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TUSTIN : Orange Annexation Approved by Agency

The Local Agency Formation Commission has approved the annexation of three North Tustin neighborhoods to the city of Orange.

Known as the Fairhaven Islands, the three neighborhoods are surrounded by the city of Orange to the east, west and north. Fairhaven Avenue runs along the southern border of the approximately 90-acre parcel.

The neighborhoods were at one time included in the North Tustin incorporation proposal, still to be considered by LAFCO, but were removed in August because it seemed logical to include them in Orange, said agency Executive Director Jim Colangelo.

“Two of the commissioners indicated that even if they supported the incorporation, they would want these parcels removed,” Colangelo said.

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Only two people spoke on the proposed annexation at a Wednesday hearing and both favored it, Colangelo said.

The city of Orange is expected to hold a hearing to field protests on the annexation within the next month. If less than 25% of the registered voters in the neighborhoods submit written protests, then approval will be final. Protests from 25% to 50% would result in a vote on the issue and protests from more than 50% would mean the annexation would not proceed, Colangelo said.

Meanwhile, another postponement is likely for the Oct. 2 hearing on the proposed incorporation of North Tustin and Tustin’s competing annexation proposals for 835 acres, Colangelo said.

LAFCO officials are still waiting for the state controller’s office to complete its review of a financial feasibility study on the proposed city.

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Originally requested in February by the city of Tustin, the review has been slowed because state officials are trying to include responses from the Oceanside consulting firm of Christenson & Wallace.

The firm, hired by incorporation advocates, concluded that incorporation would be feasible with the implementation of a utility users tax, but cityhood opponents have disputed many of the figures in the report.


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