Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
March 30, 2012

Pat Bates's Picture

Welcome to this edition of the Fifth District Report, an electronic newsletter keeping you updated about the events taking place in Orange County and in the Fifth District. It is my hope that you find this distribution informative and I would encourage you to contact me regarding any thoughts, comments, or concerns you may have.
















Don Hughes:
Chief of Staff

Kristen Thornton:
Deputy Chief of Staff

Ray Grangoff:
Deputy Chief of Staff

Sergio Prince:
Policy Advisor

Sabrina Ross:
Policy Advisor

Ruth Strachan:
Office Manager

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Volume 6 Issue 12

Rancho Mission Viejo Plan Update

As we continue to work our way through these times of economic challenges, I want to share with you some encouraging news. Many may recall back in 2004 when the Orange County Board of Supervisors gave approval to Rancho Mission Viejo for the development of a new planned community that would include 14,000 residential units, and approximately 5.2 million square feet of non-residential uses, known as “The Ranch Plan.”

The good news is that over the past year, the Rancho Mission Viejo company has been working closely with OC Public Works staff to update their plans and move forward with grading operation for Planning Area 1, located immediately south of Ladera Ranch, west of Antonio Parkway.

The result is that, over the next year, specific site plans and construction permit applications will be reviewed to support the construction of approximately 685 market rate units, 286 active adult units, almost 300 rental apartments, and a retail and an office center. All this effort is being made in the hope that models will be open and new homes will be for sale sometime in 2013.

As we all know, the construction industry is a significant part of the economic engine that enables Orange County residents to continue enjoying the quality of life many in other parts of the country envy. When the Board approved the Ranch Plan in 2004, a key component of the approval was a strategy to plan for the impact on existing residents with a “roads first” strategy.

The concept is very simple: the County and Rancho Mission Viejo agreed to collaborate to assemble a variety of public and private funding sources to plan, design and construct necessary road improvements to ensure the addition of new residents and businesses would not impact mobility within existing communities.

You may have noticed the improvements to widen Ortega Highway, including recently completed work at the Ortega Highway/Antonio Parkway intersection. You may have also noticed the current activity to widen Antonio parkway south of Ladera Ranch. These projects are components of this strategy.

Below is the status of all the major road improvement projects in the area:
  • Ortega widening (City limits/San Juan Capistrano to east of Antonio Parkway) – Project is complete.
  • Antonio Parkway widening from 4 to 6 lanes (Ladera Ranch to south of Ortega Highway) – Project is under construction with 50% completion. Project completion is anticipated by December 2012.
  • Cow Camp Road (Antonio Parkway to future Foothill Transportation Corridor (FTC) – Project is being designed and constructed in three phases. Design of three lanes (Phase 1 and 2) between Antonio Parkway to FTC is to be completed by fall 2012. Construction of Phase 1 and 2 is planned from March 2012 to December 2013. No design or construction plans for phase 3 are currently set.
  • La Pata widening and extension as four lanes (Ortega Highway to Calle Saluda/San Clemente) – Design expected to be completed by December 2012. Advertise and construction of project May 2013 – December 2014.
I’m pleased with the collaboration between the community, OC Public Works staff and Rancho Mission Viejo to bring these projects to an implementation stage well ahead of the arrival of new homes. This proactive coordination will ensure the new homes will have infrastructure in place to support not only the needs of existing residents, but their needs as well.

For more information about County road improvements associated with the Ranch Plan, please click here.


Trabuco Creek Channel Levee Protection Phase VII

The Trabuco Creek Channel, within the City of San Juan Capistrano, was channelized and constructed with unreinforced concrete slope lining in 1963.

In 1998, a major storm caused significant damage to the channel embankments on both sides of Trabuco Creek, resulting in flooding at San Juan Capistrano City Hall, destroying the pedestrian bridge over the channel, and almost causing catastrophic levee failure along the San Juan Mobile Estates mobile home park.

Due to major storms in December 2010, approximately 350 feet of both levees also sustained significant damage that threatened hundreds of homes and businesses. Despite previous repairs, the channel remains vulnerable to levee failure.

In response, OC Public Works developed an eight-phase plan for both San Juan and Trabuco Creeks to be accomplished in several years. The plan proposes to install a steel sheet pile wall behind the existing channel lining. Although this plan does not increase the flood carrying capacity, it does provide immediate protection against catastrophic levee failure, with minimal environmental impacts.

The eight-phased plan includes San Juan Creek from Stonehill Drive Bridge to the I-5 Freeway, and Trabuco Creek Channel from its confluence with San Juan Creek Channel to 1,600 feet upstream of the Del Obispo Street Bridge. Phase VII will now be the fourth construction phase of the original eight phase plan.

To that end, the Board approved the plans and special provisions and authorized the project to go out to bid for the installation of steel sheet piles for the Phase VII segment of the Trabuco Creek Channel. In addition, Phase VII proposes to construct reinforced masonry floodwalls along the sheet pile alignment for added protection in both the interim and ultimate channel configurations.

The bid opening date is May 2 and construction is expected to begin mid-summer. For more information, please click here.

