Ridgeline Equestrian Estates Headed to Voters?

The opposition to the Ridgeline Equestrian Estates is not giving up easily. Local residents have taken to the streets to accumulate enough signatures on petitions to overturn the recently approved Orange City Council agreement.

Although the Orange City Council has given its approval for the Ridgeline Equestrian Estates after a contentious five-year review, the fat lady hasn’t sung yet. Residents in the area have been fighting the project since its inception and they haven’t finished yet. A contingent of the local residents have been collecting signatures, which are due today, to force a referendum to overturn the Council’s approval.

Still causing major arguments is the issue of who should be in control of the primary community horse arena, once known as the Sully Miller Arena. The Orange Park Acres Association has run the arena for over 20 years, but the developer, JMI Real Estate – San Diego, owns the arena, and under the recently approved agreement they can select the nonprofit organization of their choice to operate the arena, or they can donate the it to the City of Orange to operate or to license the operation to another nonprofit. Obviously, the OPAA is not happy about that part of the agreement.

Since the City of Orange has already rezoned the use of land in this project once, residents are worried that eventually the land on which the horse arena relies will also be rezoned. Residents want another parcel of land to be donated and put under the control of the Orange Park Acres Association as part of the agreement.

Who will win in the end? The last blow in the battle hasn’t been landed yet. Hopefully, the community at large won’t be the one with the black eye.

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