Red Rock GardensProject Name: Red Rock Gardens

Location: Along Santiago Canyon Road, County Unincorporated

Lead Agency: County of Orange

Threat: Residentially-zoned property being converted to commercial center for outdoor special events (weddings, anniversaries, parties, and fundraisers) with live entertainment and up to 20 event staff and 200 guests per event for a maximum of 12 events per year adjacent to Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park.

Description of the Issues:  Failure to comply with County’s general plan, Silverado-Modjeska Specific Plan, and zoning for the site, all of which prohibit commercial use, failure to properly analyze environmental impacts including noise impacts, traffic and traffic safety impacts, impacts on air and water quality, impacts to wildlife, fire hazard, and cumulative impacts, and Santiago Canyon Road is a designated scenic corridor, a rural two-lane highway, known for high frequency of fatal accidents, yet cumulative traffic impacts were not analyzed.

Lead Organization: Save the Canyons Coalition, which comprises the Saddleback Canyons Conservancy (an FHBP-fiscally sponsored non-profit group), Rural Canyons Conservation Fund, and Friends of Harbors, Beaches and Parks (FHBP).

FHBP’s Position/Involvement:

  • FHBP objected to the project at Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors hearings and has joined the lawsuit against the County and real party in interest (property owners).
  • Additionally, FHBP is the fiscal sponsor of the Saddleback Canyons Conservancy and a member of the Save the Specific Plans Coalition

Project History:

  • Save the Canyons Coalition filed a lawsuit against the County and real parties in interest in May 2018.
  • The suit is in the briefing phase.

Next Action/Decision: Superior Court ruled in favor of petitioners (Saddleback Canyons Conservancy) in March 2019.