Banning Ranch is the largest parcel of privately owned coastal open space remaining in Orange County. Banning Ranch is located at the mouth of the Santa Ana River, near West Newport Beach, and consists of 412 acres of coastal wetlands and adjacent coastal mesa. To learn more scroll to the bottom.
BANNING RANCH VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES! Meet others active and interested in the fate of Banning Ranch while making a contribution to our environment.
HOW CAN I STAY AWARE?
There are several websites/FaceBook pages with great information about Banning Ranch:
SIERRA CLUB LINKS:
OTHER ORGANIZATIONS WITH INTERESTS IN BANNING RANCH:
- The Trust for Public Land
- Act Coastal
- Center for Biological Diversity
- Save Newport Banning Ranch Website
- The Nature Commission
- The Banning Ranch Conservancy
- Orange Coast River Park
- Banning Ranch Defenders
BANNING RANCH IS IN ESCROW AND SCHEDULED TO BECOME PUBLIC OPEN SPACE DURING 2022!
The Trust for Public Land(TPL) representatives suggest that the closing of escrow will most likely happen during 2022 and then public discussion will start on the bext public uses of the 400 acres of Banning Ranch. Stay tune for updates! We will post information on these meetings and discussions when organized during 2022.
PAST NEWS REGARDING BANNING RANCH:
BANNING RANCH ACQUISITION FUNDS REACH $83 MILLION
September 29, 2021: The Trust for Public Land(TPL) and the Banning Ranch Conservancy announced about another funding award bringing the total raised to $83 million. Read more here: https://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/news/story/2021-09-29/efforts-...
CA SUPREME COURTS RULES THAT THE EIR AND CITY OF NEWPORT BEACH APROVAL OF DEVELOPMENT ON BANNING RANCH DID NOT COMPLY WITH STATE LAW
March 30, 2017: The City of Newport Beach had a General plan Update in 2006 which gave priority to finding a path to the acquisition and preservation of Banning Ranch, something the Sierra Club has been pursuing since it formed the Banning Ranch Park & Preserve Task Force in 1999. It was contended that the City of Newport Beach did not follow California Law when it ignored the implications of the Coastal Act during its approval of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) related to the proposed development. Although they did not rule on the issue of priority for open space, the CA Supreme Court did rule that the City of Newport Beach did not comply with California Law in its approval of the EIR. Read more in the LA Times or OC Register. The Sierra Club will now have the opportunity to continue to promote acquisition and preservation of Banning Ranch, and it will have the opportunity to make sure the City of Newport Beach fully recognizes the environmental review of the Coastal Commission staff, which lead to the rejection of the Coastal Development permit submited to develop a portion of Banning Ranch.
BANNING RANCH HAS HAD TWO DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS BEFORE THE CALIFORNIA COASTAL COMMISSION:
CDP 5-15-2097 (and prior iterations) to develop the Banning Ranch Mesa with housing and retail development
CDP 9-15-1649 to drill between 77 and 82 new oil wells and develop the areas called North ORA and South ORA will oil and gas processing equipment and industrial facilities
PAST NEWS FOR CDP 5-15-2097 (and prior iterations) to develop the Banning Ranch Mesa with housing and retail development
On February 9th, 2017 the California Coastal Commission confirmed at their meeting in Newport Beach City Hall their decision to deny a permit to develop Banning Ranch last September. The REVISED FINDINGS of the Coastal Commission Staff were presented at the meeting. You can access them by clicking this link. These Revised Findings have useful information for those interested in the Banning Ranch story. Meanwhile, the lawsuit of the Banning Ranch Conservancy against the City of Newport Beach regardings its initial process of approving the project will soon be decided by the California Supreme Court. READ MORE IN THIS NEWS STORY
PAST NEWS REGARDING CDP 9-15-1649 Restrictions on Drilling between 77 and 82 new oil wells in the areas called North ORA and South ORA within
On Dec 9, 2016, the Coastal Commission approved the staff recommended restrictions on future drilling on Banning Ranch. These restrictions were structured around the Coastal Act and greatly influenced by community input. Thank you to all who submitted your opinions to Cassidy Teufel at the Coastal Commission.
