HUNTINGTON BEACH : City to Air Concerns on Bolsa Chica Project

When the California Coastal Commission next month considers a 3,300-home development for the Bolsa Chica area, the city will present its concerns about protecting the wetlands and existing Huntington Beach neighborhoods surrounding the housing project.

City officials plan a news conference today to outline the matters the city wants resolved before the developer, Koll Real Estate Group, gains commission approval to build the houses.

The Bolsa Chica project is in an unincorporated area of Orange County and is surrounded by the city of Huntington Beach. The project has already been approved by the County Board of Supervisors.

To minimize conflict between the proposed new development, the wetlands restoration area and existing Huntington Beach neighborhoods, the city has identified six issues it wants the commission to address.


City Councilman Dave Sullivan said issues include protecting the wetlands and ensuring public access to view and enjoy the wetlands.

Julie Osugi, a city planner, said an open space buffer on top of the mesa would stabilize the bluffs and provide additional protection of the wetlands.

Osugi said the city is also recommending that the proposed mesa top roadway through the project be reconfigured to provide a separation between homes and the wetlands restoration area.

“It would also provide for public access and it would preserve the view opportunity as opposed to houses obstructing the view,” Osugi said.


Another concern, Sullivan said, is guaranteeing that the project is compatible with Huntington Beach’s existing neighborhoods, especially the Los Patos development, which borders Bolsa Chica on the north.

“Within a quarter-mile area bounding the Bolsa Chica, it is predominantly single-family residences,” Sullivan said.

Other city issues include memorializing the cultural and historical resources of the Bolsa Chica, including the area’s role in oil production, use by Native Americans, and coastal defense during World War II.