The County of Orange entered into a contract with the owner of the Laguna Hills Inn to temporarily take possession of the 76-bed hotel located at 23061 Avenida de la Carlota for use as a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) housing and medical facility for transient individuals who are age 65 and over, who have underlying medical conditions, and who have either already contracted, or are suspected of having contracted, COVID-19.
This hotel is in the northern part of the City just off Lake Forest Drive and is in close proximity to the cities of Laguna Woods, Irvine, and Lake Forest. The agreement was negotiated, made, and entered into by the County of Orange and Elite Hospitality, Inc. without any advance notice, warning, or consultation with either City staff or the City Council. The City of Laguna Hills was not consulted, is not a party to this action, and has not given approvals of any kind for this use. The initial term of the lease is ninety (90) days.
The City of Laguna Hills filed a lawsuit against the County of Orange and other parties to stop the conversion of the Laguna Hills Inn to a COVID-19 facility for transients. The City’s objection was based on the danger of importing the virus into a community which has a high concentration of seniors, the persons most at risk, and also a community which heretofore has had an extremely small number of cases of illness. The City was also concerned about infringement of adjacent property owner rights.
The City has received a letter from Supervisor Lisa Bartlett and County Executive Officer Frank Kim with specific assurances. Those assurances include commitments that the hotel usage by the County and State is only temporary, and will close within 60 days of the rescission of the Governor’s "Safer at Home" order, and that specified security protocols and levels of medical staffing will be followed.
The City of Laguna Hills acknowledges the assurances received, and has determined to dismiss its pending lawsuit. A copy of the letter from Supervisor Lisa Bartlett and County Executive Officer Frank Kim can be found on the link below.
Should you have any questions or comments regarding the Emergency Occupation Agreement between the County of Orange and the Laguna Hills Inn, please contact the County of Orange at firstname.lastname@example.org.