Click on any of the questions below to go to the answer. If you have a question that isn’t listed below, please ask us via the Contact/Comments page of this website.
The Project Description calls for 171 attached townhomes along Beach Boulevard averaging approximately 1,900 square feet in size and 277 single-family detached homes ranging in size from approximately 2,200 square feet to approximately 3,600 square feet in size.
Homes will be priced as each new phase of homes opens, with prices expected to be from approximately $500,000 to over $1 million. Although weather and other variables can significantly impact construction times, the first homes are currently scheduled to become available in late 2020.
Almost 58 percent of the site is proposed as public parks, trails and open space. This includes the following proposed open space areas (all figures approximate):
Three points of access are proposed:
All of Rancho La Habra’s proposed four residential neighborhoods will be gated to prevent cut-through traffic between Beach Boulevard and Idaho Street.
La Habra Hills Drive through the golf course to Westridge’s north gate would be temporarily closed during construction so it can be improved and realigned around the new La Habra Community Center and parking lot. When reopened, access will continue to be limited to Westridge residents only.
The owner of Westridge Golf Club has decided to sell the property. Both nationally and locally, golf courses are attracting fewer players while expenses are rising, particularly the cost of irrigation water and minimum wage labor. Nationally, fewer rounds of golf are being played, fewer people are playing golf, and more golf courses are closing. In the last decade, more than 7 million golfers left the game, and more than 1,399 golf courses closed between 2008 and 2016. In Southern California alone, at least 68 golf courses have closed in the last decade, and 3 new courses have opened.
News coverage of the decline in golf’s popularity and the economic evaluation of Westridge Golf Club prepared for Lennar is available on the Resources tab.
In Orange County, the number of golf courses grew by 45 percent between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s. Westridge Golf Club was one of these new courses, opening in 1999. Unfortunately, golf’s popularity reached its peak in 2003 and has been dropping ever since. As a result, Orange County is now considered to be an over-built golf market, which creates greater challenges for golf course operators.
Courses that use drinking water for irrigation, like Westridge (which uses 90 million gallons of drinking water a year to keep its grass green) face particularly significant challenges. The cost of potable (drinking) water has increased nearly 20 percent since 2012, with additional annual increases of least five percent anticipated for years to come (based on Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s Tier 1 Full Service Treated rate).
The golf course is expected to remain open for play until final permits are received for Rancho La Habra and construction begins.
Yes, there will be ample opportunity for the public to review the plan, ask questions and have their comments heard. Already, many members of the public participated in two public Scoping Meetings and have submitted written comments to the Draft Environmental Impact Report. Their suggestions and comments will be addressed in the upcoming Draft Final Environmental Impact Report, and the La Habra Planning Commission and City Council will both hold public hearings to review those documents and take more public comment before deliberating.
For a chart detailing the steps in the public review process, including highlighting where the proposal is in the process now, click here.
In addition, Lennar is eager to share its plan with the public and answer your questions. If you would like to schedule a presentation, ask a question or make a comment, click here.
The City and its environmental consultants are now reviewing all comments received and responding to them. When this process is completed, the responses will be incorporated into the Final Draft EIR, which will then be considered at public hearings before the Planning Commission and City Council. To receive updates on hearing dates, sign up for email updates on the Contact Us page.
The City is the Lead Agency for the Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which means it is responsible for conducting an independent review of all the studies and documentation included in the EIR. Lennar prepared the technical studies and EIR analyses and submitted them to the City for review. The City hired a team of experts to review these reports, as well as comments received during the EIR public comment period.
Potential environmental impacts and various measures to reduce or eliminate them have been studied in detail by the City’s planning staff and environmental consultants, and are presented in the Rancho La Habra Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR).
AESTHETICS AND VIEWS — To view “before” photos and “after” computer simulations of views from various points around the Rancho La Habra site, click here.
CONTAMINATED SOILS — The Draft EIR includes a complete mapping and description of any soils contaminated by golf course operations or the oil field that preceded golf course construction. We will be required to treat these soils to the rigorous requirements of the State of California, with work monitored by the Orange County Health Department.
GREENHOUSE GASES — The State of California requires that EIRs for all new developments include an analysis of greenhouse gas emissions. Energy-efficient homes, water conservation measures and proposed improvements to reduce traffic congestion will all help to reduce the new community’s greenhouse gas emissions.
SCHOOLS — Rancho La Habra’s proposed homes are in three school districts, La Habra City School District, Lowell Joint School District and Fullerton Joint Union High School District. While the City’s Draft EIR includes a thorough analysis of Rancho La Habra’s new student generation, the school districts, not the City, are responsible for working with Lennar to address new student populations. State-mandated school fees, which are based on the square footage of new residences, are designed to generate the funds intended for the use of the school districts to accommodate student from the new homes.
TRAFFIC — The Draft EIR includes a complete traffic study, based on data gathered from 32 key intersections and 37 roadway segments (see map on right). This information was entered into a regional traffic computer model cities use to project the traffic impacts of new residential and commercial developments. The model is continuously refined based on actual post-construction data to ensure the greatest accuracy. The Draft EIR shows Rancho La Habra’s projected impact on the Level of Service (LOS) at each of the intersections and road segments, and details proposed mitigation (corrective) measures to address any potential negative impacts.
The Rancho La Habra plan proposes three entry points designed to spread out the traffic flow and reduce the impact at any one entry point. The proposal would eliminate cut-through traffic from Beach Boulevard to Idaho Street by the gating of all of the new neighborhoods. We are working with Caltrans and the City to mitigate the effects of traffic caused by the new homes, and the results of these efforts are detailed in the traffic section of the City’s Environmental Impact Report.
WATER — The water use section of the Draft EIR analyzes current water use on the site and compare it to projected future use. Draft EIR studies show that Rancho La Habra will save approximately 31.3 million gallons of water a year. New homes and drought-tolerant community landscaping will be much more water-efficient than the existing golf course, which uses 93 million gallons of drinking water every year to keep its turf green.
WILDLIFE — Because Westridge Golf Course Club replaced natural open space with turf and ornamental plants, it likely contributed to the displacement of native species. Nevertheless, the biology section of the EIR presents field data gathered by experts detailing any native plant and animal species on the site, and proposes measures to ensure the protection of those species. The Rancho La Habra plan would create or improve and permanently protect approximately 14.3 acres of upland and riparian habitat, for the benefit of native species.
©Lennar Corporation 2018