The developers, California Grand Villages, (“CGV”) states that The Legacy Club is a proposed master planned active adult luxury living residence club for Coto de Caza seniors. The Legacy Club is a proposed 101-unit, multi-story building proposed for the former Tennis College in the Coto Village with facilities and grounds similar to a resort hotel.
We have spoken with the Orange County Public Works Planning Department to learn about the process CGV must take in order to secure a building permit. Below summarizes these steps and identifies areas where community involvement will be paramount.
Step 1: CGV will submit a Request for Permit with the OCPW Planning Department.
- Kevin Canning with OCPW Planing Department will review the Request for Permit for completeness.
- Once the Planning Department has deemed the application filing “complete” the process begins for OCPW internal review of the plans.
- The Project plans will be added to OCPW’s Current Project list and will be made available online.
Step 2: CGV will prepare and submit required California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) documents, including either an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) or a Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) and other various technical studies. These documents will be made available to the public and a 30 to 90 day public review process begins.
- At this time we can prepare and submit our opposition letters to OCPW. These comments will be compiled and presented along with the permit request and CEQA documents.
Step 3: OCPW presents the Request for Permit, CEQA documents, and public comments to Coto de Caza Planning and Advisory Committee (CPAC). CPA is comprised of a panel of 5 members who have been appointed by Orange County to oversee and review any developments within Coto de Caza.
- The community should plan on attending this meeting and request any member of CPAC who is in opposition of the project please submit written comments expressing their opposition.
Step 4: OCPW will present the Request for Permit, CEQA documents, public comments and CPAC comments to the Orange County Planning Commission. The Planning Commission is comprised of 5 members appointed by the Orange County Board of Supervisors.
- The public is encouraged to attend this hearing and will have 3 minutes per person to present their opinions to the Planning Commission.
- The Planning Commission will likely present a finding of “approved” or “rejected” at the end of the hearing.
Step 5: Appeals
- In the event the Request for Permit if approved, the community will have 15 days to file an appeal.
Step 6: Appeal is taken to the Board of Supervisors
- OCPW will present the Request for Permit, CEQA documents, public comments and CPAC comments, Planning Commission ruling and appeal petition to the Orange County Board of Supervisors.
- The community will present at the Board of Supervisors hearing why we feel CGV and the Legacy Club are not suited for The Village.
Should the Board of Supervisors grant CGV’s Request for Permit to allow for building the Legacy Club. CGV will prepare a proposed amendment request of Coto de Caza’s Homeowners Community Association’s Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (“CC&Rs”).
Rules recorded in CC&Rs are a legally binding document that are officially recorded and filed with the State. The document covers the rights and obligations of our HOA to its members and vice versa. CC&Rs often cover legal issues, for example, property-use restrictions, clearly defined maintenance obligations for the HOA and individual members, and mechanisms for rule enforcement and dispute resolution.
CGV’s proposed amendment must outline the whole project, including land use zoning changes, how many units can be built, and the use for the property (i.e. only “active senior living”). Their proposed amendment will outline all the promises made to our community, such as contributing $450,000 a year to the Village, the new Cul-de-sac on Via Alondra, new restrooms near the tennis courts, etc. Everything must be laid out in the proposed CC&R amendment. [It’s worth noting, that, to our knowledge, they will not be able to “just decide” they want to have a drug rehab facility there, or expand it from 111 units to 200. This amendment will be the new rules for that space.] That being said – once we allow our open space to disappear, we can NEVER get it back.
Once CGV presents our HOA with their proposed amendment, our Board will bring the document to the residents for a vote. Our Village community is 429 votes, this is comprised of 400 single family homes, 24 condos (each condo owner gets 1 vote), 2 other condo complexes who each have 1 vote, and 3 owners of the clubhouse/recreational and commercial properties each have one vote. The Village community would need to approve the proposed amendment by 50% + 1 “yes” votes to the CC&R’s to allow this project, i.e. 215 “yes” votes.
Should the Village reject the proposed amendment, CGV still has one last option: to petition our declined CC&R amendment with the County. To our knowledge, there has never been a case where an HOA has voted down an amendment and the County reversed it.
To our knowledge, no permits have yet been filed with the County, no lawsuits have yet been filed, and no proposed amendment has yet been presented to the Board. We are monitoring the development and urge the community to be proactive. If you oppose high density residential, please help us by participating in our Opposition Letter Writing Campaign.