Santiago Hills Assessment District

Santiago Hills Assessment District Community Meeting on Landscape Renovation

The City of Orange held a meeting on September 9, 2019 regarding renovations in Santiago Hills. Below are links to the presentation materials and handouts. 
SHAD Community Meeting Flyer 9-9-19

Trails End - January 2019 Update

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Santiago Hills Assessment District Landscape Resident Report - October 2018

Please click here.

The City of Orange held a community landscape meeting for the Santiago Hills property owners on April 11, 2018.  Click on the links below for copies of the presentation and minutes of the meeting.
Click on the links below for copies of the handouts during the meeting. 
If you have any questions regarding the Santiago Hills landscape, please contact us at: For the latest update, please click here.

For earlier updates, please click here.

For information about the August 30, 2017 Santiago Hills Assessment District Landscape Community Meeting, click here.


The Santiago Hills Landscape Maintenance Assessment District (District) was formed in 1987 to provide funding for public landscape maintenance and improvements in the Santiago Hills Development.  The annual assessment paid by property owners in the District funds the District landscape maintenance and is approved by the Orange City Council at a public hearing each year.  

Click here for the Final Engineers Reports for the Santiago Hills Landscape Maintenance Assessment Districts 86-2 and 15-1: 
The maximum assessment rate paid by property owners had remained the same from 1987 to 2015, at which time a majority of the property owners in the District approved a ballot measure to increase funding for landscape maintenance and renovations. Click here to view the Ballot and Official Notice and Information Guide mailed to each property owner in the District.
Click here to view the March 7, 2015 and March 24, 2015 Community Meeting PowerPoint presented at Chapman Hills Elementary School.
During the June 9, 2015 Public Hearing at the Orange City Council Meeting, in view of the public, the Santiago Hills Landscape Assessment District ballots were officially opened, sorted, and the votes counted. For the 1,571 parcels in the District, a total of 633 votes were received. The weighted ballots were in favor of the increased assessment, with 54% of those returned voting "Yes" (51% in favor was needed for the assessment to pass).  The assessment was approved by the City Council on July 14, 2015.

Santiago Hills Landscape Maintenance Assessment District Community Liaison Committee

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Homeowners have let us know that the SHAD Liaison Committee was not working well for the community as a whole. As a result, the Committee is being replaced with community-wide meetings, which will be held annually, and open to all SHAD property owners.

Prior to the new meetings, the Community Liaison Committee represented the community on decisions regarding landscape maintenance and budgetary priorities for the District. It was composed of 8 property owners, and met twice per year. 

Minutes from the Santiago Hills Landscape Maintenance Assessment District Liaison Committee meetings are available for review here:

Maintenance Service Level Restorations

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As a result of the increased maintenance funding levels, in October 2015 the annual contract with Nieves Landscape, the company which provides landscape maintenance in Santiago Hills was increased to provide appropriate landscape maintenance service levels.  Since then, Nieves Landscape has removed many dead shrubs throughout the District and is continuing with removals on an as-needed basis.  Other landscape maintenance service levels are being evaluated to determine what increased frequencies, fertilization, etc., would be appropriate. Due to drought conditions and mandated water restrictions, much of the turf in the medians in Santiago Hills has suffered and died back and some of the trees have shown signs of stress. City staff is working with Nieves to direct irrigation to the trees while eliminating irrigation to the turfed areas, in an effort to preserve the substantial investment that the tree canopy in the District represents. City staff will continue to look at ways to manage the existing landscape until such time that the landscaped areas can be renovated.  Click here  for the current landscape maintenance contract. 

In December 2015, the City approved a contract with West Coast Arborists (WCA) to provide regularly scheduled tree trimming services for the District.  The contract also provided an increase to the frequency from every three years to every two years for individual trees to be trimmed. This should ensure that the tree inventory stays healthy and aesthetically pleasing, as well as reducing the concern over fallen trees during wind events. WCA has already removed approximately 40 dead trees throughout the District and is continuing removals as needed. Click here for the current tree maintenance contract.

