On Tuesday evening the Irvine City Council approved a 125 acre ARDA site at the Great Park for a Veteran’s Cemetery and Memorial with Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Lalloway seconding Council member Larry Agran’s motion. Mayor Steven Choi and Council member Christina Shea did manage to do a Five Point tap dance expressing concern about the city’s general fund and the cost of site clean up. Funny, they were worried about soil clean up for a cemetery, but no concern at all about contaminated soil where Irvine’s new high school is going to be located. Of course, I’m sure that their positions have nothing to do with FivePoint Communities liking the value-added benefits of a nearby high school to potential home buyers, over the corresponding feng shui negatives of a nearby veterans cemetery. I wonder if toxic waste seeping up into classrooms is good, or bad, feng shui?
With the overflowing crowd of veterans,even Choi and Shea voted in favor of the vets to make it a unanimous result. Watching the discussion however, It was almost embarrassing to watch Choi slobber over Supervisor Todd Spitzer’s efforts to hijack the Great Park site to anywhere else in his district including the Saddleback Vineyard site that offers limited space and perhaps 40 developable acres.
The folks at Five Point and their army of consultants will likely shift their attention to Spitzer’s efforts to move the Cemetery and Memorial anywhere but the Great Park. A battle was won last night but the war continues. FivePoint has the right of first refusal in 2017 for that parcel, and should they deny the Vet’s a resting place at the Great Park, even Emile Haddad’s millions won’t help them.