Serrano Heights

Location: Orange, California
Property Type: Master-planned community
Area: 500 acres
Units: 1,200
Description: This hillside development required moving 28 million cubic yards of earth and significant remedial grading design with onsite flood control management measures to mitigate impacts to a creek. The project team amended the specific plan, EIR and development agreement to reduce project density and establish a more market-responsive lot mix. There was extensive coordination with various agencies and neighboring homeowners groups, arterial highway alignment and design, water reservoir site selection and major power line encroachments and approvals.

Project implementation required annexations and de-annexations between two cities, and also involved inter-agency agreements for sewer, water and storm drains on a temporary and permanent basis. FEMA has acknowledged Serrano Heights as an example of how fire-mitigation planning and designs can protect homes from wildfires. The project team had worked with the Orange Fire Department when planning the project, and the community successfully weathered the massive Santiago Wildfire in 2007.