By: OC Supervisor Todd Spitzer
This week, the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted to accept 2,500 acres of open space located within the Third District, donated by the Irvine Company to the County for preservation and public recreation. The donation provides additional connectivity to the 20,000 acres the Irvine Company donated to the County in 2010, which marked the largest single donation of land to the County in its history. The land accepted today was previously slated for construction of approximately 5,000 homes.
“The Board of Supervisors is grateful for the Chairman Donald Bren’s continued commitment to preserving open space for Orange County residents and visitors,” said Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer, Third District. “OC Parks has done a wonderful job caring for the 20,000 acres donated in 2010, while still allowing thousands of visitors each year to enjoy its beauty. This latest donation to the public open space in the Third District should only enhance those values and opportunities.”
Most of the land will be governed by conservation easements held by the Orange County Parks Foundation to ensure that it is managed with an appropriate balance between habitat protection and public access. The easements establish guidelines for land management, monitoring, habitat restoration, infrastructure improvement and public programs similar to the guiding principles of the Natural Community Conservation Plan (NCCP) established to preserve nearly 37,000 acres of sensitive natural habitats managed by multiple local governments, utilities, and institutions. OC Parks is honored to participate in this collaborative effort as the steward of an amazing contiguous landscape of native wildlands, and is pleased to offer opportunities for public education, recreation, and respite in this unique space.
The 2,500-acre donation is made up of four separate parcels:
Located near the 91 Freeway and 241 Toll Road in Anaheim Hills, it is surrounded on three sides by land already owned by the County and managed by OC Parks. The land was previously entitled for development of approximately 2,500 homes.
Santiago Hills II
Directly adjacent to Irvine Regional Park in Orange, this will serve as an addition to California’s first regional park.
East Orange Area I
West of Irvine Lake along Santiago Canyon Road and the 241 Toll Road in Orange, this land was previously entitled to develop 2,200 homes.
East Orange Area II
This parcel includes land southeast of Irvine Lake in Orange and is directly adjacent to County-owned portions of Black Star Canyon.