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Orange County

Vote on Contested Homes Put Off

Orange council hears foes of 180-unit project next to closed dump, but won't rule until Sept. 9.

August 14, 2003|Dan Weikel | Times Staff Writer

After almost three hours of public testimony, the Orange City Council on Tuesday night delayed action on a beleaguered housing project proposed at an old sand-and-gravel operation and next to a former county landfill where methane gas has been found.

Fieldstone Communities Inc. has asked the City Council to overturn a Planning Commission decision in June that blocked its plans to build more than 180 homes on land owned by Sully-Miller Contracting Co.

The 110-acre site is on Santiago Canyon Road between Cannon Street and the Reserve housing tract.

The southwest corner of the property borders the now-closed Villa Park Refuse Disposal Station.

Opponents are concerned that the homes would be vulnerable to flooding from Santiago Creek, potentially explosive methane gas from the landfill, and possible destruction if the nearby earthen Villa Park Dam breaks.

They also say that the proposed housing development conflicts with long-standing recommendations and community plans to keep the site as open space.

Fieldstone executives and supporters say steps will be taken to reduce the risks of methane gas, flooding and erosion from Santiago Creek.

They note that homes have been built below dams and next to landfills without problems.

Council members heard from 27 members of the public Tuesday night, most of whom opposed the project.

The council is scheduled to vote on the project Sept. 9.

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