2011 Emergency Management Performance Grant

The Board accepted a federal Department of Homeland Security Emergency Management Performance Grant. The purpose of the grant is to support activities that contribute to the County’s capability to prevent, prepare for, mitigate against, respond to, and recover from emergencies and disasters, whether natural or manmade.

The grant amount is $687,703, of which $309,466 will be distributed to participating cities in the County and $378,237 will be retained by the Sheriff's Emergency Management Bureau. For more information, please click here.


One of the fundamental goals of the County’s landfill operation is to protect and preserve capacity. The longer we have capacity, the cheaper our residential and commercial waste disposal costs will be.

To help preserve this capacity today and well into the future, the Board received OC Waste & Recycling’s bi-annual report regarding its regional leadership efforts in designing and implementing recycling and waste diversion programs for the County’s unincorporated areas and our partner cities.

While these efforts assist in the County’s on-going compliance with state mandates, the regional programs actually result in preserving our very valuable landfill capacity, which continues to benefit all Orange County residents and businesses.

Our program goals include:
  1. Increasing awareness to enable action to increase waste reduction, material reuse, and recycling.
  2. Changing behaviors to increase waste reduction, material reuse, and recycling.
  3. Creating sustainable educational outreach programs that meet state standard environmental education criteria so that the teachers are able and excited to bring these programs into Orange County schools.
  4. Ensure that Orange County landfills will have capacity to meet the disposal needs of future generations.
OC Waste & Recycling remains committed to its regional leadership role and continuing a strong tradition of providing superior waste management services, protecting the environment, and promoting recycling activities to ensure and sustain a safe and healthy community.

Air Quality Grant Helps Offset County Costs

The Board approved a grant awarded by the Southern California Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) in the amount of $86,612 as part of the Surplus Off-Road Opt-In for NOx (SOON) program.

Under the SOON program, fleet owners, like OC Waste & Recycling, partner with SCAQMD to accelerate pollution reduction measures and improve air quality to achieve Federal attainment standards in accordance with the Clean Air Act.

The grant will help finance the replacement of an old and less efficient trash compactor engine at the Frank R. Bowerman Landfill, which will in turn accelerate air pollution reduction measures in accordance with State, Federal, and local regulations.

For more information, please click here.


OCTA 2011 CEO Action Plan Year-End Report

On Monday, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors received a presentation from CEO Will Kempton on his 2011 Action Plan Year-End Report. The report focused on OCTA's major accomplishments for the year.

Major accomplishments of 2011 include:
  • Signal Synchronization – Ten signal synchronization projects were completed covering 180 miles of roadway and 702 signals.
  • Transit System Study – OCTA completed a comprehensive study designed to find efficient, cost-effective and sustainable ways to operate transit services in Orange County.
  • Tustin Metrolink Station – The Tustin Metrolink station parking structure opened in October 2011 with 823 parking spaces. Measure M2 contributed $8.25 million to the project with an additional $9.35 million in state funding.
  • Angels Express – The Angels Express was introduced, providing Metrolink train service for home baseball games at Angels Stadium to 20,613 passengers.
  • Breaking Down Barriers – Congressman Gary Miller introduced the Breaking Down Barriers Act outlining $35 billion in annual funding for transportation projects. The Breaking Down Barriers initiative aims to break down technical barriers slowing a project down, speeding up the implementation process.
  • Freeway Mitigation Funds – Five properties totaling 945 acres of wilderness habitat have been preserved through OCTA's Freeway Environmental Mitigation Program. The program protects the county's natural resources while adhering to the promise made to voters to implement 13 freeway projects as part of Measure M2.
To view the entire report and a PowerPoint presentation, please click here.


Next Steps for San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

Southern California Edison (SCE) has received the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) Confirmatory Action Letter, which outlines actions SCE must complete at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) before seeking permission from the NRC to restart Units 2 and 3.

Unit 2 was taken out of service for a planned outage January 9. Unit 3 has been shut down since January 31, when it was taken off-line after station operators detected a leak in one of the unit’s steam generator tubes. An NRC augmented inspection team has been on site at the plant conducting inspections and analysis since March 19.

For more information, please click here and here.


iPhone App Assists Smartphone Users to Contact County

Residents of unincorporated Orange County have a new way to report repairs directly to OC Public Works. OC Public Works is one of the first Orange County departments to launch an iPhone application to assist smartphone users in contacting County government.

This new service allows users to search "OC Works" on iPhones and iPads to download this free application. By downloading this application, residents can easily request pothole repairs, graffiti removal, street sweeping, report incidents of alleged illegal dumping, water pollution, and/or property violations directly to County staff.

For more information, please click here.


Seasonal Emergency Homeless Shelters to Close

On Tuesday, April 10, the Armory Emergency Shelter Program will close. The Armory Program, which opened December 1, 2012, is a seasonal program that provides up to 400 beds for homeless families and individuals, as well as a nutritious meal, warm shower, safe place to sleep, warm clothes, a wide variety of supportive services, and a friendly and safe atmosphere.

