YORBA LINDA : Residents Clash Over Shopping Center

The City Council has approved plans for a 10-acre shopping center that some residents say will provide needed services and others say will result in traffic and noise problems.

The 94,700-square-foot development, approved by a 4-1 vote this week, will include a Ralphs supermarket, a service station, a day-care center and retail shops. The council had to approve a special permit for the market, service station and day-care center.

A group of residents, among 800 who signed a petition in favor of the project, said the shopping center at La Palma Avenue and Via Lomas de Yorba East will fill a void in that part of town.

“We need a neighborhood commercial center in east Yorba Linda,” said resident Ken Ryan.


Supporters also pointed to congestion and inadequate parking at the area’s other shopping center at New River and Yorba Linda Boulevard that could be relieved by the new project.

But foes, who gathered 515 signatures opposing the development, said it is poorly planned. They worry that the center will generate too much noise and be too close to a bus stop where children are dropped off.

“It is time to say ‘enough is enough,’ ” said Ivy Szobonya, who said she would live next to the center. “Must we have everything in our midst?”

John O’Meara, a partner with Diversified Shopping Centers of Costa Mesa, said the center would have an adequate buffer from a nearby residential area and that a nearby school bus stop could be moved.


Councilman Gene Wisner termed the project well-designed and said the City Council has a responsibility to make sure there are enough businesses to serve residents.

Mayor Mark Schwing voted against the project, saying he was not happy with the design of some of the center’s 474 parking spaces.