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Foothill Ranch Condos Get Initial Council Go-Ahead

The proposed residential development would be built on nine acres of commercial property near the Shops at Foothill Ranch. Lake Forest City Council gave initial approval Tuesday evening.

A proposal to build 151 condos in Foothill Ranch is moving ahead after the Lake Forest City Council gave developer Brookfield Residential approval to begin filing formal applications for city permits.

The developer—one of three currently proposing residential projects in the area— wants to build the residences on a nine-acre parcel bordered by Auto Center Drive, Portola Parkway and Bake Parkway.

Once the location of a Buick, Pontiac and GMC dealership, the developer said that the "Town Centre Residential Project" could house an estimated 436 residents.

Discussion of the project was undertaken as part of a new, two-step approval process recently implemented to fast-track development by allowing the council to gather additional information on such projects before granting a final decision.

Council members expressed concern about traffic in the area with a residential development.

However, Brookfield's vice president of land entitlement, Dave Bartlett, told the council that the project should get the go-ahead because the company's study shows that a residential development would result in 60 percent less traffic than if it were used under its current commercial zoning.

Talks about the project were accompanied by references to another residential project, proposed by Trumark Companies.

James O'Malley, with Trumark, said Tuesday evening that the two developers are proponents of each others' interests.

Brookfield and Trumark Co., which intends to build 75 single-family homes on a seven-acre site previously home to Foothill Ranch Chevrolet, are both looking for zoning changes of the land from commercial to residential.

As per a Dec. 6 City Council request, Trumark is in the process of providing the city with additional information regarding its proposal, such as potential traffic impacts.

The third developer planning a residential development in the area is the Baker family, which has proposed constructing apartments on a 30-acre site adjacent to the .

Sheri Howard February 07, 2012 at 03:58 PM
I agree with Andy and "concerned"!!! This is not good for Foothill Ranch!!! and Andy your right…..Portola WILL NEVER go through!
Jessica Crespo February 08, 2012 at 03:18 AM
The comments that are in favor of the proposal are obviously linked to the co.'s of the proposed sites & have a one track mind. One of the reasons why I moved here was because it wasn't overcrowded & I had a false sense that there wouldn't be more residential sites added to the area because of Whiting Ranch. I grew up in Irvine when it felt like Foothill & you couldn't pay me to live there now. It's so overcrowded, I can't stand what the Irvine Co.'s done to it. Most of the businesses have failed here because they didn't make sense for the area. Why would people come here for a few dealerships when they can go around the corner to the Irvine Auto Park with all the choices. Lake Forest got greedy & wanted in on some of the money, that's why the auto dealerships failed.
Tim February 08, 2012 at 07:12 PM
I too am very concerned about over crowding in our school at Foothill Ranch if this project is allowed to be pushed through. My bet is that most dont know about it, if they did it would have been shot down long ago! Bad Idea building condos in a commercial area, I do not agree that it should be re zoned.
K Leone February 18, 2013 at 10:16 AM
Traffic is already becoming a nightmare in Foothill Ranch, boatloads of trash blowing around with the invitation of the 99cent store and the expansion of Walmart, with trash now lining our streets, all of which need repair. Crime is on the rise with approx 20 some odd cars broken into this morning in my neighborhood (near Paloma/Antibes). We don't need more people till there are things for kids to do to stay out of trouble. Look at the crime reports ... they've increased significantly. The roads need repair, & going down Bake and Alton is risking your life. We have one elementary school, and kids from Foothill have to be bussed to RSM Intermediate, and the only high school for most kids is overcrowded Trabuco Hills, or for some, El Toro High School. There's nothing for most kids to do, so they drink and take drugs in the Walmart parking lot on Friday and Saturday nights, and the drunks come speeding down Portola smashing into block walls. There's been several crashes and/or fatalities on Bake, with Alton finally opened up, drivers from the canyon, Foothill, and Portola Hills are nearly running over high school students as they get off the OCTA bus and have to cross Alton/Portola. And, anyone notice that they took, what five years or so to open Alton, and they've already ripped it up for more freaking construction. We need to become our own city and throw out Lake Forest!
K Leone February 18, 2013 at 10:37 AM
The businesses in F/R are cruddy; more residents won't change that. The restaurants here, with few exceptions, are overpriced, serve par food at high prices, with awful service. There are 5 nail places, loud, &most speak vietnamese with english speaking customers. Game Stop left because the new wave is digital downloads, and Mervyns left years ago across the state. There's nothing around here to do--especially when you can go down the hill to the Spectrum and enjoy movies, comedy shows, hundreds of shops and different restaurants and entertainment (D&B, etc). The skatepark & Chuck Cheeses are it! The high school kids have nothing, so they hang out in the Walmart and In-And-Out parking lot. So before we build a bunch more poor-quality homes, how about building an entertainment center, another elementary, Intermediate and High School, and then consider building more housing. As for opening Portola, people race down Bake & Alton, trying to kill the school kids, and we don't need another raceway.

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