Opponents of a proposed development of equestrian estates on 51 acres of open land in Orange are planning to pack the Orange City Council chambers Tuesday night to protest plans for the project.

Although no vote is expected at the council meeting, leaders of the opposition said they already are working on a ballot referendum to overturn anticipated City Council approval of the development. The proposed development is on one of the few remaining open-space tracts in Orange.

“Should the city council side with the developer and ignore the community,” said a news release distributed by opponents of the project, “the residents are preparing to gather the signatures necessary via a referendum to let the voters of Orange decide through a ballot initiative whether they prefer to keep the property zoned recreational open space or if they want yet another housing tract.”

The former nine-hole golf course would be divided into one-acre homes and horse trails, according to the proposed building project, called Orange Park Acres. Orange, like many North Orange County cities, has a shortage of park space and opponents of the development say the remaining land should be kept for recreational uses.

“The developer bought the land zoned recreational open space, without entitlement, at the top of the real estate market,” the news release said. “He’s now asking for the government to bail him out for his bad real estate speculation by giving him a zone change so he can increase the value of his property and build a housing tract on open space.”


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