Irvine Approves Housing Development at Former School Site

The Irvine City Council Tuesday night approved a 48-unit residential development at a former elementary school site in the Woodbridge Village neighborhood.

Developer William Lyon Homes wants to build single-family housing on the 6.2-acre site. A traffic study by the city found no significant impacts on the surrounding neighborhoods, according to a staff report.

The City Council also recommended that two other city commissions reject planned improvements to a park adjacent to the proposed development.

More than 220 residents signed a petition opposing a lighted volleyball court and more parking at Fallbrook Park. Those improvements still must be approved by the city’s planning and community services commissions.

“You have a lot of petitions and more coming up,” said city resident Anthony Cheng.

Irvine Unified School District’s sale of the former school site, which was the location of Alderwood Basics Elementary School, prompted criticism from some in the development community, who said that the sale didn’t make sense in light of the school district’s growing student population.

Alderwood, along with the Vista Verde school site, were sold to raise cash for improvements at existing school facilities. Republican pollster and Orange County Register columnist Adam Probolsky compared the sale to “robbing a liquor store to get a candy bar.”

School district officials responded to the developers’ concerns by saying that the complaints ignored facilities needs in the school district.

The William Lyon Homes development still must clear hurdles at the city’s community services commission, planning commission and subdivision committee in order to move forward.