Foothills Sentry December 2021

Foothills Sentry Page 2 December 2021 $ 15 95 /mo SECURITY JADTEC ACO 4202 Protecting your family, home and business from burglary, fire and medical emergencies. 714 282 0828 | Happiest of Hol idays te a o di n . i o Orange Council approves shortcuts to small lot subdivisions By Tina Richards An ordinance streamlining the development of small lot subdivi- sions in multi-family residential and mixed-use zones was ap- proved by the Orange City Coun- cil, Nov. 9. The ordinance was considered necessary to accommodate the compact construction of single- family housing units (infill de- velopment) that do not fall under current zoning standards. Before the new ordinance, several pro- posed projects were, reportedly, delayed due to lengthy entitle- ment processes. In drafting the ordinance, staff applied input and “lessons learned” provided by the development community. The new ordinance is for r-3 and r-4 zoned areas only, and ap- plies to five or more units pro- posed for undefined “small lots.” It creates standards for setbacks, lot coverage, open space, building height and parking requirements. New units must be compatible with their surroundings. As some multi-family and mixed-use zon- ing exists in Old Towne, any de- velopment there would have to adhere to historic standards. Fast-forward Projects that comply with the ordinance’s guidelines will still have to go before the city’s De- sign Review Committee and Plan- ning Commission, but the process to get there will be shorter and be exempt from city council review. Seemingly anxious to get the ordinance on the books, Kathy Tavoularis motioned to approve it as soon as the discussion began. “This is a creative opportunity to inspire developers to fit some- thing in a nontraditional space,” Chip Monaco enthused. Councilwoman Ana Gutierrez, however, had questions. Primar- ily, how does the high-density development resulting from this ordinance differ from that man- dated by SB9 and 10, which the council opposed; where are the r-3 and r-4 areas located; how will it impact neighboring r-1 zoned neighborhoods; and is affordabil- ity part of it? Densification She was assured that this or- dinance is for r-3 and r-4 zon- ing only, and that those areas are concentrated in the central and western areas of the city, where higher density development has already occurred. SB9, on the other hand, targets single-family neighborhoods. Affordability is not a project requirement, but it could be offered in exchange for a high-density bonus. City Planner Anna Pehoushek explained that density is deter- mined by the General Plan, and current zoning standards make the layout of single-family units difficult. “It’s the difference be- tween building an apartment and a single-family home,” she said. An apartment complex has shared living spaces and amenities; sin- gle-family units do not. The or- dinance creates small neighbor- hoods of dense individual hous- ing. Gutierrez advised that she had been “struggling with this.” “We’re looking at an urgency ordinance opposing SB9,” she said. “It’s difficult to say we are ready to do this with r-3 and r-4 properties. We don’t know what is going to happen with SB9; it may not be defeated. We may be opening Pandora’s box. The state mandates are out of our control, this is in our control.” Building blocks KimNichols voiced her support for the ordinance, noting that the current zoning allows for subdivi- sions; builders are allowed to do it, but the process is lengthy and cumbersome. “I believe staff has a vision of the City of Orange in mind,” she said. “This ordinance streamlines the process and puts in limits. We’re moving to make communities more consistent.” Arianna Barrios noted that she couldn’t support the ordinance because it “cuts the public out of the conversation, and they are go- ing to be neighbors of these proj- ects. If it carved out Old Towne, I could support it,” she added. “Nothing in the historic district should be streamlined.” “I just worry about who lives in these r-3 homes now,” Gutierrez stressed. “The new homes are not going to be affordable. Where are the people living there now going to go?” “We have a motion and a sec- ond,” Mayor Mark Murphy in- serted. “Let’s vote.” The ordi- nance passed, 5-2, with Barrios and Gutierrez opposed. TUSD announces new superintendent The Tustin Unified School District Board of Education has named Dr. Mark Johnson as the new superintendent, replacing Gregory Franklin who is retiring Dec. 31. Johnson has more than 25 years of experience in public education, the last seven as superintendent of the Fountain Valley School Dis- trict. His background is focused on communication, organization- al leadership, instruction, gover- nance, capital projects, communi- ty engagement and partnerships, aligning resources with complex budgets, and fostering respectful and productive relationships with labor associations. Dr. Johnson was selected after a competitive nationwide search. A community meet-and-greet is planned for January. The shaded areas are zoned r-3 and r-4 and will be covered under a new city ordinance streamlining project development on small lots.