The former Laguna Hills Mall is located within an area known as the Urban Village which encompasses approximately 240 acres and includes the Civic Center area, Saddleback Hospital (MemorialCare) and adjoining office buildings, Oakbrook Village, and the Villa Valencia senior assisted living facility. The boundaries of the Urban Village are generally Paseo de Valencia, Avenida de la Carlota, Los Alisos Boulevard, and the I-5 freeway. Zoning for the Urban Village is determined by the Urban Village Specific Plan (UVSP) https://www.lagunahillsca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/291/Urban-Village-Specific- Plan-UVSP which has been in place since 2002 and was last updated in 2011, after the City completed a comprehensive update to its General Plan in 2009. All properties in the Urban Village are subject to the development standards of the UVSP, which City staff and/or City Council enforce when considering proposed development projects or new businesses/uses. A key development control within the area is the UVSP “Trip Budget,” which regulates development based on traffic during morning and evening “peak” travel periods. (UVSP pp. 35-36.) The Trip Budget limits apply to all properties in the UVSP. (Also see FAQ No. 4.)
Imbedded within the UVSP, some uses are permitted “by right” such as retail stores, while others require a conditional use permit (CUP). For example, a CUP may be required to ensure potential traffic issues are addressed. The UVSP allows a variety of uses including office, retail, housing, hotel, and civic uses. New development is also subject to a Site Development Permit to ensure the city’s development standards are met. The City Council and/or City staff enforce the regulations of the UVSP by reviewing uses and development to ensure they are allowed in the UVSP. Uses that are not allowed in the UVSP cannot obtain a building permit or zoning approval. Examples of unpermitted uses in the UVSP include landfills, industrial uses, and manufacturing plants.