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Author: Roger Bloom

The City of Irvine to Acquire the All American Asphalt Plant and Incorporate the Site Into a 700-Acre “Gateway Preserve”

The City of Irvine is finalizing an historic land deal to acquire and shut down the All American Asphalt plant in north Irvine — incorporating the site into a 700-acre Gateway Preserve that will provide access to the 20,000-acre north Irvine Open Space Preserve.

The asphalt plant has been the source of swirling controversy for years as its noxious odors and toxic emissions have affected thousands of residents throughout north Irvine.

During the February 28th City Council meeting, City Manager Oliver Chi — followed by Councilmembers Larry Agran and Mike Carroll — announced that the asphalt plant will be shut down later this year. Chi stated that the land transaction agreements are expected to go to the City Council at the end of March for final approval, followed by a five-month escrow period. (Agran and Carroll, both lawyers, helped guide the complex negotiations.)

Councilmember Agran said, “I am pleased that my Council colleagues finally heard the voices of the community and stepped up to protect Irvine citizens.”

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On a 3-to-2 Vote, the City Council Moves Forward to Build a 14,000-Seat Outdoor Amphitheater in the Great Park

Maybe they’ll call it the Tammy Kim Amphitheater.

After the second marathon session in a week on the topic, a divided and bleary-eyed City Council voted 3-2 at midnight on February 21st to endorse a 14,000-seat amphitheater for the Great Park and continue negotiations with Live Nation Entertainment to operate the venue.

Councilmembers Larry Agran and Kathleen Treseder voted NO.

Councilmember Kim began the meeting by saying that her job is “protecting citizens” from undue noise and traffic and that the residents of Irvine clearly want a smaller amphitheater. “It’s what I believe is right for the residents,” she said.

Just one hour later, Kim reversed course — completely ignoring her original statement about wanting to support Irvine residents’ calls for a smaller venue — and voted for the larger plan.

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Special City Council Meeting Scheduled for February 21st

If they build it, people will come — but how many?

That is the question the Irvine City Council hopes to answer at a special meeting on Tuesday (February 21st), as they discuss — and perhaps decide — whether to continue negotiations for a massive 14,000-seat outdoor amphitheater in the Great Park, or pursue a smaller, more manageable venue of 6,000-8,000 seats.

The issue pits Live Nation Entertainment — the multi-billion-dollar corporation lined up to be the operator of a 14,000-seat venue about the size of the Hollywood Bowl — against Irvine residents and Councilmember Larry Agran who have stated their preference for a smaller venue about the size of Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre.

During the last Council meeting, a large contingent of Live Nation management and employees, construction union officials, music industry workers, and out-of-town music fans turned out to support the 14,000-seat outdoor venue, while a bevy of Irvine residents spoke in favor of the smaller alternative. The residents cited noise and traffic concerns, with those from many areas of the City saying they are disturbed by concerts at the current temporary amphitheater operated by Live Nation.

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