Banning Ranch the 401 acres of fenced off oil production area near the mouth of the Santa Ana River future has long been discussed in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach. The land apart from oil wells and equipment also has wetlands, coastal uplands as well as vernal pools.
The land stretches from Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach all the way inland to 19th Street and over the years there have been plans to put housing on part of the property as well as a resort hotel near Pacific Coast Highway.
Past plans for housing on Banning Ranch have included 1,174 houses on 67 acres with a later plan proposing 895 houses on 37 acres. Discussion on what will happen to this land has gone on for years with many groups not happy with plans to develop the land.
More recently things have looked up for residents who want the space made in to a 384 acre coastal park instead of being partially developed. One bright spot for these people was on June 15th when the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced they have granted $8 million towards the land being purchased as a park.
Now it falls the Trust for Public Land a non profit group that has an agreement with the owner of Banning Ranch to by April 2022 to purchase the land. The cost would be $97 million and hopefully they raise the money because the park would be a great resource for the nearby residents.