COSAS: City Manager’s Newsletter for May 3, 2024

Posted on May 3, 2024

In this edition of the COSAS newsletter, the City of Santa Ana has major achievements in housing and development, the George Upton All Access Park playground project breaks ground, over 500 volunteers join in our first citywide public service event, and our upcoming events include residential parking discussions, composting classes, and Star Wars Day at the Library.

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Spotlight Photo

Fun Run Kids Dash

Santa Ana Fun Run Kids Dash

Photo Credit: City staff

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City Manager’s Highlights

Reaching new heights in housing and development

Building under construction

We recently announced some important milestones in building a future Santa Ana that will serve all residents by creating new businesses, housing and jobs. In 2023, the City of Santa Ana reached a historic milestone in its development trajectory, issuing over 9,500 building permits for an all-time high construction valuation of $772 million. This remarkable achievement is more than double the construction valuation of past years.

Much of that development involves a variety of new housing, including affordable housing and mixed use developments that include both housing and commercial uses, creating more walkable living opportunities. The City has already issued 74% of the building permits for new housing units required by the State of California less than three years into the eight-year planning period from 2021 to 2029. This is thanks to both a business-friendly development planning process and over $60 million in affordable housing investments by the City over the past decade.

Read our press releases to learn more at the links below.

Santa Ana sees record development surge

74% of new housing goals achieved

Time’s running out to take our budget survey

The deadline is near to share your opinions about City spending on programs and services for the upcoming 2024-25 fiscal year. Take our Community Budget Priorities Survey by May 13 to have your ideas included in our community feedback to the City Council. The survey is available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.

Take the budget survey


Celebrating children and books at Día de los Niños, Día de los Libros

Dia 2024

What an incredible Día de los Niños, Día de los Libros event we had at the Main Library on Saturday, April 27! About 3,000 parents, children and other visitors attended this annual event to enjoy captivating performers, free book giveaways and snacks, and endless fun activities. The highlight was a special story time and book signing by children’s author Suzanne Lang and illustrator Max Lang, creators of the New York Times bestselling Grumpy Monkey books. It was a day filled with smiles and fun!

Legacy Square affordable housing named Project of the Year

Legacy Square building

Legacy Square, a 93-home affordable housing community developed by National CORE, the City of Santa Ana and the Santa Ana United Methodist Church, has been named the 2024 Project of the Year by the Orange County Affordable Housing Awards. Legacy Square opened in June 2023 and transformed underutilized church land into a stunning community serving residents who earn less than 60 percent of the median area income. Thirty-three apartments are reserved for residents who experienced homelessness or who were at risk of becoming homeless.

Congratulations to our Community Development and Planning and Building staff for their work to bring this project to life and for winning this prestigious award!

Read more about Legacy Square’s award

City breaks ground on George Upton All Access Park playground project

George Upton Park groundbreaking

We broke ground last month on the George Upton All Access Park project, which will turn the aging playground that was once located here into an exciting new play area for children of all physical abilities. Located at Thornton Park, the George Upton park will have playground equipment for children ages 2 through 12. The project will also resurface and add new lights to the nearby basketball court.

This park is named for George Upton, who worked with the Kiwanis Club to help create a barrier-free park for children with disabilities. Having access to outdoor activities and play is essential to child development and well-being, and we want to make sure all of Santa Ana’s youth can enjoy our parks.

Students learn from construction engineers

Students learn from construction engineer Students learn from construction engineer Students learn from construction engineer

Community engagement is always our priority! The Public Works construction engineering team had the opportunity to participate in a structure building activity with the 4th-grade class at Jackson Elementary School. Public Works engineers Michelle Cabañas, Danny Mai and Gerardo Padilla, guided the students in constructing earthquake-resistant structures using spaghetti and marshmallows.

Traffic Engineer speaks at Public Works conference

Traffic engineer at Public Works conference

Santa Ana is a leader in many areas of public policy and service, and we love to share what we’re doing with other agencies. Public Works Senior Traffic Engineer Ruben Castaneda recently gave an engaging presentation on the Santa Ana Vision Zero Plan at the 25th Annual American Public Works Association PWX SoCal Conference. The Santa Ana Vision Zero Plan sets a goal of achieving zero pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities in Santa Ana.

Traffic safety impacts every Southern California public jurisdiction. The presentation provided the opportunity for other city and government agencies to hear ideas and discuss how they too may be able to address traffic safety.

Learn more about the Santa Ana Vision Zero Plan

Street closures and permitted events May 2 – 8

Street closures May 2 to 8

Find the locations of upcoming permitted events and road closures in Santa Ana at the link below. Please drive slowly and safely in construction zones and around crowded events. If a weather event occurs on the anticipated start date, the street closures for construction activity will be delayed until the weather clears.

Street closures and permitted events

Tales of the City

Over 500 volunteers come out for Me Encanta Santa Ana

Volunteers at Me Encanta Santa Ana

On April 20 we hosted our first Me Encanta Santa Ana (I Love Santa Ana) community service day event where over 500 volunteers came together to help our Parks and Rec and Public Works agencies beautify multiple green spaces around the city. Community members helped clean up our parks, painted walls, weeded gardens, planted landscaping, and much more! Thank you to all of our volunteers for coming out and getting active with us as we work to improve parks all over Santa Ana.

