Oil company moves forward on 1,100-home project in north OC

Bakersfield-based Aera Energy on cusp of 265-acre development near Brea

Los Angeles /
Mar.March 28, 2022 03:00 PM
Aera Energy's Erik Bartsch and renderings of Brea 265 (Aera Energy, Brea 265)
Aera Energy’s Erik Bartsch and renderings of Brea 265 (Aera Energy, Brea 265)

A 140-year-old oilfield outside of Brea might soon be redeveloped with more than 1,100 homes.

Bakersfield-based Aera Energy, whose Brea 265 project has just undergone an environmental study, awaits final approval for its 265-acre development planned for a mostly unincorporated region east of the city of 42,000 north of the 91 Freeway, the Orange County Register reported.

The master-planned community would include a mix of larger single-family estates with ocean and canyon views, an affordable senior community, and smaller housing with affordable options.

The project would also include 15 acres of public parks, seven miles of hiking trails into Chino Hills State Park and Carbon Canyon Regional Park, and an expansion of Brea Sports Park. In addition, it would spend millions for school expansions, public safety improvements, roadway widenings and wildfire protection.

The first homes, to be constructed in three phases over two decades, could be completed by 2024.

“This is an opportunity to evolve a 100-year-old industrial oil operation into a multi-generational community centered on public parks, trails, public art and a full-spectrum of housing,” said Steve Greyshock, a spokesman for Aera Energy. “We now look forward to working with the city to implement this vision to bring these benefits to Brea as quickly as possible.”

Most of the project would be developed in unincorporated Orange County, with a plan to annex it into the City of Brea, once dubbed “the oil capital of Orange County.”

The Brea-Olinda oilfield, discovered in 1880, was purchased by Shell Oil in the 1920s. Aera Energy, jointly owned by Shell Oil and ExonMobil, now produces 25 percent of the state’s oil, according to its Brea 265 project website. https://www.brea265.com/

It has also set aside about 4,000 acres for permanent regional open-space, including the nearby Chino Hills State Park and Carbon Canyon Regional Park, while developing the Vista del Verde community and Black Gold Golf Club in neighboring Yorba Linda.

The Brea 265 project would replace 60 working oil wells, in addition to a Christmas tree farm.

[Orange County Register] – Dana Bartholomew





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