Nearly 100 community members participated in the Discovery Workshop and provided great insight on the community's desires for the North Tustin Street corridor. During the Workshop, participants posted questions using the chat feature of the online meeting. All questions were collected and organized to avoid overlap and repetition. Responses to these questions are provided here.

If you have any additional questions please email Chad Ortlieb, Senior Planner at

View the Informational Videos from the Discovery Workshop and take the DISCOVERY SURVEY!


What agency is providing the grant and how much funding did the City receive for the project?

The State Department of Housing and Community Development awarded the City of Orange funding for the project with SB-2 Planning Grant funds in the amount of $240,000 and Local Early Action Planning (LEAP) Grant funds in the amount of $260,000.

How is that agency directing the spending of the grant?

The purpose of the received grants is to enable cities to update planning documents and implement process improvements that will facilitate housing production. While the North Tustin Street Specific Plan may accommodate retail-supportive housing and a streamlined approval process for housing, the focus of the plan will be on redeveloping the corridor and will not be primarily for housing.

Will the City be creating a liaison committee with representatives from the communities that live within the Plan area?

No – however, all community members are encouraged to participate in the several outreach events taking place to guide the development of the vision and plan for the North Tustin Street corridor, including online surveys and virtual workshops that can be found on this website.

Is there an ETA for starting work on this redevelopment?

The Specific Plan is not a redevelopment project. It is a document that will articulate a vision for the area's future, and contain development standards, circulation, and streetscape improvements that support the vision. Property redevelopment would be up to property owners and real estate market conditions. Individual property improvements would be subject to the new standards and incrementally contribute to making the vision a reality. Please refer to Discovery Video Part 1 on the Plan website, which provides an overview of the Specific Plan and see the response to the following question for the Specific Plan timeframe.

What is the timeframe for finalizing the Plan and next steps?

As of the Discovery Workshop on March 4th, the City and its consultant team has begun working on initial concepts for the North Tustin Street corridor. During this time, the community is encouraged to contribute to the development of the vision through the Discovery Survey, which is provided on the Plan website. The team will present these initial concepts to the public in the next community workshop - the Vision Workshop. Based on feedback from the Vision Worskshop, the team will refine the Plan and present the final Plan to the City for inclusion in the Specific Plan. This final Plan will be circulated to the public with the EIR for comments. Adoption by City Council is projected for Spring 2022.

Will the City procure lower performing retail properties? Will Eminent domain be employed?

The City will not be procuring any properties or using eminent domain to implement the Plan. Plan implementation is likely to occur over many years as individual property owners reinvest in their property.

Are there sustainability measures in the Specific Plan?

Sustainability measures will be studied and included in the Specific Plan. A key consideration at the onset of the work effort is improving multi-modal circulation (cars, buses and bikes) and walkability of the Plan area. Additional aspects of sustainability will be explored while developing the Plan. Furthermore, future development would be required to comply with the California Green Building Standards Code as well as regional water quality requirements to address pollutants in urban run-off from streets and parking lots.

Is the City planning to do the entire design for the entire corridor at one time or in phases? Is the City's goal to break up the corridor into sections or geographic areas such as "parks, entertainment, restaurants"?

The Specific Plan will provide development and design standards for the entire Plan area. Given that the Plan area encompasses a nearly 2-mile stretch of North Tustin Street, the standards and strategies for improvement will likely be customized for different parts of the corridor, responding to unique conditions and land use program for each area.

If the Specific Plan calls for a cohesive design scheme for buildings, are business owners required to make upgrades to comply with these new design standards?

A Specific Plan does not require any upgrades to existing buildings until property/business owners initiate changes to their properties. Property upgrades, additions, and new development will require compliance with the standards in the Specific Plan following its adoption. Incentives to encourage property/business owners to make upgrades to their properties are likely to be included in the Specific Plan. Also see the response to the question below.

How will this Plan incentivize strip mall owners to upgrade the appearance of their space?

The Specific Plan will not offer financial or direct incentives to property owners to upgrade the appearance of their developments. However, development standard incentives are anticipated in the Specific Plan, which could encourage infill and redevelopment activity. As new development begins to fill in along the corridor, property owners may want to upgrade their property to be more competitive with new development or they may sell their property to developers with a new vision for the property. The “incentives” built into the Specific Plan would mostly be targeted to developers, and may also include reinvestment incentives for existing businesses and property owners. These include but are not limited to: reduced risk and greater certainty, a clear or streamlined entitlement process, reduced parking requirements, density bonuses, and increased public investment in infrastructure and public amenities that help increase private property values.

Are there currently any plans for the JC Penney and Sears spaces?

