Tuesday evening, the Irvine City Council did something rare: Instead of rubber-stamping a massive new residential development project, the Council slowed the project…but barely…for just two weeks…on a 2-to-2 vote.
At a “Scoping Session,” the City Council got a first look at an Irvine Company proposal to amend the City’s General Plan and build 1,710 apartment units on a 69.4-acre parcel of land at Sand Canyon and the I-5 Freeway. Once built, the apartment project will house about 5,000 additional people, who will bring with them about 3,500 cars that generate about 14,000 added daily rush-hour trips on Irvine’s jam-packed streets.
After citing the City’s “overbuilding” and growth-induced traffic crisis, the normally pro-developer Councilwoman Christina Shea offered a motion to defer consideration of the project for six months. Her motion was supported by Councilwoman Melissa Fox.
Pro-developer Mayor Donald Wagner, expressing frustration with Shea, at one point said he wanted no part of a building “moratorium.” He was joined by Councilman Jeff Lalloway, who said he too did not want to take a “time-out” from development.
With Councilwoman Lynn Schott absent from the meeting, Shea’s motion failed on a 2-to-2 vote, as did other motions to try to break the deadlock. Finally, the Council agreed to bring the matter back for another vote, in two weeks, at the March 14th City Council meeting.