As ICNV has previously reported, 19,164 Irvine residents signed a Referendum Petition putting an Irvine Measure on the ballot, on Primary Election Day, June 5th, against developer FivePoint’s massive development in the Great Park. The Ballot Measure will be Ordinance No. 17-08 that the City Council passed on October 10th to rezone, for 812,000 square feet of commercial and industrial development, the 125-acre Great Park site — a site with VA approval for a CalVet-designed Veterans Cemetery, which was slated to receive $10 million of federal funds, and $30 million of State construction funds.
Below is the Argument AGAINST the Measure, and the REBUTTAL to the Argument that was submitted to the City Clerk by the supporters of the FivePoint “land-swap” scheme. (The Measure, not yet assigned a letter, is referred to, below, as Measure X.)
–Franklin J. Lunding, Publisher
For the first time in decades, on June 5th Irvine voters will decide on the future growth and development of our City.
- Your NO vote on Measure X will STOP three Irvine City Councilmembers from giving away — to giant developer FivePoint Communities — the 125-acre site in the Great Park that our City dedicated four years ago for creation of a peaceful, beautiful Veterans Cemetery.
- Your NO vote on Measure X will also STOP accompany- ing zone changes that permit FivePoint to build 812,000 square feet of massive office, commercial, manufacturing and industrial development in the Great Park, adding more than 8,000 car and truck trips every day on Irvine Boulevard, Sand Canyon, Jeffrey, and throughout Irvine.
- Your NO vote on Measure X will make sure the Southern California Veterans Cemetery is built in the Great Park, as planned, designed and approved by the City of Irvine, CalVet, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The project has been “construction-ready” for a year.
- Most important: Your NO vote on Measure X paves the way for Councilmembers Jeff Lalloway and Lynn Schott to re-introduce their resolution to immediately commence construction of the Veterans Cemetery within the Great Park, as originally planned and promised. Once built, the Veterans Cemetery will be operated and maintained in perpetuity by the State, at no cost to the City.
- Voter beware! Measure X, drafted for FivePoint’s benefit by three pro-developer Councilmembers, will move the planned Veterans Cemetery three miles away — to FivePoint’s deceitfully named “Strawberry Fields” site — at the I-405 and I-5 interchange, one of the busiest, most congested and polluted stretches of freeway in the nation.
- Please join with your 19,164 Irvine neighbors who signed the Referendum Petition that gives you the opportunity to Vote NO on Measure X. For information and official documents, go to: SaveTheVeteransCemetery.org/Resources
REBUTTAL to Argument in FAVOR of Adoption of Ordinance No. 17-08
Following Measure X’s defeat on June 5th, Councilmembers Jeff Lalloway and Lynn Schott will re-introduce their resolution to immediately commence construction of the Veterans Cemetery in the Great Park. The plain truth is that the CalVet-designed and VA-approved Great Park Veterans Cemetery would be under construction today, with $30 million of State funding, if three Councilmembers — Wagner, Shea, and Fox — hadn’t sabotaged the project by adopting Ordinance 17-08.
Ordinance 17-08 is a zone-change giveaway that enables developer FivePoint to build massive office and industrial projects on the 125-acre Veterans Cemetery site in our Great Park, reaping enormous profits.
No wonder FivePoint has spent millions enlisting their favorite politicians, insiders, and political organizations to support their scheme. They bully, and wangle support by spreading money and fake news.
For example, FivePoint’s political operatives claim a Veterans Cemetery in the Great Park would have graves amid dilapidated buildings and trash, while graves at FivePoint’s preferred site (at the I-5/I-405 interchange) will be in “strawberry fields.” Nonsense! The truth is that the Cemetery, at either site, will be built to the highest standards — and maintained forever by the State at absolutely no cost to the City.
Claims that putting the Veterans Cemetery at FivePoint’s freeway interchange site would save taxpayers money are baseless. So is FivePoint’s phony talk about putting $10 million into the project. This is all part of FivePoint’s strategy to bluff and bully their way into our Great Park, and push our veterans out.
