► The Sil-Mod Specific Plan ◄
The Silverado-Modjeska Specific Plan is a county document passed by resolution of the Orange County Board of Supervisors in 1977. It is among the oldest of the county's specific plans, and is a companion document to Orange County's general plan.
The Sil-Mod Specific Plan is available for viewing at the right. Or you can download the plan and map by clicking the "Download File" links just below.
The Sil-Mod Specific Plan was derived from a comprehensive study and EIR called the Sil-Mod Community Plan, which is also available for download in the next section.
The Sil-Mod plan governs development in the areas generally between and including Silverado and Modjeska Canyons. The actual contours of the plan area follow the natural watershed boundaries, shown in the downloadable area map.
The main purpose for creating the Sil-Mod Specific Plan was to provide a legal framework to protect the area from inappropriate development and urban sprawl, whilst still allowing for reasonable development.
► The Sil-Mod Plan Is Enforceable ◄
The email at the right was received from 3rd district supervisor Todd Spitzer on October 27th, 2016.
It was in response to a legal opinion funded and submitted by the ICL and other canyon groups. It was written by respected local land-use attorney John G. McClendon. The memo affirms the legal enforceability of the Sil-Mod Specific Plan.
You can download the McClendon legal opinion using the link below.
Sup. Spitzer's directive to OCPW.
Thank you for your recent email to me regarding the questions raised in the legal opinion from John G. McClendon (June 21, 2016) related to validity of the Silverado-Modjeska Specific Plan (Sil-Mod Plan). I am writing in response to your request for me to direct County staff to comply with and enforce the Sil- Mod Plan.
In April, I spoke at the Inter-Canyon League (ICL) to help answer community questions related to updating and upholding specific plans in addition to other canyon issues. I attended in the spirit of providing the community access to the County by bringing representatives who provide services to the Canyon to help answer questions.
I apologize that the characterization of the Sil-Mod Plan that was shared during the ICL meeting was found offensive by the community volunteers who helped craft the Sil-Mod Plan and to those who want it enforced.
Please rest assured that while the Sil-Mod Plan was adopted by the Board of Supervisors by Resolution in 1977, the County’s recent interpretation of the zoning for the Sil-Mod area does not render the Sil-Mod Plan invalid, or “not binding”. The Sil-Mod Plan may be interpreted by the Board and must be read in conjunction with the underlying zoning and the uses of land permitted under that zoning. The Sil-Mod Plan contains legally enforceable policies and guidelines.
It is important to me as the Third District Supervisor to protect the natural beauty and resources in the Canyons. That is why, I have instructed County staff to comply with and enforce the Silverado-Modjeska plan and its conditions.
<...> 3rd District Supervisor Todd Spitzer
► The Sil-Mod Community Plan ◄
We have the community plan study available in several PDF formats. All have been scanned, OCR-ed and PDF bookmarks added to make them fully searchable. (No attempts have been made to proofread, correct, annotate or manually alter the converted PDFs other than to make them readable.)
The Sil-Mod plan above is a short, 11 page document that formalizes requirements derived from a consulting study conducted in the mid-1970s called the Sil-Mod Community Plan.
The Sil-Mod Community Plan is over 200 pages long and contains detailed study evaluations, maps, tables, forecasts and an environmental impact report.
One of the first such plans in Orange County, the Sil-Mod Community Plan was conducted at a cost of $35,000. Later plans, such as the neighboring Foothill-Trabuco Specific Plan study, would run to costs of over a million dollars.
At the time of the Sil-Mod plan, Orange County still had a vibrant agriculture base. Orange groves and strawberry fields were prevalant. The new, master-planned community of Irvine was just a few years into existence.
In that context it is of note that Orange County's third district supervisor and county board chairman at the time was Ralph A. Diedrich. Not long after the Sil-Mod plan was adopted, Diedrich (often dubbed "Super D"), was convicted on three counts of bribery and consipiracy for voting to approve an Anaheim developer's rezoning application to convert 2.200 acres of farmland for apartments.
Thanks to ICL's very own Judy Myers, co-chair of that original Sil-Mod committee, we are able to provide the complete Sil-Mod Community Plan - coffee stains and all - for viewing and download here.
► Foothill Corridor Policy Plan (1974) ◄
The Foothill Corridor Policy Plan was the initial study conducted in 1974 across the entire eastern region from Irvine Regional Park, south through Coto De Caza. It covered a large area of 120 square miles. It was privately funded by citizens and landholders of the area it covered.
The Corridor Plan provided interim planning guidance to the county, and it proposed the framework for the formation of various community-specific studies. One of those studies was the Sil-Mod Community Plan above.
This download is approximately 18MB. The text pages are 8.5"x11", but there are a number of fold-out maps.