Update: Orange County Supervisors Certify West Alton Project, Receive Legal Backlash

Orange County Board of Supervisors Move Forward on West Alton

Earlier this month, Laguna Greenbelt Inc. published an Op-Ed urging Orange County Supervisors to wait to certify the Final EIR for the West Alton Project (a proposed high-density residential development on a uniquely-shaped parcel of land in Irvine).

The County ended up certifying the Final EIR. Within a few days of this development, LA Times reported that the City of Laguna Beach announced it will take legal steps to fight the County’s plan. One of their chief concerns is the potential impact this development will have on local open space areas and a segment of the Coast to Cleveland Wildlife Corridor, which runs through the middle of this property.

The Big Picture

In spring of 2018, Great Park developer Five Point broke ground on another segment of the same corridor.  When completed, the corridor will connect the Santa Ana Mountains and the open space area around Laguna Beach, Irvine, and adjacent areas, but the whole corridor must be functional to work. The completed, functional corridor will allow wildlife (such as bobcat and other animals) and plants to move between the two larger ecosystems and help maintain the coastal parks’ ecological integrity. This corridor is not only essential for wildlife, but also for protecting the hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer funds that have been invested over decades into our wilderness parks and other open space.

The West Alton Project’s intensive use will bring with it human and pet noise, lights, smells, and other intrusions into the wildlife corridor, discouraging animals needing to move through the area. The County had previously agreed to designate this area as wildlife corridor, so why is it now placing land uses adjacent to the corridor that would jeopardize its success?

What Can I Do?

If you care about our wild neighbors, taking care of open space in Orange County, and wise land use choices that protect our public investments, please speak to your elected representatives about how you feel.

To submit comments about this project, please call or write your OC Supervisor and ask them to ensure that land use choices on this property will not negatively impact the wildlife corridor.

Contact Your Supervisor

Please also consider sharing this page and discussing this issue through email, social media, and word-of-mouth.



Laguna Beach To Sue County

Laguna Beach Comments on Draft EIR

Groundbreaking Central Corridor Portion

OC West Alton Project Page and EIR

Why We Need Wildlife Corridors

Imagine if your very existence, and the existence of your whole species, depended on being able to move one place to another.

Imagine if having a way to to access food, water, to move away from a threat like a flood or wild fire, meant living another day.

Imagine if you just wanted to find some romance, and nobody in your vicinity seemed like a good match.

Now, imagine if a solid concrete barrier restricted that movement.

Imagine if animals were not that different from people in their need for moving around to find the essentials, and their need for help when they got stuck.

This reprint of an LA Times article earlier this year outlines why wildlife corridors are so important. The roads that allow humans the ability to move from place to place and find the things we need to survive and thrive sometimes make it hard for animals to do the same. But there is a solution.

Read:  The Killing Fields for Mountain Lions

Some of Orange County’s animals are struggling with the same issues.