Following a meeting that stretched past midnight, the Irvine City Council voted Wednesday to delay for two weeks a decision on whether to allow a developer to build 688 acres of the Orange County Great Park in exchange for the right to construct thousands of additional homes around the site’s perimeter, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Lalloway joined his Council colleagues Beth Krom and Larry Agran in voting for the temporary delay. Staff has done only “a partial analysis” of the deal’s implications, said Lalloway, according to the Voice of OC. “I need to do my due diligence.” Lalloway also said according to the LA Times that “It is clear from staff’s presentation tonight that they have conducted just a partial analysis of the impacts of this offer and more work is required.”
As you might imagine, some folks are upset. The surprise is that Republicans are ripping one of their own – Lalloway. In fact the loudest dissenter has been Council Member Christina Shea, who posted this diatribe on her Facebook page:
Well last night was a big disappointment as our park plan was continued again. Councilmember Agran opposed it as he won’t support the park plan unless the school district moves the new high school site. Councilmember Krom stated she is just fine programming the small park we have today.
But the big disappointment was Councilmember Lalloway who once again continued a vote on the park.
Councilmember Lalloway is the longest sitting member of our Great Park negotiating team.
For over 18 months he negotiated with Five Points. First with former Mayor Sukhee Kang and after he retired, Jeff Lalloway spent another 9 months with Mayor Choi negotiating this park deal.
Mayor Choi wanted to move the park ahead but not Councilmember Lalloway.
His reasons continually changed and evolved from one point to another, with no consistency of purpose.
Five Points had enough, understandably.
So Five Points took it away from the negotiating team and with the support of Mayor Choi and many of our commissioners and myself, we have been moving this park plan forward.
I made a motion last night to accept the Five Point design but also suggesting in my motion, to require Five Points and city staff to continue to refine deal points and agree on the operations and maintenance contract. My City attorney approved the motion as proper and legal.
And with over 2000 people in attendance and a promise of Broadcom signing a tenative agreement with Five Points to move 4500 hundred jobs to the Great Park,
Councilmember Jeff Lalloway once again continued the item.
This is after 18 months of stalling previous negotiations.
He says he supports the park, but this community needs to see positive movement in that direction.
It isn’t what we say it is what we do…if this doesn’t move forward in two weeks, as Councilmember Lalloway promised last night, to give staff two more weeks to negotiate, (which could have happened thru my motion and even extended negotiations further via my policy stance with Mayor Choi’s second)
I fear this park plan will not be built.
Council member Lalloway stated he believes in Irvine’ s excellent standards and wants to adhere to The Irvine Way of ensuring excellent planning. I agree , Mayor Choi agrees , over 2000 residents last night agree.
We have a partnet, Five Points Lennar Heritage Fields, that has a 30 year plus track record of excellent projects. let’s stop the excuses and stalling and get the Great Park built now.
With the wasteful spending of the past majority, there is no money left to build the park, so it is now or never.
Now Shea is worried about wasteful spending – after she joined Krom and Agran, a few weeks ago, in voting to waste taxpayer money on the arts? What a joke!
Lalloway is doing the right thing. This deal is going to happen but why rush at this point when there are still nagging and important details to resolve? Shea’s histrionics aren’t helping. She needs to settle down and stop attacking Lalloway.
The reality is that Krom and Agran are pretty smart and if the Council blows this it will allow the Agranistas to come back next year and take back the Council.
You can always count on Lalloway to not waste taxpayer money – and to spend it carefully. Irvine Republicans need to settle down and let this get resolved in two weeks. If at that time it gets delayed again, then they should certainly raise a ruckus. Now is simply the wrong time to do so.