We can’t let them do it. Vote NO on Measure X!
Letters/Comments from Irvine Veterans, Families and Residents
- I am fiercely against the decision made by the City Council to sell out Irvine’s citizens and scrap the Veterans Cemetery in the Great Park. The Cemetery would be a perfect way to show patriotism and preserve a lasting legacy. Another massive development project is clearly not needed. A message must be sent to our elected officials that it is their duty to listen to the people and not be influenced by major corporations. We need to set things right by voting against replacing the Veterans Cemetery in the Great Park with development.
— Daryl Brandino
- I talked to Melissa Fox during the last City election campaign, and she promised over the phone to protect us from the ongoing over-development and the financial onslaught of special interests. What happened to that Melissa Fox? I’d like to get my donation back!
— F. Hsu
- The City Council seems to have sold out to FivePoint!
— Albert Miller
- Fox, Shea and Wagner are doing the bidding for FivePoint rather than listening to their constituents. We should vote the three of them out of office.
— Gail Lewis
- I’m just shocked by the City Council’s shenanigans. No integrity. No common sense. No heart. No sense of right from wrong. What are they teaching their own children and grandchildren about how to treat our country’s veterans? I am dismayed.
— Terry E. Goldfarb
- I believe the City Council is being compromised by the developers. They do not seem to care what their constituents think.
— Dolores Reynolds
- Enough is enough. This unbridled development is destroying our quality of life. This trio of Wagner, Shea and Fox need to be thrown out of office
— Dom Saccacio
- People are asking if three of the five City Councilmembers are employed by FivePoint. Has anybody looked into that?
— James Harris
- Using the Great Park for any development is abhorrent and an affront to residents and City and public teams who worked tirelessly for years to preserve parts of Irvine for residents and visitors to Irvine. Do not sell us out for development.
— Christine Griftner
- When will Irvine City officials say, “Enough is enough!”? Not only are the streets and traffic getting worse; schools are overcrowded as well. It is OK to slow down growth, spread it out over years, and be more prepared to ensure the City can handle all the growth.
— John Kindle
- Traffic is horrid. We don’t have the infrastructure to support more homes and more people and more traffic. Stop developing and get those who are merely puppets of big developers off the City Council.
— Katie Thompson
- Without question, we need a Veterans Cemetery — as originally planned, in the Great Park.
— Roger Bowman, U.S. Navy, Vietnam Veteran
- The City Council’s willingness to side with big developers rather than respecting our veterans is disgusting. The Mayor and specific members of this Council have voted for their funding base rather than their voting base. I, for one, am absolutely disgusted!
— Molly Peukert
- The Great Park was the approved location for the Veterans Cemetery, not the switched site [alongside the I-5 and I-405 freeway interchange] that would benefit FivePoint. That switch was and is disgusting! The site by the 405 is not a “better” location! Not at all!
— Stephanie Proffitt
- I did NOT vote for the Great Park so developers could develop office buildings and commercial real estate projects there!
— Phil Patterson
- Our City has enough street traffic and congestion, and it is not in our interest to add to it by building more commercial and office space.
— Laura R. Barwick
Carolyn Inmon’s SchoolWatch column cited in challenge to IUSD’s election system
In a recent press release, IUSD Superintendent Terry Walker reported that the School District had received a letter from Malibu attorney Kevin Shenkman, alleging that IUSD’s “at-large” system for electing School Board members was racially discriminatory, and violated the California Voting Rights Act.
In his letter, Shenkman wrote that if, by March 25th, IUSD didn’t agree to “discuss a voluntary change” — moving from at-large elections of Board members to a system of geographically smaller, “single-member districts” —a lawsuit would likely be filed.
Schenkman cited ICNV’s columnist, Carolyn Inmon, who wrote an article in her January SchoolWatch column entitled “Time for a Change.” In her article, Inmon pointed out that the current system was, in fact, concentrating Board representation in the northern part of Irvine, while the older areas and older schools elsewhere in the City — were seriously underrepresented on the IUSD Board.