IRVINE – Two seemingly unconnected proposals that affect development of the Great Park likely will be intertwined Tuesday.
One is a pitch by FivePoint Communities, the developer of homes north of the Great Park, to build 661 acres of the park for $174 million in exchange for approval to build an additional 4,606 homes.
If you go
When: 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Where: Irvine City Hall at 1 Civic Center Plaza.
The City Council won’t be deciding on the additional home entitlements on Tuesday. That has to go to the city’s Planning Commission first and come back to the council, but it likely will be voting on whether to direct staff to negotiate directly with the developer on a business deal.
Up until now, FivePoint Communities has been in lengthy negotiations with a two-person city subcommittee. A 15-page letter sent in July from the developer to the entire City Council revealed the proposal, and a group of youth sports leaders have formed a group calling itself Build the Great Park Now to encourage the council to accept FivePoint’s offer. Irvine Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Lalloway, one of two members of the subcommittee, has said he wants the best plan for the city and doesn’t want what the city does with its land to be dictated by a private landowner and developer of adjacent land.
The other is a proposal from Councilman Larry Agran to offer 40 acres of the city’s Great Park property to FivePoint for no less than $60 million so it could use it as an alternate location for Irvine Unified School District’s fifth high school.
Agran dislikes the high school’s current proposed location northeast of the park on FivePoint land.
The school district, though, has said it needs to open a new high school by fall 2016 because of anticipated enrollment increases; it already has conducted the necessary reports for the current location and it’s not keen on sharing sports fields with the Great Park. In a six-page letter sent to Irvine’s mayor and city manager, the school district said Agran was engaging in a “misleading debate.”
When Agran was asked recently if he was bringing his proposal Tuesday because he thinks he has more leverage than he did before (namely FivePoint wants enough votes to see its plan move forward), he said it was a “fair characterization.”
A presentation from FivePoint almost didn’t make it on Tuesday’s agenda. Mayor Steven Choi originally had asked for the item to be on the Sept. 10 agenda but late on an afternoon when the agenda was being finalized, he pulled the item with the intention of rescheduling it for the next Great Park board meeting set for Sept. 24, said Councilwoman Christina Shea. Shea said Irvine City Manager Sean Joyce called to let her know because she had expressed interest in seeing a presentation at the next meeting.
“I just went ahead and agendized it myself,” she said. “I was getting frustrated.”
As for Agran’s proposal, she said she wouldn’t be opposed to offering an alternative high school site to FivePoint and the school district but she doesn’t plan to tell the district what to do.
“I’m not of the mind to step in and be very directive,” she said.
IN OTHER BUSINESS
The council also will consider:
An update to the city’s housing element for the 2013-2021 planning period. It will show that the city has enough vacant land to meet regional housing quotas. As required by state law, the update must be completed by October.
Elevating Seocho-gu, South Korea, from Friendship City to Sister City status and sending Choi on a friendship and trade mission to Taoyuan, Taiwan, and Seoul, South Korea.
Making campaign filings and statements of economic interest available on the city website. Currently, the forms of city employees, contractors, City Council members and candidates for City Council are required to be filed with the city but are only available in paper copies at City Hall