Given life in the legal arena by a judge who voted in their favor, residents in Trabuco Canyon are hopeful the county will not appeal a judge's decision stopping a developer from building 65 homes just north of Cook's Corner.
The county has until Oct. 5 to appeal the decision of Judge Steven Perk because developer Rutter Santiago's plan to build on 114 acres didn't comply with original planning mandates and didn't analyze the project's effect on traffic, vegetation and wildlife, according to an article in the Orange County Register; that would be a violation of the California Environmental Quality Act. The suit, according to the paper, also alleged the county ignored its general plan "and the 1991 Foothill/Trabuco Specific Plan by amending 15 density, grading and environmental laws to make way for the project."
"Saddle Crest is an inappropriate project for this area—not because I say so, not because the plaintiffs say so, but because the plans say so," Modjeska Canyon resident Steve Duff reportedly told the board earlier this month. "These plans work. They're doing the job they intended to do, and that is why they had to be vivisected, essentially, with dozens of bizarre amendments to make way for this project."
Third District supervisor Todd Spitzer, who represents the canyon area, told the paper he has yet to form an opinion on the project, which took place before he joined the Orange County Board of Supervisors.