Volunteers at Me Encanta Santa Ana Volunteers at Me Encanta Santa Ana

See more Me Encanta Santa Ana photos

City Council Meetings

At their April 16, 2024, regular meeting, the Santa Ana City Council:

Subscribe here to receive City meeting agenda notifications. City Council meetings are typically held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, with the closed session beginning at 5 p.m. or earlier. The open meeting session begins at 5:30 p.m. Meetings have both in-person and virtual participation and attendance and are live streamed on the City’s YouTube channel and our TV channel, CTV3 (channel 3 on Spectrum.) If you’d like to provide public comments on agenda and non-agenda items, you can email, attend in person, or join the Zoom webinar online or by phone.

May 7, 2024, Meeting Agenda


Free compost giveaway for OC cities – May 4

Free Compost giveaway

Santa Ana residents who missed our city compost giveaway event last weekend still have an opportunity to get compost from OC Waste & Recycling.

  • Saturday, May 4
  • 7:30 a.m.–12 p.m.
  • Three locations:
    • Bee Canyon Greenery at Frank R. Bowerman Landfill, 11002 Bee Canyon Access Road, Irvine. Residents should bring a shovel and container/bag to fill at the Irvine location.
    • Valencia Greenery at Olinda Alpha Landfill, 1942 N. Valencia Ave., Brea. Only pre-filled bags available at Brea location, (4) bag limit per household. Prefilled bags are limited and will be distributed while supplies last.
    • Capistrano Greenery at Prima Deshecha Landfill, 32250 Avenida La Pata, San Juan Capistrano. Residents should bring a shovel and container/bag to fill at the San Juan location.

May the 4th Be with You – May 4

May 4th be with you

We are celebrating Star Wars Day at the Main Library with games, crafts, and snacks! Take a photo with your favorite characters, grab a Boba (Fett) drink, and forge your own lightsaber to take home. Open to all ages. Crafts, snacks and drinks are available while supplies last. Cosplay is encouraged!

  • Saturday, May 4
  • Main Library, 26 Civic Center Plaza
  • Storytime: 10:30 a.m.
  • Movie (“The Force Awakens”), Crafts, & Photos: 12 p.m.
  • Droid Café: 2 p.m.

Community Gardens Compost Workshops – May 6-10

Community garden compost workshops

Turn your waste into a resource! The Santa Ana Community Gardens will be celebrating International Compost Awareness Week by hosting free compost workshops for all ages. Learn to create soil amendment from your organic waste by attending one or all of the following workshops May 6-10.

  • 6-7 p.m.
  • Locations:
    • May 6: Madison Park Garden
    • May 7: Pacific Electric Park Garden
    • May 8: El Salvador Park Garden
    • May 9: Jerome Park Garden
    • May 10: Roosevelt/Walker Community Center garden

Register for Compost Workshops

Traffic Engineering Road Show – May 6, 8, 13 and more

Traffic Engineering Road Show

Santa Ana neighbors are invited to a series of interactive community meeting with the City of Santa Ana Public Works Traffic Engineering Department to learn and share your thoughts about the Citywide Street Light Masterplan, Active Transportation Grant Opportunities, and the Citywide Parking Study.  The upcoming dates are:

  • Monday, May 6
  • 5:30-7 p.m.
  • Sierra Intermediate School, 2021 N. Grand Ave.
  • Wednesday, May 8
  • 5:30-7 p.m.
  • Saddleback High School, 2802 S. Flower St.
  • Monday, May 13
  • 5:30-7 p.m.
  • McFadden Institute of Technology, 2701 S. Raitt St.

We value your attendance at the meetings to provide feedback about the Traffic Engineering programs.  Click the link below for all meeting dates.

Traffic Engineering Road Show

Ride of Silence – May 15

Ride of Silence

Join Santa Ana Active Streets in the Ride of Silence Tribute Ride honoring cyclists that have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. It will be a solemn group ride that is recognized world-wide with thousands of people riding their bikes to remember, support each other, and heal collectively. The ride, which is held during National Bike Month, aims to raise the awareness of motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to the public roadways. The ride is also a chance to show respect for and honor the lives of those who have been killed or injured.

  • Wednesday, May 15
  • 7 p.m. (meet up at 6:15 p.m.)
  • The Bicycle Tree, 702 W. 17th St.

Register for Ride of Silence

Public Works Family Event – May 18

Public Works Family event

To kick off National Public Works Week in May, our Public Works Agency will host a free community event that includes free tacos to the first 500 guests, prizes, tours of the state-of-the-art water pump station, a water pipe connection competition, various Public Works exhibits and large equipment displays, and more. Free event parking is available in the lot at Flower and Pine streets. For more information, contact Michelle Micallef at or 714-647-5091.

  • Saturday, May 18
  • 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Walnut Water Pump Station, 723 W. Walnut St.


Report issues with the mySantaAna app

The mySantaAna mobile app puts the power of the City of Santa Ana government in the palm of your hand! Download the app to quickly and easily report issues such as potholes, graffiti, downed trees and much more.

Download the mySantaAna app

Assistance programs

Who do I call at City Hall?

Important phone numbers:

  • City Hall main line: (714) 647-5400
  • Code Enforcement: (714) 667-2780
  • Graffiti Hotline: (877) 786-7824
  • Emergency Water Services: (714) 953-8026
  • Public Works dispatch (street sweeping, trees): (714) 647-3380

Find more phone numbers for all City services

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