Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Save Banning Ranch in Newport Beach

(text was copied from www.savebanningranch.org)

Banning Ranch is located along the Santa Ana River and Pacific Coast Highway, and is 412 acres of wetlands and adjacent bluffs and mesa. This property has escaped the residential development that is characteristic of much of Newport Beach and Huntington Beach due to its use for oil production. Banning Ranch is the largest piece of privately held open space in the West Newport Beach area. From the mesa on Banning Ranch, one has a beautiful panoramic view that stretches from the Santa Ana River to the Pacific Ocean. One can see Catalina Island, and enjoy cool ocean breezes. There is coastal sage scrub and Banning Ranch is the home to a plethora of wildlife including endangered species. Banning Ranch serves as a link between publicly owned open spaces on all sides. To the west of Banning Ranch are wetlands. Immediately north is the Talbert Nature Preserve and further up the river is Fairview Park. On the east side of Banning Ranch is Sunset Ridge that is dedicated to become park space. Finally, a parcel of undeveloped school district property sits on the eastern border of Banning Ranch. Most of this publicly owned open space will likely become the future Orange Coast River Park (OCRP), which Banning Ranch deserves to be a part of.

The owners of Banning Ranch are AERA Energy, LLC. The owners have, in the past, proposed building 1750 homes, a shopping center and a hotel on the site. Although this proposal has been withdrawn, a new development proposal could be coming in the months ahead. Such massive development would result in the loss of open space and endangered species habitat, as well as resulting in the degradation of the adjacent wetlands.

The Banning Ranch Park and Preserve Task Force (BRPP) is dedicated to preserving the entire Banning Ranch as an open space and wildlife preserve. We are working to purchase the entire Banning Ranch at a price agreeable to both the owners and public. The Banning Ranch can then bejoined to the previously described adjacent open spaces to create a "Greater Orange Coast River Park" which would encompass over 1200 acres.

In my opinion, greed is the only motivating factor behind developing this land into homes or any kind of real estate. There are plenty of older, poorly planned communities that can be re-developed to better serve our housing needs. We need to force developers to think in a more sustainable sense to preserve what we have and do our best to change the excessive Orange County lifestyle.

To learn more about the save banning ranch group, please visit their web-site at www.savebanningranch.org

Written by, Evan T. Little

Realtor®, EcoBroker®
Volkl Investments Inc.
949.939.9687 phone

My other blogs:
Orange County, CA Community
Real Estate in Orange County, CA


Anonymous said...

imho Sustainable development with integrated parks is preferable to preservation of a contaminated oilfield.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a real estate developer or a real estate developer's consultant left that last message :) When Costa Mesa and Newport first started out... an open space park would have been absurd... now that both are entirely built out, it's just the opposite. Open space and wildlife are that much more valuable now that it's all concrete, asphalt, homes, and buildings.

Evan Little said...

Yeah, I'm not sure what the post from the 1st person is in reference too, but I've heard that the main reason why the land hasn't been developed is due to the high cost of mitigating the contamination that the oil rigs have created.

Anonymous said...

Yep, there's that and the fact they still make a lot of money from the oil wells that continue to pump oil out of the ground. If they never found oil there I'm sure homes, condos, and other buildings would have already been built.