Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

A developer is proposing to build 24 homes on the 5 acre Sexlinger property on Santa Clara, which is the last Orange Grove left in Santa Ana, and the surrounding neighbors are concerned about the impact of the project on the whole area.

This property was settled in 1914, when a family known as the Sexlingers built a little cottage amid the oranges, apricots and walnuts, according to the O.C. Register.  They hung on to their orange grove even as all the land around them was developed into homes, except for Portola Park.

There is going to be a joint Neighborhood Association meeting at John Muir Fundamental Elementary on Thursday, March 17 at 7pm. It will include the Portola Park and Merrideth Parkwood Neighborhood Associations. They usually have joint meetings.  These two associations encompass Grand to Tustin andSanta Clara to 17th.

The Park Santiago and Young Square Neighborhood Associations have also been invited to this meeting.

The development company, Tava, is on the agenda, as is Nick Spain. According to Spain, there is still time to kill this project.

Once the environmental impact report is published (late March/early April), the public will have 30-45 days for review and make comments. There is still at least one if not two meetings with the City Planning Commission. He thinks that the earliest that the City City Council would meet to approve the plan would be in late summer/early fall.



By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

18 thoughts on “Santa Ana neighborhoods oppose development of the city’s last orange grove”
  1. “According to Spain, there is still time to kill this project.”

    “Santa Ana neighborhoods oppose development of the city’s last orange grove”

    Art – I live in the Portola Park Neighborhood. What leads you to believe that the surrounding neighborhoods oppose this development?

    1. Thanks for your comment Mike. I received an email that indicated there was opposition.

      I cannot go to the meeting due to a calendar conflict. If you do attend please let us know how it goes.

  2. That’s it ??

    You can’t give even a hint of substantiation to your statement that the neighborhoods oppose this development ??

    Did the neighborhoods oppose the development at the last community meeting where this was on the agenda? I don’t think so.

  3. Unprofessional journalism upsets me – I will be going to the meeting and I will relate my impression of that to you and your reader.

    1. This is a blog, not a newspaper. As indicated, we have an email indicating widespread opposition to this project.

      I personally have no issue with it.

      I do look forward to your report about the meeting.

  4. Well, that is a “little” more information. Now we know that this unidentified person indicated that there was “widespread” opposition to the development.

    Which I do not believe – because that is not the report that I heard from the community meeting.

    Does the unidentified person have the initials WC?

    1. No.

      As for the opposition, I can understand it. It is sad to see this land turned into homes when there is such a need for more open space and recreational areas.

  5. No doubt there is need for more open space – but that need is in central Santa Ana, not next to an existing park in northeast SA.

    Why do support little napoleon – he who has done squat for parks in over 20 years?

    1. Actually, we could really use that land for our Little League, alas there are no funds available to do that.

      Our Council has made additions and improvements at our parks in the last two years.

  6. That is why I dislike debating with you Art – you make no sense. That orange grove proprty is barely large enough for one ballfield – not 3 fields as NESALL has now.

    NESALL fields are fine – they need upkeep for sure – but the arrangement to rent that property from SAUSD for $1 per year has been working well for over 50 years.

    And as far as what the SA clowncil has done for parks – it is too little and way too late.

    1. So they can fit 24 homes but not one ballfield?

      As for NESALL, they are paying very high utility costs and don’t have lights for night games.

      Our current Council majority is working hard to undo the mistakes if previous Councils.

  7. Yeah, .. that’s what I’m talkin’ about.

    I will get you your report on the Community meeting – but I am not debating you.

    1. Thanks Mike. And don’t worry, we weren’t debating. You support the project and I am not against it. What is there to debate? 🙂

  8. I did not say that I support the project. I am withholding judgement until at least the next community meeting.

    I think that the developer would do some good things – like improve (widen) Santa ClaraAve.
    I also think that the Sexlinger residence should be preserved – if not on that site then moved to the SA Heritage site – along with some of the orange trees. The orchard residence is unique and is representative of a period in Santa Ana’s and Orange County’s history.

  9. It is also questionable if those orange trees have much lifespan left. Is someone going to plant new ones for nostalgia’s sake?

  10. Having attended the community meeting last night and listening to the discussion it seems that opposition to the new residential development centers on 2 issues.

    Issue no. 2: That Lyon street where it currently dead-ends at the south side of the Sexlinger orange grove will be extended to the north to connect to Santa Clara Ave. Current Lyon street residents believe that this will create a traffic burden for their neighborhood. The developer’s plan shows that this will not be a “straight through” shot – there will be (2) 90 degree turns and other traffic calming devices employed to discourage cut-through traffic on Lyon Street.

    Cut-through traffic is not likely to occur here since the next street to the west running between Santa Clara and 17th St. is Wright – which will remain a straight shot raceway. Why would a driver cut through Lyon with 3 extra turns and traffic calming devices? That is not likely to happen with any significant frequency. Sure there will be additional traffic on Lyon street, but it will only be from residents of the new development.

    What do the current residents on Lyon street think? That the dead-end street (btw – which has always looked awful, with a weed choked dying orange grove and dilapidated chain link fence with weeds growing through it with rusted signs hanging off of it and an old rusted “K” rail bumper) – that the dead-end street would never be continued through?? It is obvious that it has been the City’s intention from day one to extend Lyon through to Santa Clara.

    The new neighborhood will eliminate the problems caused by vagrants camping out in the orange grove and the historic Sexlinger orange grove residence. More on the residence below.

    The developer is much more kind to the residents than I am – he seems to be willing to work with them to mitigate any negative impact which the new residential development may have on their neighborhood.

    Issue no. 2: Entitled “Revenge of the Tree Huggers.” I am just kidding, the huggers have a valid position. Nick Spain, director of The Grain Project, gave an excellent presentation on the historic and cultural value of maintaining the Sexlinger residence and the historic citrus grove.

    If this was a perfect world with the coffers of Santa Ana’s treasury full (ha-ha) and the City could purchase the property and do what the huggers want – I could dig that. Trouble is there is no money to do that and no prospects in that regard for the near or long term. I would like to see the Sexlinger grove residence and some orange trees relocated to Santa Ana’s historical heritage site – I think that the developer should pay to accomplish that.

    That is my take on this issue. There were several other issues discussed at the community meeting which was well attended.

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