Agenda Item   



                                                                                                                        ASR Control  12-001659




legal entity taking action:

Board of Supervisors

board of supervisors district(s):


SUBMITTING Agency/Department:

OC Public Works   (Approved)

Department contact person(s):

Ignacio Ochoa (714) 667-3213 



Mike Balsamo (714) 667-8854



Subject:  Appeal of Vesting Tentative Tract Map 17388 (Saddle Crest Homes)


      ceo Concur

County Counsel Review

Clerk of the Board


No Legal Objection

Public Hearing



3 Votes Board Majority




    Budgeted: N/A

Current Year Cost: N/A

Annual Cost: N/A




    Staffing Impact: No

# of Positions:

Sole Source: N/A

    Current Fiscal Year Revenue: N/A

    Funding Source: N/A


    Prior Board Action: 10/02/2012 #24






Find that Final EIR No. 661, previously certified by the Board of Supervisors on October 2, 2012, reflects the independent judgment of the County of Orange and satisfies the requirements of CEQA for Vesting Tentative Tract Map (VTTM) 17388, which is a necessarily included element contemplated as part the larger action.




The circumstances of the Project are substantially the same as were described in EIR No. 661, and no substantial changes in the Project will be made by approval of VTTM 17388. No new information of substantial importance to the Project, which was not known and could not have been known when EIR No. 661 was certified, has become available since EIR No. 661 was certified. As a result, no further environmental review is required.




EIR No. 661 is adequate to satisfy the requirements of CEQA for VTTM 17388.




All mitigation and Project design features are fully enforceable pursuant to CEQA (Public Resources Code) Section 21081.6 (b) and have either been adopted as conditions, incorporated as part of the Project design, or included in the procedures of Project implementation.



Receive staff report and public testimony as appropriate.




Uphold Subdivision Committee approval of Vesting Tentative Tract Map 17388 to create 65 single-family lots on 113.7 acres.








Upholding the Subdivision Committee’s approval of Vesting Tentative Tract Map 17388 filed by Rutter Santiago, L.P. to create 65 single-family lots on 113.7 acres, will allow implementation in accordance with your Board’s prior action on associated EIR No. 661 and Planning Application PA110027.






On October 2, 2012, your Board held a public hearing to consider the associated Planning Application, PA110027, proposing certain amendments to the General Plan and the Foothill/Trabuco Specific Plan (F/TSP), as well as, a proposed Area Plan for the subject property.  Your Board also considered Final EIR No. 661 that assessed the potential impacts of PA110027 and the subject map, Vesting Tentative Tract Map (VTTM) 17388.  After receiving public testimony and discussion, your Board voted: 1) to certify that Final EIR No. 661 is adequate and satisfies the requirements of CEQA; 2) to adopt the General Plan Amendment; 3) to adopt the F/TSP Amendment; and 4) to approve PA110027 including the Area Plan. The Agenda Staff Report (ASR) (inclusive of adopted Resolutions and Ordinances) from this meeting is included as Exhibit A. Since the Specific Plan Amendment was adopted by Ordinance, the amendments to the F/TSP went into effect on November 2, 2012.  A petition for Writ of Mandate was filed by the Saddleback Canyons Conservancy on October 31, 2012, challenging the Board's approval of the project on CEQA and State planning, and zoning law grounds.


VTTM 17388 (Exhibit B) proposes the subdivision of 113.7 acres within the F/TSP area into 68 numbered lots and 21 lettered lots for the future development of 65 single-family residential dwellings to be served by private streets. The three non-residential numbered lots will serve as a Trabuco Canyon Water District reservoir site, a pump station, and an entry gate facility. The 21 lettered lots will serve variously as landscape, fuel modification, open space, water quality, and utility easement lots. The map is considered as a subsequent approval for the project.


The proposed map is consistent with the General Plan and the F/TSP, as amended by PA110027. The map is also consistent with the Area Plan and its implementing measures, as approved by your Board. The Subdivision Committee Report, provided as Exhibit C, includes discussion about the map’s consistency with the associated Planning Application PA110027, as well as, the General Plan and the F/TSP along with the necessary infrastructure provisions.


Subdivision Committee Hearing

On November 14, 2012, the Orange County Subdivision Committee approved VTTM 17388. The Subdivision Committee approved modifications to three of the conditions of approval. These revisions were necessary to make the language and project design consistent with PA110027 as approved by your Board. The revised conditions have been included in the approved Subdivision Committee Report in Exhibit C.


During the Subdivision Committee hearing, public testimony was received and three letters were submitted from the public opposing the VTTM.  These letters are included as Exhibit D. A summary and response to these letters are provided below. Staff reviewed the additional comment letters received and concluded that no new or significant information was received, thus the analysis contained in the October 2, 2012 ASR, Subdivision Committee Report, and associated EIR are sufficient. Nonetheless, the County provided a detailed response to these letters, which is included as Exhibit E.


