During the November and December holiday season (when they thought that nobody was paying attention) the Irvine City Council’s two unelected members — Mayor Christina Shea and Councilman Michael Carroll — pushed ahead with yet one more corrupt land-use scheme. The two set out to derail and defeat the long-planned Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery at the Great Park “ARDA” site, and hand control of the valuable City-owned property to a billion-dollar commercial developer.

At the November 26, 2019 City Council meeting, two days before Thanksgiving, Shea and Carroll put forward their scheme to rezone the City-owned, 125-acre ARDA site at the Great Park. Their zoning ordinance replaced the long-planned, pastoral Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery with zoning for massive office, commercial and industrial development intended to net hundreds of millions of dollars for their favorite developer, FivePoint.

But wait a minute! Armed with the power of initiative, Irvine citizens don’t have to accept this kind of local greed and corruption. In fact, we have the power to draw up our own zoning ordinance, gather enough initiative petition signatures, and put our own plan on the ballot for Irvine voters to approve.

And, that’s exactly what we’re doing. I am the author and official proponent of the “Build the Great Park Veterans Cemetery” initiative — the people’s zoning ordinance to once-and-for-all require that the 125-acre ARDA site be used solely and exclusively for a State-built and State-operated Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery. This initiative would override the Shea-Carroll-FivePoint zoning and any other schemes intended to defeat the Veterans Cemetery project.

Of course, our initiative requires sustained public support to succeed — first to gather the necessary 15,000 Irvine voter signatures to qualify for the ballot, and then a majority of Irvine voters saying YES at the ballot box in November.

So, let’s join together in taking matters into our own hands. Let’s urge every Irvine voter to support the initiative. Just say YES with a signature and by voting YES later this year.
A YES vote will not only override the Shea-Carroll-FivePoint rezoning scheme; it means that we can begin demolition and site cleanup this year — as the first step in a 30-month construction schedule for the beautiful State-built and State-operated Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery. YES, let’s do it!

Larry Agran