No formal redevelopment application has been submitted to the City. The owners of the JC Penney’s property have shared preliminary concepts for redevelopment of the site with City staff. The future of the Sears space is still unknown.

What state will the existing mall be in during construction and how long will this all take?

The Specific Plan is not a development plan for any construction. The timeline for any redevelopment of the mall property is under the purview of the property owners of the mall and, as such, the City cannot make any estimate about the plans for the existing mall and the schedule of potential construction at this time. The City has not received formal plans for modifications to the mall. Any development in the Plan area before adoption of the Specific Plan would require City approval separate from the Specific Plan work effort.


It is important to note that the North Tustin Street Specific Plan purpose is a market-based plan that will guide and incentivize redevelopment of the corridor as change and use transitions naturally occur. While limited residential uses may be permitted in mixed-use areas identified as appropriate and complimentary to retail serving uses, it is not the focus of the plan.

What are traffic trends for housing versus retail uses?

In general, residential developments average less traffic than shopping centers. A mid-rise residential development generates on average 5 and a half daily car trips per dwelling unit (approximately 1,000 square feet). A shopping center typically generates about 38 daily car trips per 1,000 square feet of shopping center. Additionally, the uses typically generate peak traffic at different times.

Won’t adding new residents increase overall traffic, regardless of type of residential development?

New development will lead to a net increase in overall traffic, but some types of residential development generates less traffic than others. Mixed-use, walkable development will generate less traffic compared to low density exclusively residential development. This is because a mix of uses makes other activities and uses more accessible and within a closer, more comfortable range for residents to opt for walking or biking for some trips, instead of needing to rely on a car for all trips outside of the house. Low density residential development typically does not allow for as much freedom of mobility.

The Discovery Workshop presentation stated that higher-density walkable mixed-use developments create less traffic than low-density development on a per unit basis. Is that for individuals operating and/or living within the mixed-use area or for the city overall? Is this applicable in an urban, downtown context or is it also applicable to a less dense area, such as the North Tustin Street Corridor as it is now?

Nearly all new development creates new vehicle trips. However, on a per dwelling unit or per square foot basis, mixed-use places generate less traffic, compared to low-density developments, which results in minimizing traffic increases within both the mixed-use area – for those individuals living and working within the area – and the city overall. When designed correctly, higher-density, walkable mixed-use developments make walking, biking, and public transit more feasible and create opportunities for shared parking, regardless of context. If inserted into a context that already has higher-density, walkable mixed-use patterns, it can work in combination with its context to ensure that the development pattern promotes walkability and reduces traffic congestion and parking problems. However, even in a less dense area there are traffic benefits to inserting this type of development pattern. In all contexts, higher-density, walkable mixed-used developments will create less traffic congestion and parking problems than low-density developments on a per unit basis. Hence, potential traffic increases created by enabling higher-density mixed use projects over low density projects would be expected to be minimized.

How do we reduce “cut through traffic” on this corridor, meaning cars that are using North Tustin Street as a by-pass for State Route 55 traffic? Will strategies such as slowing the speed, eliminating the drive lane next to the sidewalk, and installing some center landscaped medians be considered?

Based on the level of service (LOS) (i.e., ease of roadway traffic flow) data collected by the transportation specialist on the consultant team, there are parts of North Tustin Street that demonstrate LOS well above acceptable levels, meaning that traffic flows easily. Cars may be less encouraged to use North Tustin Street as a by-pass if the street configuration (traffic lanes, bike lanes, sidewalks) were adjusted to provide better local accessibility and potential reduced travel speeds, decreasing the “by-pass” appeal of the current roadway design and traffic conditions. This may reduce the number of cars using North Tustin Street as a by-pass, making car travel on the corridor more conducive for residents and those patronizing the shops on North Tustin Street, and less for just passing through. No specific strategies for adjusting Tustin Street have been decided upon yet. Further analysis is required to demonstrate where and how much traffic would be diverted to other streets.

How do we find room to expand the sidewalks? Is there opportunity to reduce lane width on North Tustin Street?

Lane widths on North Tustin Street are typically 11 feet wide. The outer lanes are typically 12 to 14 feet wide. Due to these measurements, there is some opportunity, though limited, to reduce lane width (only a few feet in some locations) in order to expand the sidewalk. Expanding the sidewalk width may also be possible if the Specific Plan incorporates incentives for property owners to expand the sidewalk into their properties as part of site redevelopment.

How do conceptual new connections shown in the Discovery Workshop presentation work?

These are conceptual ideas about where street connections appear possible if certain changes in development were to occur over time. There are no plans to demolish any residences or redevelop existing residential parcels. In some cases, connections imply potential street connections. In others, connections imply pedestrian or bicycle connections only.