Rural Canyons Conservation Fund Appeal

On November 21, 2012, the County received an appeal to the approval of the VTTM from the Rural Canyons Conservation Fund; Saddleback Canyons Conservancy; and Friends of Harbors, Beaches and Parks (Rural Canyons), which is included as Exhibit F. Rural Canyons appealed the decision based on three grounds, which are discussed below: 1) that the approval violates the County of Orange General Plan, the F/TSP, and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA); 2) that a revised traffic analysis is required; and 3) the approval violates the review requirements established in the F/TSP. The appellant is requesting that your Board: 1) reverse the Subdivision Committee’s approval; 2) revise the traffic analysis; 3) refer VTTM 17388 to the F/TSP Review Board prior to any action by the Subdivision Committee; 4) revise VTTM 17388, so that it complies with the General Plan, F/TSP and CEQA; and 5) refund appeal fees to the appellant.


Appellant Claim No. 1, Approval Violates the General Plan, F/TSP, and CEQA – The appeal mentions that the appellants have filed a Petition for a Writ of Mandate challenging your Board’s action on October 2, 2012.  Although this suit has been filed, a stay or an injunction from the Superior Court of California has not been granted to cease implementing the project approval of your Board on October 2, 2012. Since there is no appeal for the Board of Supervisors action, all approvals went into effect at the time of approval, with the exception of the Specific Plan Amendment, which went into effect on November 2, 2012. Therefore, continuing the process for the VTTM is consistent with the amended General Plan, the amended F/TSP, CEQA and State regulations.


Appellant Claim No. 2, Revised Traffic Analysis Required – The appeal mentions that the Skyridge development within an unincorporated area of Mission Viejo should be included in the traffic analysis found in the associated EIR No. 661 for this project.  None of the comments received for the Draft EIR, the Final EIR, or at any of the public meetings held before the EIR was certified referenced the Skyridge development.  Public Resources Code Section 21092.1 and CEQA Guidelines Section 15088.5 only require an EIR to be recirculated and new public notice given whenever significant new information has been added to the EIR after the draft has been available for review, but prior to certification of the final EIR. Furthermore, the County’s EIR consultant contacted the City of Mission Viejo on February 24, 2012, to obtain information about upcoming projects within the City of Mission Viejo. The Draft EIR for Saddle Crest Homes was released for public review and comment on April 20, 2012. The Skyridge project was not submitted into the City of Mission Viejo until May 29, 2012 and the Draft EIR for this project was released by the City of Mission Viejo on October 6, 2012.  It should be mentioned that this Draft EIR indicates that the Skyridge Project will have a maximum of six northbound trips during the morning peak hour and seven southbound trips during the afternoon peak hour onto Santiago Canyon Road. This small number of additional trips would amount to less than a one percent increase in traffic in the critical flow direction and would not have a material effect on the results of the traffic analysis. Therefore, a new traffic analysis is not required.


Appellant Claim No. 3, Review Required by F/TSP Review Board – The appeal mentions that the F/TSP Review Board did not review the VTTM 17388. However, this VTTM was included in the review package submitted to the F/TSP Review Board. The F/TSP Review Board also included the VTTM as part of their April and May Agenda, which are included as Exhibit G. The County was processing the VTTM concurrently with the Planning Application, however, on August 9, 2012, the applicant requested to hold processing the VTTM until after your Board approved the Planning Application and certified the EIR. Therefore, a second review of the VTTM is not required by the F/TSP Review Board.


Based on the information presented above, OC Planning is recommending your Board uphold the Subdivision Committee’s approval of VTTM 17388 on November 14, 2012.


Compliance with CEQA:

VTTM 17388  is an element of the Project considered in Final EIR No. 661, certified by the Board of Supervisors on October 2, 2012, which adequately addressed the environmental effects of the proposed Project. No substantial changes have been made in the Project, no substantial changes in the circumstances under which the project is being undertaken have occurred, and no new information of substantial importance to the project which was not known and could not have been known when the Final EIR No. 661 was certified has become known; therefore, no further environmental review is required. Final EIR No. 661 is included as Exhibit H, which is on file with the Clerk of the Board and is also available at
















Exhibit A – Saddle Crest Agenda Staff Report, October 2, 2012
Exhibit B – Vesting Tentative Tract Map 17388
Exhibit C – Subdivision Committee Report, November 14, 2012
Exhibit D – Letters Submitted to Subdivision Committee
Exhibit E – County Responses to Letters
Exhibit F – Letter of Appeal
Exhibit G – F/TSP Review Board Agendas, April and May, 2012
Exhibit H – Final EIR No. 661