FivePoint Development Scheme on June 5th Ballot
Signs of the times. Irvine residents take a stand for veterans and against developers.
Like mushrooms that appear overnight, “NO on B!” lawn signs are springing up in front of homes all across Irvine.
Measure B is developer FivePoint’s unpopular Zone Change Ordinance 17-08 — now on the June 5th ballot. Promoted by multi-billion-dollar land developer FivePoint, and approved by the Irvine City Council on a 3-2 vote in October, 2017, the ordinance would replace the planned, State-approved, and construction-ready Veterans Cemetery in the Great Park with zoning that allows FivePoint to build a massive office and industrial development in the Great Park — bringing nearly 10,000 more cars every day to Irvine Boulevard, Sand Canyon, Jeffrey and Culver.
Incensed at what many called a “giveaway of our Great Park,” longtime Irvine resident Ed Pope, a retired social studies teacher, quickly organized a committee to Save the Veterans Cemetery in the Great Park. Pope, himself a U.S. Army veteran, launched a bold referendum campaign against the zone change ordinance, relying on hundreds of volunteers to gather 19,164 Irvine resident signatures — forcing the City Council to put the unpopular Zone Change Ordinance 17-08 on the June 5th ballot for an up-or-down vote of the people.
What began as a grassroots referendum — now known as the “NO on B!” campaign — drew support from Irvine veterans, veterans’ families, and thousands of other residents from one end of the City to the other. According to Pope, “Every day, hundreds of Irvine residents were signing our referendum petition in solidarity with veterans. But residents also told us they were signing because they were simply fed up with developer schemes, developer greed, and City Council complicity in the kind of overdevelopment that is ruining Irvine.”
“The June 5th vote will be a real test,” says Pope. This will be the first time in more than 25 years that Irvine voters will have an opportunity to vote on a specific, massive development scheme — in this case, unwanted development that would push veterans and the planned Veterans Cemetery out of the Great Park.”
Pope noted that the “NO on B!” campaign is a low-budget operation. “Meanwhile,” he says, “we are expecting FivePoint and their developer allies to spend millions in an effort to get a ‘yes’ vote by overwhelming Irvine voters with misinformation, lies and smears. In fact, they have already begun.”
“In the end,” Pope said, “we’ll be counting on Irvine volunteers and hundreds of small donors to carry the day.”