Both projects are required to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA – pronounced SEE-QWA). CEQA requires that decision makers consider the environmental impacts of a project before the project is constructed. These impacts include, but are not limited to: traffic, geology, hazardous materials, aesthetics, water, air quality, and more. CEQA also allows for the public to provide substantive comments during the environmental review process.
The Lead Agency (the agency in charge of making the decision on the project) for both Cielo Vista and Esperanza Hills is the County of Orange. That is because neither project lies within the City of Yorba Linda’s boundaries. Instead it is in county territory and would need to be annexed into the City. Therefore, the County decides the length of time the public will have to review the Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
Once the Draft EIR is released for each project, the public, Yorba Linda decision makers and agencies (e.g. California State Parks, Yorba Linda Water District, OC Fire Authority, OC Sheriffs, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Metropolitan Water District, SoCal Gas, etc.) will have a set time frame (usually 30-60 days) to provide substantive comments on the document. Once the comments are received, the County must provide a response to those comments in a Final EIR. Every comment received will be included in the Final EIR. Everyone will again have a chance to comment on the Final EIR before the document is certified and the project is approved or denied.
The Orange County Planning Commission will have the first decision on this project. If the projects are approved, the public, organizations, and/or the City of Yorba Linda will have 30 days to appeal the decision to the Orange County Board of Supervisors. The zone change and General Plan amendment means the Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the project.
Get the details on each project and our role in the environmental review process by following these links: