New development in Horizon West is picking back up and many new residents have moved to the area who many not be familiar with the master plan. This unfortunately is leading to some confusion and frustration over what will be built and what is already allowed.
Horizon West began in 1993 by the landowners of the region after their orange groves died off after several years with freezing temperatures in the 1980s. To prevent development issues that plague other parts of Orange County, owners and county officials created a comprehensive plan to ensure successful future development using a village concepts, which put schools and parks within walking distance or close proximity of the majority of homes.
The Horizon West Master Plan is still in use today, and while there are some differences between the original plan and how things looks now, most things remain the same or very similar to the design. The biggest outstanding item from the plan, and the most common cause of confusion, is that the plan did not change any zoning. This means most undeveloped land in Horizon West, even today, remains zoned as agriculture, even though it is planned for other purposes. When a developer buys land and intends to develop it, one of the first action is requesting the zoning change through the county. While developments usually adhere to the master plan, developers almost always request variances to ordinance, which also require approval. These requests are more subjective and can be a greater reason for a request to be declined or modified. Since zoning requests and public hearing notices are only sent to owners in a specific radius, if you receive one in the mail please post in the Horizon West Development Group to increase awareness.
Click the image below to view the full-size Horizon West Map PDF. Note that this is a large file and is not recommended to be downloaded on mobile networks.
Monitor upcoming development and permits that have been submitted to Orange County with our interactive Horizon West Permit Map.
A full report and history of Horizon West is available from Orange County in the 2012 Horizon West Retrospective Report.
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Horizon West Development Discussion Group