Some of these restrictions are in the form a future reports and plans that the "permitee" must submit before new oil and gas operations. These reports on cleanup plans, building plans and wetlands monitoring will be available for public review when submitted. THESE REPORTS NEED FUTURE INPUT WHEN REVIEWED.
The good news for quality of life in the area is that some restrictions are now codified meaning that if operations are too noisy or if trucks run off hours or unexpected pollution, residents can ask the Coastal Commission for relief in addition to asking DOGGR, Orange County and the City of Newport Beach.
This is a situation where community involvement has made a difference. THANK YOU!
PAST NEWS REGARDIND CDP 5-15-2097: BANNING RANCH DEVELOPER TAKES CCC TO COURT AND SEPARATELY WE NEED YOUR HELP TO OPPOSE PERMIT DRILLING 80 NEW OIL WELLS ON BANNING RANCH BEING CONSIDERED IN DECEMBER
BANNING RANCH DEVELOPER TAKES CCC TO COURT
On Sept 7th the Coastal Commission voted to deny the Coastal Development Permit for Banning Ranch, and on November 6th the Developer decided to fight that decision in court rather than work with local communities and the Coastal Commission on a development that preserves the environment and local quality of life!
At the end of a grueling 11-hour public hearing on September 7, the California Coastal Commission voted 9-1 to deny the Coastal Development Permit for Banning Ranch. THANK YOU to everyone who has worked on this issue over many years. This victory is truly the result of many people taking interest and taking action.
The developer could have cooperated with the Coastal Commission and with local communities to propose a reasonable development that conformed with Coastal Act and was respectful of the quality of life of its neighbors, but rather than work with all parties involved, they have filed a lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court to ask a judge dismiss the Coastal Commission decision and ask for damages. You can read more in this LA Times/Daily Pilot article.
Developers sometimes try to use judges unfamiliar with the Coastal Act to get settlements that the Coastal Act would lot allow or to demand such damages that the Coastal Commission will settle the case and allow a development outside of the Coastal Act parameters. This strategy does not work when the community is engaged. We will keep you updated and inform you of opportunities to make a difference.
Our work is not over - the Coast is Never "Saved" - we need your continued support on the following:
- Support the Acquisition of Banning Ranch - there will be future opportunities for outreach, activism and support needed to secure the acquisition and preservation of Banning Ranch - stay tuned!
EVERYONE'S FIRST QUESTION IS WHERE IS BANNING RANCH LOCATED?
As shown in the map below, Banning Ranch is located near the mouht of the Santa Ana River off Pacific Coast Hwy and lies between the cities of Newport Beach, Costa Mesa and Huntignton Beach
EVERYONE'S SECOND QUESTION IS HOW CAN I MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
- BE AWARE AS THE OIL WELLS ON BANNING RANCH ARE CONSOLIDATED Let the Sierra Club about any activity you observe.
- Ask to be on the Coastal Commission Mailing List for Permit 9-15-1649 by emailing Cassidy.Teufel@coastal.ca.gov and other influential agencies and politicians (call or email for sample letters at (949)478-1757 or email BanningRanch@angeles.sierraclub.org. PLEASE ALSO CONTACT DOGGR
- Volunteer to help us with outreach in any way you are comfortable - attend a meeting (see above), email us your availability, or sign up through Club Volunteer and/or MeetUp. Volunteer to help the Sierra Club OC Conservation Committee.
- Follow us on Social Media and Share/Like our postings to increase community awareness. Share news about Banning Ranch on "Nextdoor" and other neighborhood websites. Send us your photos related to Banning Ranch and the September Coastal Commission Hearing, so we can post on Social Media. Promote the Burrowing Owl by recognizing its foraging areas as ESHA - see #DontFoultheOwl.
- Make comments on newsletters about the 82 new Oil Wells consolidation project on Banning Ranch on online media, especially local papers and the LA Times and OC Register.
- Attend the Coastal Commission Hearings in Newport Beach whenever they are announced.