The Madrona Project, because of a legal order, is governed by the 1986 General Plan and the Carbon Canyon Specific Plan, not the newer 2003 General Plan. This creates problems because how can you rely on any assumptions that are 27 years old?
One of the first and biggest issues is traffic. The old Specific Plan assumed Soquel Canyon Road would be built to take the pressure off Carbon Canyon Road. It hasn't been built and, in fact, has been taken off all county circulation plans. With only Carbon Canyon Road leading in and out of the project, there is no way to mitigate its impact on traffic, therefore the road infrastructure is inadequate, especially in emergencies. Emergency Response Times to the top of the Madrona project are unreasonably long in the best of circumstances. With a minimum of two people per household (there are 162 homes being proposed), that's at least 324 cars trying to exit the development during an emergency - imagine the gridlock if it's rush hour.
Here is the introduction to the Safety element of the 1986 General Plan: "This element of the General Plan is intended to establish information and guidelines which result in protection of the Brea Community from any unreasonable risks associated with the effects of seismically induced hazards; other geologic hazards, flooding, wildland and urban fires, and hazardous wastes. This element also addresses items related to fire hazards, such as evacuation routes, peak load water supply requirements, and minimum road widths and clearances around structures."
The Madrona emergency access road (which would electronically locked - another concern if power is cut off by the fire ) cuts right through Olinda Village on an existing road that is much steeper than allowed under today's fire standards. Not only that, but both the main and emergency exits come out on to Carbon Canyon Road, which was severely burned and had many telephone poles blocking the highway after the Freeway Complex Fire. The particular portion of Carbon Canyon Road leading to the Madrona project is very steep on both sides of the road so fire can race up these slopes.
The project itself is being built on landslide areas in a very high risk fire zone that has burned four times in the last 30 years. After the last fire, Carbon Canyon Road was closed for several days because of rockslides and repair of infrastructure.
Project implementation would increase demand for fire and police protection services beyond existing conditions and based on new reports coming out after multiple wildland fires across the west in the past few years, there is heightened concern for the safety of firefighters working in this kind of very steep terrain. The new standard may be to evacuate people, but let the structures burn to protect firefighter lives.
Altogether, the Madrona project exposes the Brea public to unreasonable risks, goes against the Safety element of the 1986 General Plan, and is totally unacceptable.
Brea is building a new fire
station at Olinda Village.