Q: Does the Referendum Petition really have anything to do with the Veterans Cemetery?
A: It sure does. The Referendum, when it appears on the ballot sometime in 2018, will ask voters whether they want to have what was supposed to be the already approved and designed Veterans Cemetery in the Great Park, replaced by 812,000 square feet of office and commercial development. The Referendum is just an exact copy of the ordinance that the City Council passed on October 10th. That ordinance, cleverly, does not mention Veterans Cemetery anywhere in it. So, if you don’t want even more clogged streets in Irvine, you will vote NO on the Referendum, when it comes up on the ballot sometime in 2018.
Q: I heard that FivePoint Communities would be building the Veterans Cemetery if it were at the freeway location. Is this true?
A: In the initial discussions with the City, FivePoint Communities announced, verbally, that they would be donating $10 million towards the first phase of construction; however, the land-swap agreement signed by the Mayor and FivePoint on October 27, 2017 includes no funds toward Cemetery construction.
In any case, the verbally-only promised $10 million, even if it were miraculously honored by FivePoint, would not get very far towards building the Cemetery’s first phase. The estimate for the cost of the first phase of the Veterans Cemetery in the Great Park was about $35 million for building demolition, hazardous waste removal and site preparation, and about $40 million for actually building the first phase of the Cemetery on prepared land. Actually building on the freeway site would cost even more because the site is not ready for construction. It’s still farmland that is yet to be analyzed and remediated for construction purposes.
MORE LETTERS from READERS:
I have supported the Great Park location for the Veterans Cemetery from the start. It was right for veterans and for the City of Irvine. All was ready to break ground. My thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make the Great Park site happen. I now ask that everyone support reversing the recent 3-to-2 Council vote for the FivePoint land-swap.
[Editor’s reply: You will have the chance to do that when the Referendum is on the ballot, and you can vote NO.]
We need to take back our City and stop allowing FivePoint to control what belongs to the people! Allowing FivePoint to make millions while our veterans have to wait even longer for their Cemetery to be built on an inferior site is a disgrace.
[Editor’s reply: The irony here is that FivePoint’s followers have been claiming that the Referendum Petition has delayed construction of the Veterans Cemetery, when the exact opposite is the case. If the City Council had not passed their re-zoning ordinance on October 10th, the Veterans Cemetery in the Great Park would be well under construction now.]