Do enough people ride bikes to warrant dedicated bike lanes along a major street or is it a better idea to put the bike lanes on smaller residential streets?

There has been interest expressed by the community in the Introductory Survey, the Discovery Workshop, and the Discovery Survey for improved bike lanes and connections. Adding a bike lane to a major street like Tustin Street would require significant safety features (like physical buffers). On smaller streets, the introduction of bike lanes might be more feasible because traffic speeds and volumes are lower, so a striped buffer may suffice. The feasibility of bike lanes on both major streets and residential streets will be studied for this Specific Plan, however, any bike lane endeavors in or around the corridor would ultimately be the decision of the City as a separate effort.

Is a traffic circle a possible solution for this area?

The feasibility of a traffic circle will be studied throughout the development of the Specific Plan. However, it could only be implemented if it would improve the traffic and circulation of vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists within the desired location, and if there is sufficient support for this idea among the community. Although it has not been determined at this time, a traffic circle may be integrated in a portion of the Plan area off of Tustin Street, rather than on the main thoroughfare. However, any right-of-way endeavors would ultimately be the decision of the City as a separate effort.

Would it be possible to have a dedicated bus that goes up and down the corridor, similar to 16th St. in Denver?

The feasibility of a dedicated bus lane will be studied throughout the development of the Specific Plan. However, it would only be implemented if there is sufficient support for this idea among the community and the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA).

Will there be bike banks and shared bike programs in this area as are seen in other cities?

The feasibility of a shared bike program and bike banks will be studied throughout the development of the Specific Plan. However, it would only be implemented if there is sufficient support for this idea among the community and could operate under an effective management program.

Will the inclusion of parking structures be a strategy for improvement in the North Tustin Street corridor?

Parking structures are currently permitted uses in association with several existing land uses in the Plan area and are anticipated to remain permitted uses under the Specific Plan. The inclusion of private parking structures, especially parking structures that can be shared by various uses within parts of the corridor, is a likely strategy for improvement in the North Tustin Street corridor, and would be constructed by a developer as part of site redevelopment or infill development.

With the new plan, would I be expected to take the bus to downtown Orange? Would I ride my bike from East Orange?

While it is a goal of this Specific Plan to ensure that there is an improvement in the accessibility, frequency, safety, comfort level etc. of other modes of travel such as public transportation and biking, the ability to drive around the Plan area will not be eliminated. The Specific Plan is studying strategies for improving the safety and accessibility of walking, biking, and taking public transportation, without impeding the ability to drive within the Plan area. Should residents choose to travel by bus or bike to the area, the Plan is expected to make the North Tustin Street corridor a more hospitable environment for walking and traveling safetly between destinations by bicycle.


Is there an intention to build high density housing similar to Town and Country Road here?

It is important to note that the Specific Plan is not a redevelopment project and thus will not directly result in any built projects. Private development would implement the Plan with projects at permitted densities along the corridor in locations where housing may be an allowable use. The grant funding program for the Specific Plan has a goal of facilitating housing production. However, the plan’s primary goal is to facilitate redevelopment the corridor and, although retail-supportive housing will likely be allowed where identified as appropriate, housing will not be the primary goal. It remains to be seen where and how housing may be accommodated in the Plan area. The Specific Plan will include form-based development standards that ensure that new development contributes to the public realm and quality of the environment of the corridor as envisioned by the community. Appropriate densities have yet to be determined and would be influenced by their location within the Plan area, with special consideration given to compatibility with abutting existing established neighborhoods.

Where is there space for more housing in the corridor?

While there are no vacant lots in the Plan area, there are parcels where the current owner may wish to sell their property to a developer who would either demolish the existing use and build something completely new, or integrate new development with existing buildings. On parcels deemed appropriate in the Plan, new developments might include some mix of housing and new commercial space, especially when the housing component enables the creation of public space complimentary to commercial uses.

I am concerned about possible improvements to the corridor affecting the cost of my home. Will it drive home prices up or lower them?

We cannot predict with certainty what will happen to home prices in the future, as this is dependent on many factors outside of the scope of the Specific Plan. However, it is the intent of the Specific Plan to improve the quality of the public realm within this area, which typically has the effect of increasing the value of existing homes. Research shows that even simple streetscape improvements along a corridor like North Tustin Street tend to have a positive impact on residential properties in the adjacent single family neighborhoods.

What is the affordable housing planned?

The Plan area would not be targeted for affordable housing. However, like any site where housing is allowed, a developer may propose all or part of a residential development at any affordability levels. Under State density bonus law, affordable housing projects are automatically eligible for density bonuses and concessions and waivers to development standards. The Specific Plan may also include incentives or bonuses for development intended to produce some affordable housing units in areas where housing might be identified as an allowable use.