“Historic Preservation Alternative” Added to the EIR, Destroys 95% of the Historic Orchard Complex

The process will, once again, be in motion after several months of no action. The city has developed another alternative for the Environmental Impact Report (EIR). They call it the “Historic Preservation Alternative” even though it calls for 95% of the historic orchard to be destroyed.

The description in the EIR is as follows…

“… The Historic Preservation Alternative is similar to the proposed project except that it would keep in place the existing residential structure and garage located on an approximately 10,044 square foot lot on the northwest corner of the property. The exterior of the residential structure and garage would be rehabilitated to Secretary of the Interior historic preservation standards, and the home and garage would be returned to single family residential use per building code requirements for habitable structures. Subsequently, the home would be available for sale for residential use. Approximately ten orange trees currently exist in this portion of the property. Additional orange trees would be planted in order to fill out the orchard, and any dead trees would be removed and be replaced with new orange trees.
Twenty-two new single family residences would be developed on the remaining areas of the property, …”

The Historic Preservation Alternative describes a 23-unit housing development, instead of the original proposal of 24 houses, essentially destroying this historically designated and rare property. Carbon sequestration concerns are also addressed in the Historic Preservation Alternative. This additional information – the Historic Preservation Alternative and carbon sequestration issues – are in response to public comments and are not considered “new” information. As such, the city is not required to allow for a public review period of this additional information. This development plan is scheduled for a public hearing at the Tuesday, February 4, 2014 City Council meeting. TOOC would appreciate your written comments on this new alternative as they will be part of the public record if they are received by the City before the EIR is certified by the Council (most likely at the 2/4/14 meeting). In order for your comments to be included in the staff report on this item, they must be received by Vince Fregoso by Friday, January 17, 2014.

Please send comments, write to your council member, attend the meeting, spread the word. As always, TOOC is grateful for your support. Thank you.

Vince Fregoso – VFregoso@santa-ana.org
City Council – http://www.santa-ana.org/elected_officials
EIR – additional info –  http://www.santa-ana.org/pba/planning/documents/SexlingerOrchardAdditionalAnalysis_121913.pdf

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