The shelters are located at the National Guard Armories in Fullerton and Santa Ana. The Armory Emergency Shelter Program is a vital link in our community’s efforts to take care of those who lack proper shelter at night and to provide needed services to the homeless. The 2011-2012 Armory Program marked the 24th consecutive year the County of Orange has assisted the homeless during the coldest and wettest winter months.

An implementation group has been formed around the Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness’ goal to improve the efficacy of the emergency shelter system. Within that goal, there is a strategy to develop year round, permanent emergency shelters to replace the seasonal Armory Shelter Program.

If you are interested in participating in any of the Ten Year Plan implementation groups or would like more information about the Ten Year Plan, please contact Steve Kight at OC Partnership at 714-288-4007 or steve.kight@ocpartnership.net. For more information, please click here.

$2.5 Million in New Funding for Homeless Services

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently awarded $2,522,824 in new project funding to the County of Orange in homeless assistance funding under the 2011 Continuum of Care programs grant competition.

The annual grant competition and the grant award to the County of Orange is a direct result of the County’s partnership with cities and homeless service organizations to address the issue of homelessness in Orange County.

The grant funding will help six new programs in the County begin to offer critically needed permanent-supportive housing and services to homeless persons and families. For more information, please click here.

Assisting our Homeless Veterans

The Orange County Housing Authority (OCHA) has been awarded $884,560 to further expand its ongoing Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (VASH). The funds will provide OCHA with an additional 75 Housing Choice Vouchers that are reserved for homeless single veterans or veterans with families.

Under the VASH Program, the Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center in Long Beach provides supportive services and case management to eligible homeless veterans and then refers the veterans to OCHA for rental assistance. Through close collaboration with the Long Beach VA Medical Center, OCHA will begin assisting additional veterans in April or May.

Veterans interested in the VASH Program should call the HUD-VASH Interest Line at (562) 826-8000, ext. 2336. Property owners interested in renting to VASH veterans or other low-income households should contact the OCHA Owner Hotline at (714) 480-2866. For more information, please click here.


Reminder on 2nd Secured Property Tax Installment

The Treasurer-Tax Collector reminds the public that the last day to pay the second installment of secured property taxes without penalties is Tuesday, April 10. For more information, please click here.


Orange County Health Needs Assessment Newsletter

The Orange County Health Needs Assessment (OCHNA) has released its most recent newsletter, Stone Soup Gazette, which provides the public an opportunity to learn about current health events in Orange County.

To view the March/April edition of Stone Soup Gazette, please click here. For information about OCHNA, please click here.


Lost a Pet? Search Online!

If you've lost a pet, OC Animal Care offers a convenient online "lost and found" to help reunite you with your furry friend. The website also features tips on locating a lost pet. For more information, please click here.


South County Girls Soccer Team Ranked #1 in Nation

The Aliso Niguel High School girls soccer team is ranked No. 1 in the country after recently clinching the CIF Southern Regional Division I championship with a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Los Osos High School, which was previously the top-ranked team in the nation.

The title propelled the Wolverines to their first No. 1 national ranking in school history. Aliso Niguel trailed 2-0 in the second half before Lindsay Doyle tied the match with two goals, and a third goal by Lauren Miller won it.

The Aliso Viejo City Council will recognize the team in an upcoming meeting. For more information, please click here.


Aliso Viejo: Spring Celebration & Pancake Breakfast

The City of Aliso Viejo invites residents to Grand Park on Saturday, March 31 from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM for the Spring Celebration & Pancake Breakfast. For more information, please click here.

Laguna Beach: FREE Chamber Music Concert

Laguna Beach Live! is pleased to present AlmaNova in a FREE chamber music concert on Sunday, April 1 from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM at the Laguna College of Art & Design. For more information, please click here.

Laguna Hills: Late Night Flashlight Egg Hunt

The City of Laguna Hills invites families to bring your flashlight and prize bag for an eventful evening of annual egg hunting on Friday, April 6 from 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the Laguna Hills Community Center soccer fields. For more information, please click here.

Mission Viejo: Bunny Days

Make plans to attend Bunny Days, a time-honored family event featuring carnival game booths, spring crafts, face painting, pony rides and much more, taking place from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Saturday, April 7 on the Village Green at Oso Viejo Park, 24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo. For more information, please click here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Attended the Mission Viejo Chamber of Commerce "State of the City" presentation.
  • Met with the OC Community Services Director and Jim Palmer of OC Rescue Mission to discuss strategies to address homelessness in South County.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Harry Lawrence (a.k.a Mr. Laguna) of Laguna Beach and Rabbi Allen Krause of Mission Viejo.
My office also:
  • Provided a certificate of recognition for Jerry DeBusk in honor of his 20 years as the nationally renowned Head Boys Basketball Coach for the Santa Margarita Catholic High School Eagles.
  • Provided a certificate of recognition for SlimGenics in honor of their ribbon cutting ceremony in the City of Laguna Niguel.
My staff and I look forward to continually providing you updated information in our Fifth District Newsletter and website.

Please feel free to contact my office with your concerns, comments or questions at (714) 834-3550. It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your Supervisor for Orange County's Fabulous Fifth District.

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