Rancho La Habra’s Review Process
The proposed new residential community of Rancho La Habra in southern La Habra is being reviewed under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), a law that is widely regarded as the most thorough and transparent environmental law in the nation. The law’s provisions for public review and comment ensure that questions regarding the plan will be addressed before any approvals are granted.
The City of La Habra is the lead agency under CEQA and prepared the Rancho La Habra Environmental Impact Report (EIR). It began the plan’s CEQA process in November and December 2015, when two scoping meetings were held. Scoping meetings are so named because they are designed to help determine the scope of the EIR’s studies – and that’s exactly what happened, as members of the public, non-profit groups and government agencies provided questions and comments that must be considered by the City and its EIR consultants.
Rancho La Habra is being proposed by LennarHomes, a national homebuilder built on a foundation of a commitment to Quality, Value and Integrity. It would be built on the site of Westridge Golf Club, which is slated for closure. It would keep nearly 60 percent of the site (approximately 89 acres) as parks, open space and trails.
The City’s EIR evaluated the proposal’s potential effects on traffic, schools, water supply, native species, aesthetics, public services and other topics. For a full list, click here. Under CEQA, the EIR must identify ways to reduce any impacts it finds to a level of insignificance through plan refinements or improvements funded by the project applicant. If an impact can’t be reduced to insignificance, the City Council will be required to approve a Finding of Overriding Consideration at a public meeting.
During the EIR’s public comment period, any interested party was able to submit written comments about the Draft EIR’s studies, and the comments. Each comment received must be considered, and addressed in the Final Draft EIR.
Upon publication of the Final Draft EIR, the La Habra Planning Commission will hold a public hearing to review the Rancho La Habra plan. At the hearing, any interested party can address the Commission regarding the plan, the EIR and its proposals to address project impacts. The Commission will consider public comments before it votes on the EIR.
The proposal then will move forward to the City Council, which also will hold a public hearing and consider written and oral comments before voting on whether to certify the Rancho La Habra EIR and allow the proposed project to move forward.
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For important legal disclosures, click here.