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The City Council is Set to Vote on Massive Development Projects at the Great Park … Without Any Input from the City’s Planning Commission or Irvine Residents Who Will be Impacted

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Just over 50 years ago, the City of Irvine was established and named in honor of the family who originally owned the land. The renowned architect and planner who designed our City, William Pereira, shared the Irvine family’s belief that the former ranch land is a valuable, non-renewable resource that must be managed with careful planning and long-range vision.

Pereira’s remarkable “Irvine Master Plan” led to the creation of one of California’s most desirable cities, and arguably the best-planned community in America.

However, Mayor Farrah Khan and her appointed Vice Mayor Anthony Kuo are systematically unraveling our City’s Master Plan — ignoring Irvine’s long history of good planning and good government. Khan and Kuo are effectively giving away valuable land for massive commercial development in our Great Park.

On Tuesday (September 27th), Mayor Khan and Vice Mayor Kuo are set to push through several huge development projects at the Great Park. Khan and Kuo want the Council to approve these projects, which will cost Irvine taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, even though there has been zero input from the City’s Planning Commission, Transportation Commission, or Finance Commission.

Even worse, there has been zero input from the residents who live in the Great Park neighborhoods, and will be impacted by these huge development projects.

Khan and Kuo’s so-called Framework Plan for the Great Park includes hundreds of millions of dollars in new projects: a 15,000-seat outdoor amphitheater run by Live Nation; a water polo facility; and a huge botanical garden that will replace the voter-approved Veterans Memorial Park. (The City has been warned of a potential lawsuit for willfully ignoring Irvine voters — and Irvine’s own City law — by refusing to build the Veterans Memorial Park.)

The only member of the City Council who has raised questions and objected to these rushed, unplanned development projects is Councilman Larry Agran.

When asked for comment on Tuesday’s meeting, Agran said: “What has always made Irvine such a sought-after community is our commitment to good planning and good government. I don’t think our City Council should be voting to spend hundreds of millions of Irvine taxpayer dollars on projects that have not been properly studied and reviewed by the entire Irvine community.”

This matter will be discussed during the Great Park Board Meeting at 3pm, and again during the City Council meeting, scheduled for 5pm. For information on how you can participate either in-person or via Zoom, click here.

Franklin J. Lunding

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