Los Olivos Master Planning
In March 2023, the City and Irvine Company partnered on a comprehensive plan to help address the local need for housing. The plan includes six communities located in job centers, including Irvine Spectrum District. Each is designed to meet the needs of young professionals, nurses and others, and is about a five-minute walk from a major employment hub.
Within Los Olivos, the plan includes 10 acres to complete Promenade at Irvine Spectrum and 7 acres for 85 for-sale homes. We have incorporated several principles to implement the approved plan while being sensitive to the quality of life of existing neighbors.
Smart Community Design
We have utilized smart planning techniques to enhance the interface with the adjacent Barcelona community:
- Lower Building Heights: The height of the new building along Barcelona will be about 25% lower (15 feet) than the existing Promenade buildings.
- Building Setbacks: The building along Gitano was intentionally designed with large public courtyards to create deeper setbacks with open, landscaped areas.
- New Landscaping: We have incorporated extensive landscaping and fully mature trees to create a lush environment and visual buffer.
- New Public Paseo: A 900-foot paseo adjacent to Los Olivos Community Park will connect to the San Diego Creek Trail, offering new recreation opportunities, including outdoor fitness, landscaping and trail signage. It will be lined with rows of tall, mature trees to provide a visual buffer between the community and park.
Comprehensive Transportation Planning
As part of our master planning, we’re exploring how to enhance local circulation and access to transportation networks:
- Potential for Traffic Calming: Some residents have shared that the existing design of Gitano has resulted in excessive speed and noise impacts. Our planners are exploring proven techniques to slow traffic and reduce associated noise. These could be done in partnership with the City.
- Widening Encanto: The planned widening of Encanto will help disperse existing and future car trips to the many access points in and around Los Olivos.
Good Neighbor Measures
We are working with existing residents to explore opportunities to make improvements within the Barcelona community:
- Guard House: In December 2023, we presented preliminary engineering and architectural plans for a new guard house at the entry point of Barcelona that reflects the community’s architecture and quality. In February 2024, we agreed in principle to fund its construction and would like to thank the Barcelona HOA Board for its partnership in the development of this plan. We expect the agreement to be finalized in the coming weeks.
- New Signage: Based on feedback from residents, the Barcelona Board of Directors expressed a desire to have the signage of the community changed from Barcelona Single-Family Residences to Barcelona Private Estates. We are working with the HOA to implement this request.
Frequestly Asked Questions
As part of our planning, we held a presentation for the Barcelona neighborhood on Sept. 18 to present plans, answer questions and listen to feedback. The presentation may be viewed by clicking here. Many of the topics we heard are listed below, and we look forward to continuing our dialogue with the Barcelona community.
What is the city’s zoning for the two properties?
These two sites have been zoned as residential as part of the overall master planning of Los Olivos Village, which was approved in the mid-2000s.
Wasn’t a school planned for this area?
As part of master planning in the area, a potential school site was reserved for the Irvine Unified School District adjacent to the Los Olivos Community Park. After the District studied both current and projected student populations, it determined that existing facilities can accommodate school needs.
How will the new Promenade building interface with Barcelona?
The plan includes extensive setbacks and height restrictions near the Barcelona community. The building will be set back 135-190 feet from the Barcelona property line. In addition, the building height along Gitano is 15 feet lower than other Promenade buildings. Enhanced landscaping and sidewalk-adjacent courtyards add to the walkable setting.
Why was this site selected and are there affordable housing requirements?
Our planning focus in the Irvine Spectrum District, which includes the Village of Los Olivos, is to create high-quality housing near jobs. This allows residents to live near work and the local shopping and dining options that exist here already. Consistent with the comprehensive plan approved in March, 5% (25 homes) will be reserved for residents making about $60,000 per year, and 10% (49 homes) will be reserved for middle-income households earning between $80,000-$120,000 per year.
Will a traffic study be completed?
Yes. A full traffic study will be conducted and made available for public review.
What is the next step in the city’s review process?
The city will conduct a public review process, with public meetings anticipated in spring 2024.