fire perimeter matches previous big fires. View the map.

Maps on the Projects

Some of 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:

2013 Draft EIR

2014 Final EIR

2016 Recirculated EIR

2018 Recirculated EIR

  • To be Continued…

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.

6 comments to “Esperanza Hills”
  1. Pingback: Protect Our Homes and Hills – Neighborhood Meeting on March 16, 2014

  2. Pingback: Protect Yorba Linda – Thanks to our Attorney Kevin Johnson

  3. Pingback: The Matador Messenger : Community Divided Over Approval of Esperanza Hills Project

  4. Pingback: The Matador Messenger : Community Divided Over Esperanza Hills Project

  5. Hello. My name is Donna McCoy. Myself and Sheri Peterson used to support and attend Protect-Yorba-Linda events.

    Is there an active team still fighting this? I’ve read on Nextdoor, a gentleman living in Hidden Hills sharing how he learned about permits being requested to close HH secondary emergency road for that [Cielo Vista??] 420 home housing project.

    Thank you

  6. It’s May 2022. Where does this development stand now? Is it still going forward? Is so, when?

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