Compiled by John O'Dell / Times staff writer

Building Expectations: Most Orange County builders are looking at 1995 as the watershed year--things have to turn around or else. And to that end there are several major planned communities in the works--the Bolsa Chica and Holly-Seacliffs projects in Huntington Beach are two, and Olinda Heights, on 277 acres just outside the Brea city limits, is another.

The Olinda project, a joint venture of landowner Santa Fe Energy Resources and builders Koll Co. and Sand Dollar Development--both out of Newport Beach--would add from 1,150 to 1,380 new homes to the North Orange County landscape over several years. The exact number depends on the amount of affordable housing in the planned community.

The Environmental Impact Report on the project is to be released in two weeks for consideration by city officials and area residents.

There will be a lot of houses and traffic and other intrusive things, of course, but the developers hope to offset that by keeping slightly more than half the acreage as open space. Of that, 41.4 acres are to be set aside for an elementary school, a community park, a corridor for a future trail to link Carbon Canyon Regional Park and Chino Hills State Park, and a historic preservation site.


What’s historic in Brea? The area has been an active oil field since the late 1800s and, according to the development plan, will continue to be even after homes are built, with 48 producing wells in operation.

( Brea is Spanish for tar, which is what bubbled up out of the ground and stuck to people’s feet lo! those many years ago when Spanish and Mexican explorers first traipsed through the area. And apropos of that: Ever stop to think that a literal translation of “the La Brea tar pits” is “the The Tar tar pits”?)