Irvine City Council Approves Offer of New Land to IUSD to Possibly Change New High School Site

 

Larry Agran

Larry Agran, Irvine City Council

The Irvine City Council last night approved a motion by Councilman Larry Agran to make an offer of 40 acres of land to Five Points Communities and the Irvine Unified School District in hopes of moving the site of the 5th Irvine High School to the western side of the Great Park.  The offer of land would be sold to Five Points and IUSD for a minimum of $60 million due to the valuation of $3 million per acre, which at 40 acres would be $120 million, but $60 million would be reimbursed by the State. The current proposed site (site A) would put the High School on the Eastern side of the park, near Musick Jail. The School Board has said that if given a different and better spot for the new high school, they would seriously consider moving.

Last night, Councilman Agran gave a 15 minute presentation, pointing out the negatives of the proposed site A, and offering an alternative spot that he called site B. After many public speakers expressed their support for site B and dislike for site A, the City Council voted unanimously to make the offer of 40 acres of land to Five Points communities and Irvine Unified School District so that they can start conveying the land to decide if it is a suitable alternative site for the newest Irvine High School.

This vote came after a lengthy presentation by Five Point Communities that discussed their plans for the Great Park. The presentation was joined by a great deal of interested community members as the Council chambers was packed (as well as people watching in the lobby) with coaches, parents, teachers, and a great deal of soccer kids with their uniforms on. There was even a Weinershnitzel truck out front passing out free hot dogs. But in the end, Council member Christina Shea proposed a motion to continue negotiations with Five Points communities and move the overall plans forward. Council member Beth Krom brought up a concern of hers in that while she welcomed the plethora of athletic facilities at the Great Park, she wanted to make sure the public vision was not overwhelmed by the commercial vision. The motion of moving forward with the $174 in public benefits was unanimously passed with all council members agreeing that they will need more details in the coming months as the entitlement exchange was not voted on during last night’s agenda.

You can find out more information about Irvine City Council meetings at http://www.cityofirvine.org/council/city_council_meetings.asp