Turf Removal and Landscape Renovations Projects

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Upon the passage of the increased landscape assessment in July 2015, City staff began work on a long-term, comprehensive plan to replace outdated landscape and inefficient irrigation throughout the District over a number of years. As part of that plan, and based on input from the Liaison Committee, the City considered two separate efforts: 1) Renovation of the large, landscaped area located from Chapman and Newport on the north, to White Oak Ridge on the south and referred to as the Handy Creek Paseo; and 2) Smaller renovation projects of landscaped areas throughout the District.

Handy Creek Paseo Renovation Project

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In May 2015, the City held an open workshop at Chapman Hills Elementary School inviting the residents of Santiago Hills to provide input on the proposed plan for renovation of the Handy Creek Paseo.  The conceptual plan was generally well received, and some additional suggestions were provided to the City staff and consultant. City staff shared with the residents that the cost estimate for the project was approximately $600,000 to $700,000 and it will take some time to amass sufficient funds to complete this project. Therefore, the Handy Creek Paseo renovation will have to be constructed in phases. The first phase will start at the corner of Chapman Avenue and Newport and is anticipated to begin in early 2018.

Handy Creek Paseo Renovation Project Documents


General Renovations

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At the October 2015 Community Liaison Committee meeting, City staff presented a conceptual drawing and plant palette for smaller, proposed landscape renovations which can be phased over time throughout the District and which can begin sooner than the larger Paseo Project. These proposed landscape renovations will replace outdated plant materials and water-thirsty turf in various landscaped areas and replace existing irrigation with new, more efficient irrigation systems. As funds accumulate and are not needed for on-going maintenance of this District, these landscape renovations can be completed over many years. The Community Liaison Committee assisted staff in identifying priority areas for phasing in the smaller landscape renovations. The Committee members agreed that the priority areas are the main entrances to the neighborhoods. 

The new plant material and irrigation improvements will not only help conserve water in the District, but also provide a fresh new look to the original 1980's era landscaping.

General Renovations Documents

Trails End Renovation

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The Trails End landscape renovation was completed late last year. The total cost of the Trails End Renovation was $122,000.  This includes Nieves Landscape preparing the site as part of ongoing maintenance and Kasa Construction installing the new plant material.  As this was the first of the General Renovation projects, we are paying attention to the plant palette and how these plants grow and fill in at this location.  Each location is somewhat unique, however we are evaluating the plant palette selected for Trails End to determine if any modifications are needed in future landscape renovations moving forward.

Click on the links below for the bids submitted to the City April 7, 2016:

Skylark Renovation Project

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The next effort will concentrate on improvements from Newport Blvd. and Skylark Place, along Skylark to Presidio Way. The original landscaping has been removed as part of the ongoing maintenance contract and the site is ready for installation of the new plant material. Click on the links below for the preliminary plans for the Skylark Renovation Project and bids submitted to the City on June 22, 2017:
In response to feedback received from some members of the Santiago Hills Community, staff is gathering community input on the landscape plans to determine consensus for moving forward with the project.  For more information regarding an upcoming community meeting regarding this project and a direct email to send input, click here

District Landscape Watering Update

On August 9, 2016, the Orange City Council adopted Resolution No. 10961 rescinding some aspects of the water restrictions for Orange water users. This was a result of latitude given to water agencies to maintain a water conservation effort consistent with local water supply. The significant change made to the Orange water restriction was the removal of the specific days of the week for irrigation. In line with this new water restriction, the frequency of irrigation has been increased in the parkway and paseo areas of Santiago Hills , as well as at Santiago Hills Park. It is important to note that the State prohibition of irrigating turf on public street medians remains in effect, so continuation of no watering of the medians remains unchanged.

For more information regarding the current water restrictions, please click here.

Santiago Hills Annual Budget

The Annual Santiago Hills Landscape Maintenance Assessment Budget is approved by the Orange City Council at a public hearing in June of each year.  Please click here for the approved budgets since the passage of the increased assessment in 2015.
If you would like additional information regarding the Santiago Hills Landscape Maintenance Assessment District, please contact Nathan at