How much housing does the City’s Zoning Code allow on the property?

The Village at Laguna Hills is situated in an area of the City which is zoned “Village Commercial” (VC).  The VC zone is implemented by the UVSP.  Adopted in 2002 and amended in 2011, the UVSP permits between 30 and 50 dwelling units per acre.  MGP’s new plan proposes a range of 1,200 to 1,500 units on 30 acres.  This equates to 40 to 50 dwelling units per acre in the area designated for residential/mixed use and 18 to 22 units per acre spread over the entire site. 


While housing is one element of the UVSP, the UVSP also contains objectives that require the development of other uses as well.  Any project proposed by MGP would be evaluated against the policies of the UVSP to ensure the community’s original planning goals for the area are met.  

The primary goals of the Urban Village Specific Plan are:

  • To encourage and facilitate new uses in the area;
  • To create new pathways and open space areas and add landscaping to existing sidewalks to foster a pedestrian-friendly environment;
  • To create an identity for the area through the use of entry features, area wayfinding signs, consistent landscaping, and street furniture;  
  • To facilitate private investments in the development of desirable and planned activity nodes;
  • To take full commercial and market advantage of the Urban Village’s central location in the Saddleback Valley;
  • To increase the employment opportunities and tax revenues, and ensure the long-term viability of the Urban Village; and
  • To provide the framework for a public/private partnership to implement the goals of the specific plan.

The goals described above are further supported by objective development standards including a land use plan, design guidelines, and an infrastructure plan.  Certain goals benefit the on-going development of the UVSP specifically, such as fostering a pedestrian environment, while other goals would have community-wide benefits (increasing tax revenues).  

March 2021 Update: The final Village at Laguna Hills plans have been modified to eliminate the 1,200 – 1,500 range for multi-family dwellings. The proposed number of dwelling units is 1,500 units. This represents a 512 unit increase in the number of multi-family units approved for Five Lagunas.

Source:            Linscott, Law & Greenspan Traffic Impact Analysis for the Addendum to the City of Laguna Hills General Plan Program Environmental Impact Report for the Village at Laguna Hills Project, Table 6, September 1, 2020.

Show All Answers

1. Explain the current zoning, conditional use permits, and land use for the 68-acre property [the former Laguna Hills Mall] and adjacent developments. What can/can’t the City Council control?
2. What is the status of the plan MGP showed the community at their April 2019 Community Forum? How does it compare to the approved 2016 plan?
3. How much housing does the City’s Zoning Code allow on the property?
4. Does the City consider traffic in evaluating development proposals in the UVSP?
5. In 2016, the City approved over 926,000 sq. feet of retail and office building area and 988 dwelling units. If MGP is an established developer, why has Five Lagunas taken so long to get started?
6. What does the City Council see as a viable solution for the development of the site? When considering a new development, does and can the City Council factor in the greater good of the community?
7. How do the new and future proposed/approved Oakbrook apartments factor into any decision making?
8. What are current vacancy rates for existing apartment complexes?
9. Why doesn’t the City insist MGP provide more retail space and less office and housing space?
10. What creates the most value for the city and community: High-density multifamily housing, retail, or commercial office?
11. What kind of retail space can residents expect to see since the outlook for traditional storefronts is so negative?
12. How much revenue has the City lost from the mall closing?
13. How has the City responded to this loss of revenue?
14. How will property taxes benefit the city and how much will the city actually receive?
15. How does more development on the site, especially more residential development, impact community infrastructure such as police services, fire and paramedic services, traffic, water, schools, etc.?
16. What were the projected traffic levels for the originally approved Five Lagunas Project? What is the difference between retail development and apartment development with respect to traffic?
17. How will high-density apartments/multifamily housing benefit residents? Did the 09 General Plan call for 300 apartments w/ options to add more in future phases? Are the approved 988 units mandated
18. What if residents do not want to see more housing developed beyond the 988 units approved in 2016 in a future project?
19. Why doesn’t the City simply ignore State housing element law?
20. What is the City’s obligation to help address the Statewide/federal affordable housing shortage, including low-income and homeless shelters?
21. What exactly is the Housing Crisis Act (SB 330) and how does it impact the new project submitted by MGP?
22. What are the key steps involved in the entitlement process?
23. How long will it take for the project to reach the public hearing?