OC Metropolitan Plan of 2035

The Placemaking Council created the OC Metropolitan Plan of 2035 and in 2012, was awarded a $25K grant by the ULI Foundation to take the message of the plan to the industry and public agencies in Orange County. To find out more about this Initiative, see the Plan in a 3-part PDF below or contact Richard Flierl, Vice Chair of the Placemaking Initiative Council. You can also go to to be a part of the conversation. SottoVoce PR is providing support for this project, helping us get the word out.

OC Metropolitan Plan of 2035

State laws require cities and counties to accommodate projected housing needs in the region, including affordable units. There is a great focus on infill development, mixed use and proximity to transit. Higher densities are often required to comply with these state mandates. Accommodating these needs in each individual city has been problematic.

Many cities are built out, and simply don’t have the space or infrastructure to accommodate growth.

Other cities fear loss of a lifestyle to which the residents have grown accustomed. In Orange County, that lifestyle might feature large sites with lots of privacy, the ability to keep horses, a boat slip in front, or gorgeous views.

Homeowners often have an aversion to new rental housing in their neighborhood.

And, they often worry about how any new housing will affect their quality of life. In addition to the character of those neighborhoods, residents care about the impacts of those new units on schools, parks, and even their local shopping centers.
Our current strategy to accommodate growth involves assigning a portion of the regional housing need to each city.

• Through our housing elements, we then have to demonstrate to the State how each city will accommodate that new housing.

What if …• we approached the anticipated growth on a more regional basis?
What if… • all the cities in Orange County worked together to define the best places for growth to happen, in a manner that’s consistent with state mandates, sustainability goals, and good planning?
What if… • instead of spreading the new housing throughout Orange County, we focused the growth in one area?
What if …• we created a PLACE that is really interesting, walkable, urban?
• A PLACE for our grown children –or us!– to live where one can rely on public transit instead of battling congestion in a car; where one can meet their friends in vibrant common areas instead of maintaining a private back yard; where one can walk to work and dinner and world-class entertainment.
• A PLACE where those who don’t enjoy a suburban lifestyle can take advantage of all the benefits of being in Orange County, but in an urban setting.

The OC Metropolitan Plan of 2035 proposes just such an approach. Driven by a group of land use professionals in the private sector, with reality checks by a few brave souls in the public sector, the plan would change Orange County, without changing our existing communities and neighborhoods. It provides a focus for the energy, creativity, passion and drive that characterize our county.

It allows growth to occur where cities have embraced growth. Our existing single family neighborhoods will remain intact. We can better plan for and provide the schools and other services and facilities these new residents will need.
We can create a PLACE that will attract jobs…a PLACE that will attract people.

The Metropolitan Plan will create a vibrant urban setting for young professionals, who often leave Orange County for more exciting PLACES with great open spaces.

Imagine the possibilities!