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Landmark Deal to Be Signed by the City to Acquire the All American Plant & Restore the Land to Its Original State

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The new “Gateway Preserve” will add 700 acres to Irvine’s existing Open Space

The Irvine City Council is poised to approve — in April — a massive land deal to acquire and remove the All American Asphalt plant in north Irvine. The 12-acre asphalt plant and hundreds of acres surrounding it will become part of a 700-acre open space preserve that has been dubbed the “Gateway Preserve.”

Once the Council gives final approval in April, the deal will enter into a five-month escrow period, by the end of which the asphalt plant will be closed. Not only will the plant’s closure provide relief for thousands of homeowners in the area, the deal will result in the largest addition of open space in Irvine since the closure of the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station and the initial establishment of the Great Park a generation ago.

The asphalt plant has been the subject of swirling controversy for years as its noxious odors and chemical emissions affected nearby residents, who organized and demanded City action.

“I am proud that my office heard the voices of the community early on and fought alongside north Irvine residents to help get this deal done,” said Councilmember Larry Agran, who is a longtime public interest attorney specializing in environmental law.

Agran worked with Councilmember Mike Carroll, also an attorney, to oversee the negotiations by City Manager Oliver Chi and City staff.

The key to the deal is the Irvine Company’s dedication to the City of nearly 500 acres of land surrounding the plant. The dedication includes 80 acres that the City will entitle for residential use consistent with the City’s Master Plan. The proceeds from the sale of the 80 acres to residential developers will cover the cost of acquiring and dismantling the asphalt plant — and paying for the planning and establishment of the Gateway Preserve. Accordingly, the deal will not cost Irvine taxpayers anything.

The Gateway Preserve will include an extension of the Jeffrey Open Space Trail to the City’s northern open space; new hiking and biking trails; native habitat restoration areas; and two parks featuring interpretive displays, native gardens and other amenities.

More information on the Gateway Preserve concept plan is available on the City’s website by clicking here.

Roger Bloom

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