ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA — Orange Supervisor Katrina Foley released a statement following notification of the close of escrow for the Banning Ranch property. This 401-acre property is the last, largest private natural area along the Southern California coast available for conservation.
“Today’s accomplishment demonstrates the power of grassroots organizing and what happens when a coalition of passionate local citizen organizations, residents, and community leaders work together to protect open spaces,” said Supervisor Foley. “As a Newport-Mesa School Board Trustee, City Council Member, Mayor, and now, County Supervisor—I worked with this coalition for years to preserve the property as a public open space park for the community to enjoy while also preserving the ancestral homelands of local tribal communities. Our public lands are some of Orange County’s greatest treasures, and I am humbled to have played a small role among the many voices advocating to create new green coastal view spaces for all.”
The preservation of Banning Ranch permanently protects many sensitive, threatened, and endangered plant and animal communities. The property would also provide the opportunity for coastal park access for several disadvantaged and socially vulnerable communities in Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, and Santa Ana. Residents will enjoy direct access to this coastal park from the existing Santa Ana River Trail which connects the beach to the mountains of San Bernardino.
“Preserving the property as open space helps increase parkland and access in an area of the County that is park poor. Now that the sale has closed, I will continue to do whatever I can to expedite the planning, design and repurpose into a coastal park for current and future generations to enjoy,” added Supervisor Foley.
Due to a historic local philanthropic gift from Frank and Joann Randall, and the commitment of our community members, as well as state and federal funders, the permanent preservation of the Banning Ranch property and the purchase of this land is a once in a generation opportunity now realized.
Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2021 to represent Costa Mesa, Cypress, Huntington Beach, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Newport Beach, Seal Beach, Stanton, the unincorporated area of Rossmoor, and portions of Buena Park and Fountain Valley. Following redistricting, the Board appointed her to additionally serve as caretaker for the future District 2, which includes the communities of Santa Ana and portions of Anaheim, Garden Grove, Orange, Tustin, and unincorporated North Tustin.
In January, Supervisor Foley will be sworn in as the newly drawn District 5 representative which includes the cities of Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Irvine South of the 405, Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente as well as the unincorporated areas of Coto de Caza, Emerald Bay, Ladera Ranch, Las Flores, Rancho Mission Viejo, Stonecliffe and Wagon Wheel.
Supervisor Foley serves on the Airport Ad Hoc Committee & Fly Friendly working group, the Sober Living Home Ad Hoc Committee, and boards of the Orange County Transportation Authority, CalOptima, Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council, Law Library, Newport Bay & South Orange County Watershed Management Area Executive Committees & the Santa Ana River Flood Control Protection.