Orange County is at the center of a highly dynamic region that has become one of the world's leading destinations since the 1970s. However - as older rural or semi-rural areas transitioned toward relatively denser development patterns - some communities begun to experience a mismatch between local expectations of a rural lifestyle and the prevailing suburban character of their neighbors.
These areas are defined as Rural Residential Enclaves: single-family neighborhoods with a homogenous and stable pattern of development, well-defined geographic boundaries, and low residential densities characteristic of rural settings. Rural enclaves are predominantly located within the Urban Service Area (USA), where infill and redevelopment are actively encouraged through intensification and diversification of land uses.
Stable neighborhoods are at the core of Orange County's enduring desirability: They play a critical role in supplying a variety of lifestyles and housing choices that foster rich, diverse and vibrant places.
The Rural Residential Enclaves Small Area Study will propose new Comprehensive Plan Policies to: (a) support and preserve the local character of rural enclaves; (b) address compatibility challenges; and (c) maintain the necessary consistency with the County's long-term goal of a more compact and efficient urban fabric that promotes a wide range of living environments.