Residents living on Garland Street in Anaheim say they know better than to assume the hills where they bought homes 20 years ago will stay preserved and undeveloped forever.
But when a developer proposed to extend the Garland Circle cul-de-sac another 1,000 feet and build 18 more homes on a so-called private road at the end of their tract, the residents decided it was time to protest.
“We’re not naive enough to think this property is ours,” said Bill Westman, one of the newer residents on the 20-home block. “We’re not against development, we just want it done right.
At the end of their street, where the new homes are planned, is a vacant, 4.4-acre, narrow lot with a hodgepodge of wildflowers, eucalyptus trees, palms and a smattering of wildlife. Neighborhood children have built a tree house in one lofty evergreen, families take strolls and dogs roam with their owners through the property.
Four functioning oil wells also sit on the land, and residents are concerned about the safety of servicing the pumps if they are sandwiched between homes.
But it is traffic that concerns the community most. The developer has proposed to put the main entrance to the private tract at the end of Garland Street, and residents are fearful of what that will do to their tranquil cul-de-sac.
A second exit would be placed at the far end of the project, but would normally be locked and only opened for emergencies.
The developer estimates that the new project would increase traffic on Garland Street by about 100 trips daily--a 300% jump.
As Garland Street residents press their campaign, they are warning city officials that such a dramatic increase in area traffic would probably pit new homeowners against those already living in the area.
“I can see nothing but animosity and ill will between these (new) residents and the rest of the neighbors, because all the overflow comes into our area,” said Ed Rados, a 22-year resident of Garland Lane.
The project is scheduled to be considered by the City Council during a public hearing Tuesday.