Peters Canyon Park improvement plan approved

The Orange County Board of Supervisors approved a general development and resource management plan for Peters Canyon Regional Park at its Sept. 24 public meeting.

Board approval of the plan, created to provide long-term guidelines for park improvements and manage its resources and operations, was the culmination of a multi-year effort by OC Parks personnel, Peters Canyon neighbors and users.

Initial public discussion of proposed park improvements commenced in 2015, with a series of workshops. The majority of park patrons who reviewed the early improvement alternatives were horrified to learn that an asphalt bike path was proposed to bisect the wilderness park.  

Cyclists favored the paved bikeway, noting that the Peters Park route appeared on the county’s master plan of bike commuter lanes drafted in the 1970s.  Opponents pointed out that the park did not exist when the master plan was created, that nothing was there at that time, but now the area is an unpaved, natural retreat for hikers, joggers, equestrians and non-commuting mountain bikers. 

The asphalt bikeway was eliminated after a contentious public hearing.  A new Class-1 bike lane will be built along Jamboree Road, tracing the eastern border of the park.

Peters Canyon improvement plans were put on hold in 2017 when the Canyon 2 Fire burned 183 acres of the park.  Plans were revisited earlier this year, and modified to satisfy the concerns of North Tustin neighbors who objected to a proposed entrance on Bent Tree, restrooms located near residences and visitor parking that spilled onto local streets.

The plans approved by the Board of Supervisors includes fire reduction measures, permanent restrooms in two locations, shade structures, overflow parking at Skylark and rest areas.  Long-term improvements include a dam overlook and a boardwalk across the reservoir.

No start date has been announced.

October 2019