Locally organized efforts to protect the integrity of a North Tustin neighborhood from infill development continued on the last Sunday of August at a “Save The Racquet Club” meeting.

North Tustin neighbors gathered on Aug. 25 to discuss progress and future activities needed to prevent condensed housing from being infilled on the current site of the Tustin Hills Racquet Club (THRC).

Ever since Peter Zehnder submitted his plans to the county in December 2018, a growing number of North Tustin neighbors have been organizing against the proposed 37 homes, comprised of 17 duplexes and three single-family residences, averaging 6.29 homes per acre with 170 parking spaces.

The developer’s request to spot zone this area well within an existing and well-established neighborhood from “A1” (general neighborhood) to “R2” (5,000 sq. ft. lots) is another, in what appears to be a steady stream of attempts to leverage local government to ignore and overrule long-established zoning designations, despite the desires of homeowners who are directly impacted.

Prodigious attendance of those constituents at the Sunday meeting at a neighbor’s house just down the street from the Tustin Hills Racquet Club, and the increasing numbers of supporters, are due largely to efforts of volunteers. They’re distributing “Save The Racquet Club” door hangers throughout the impacted area, posting on social media, and sending email blasts from the head of the Foothill Communities Association (FCA) THRC Steering Committee Lori Chew.

The two-hour meeting highlighted the passions of the neighborhood to strategize, educate, raise funding, increase awareness and recruit volunteers for ongoing efforts. Rick Nelson, FCA president, discussed the county approval process; Melissa Falco described volunteering opportunities; and Lori Chew elaborated on the proposed development plan.

Don Wagner, representing the 3rd District for the Orange County Board of Supervisors, has expressed his support for the opposition to this development plan and has encouraged the THRC Committee to meet with the other Supervisors.

The THRC Committee and supporters are planning to address the OC Board of Supervisors during their next scheduled meeting, as well as reach out to the individual members of the board to discuss their concerns. The THRC Committee will also be available to meet and greet at several upcoming events, including the OC Jazz Festival (Sept. 22, 1 p.m., at the Orange County Mining Co.), Tustin Tiller Days (Oct. 4-6) and Dino Dash (Nov. 3, The Market Place). 

Please consider lending your support to prevent condensed infill and spot zoning, not just in this neighborhood, but throughout greater North Tustin. This unfortunate trend could one day find its way to an empty lot near you. Please donate to the THRC Committee at fcahome.org/raise-money.  Sign the petition objecting to this development, fcahome.org/racquet-club-petition; to request a lawn sign, email Melissa Falco at MelissaAFalco@gmail.com. To inquire about volunteer opportunities and other general questions, contact Lori Chew at LoriChew98@gmail.com. To learn more, visit SaveTheRacquetClub.com.

September 2019

N. Tustin Notes:

by Scott Logue