The City Council agreed this week to allow Pacific Heritage Development to begin studying possible construction of tract homes under what could become a flight path for runway seven of the proposed El Toro commercial airport.
If the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station is converted into a commercial airport, county noise standards would prevent residential development under the flight path, an area known as the 65-decibel line.
Helix Environmental Planning Inc., the developer's consultant on the project, plans to do an acoustical analysis of the 65-decibel line and might ask the city to redraw the line's boundaries.
Pacific Heritage proposes 85 homes on 18.5 acres in the Serrano Highlands planned community, north of Trabuco Road. The company is spending $63,290 on the required environmental study, which is expected to be completed in December, with public hearings tentatively set for March or April.
Mayor Peter Herzog stressed that since there's no indication the county will change its plans for an airport at El Toro, the developer might be spending money on the study "for no reason."