The basis of local and regional planning is the General Plan. It outlines the future of the City, how it will grow, where different uses should go, what the capacity of its infrastructure needs to be, and so forth. Yorba Linda’s General Plan dates back to 1993. The State requires General Plans undergo an update every 10 years. To say the City is behind would be an understatement. Officials did update the Housing Element (one section) in 2011, but not the entire document.
Unbeknownst to us, the City held a Scoping Meeting in August regarding the new General Plan. We say unbeknownst because no one on the team received notice about it. Did you? This is a similar complaint we noted to the City during the “We’ll Get Back To You” Town Hall, where we indicated the City wasn’t utilizing its email system to inform the public about pending decisions or projects that would impact its residents. Now that it is too late, the City did, however, report in its latest newsletter that it held a Scoping Meeting.
A Scoping Meeting is an opportunity for stakeholders to provide input to a lead agency (in this case the City of Yorba Linda) about what types of things should be investigated as it relates to the upcoming environmental document. Prior to the Scoping Meeting a Notice of Preparation (NOP) was released informing the public there was now a comment period on the preparation of this environmental document. The comment period ends at close of business (5 PM) on Sunday, September 20, 2015. (Why a Sunday? We don’t know.)
As you recall, both the Esperanza Hills and Cielo Vista projects are outside its jurisdiction, but they are with the Sphere of Influence. This Sphere of Influence is an area likely to be incorporated into the City at some point. We would expect the City to annex both properties into the City should any development proceed. That means the City must plan for the best and most appropriate uses of the land now.
The City expects the Environmental Impact Report to be available in Fall 2015. This means we have the next 11 days to provide comments on the NOP. Should you chose to provide comments, and we hope you do, the Planning and Conservation League Foundation has a fantastic section on its website describing the types of comments that are helpful and substantive in a process such as this. We’d urge you to review the tips and send in a letter to by mail or email:
Greg Rehmer, Senior Planner
City of Yorba Linda
4845 Casa Loma Avenue
Yorba Linda, CA 92885