2018 Community Meeting and Updates

October 2018 Update

Santiago Hills Assessment District Landscape Resident Report

With the beginning of fall, the City of Orange would like to provide the residents of the Santiago Hills Assessment District (SHAD) a summary of the landscape projects and maintenance completed this past fiscal year, a recap of the budget and a summary of what is planned for the next several months.  Questions can be sent to the following email address:  santiagohills@cityoforange.org.

Recap of Fiscal Year 18 (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018)


Skylark - The renovation of Skylark was completed in February 2018. The landscape has grown in nicely through the spring/summer months and we have received positive feedback from the community. Due to the initial establishment of the landscape, along with the excessive heat this summer, extra watering was required.  Sections of the turf also suffered as a result of the heat and all-day sun exposure; however, will be replaced mid-October. Overall, the Skylark project has been successful in reaching the goals of providing turf and a colorful landscape which attracts native birds and butterflies to the area.

White Oak Ridge - New plants and groundcover were planted along White Oak Ridge where existing irrigation supports establishment of new plantings. With the suspension of state water restriction mandates, we have returned to pre-drought watering levels to maintain the existing landscape per the community’s request.

Tree Trimming – The semi-annual tree trimming was completed as scheduled. Additionally, several large pine trees received significant trimming in order to reduce the weight of the tree canopies.

Mulching – Mulch was placed throughout the District to assist with retention of soil moisture, suppressing weed growth, and creating a uniform and clean appearance in the planter areas.

Maintenance Repairs

Fencing – Damaged and aging lodge pole fencing was replaced in multiple areas.

Electrical Control Panels– Three of the original 21 electrical panels that provide power to the lighting and irrigation systems were replaced due to their age and condition.

Budget Recap

In Fiscal Year 18, there were a total of $821,139 in expenditures, $92,055 under the original budgeted amount of $913,194. With actual revenues received in the amount of $906,099, there was an operating balance of $84,960 to be transferred to the capital projects reserve (see budget attached).

Capital costs for the year included $8,297 in expenditures for renovation designs and $121,735 in expenditures for the Skylark project.

What’s Planned For Fiscal Year 19 (July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019)


Tree Planting – As discussed at the April community meeting, several species of trees including Strawberry, Cedar, and Brisbane Box will be planted in October. More trees will be planted in the Paseos from November to February, along with a few removals.

Seasonal Pruning– Fall is the time for seasonal pruning of plants and bushes in order to promote healthy, new growth. Specifically, the Mexican sage (with the purple flowers) along Skylark, will be cut down close to ground level the week of October 15th. This particular plant is fast growing and will be pruned again in the spring.

Shrubs and Groundcover Planting – Shrubs and groundcover will continue to be replaced as needed where existing conditions support establishment.

Maintenance Repairs

Storm Drain System Modifications – We continue to evaluate and assess the ongoing challenges at the drain system in the Paseo near Woodwind Ave. Basic cleaning and clearing was completed in late September, and a preliminary evaluation is scheduled to take place in October. Should additional work be needed, a scope of work will be developed and reported back to the community.

Water Consumption Analysis and Sustainability

With the suspension of water restriction mandates, pre-drought watering levels have been enacted in order to maintain the existing landscape per the community’s request. While there are no state water restriction mandates in place at this time, the state is currently considering future mandates which we are closely monitoring. 

Data is being gathered on a monthly basis regarding the amount of water used, as well as the cost associated with watering both existing and new landscapes.  Taking into consideration the multiple factors such as temperature, new landscape, and sun exposure that affect watering levels, staff continues to closely monitor monthly water usage in an effort to achieve a both financially and environmentally sustainable landscape. 

We will continue to collect data related to water use and maintenance costs to help determine future renovation needs.  As the data is collected, the focus continues to be on Skylark as a potential template for new landscape layouts.

Budget Planning

Feedback is appreciated and welcomed at any time. Budget preparation for fiscal year 2019-20 begins in January.  Items to be considered for next year’s budget should be shared with the City by the end of December. 

Residents will receive notification in April of the June public assessment hearing. This notice will include the yearly assessment and the proposed budget.

Feedback and questions can be sent to santiagohills@cityoforange.org.  To add an additional email address or be removed from this email list, please send notice to santiagohills@cityoforange.org

April 11, 2018 Community Landscape Meeting

The City of Orange held a community landscape meeting for the Santiago Hills property owners on April 11, 2018.  Click on the links below for copies of the presentation and minutes of the meeting.

Click on the links below for copies of the handouts during the meeting. 

If you have any questions regarding the Santiago Hills landscape, please contact us at: santiagohills@cityoforange.org. For the latest update, please click here.

February 22,  2018 Update


Status update for the current landscaping: the Skylark Renovation project was completed in mid-February and will continue to be monitored during the landscape maintenance period.  We are also continuing with dead plant removals and placing mulch in bare areas throughout the District, as well as plant replacements where the new plants (same type/species) can be supported by existing irrigation.


Notices regarding the April meeting will be mailed to each SHAD property owner in late March.  We encourage all interested Santiago Hills property owners to attend the meeting.  To send us an email with your questions regarding the meeting, or for or any input regarding the landscape in Santiago Hills, click here.  Emails allow staff to promptly review the information and be as responsive as possible.