March 17, 2020 – Legacy Update – Planning Application For Use Permit Officially Submitted

We hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy during these unprecedented times.

What’s the latest on the proposed Legacy Club Development?

On March 6th, Save Coto Village received notice from the County that the Legacy Club developer (California Grand Villages [CGV])  filed an application for a “Planning Application for Use Permit” seeking the County’s permission to build a “101-unit senior living facility on the former Vic Braden Tennis College property.”

On December 12, 2019, members of Save Coto Village attended a meeting with Orange County Public Works Planning Department’s Kevin Canning. The objective of this meeting was to determine what process CGV would have to go through to actually build. We have summarized the process on our webpage

We have updated our website to include some frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the process, who various players are and how to educate yourself on the background information and events which have lead up to where we are today. We welcome the submission of other FAQs, and as always, we will do our best to provide accurate, fact based answers.

Wasn’t there supposed to be a vote of all Village homeowners?

You probably remember that when the developer first approached Village homeowners, they said they would “walk away” if Village residents didn’t welcome the Legacy Club project.  And at a November 2019 informational meeting, Representatives of the Village Homeowners’ Association Board and Save Coto Village explained that, according to the Association’s CC&Rs, the developer would need to propose (and pass) an amendment to the Association’s bylaws to change the use of the parcel on which the developer plans to build the Legacy Club.  To pass that proposed amendment, more than half of all homeowners in the Village would have to vote YES to the change.

However, it appears that instead of first working through the system in place under our Association’s CC&Rs, the developer is going directly to the County seeking approval of the project.

What happens next with the Use Permit application?

The County told Save Coto Village that the County “will establish a project-specific website where [the County] will post project plans and information at a time after the application has been deemed complete.”  The County warned that “it will could [sic] be up to 60 days, perhaps longer, before [the County] publicly post[s] plans and information regarding the filed project.”

Once information is posted to the website, the County will have a “public comment period” where members of the public can ask questions, voice their opinion, and/or highlight concerns about the application and proposed development. Save Coto Village will be notifying this listserv when public comment periods open and offer suggestions on what you can do to help. It will be critical that we prepare clear and concise  public comments directly relating to the application or supporting documents rather than general disapproval of the project. Emotion, accusations and threats will not serve us well in this fight.

When the application is complete, the developer has had a chance to answer any questions the County may have about it, and the public has had an opportunity to comment, the issue will go to the Coto de Caza Planning Advisory Committee (CPAC).  CPAC will hold a public meeting about the proposed development. Their role is to assimilate the community’s perspective and bring recommendations to the County Board of Supervisors.

It will be critical to organize well in advance of that meeting, and to muster a very strong showing of homeowner opposition to the project at the meeting. We will be organizing a strong attendance and will notify you when a meeting date is set – this could happen anywhere from 4 to 12 months from March 2020.

Procedural “next steps” following the CPAC meeting are summarized here:

What recent action has the Village HOA Board taken?

Because the Board represents all Village homeowners, it took a neutral position with respect to the Legacy Club proposal until it could formally ascertain the majority of homeowners’ opinions on the issue.  Working closely with legal counsel, the Board created a survey to gauge residents’ feelings about the proposed development.  The survey was mailed to all homeowners in the Village.  About 85% of survey respondents oppose the development.  This response allows the Board to officially take a position against the Legacy Club development.

The developer has suggested that Village homeowners only oppose the project because they don’t know the facts about it.  In December 2019, the Board invited the developer to come give a presentation on the proposal to homeowners.  The developer declined this offer. Additionally, Legacy circulated its own survey to the community via USPS, Save Coto Village requested the results of their survey, Mr. Purvis himself responded that they will not be making their survey results public.

Now that we know that the developer is going directly to the County instead of working through the process set out in our Association’s CC&Rs, Save Coto Village is calling on the Board to officially communicate the Homeowners’ Association’s opposition to the project to the developer, the County, and CPAC.  In the coming weeks, we anticipate that the Board will engage advisers to help oppose the developer’s Use Permit application, pursue any avenues of legal recourse that may be available to our Association, and consider alternative uses for the parcel of land in question.

What can I do?

The first thing to do is to email Kevin Canning, a contract planner with the County, and ask to add your email to the “Legacy at Coto Project Notification List.”  Kevin’s email address is  We suggest the following language:

Dear Mr. Canning,

I am a homeowner in The Village in Coto de Caza.  I oppose the proposed Legacy Club development.  Please add my name and email address [INSERT NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS HERE]  to the Legacy at Coto Project Notification List, so that I may receive timely email notification whenever information relating to Planning Application PA20-0022 is made available to the public.

Thank you,


Save Coto Village will continue to keep you appraised of any updates we learn about the project.  But we encourage you to sign up for emails directly with the County because we believe it will send a strong message to the County that homeowners in the Village are active, engaged, and are not going to let Legacy steamroll their way into our neighborhood.

Next Steps

In the coming weeks, Save Coto Village will work to create other “action items” that you can do to help stop this proposed development, so please keep an eye out for future emails.  If you have more questions as to why and how we are where we are today, we urge you to read the background information and FAQs we have provided on our website

Thank you so much for reading all of this information!  It’s a lot to digest!  But we are happy to engage directly with you if you have any questions or concerns!

Best wishes,

The Save Coto Village Team

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