Jaffe: The Official City Bird of Irvine …The Crane

Jamboree with Traffic in the Foreground

No, not the fowl, but the construction crane that can be seen dotting the skyline across the city. While construction and development are certainly markers of progress, a lack of traffic and infrastructure planning strangles the residents with traffic, poor air quality, overcrowded schools, and many other impacts of unchecked growth.

While the ballot initiative was still in the hands of the City Attorney and well before the ballot title and summary was publicly available on September 5th, there was a review of the Responsible Growth Initiative that misrepresented the effort as anti-growth. The goal of the initiative is to preserve the quality of life in Irvine and restore the citizens’ voices into the democratic process – voices that have been commandeered by paid lobbyists from the development community.  This sensible ballot measure intends to promote responsible growth in the city of Irvine by ensuring the appropriate infrastructure, much like similar measures in the neighboring cities of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa.

Like the initiatives in our neighboring cities, the measure simply states that if a proposed development’s size is above a threshold, it must be voted upon by the residents in order for building to commence. In other words, instead of every single building project being rubber stamped by City Council, the residents will finally get a say as to whether we want thousands of housing units or business units built with the commensurate additional traffic, pollution, etc. If a proposed project is supported by the current infrastructure and the residents believe it is a good idea, the project moves ahead. If a proposed project will stress areas that are already at their limits, the residents can vote against the project and the project will then not move forward. It is that simple.

Unfortunately, my experience has shown that we cannot leave it in the hands of City Council, the Traffic Commission, or any other city employee to determine when things should not be built. Every day, traffic slows to a crawl through Irvine on the 5 and 405 freeways as well as the major arteries throughout the city. There are over 40 students per class in some schools. A smog layer hugs the hillsides by Portola. These problems exist today, and that does not even account for the 10,000 additional homes (translate that into over 20,000 car trips!!) that City Council has already approved nor does it include the 9,000 cars that will be added as a result of the recent Land Swap. Because of their close ties to the developers, City Council will approve every building proposal and allow developers to build up our city until there is no land left to build on. Some projects add great benefits for our city, and with this measure those projects can still be built. This initiative only gives residents the opportunity to have a say in the process. Instead of allowing City Council to modify Irvine’s Master Plan based on their self-interests, let the voters decide on the projects that are important to them.

The traffic commission and the  commission is supporting the widening of Jamboree into a 10 lane freeway right through the middle of the village of Irvine.  See the map below that shows the widening right up to the dwellings. I don’t think there’s room for a tree.

They are stuck on discussions of signal timing and pedestrian bridges that, while are lovely, are not going to make a dent in the thousands of homes and apartments that are bringing untoward amounts of congestion, pollution and overcrowding in our schools.

There was an email survey that attacked the proponents and appeared to come from the “City of Irvine” but likely again commissioned by the development community. A city should not be in the business of determining how likely a proposed ballot measure is to get the requisite number of signatures. The democratic process is independent of the city and the city should be ruled by it, not intertwined in the politics. One has to wonder – why does a ballot initiative giving a voice to the residents have City Council and the development community running scared? Clearly, they have something to protect and it’s not the citizens of their city!

The Irvine general plan states, “Coordinate the pace of development with traffic improvements.” Has city council upheld this plan? In this email survey they ask about the job that City Council is doing. A few questions later they proudly profess an additional 10,000 homes approved by City Council that have yet to be built. With the general plan as a backdrop, how do you think the Council is doing?  Why is it that Irvine City Council is singularly charged with deciding on the Great Park? Last Tuesday, we heard from the dais that there will be retail on the Great Park. Let the voters decide on the projects that are important to them and not the pocket books of our City Council.

Join the movement!!

Karen Jaffe is a representative for Irvine for Responsible Growth, a citizen organization that is promoting a responsible growth plan for Irvine. Our objective is to ensure that the voices of the residents of Irvine are heard over the wallets and greed of the developers. Traffic was THE NUMBER ONE concern for the 2016 elections and we aim to ensure that the elected officials of our city represent the tax paying, voting citizen. They are circulating a petition to put a RESPONSIBLE growth initiative on the November 2018 ballot and can be reached on FaceBookwww.irvineliving.org or at stopirvinetraffic@gmail.com.

Opinions expressed in editorials belong to the authors and not Voice of OC.

Voice of OC is interested in hearing different perspectives and voices. If you want to weigh in on this issue or others please contact Voice of OC Involvement Editor Theresa Sears at TSears@voiceofoc.org

  • Dean Hawley

    Jaffe and Strauss withdrew this initiative on October 2. Its not happening.

  • justanon

    What the US needs is “foreign investment tax” like Canada has, there is no reason foreign investors should be able to come in and buy up our housing stock without paying a penalty.
    This would probably drop the price of housing and reduce demand, but good luck getting this past the “free market” crowd.

    • LFOldTimer

      Thankfully you’re just a bloviator on a comment board and do not actually make economic decisions that determine local, state or national policy. You’d push us into another Great Depression.

      Your opinions are laughable. You welcome indigent illiterate illegal aliens with open arms to America so they can steal jobs from our own citizens and steal government resources from our homeless and needy citizens – then from the other side of your mouth you want to ban foreigners of financial means from bringing their money to America and investing in our domestic infrastructure. LOL!

      I bet you’re a loyal Walmart shopper who loves to buy cheap Chinese stuff too!!! LOL!

      Keep the entertainment coming!!!

      • justanon

        Hey moron, weren’t YOU just b*tching about the “rich foreign nationals”?

        “But I guess they couldn’t afford to offend the rich foreign national home buyers who were too good to live near those who risked and/or sacrificed their lives so all could live free.”

        Ha, ha, ha, you right-wing nut jobs are all willing to cut-your-noses-off-to-spite …. liberals.

        And FYI: that “foreign investor” tax WOULD hit undocumented people too and I have no problem with that.

        • LFOldTimer

          No. Learn to read, Einstein. I didn’t complain about foreign money coming into the country. I complained about foreign nationals putting up a stink about a vets cemetery in the vicinity of a residential property that they wanted to buy. Easy solution. Go buy another property. Another buyer would feel honored to live near a vet cemetery.

          Illegals are dirt poor and have no money to invest. Who are you trying to BS?? ha.

          • justanon

            With your argument “foreign nationals” objections should be given as much weight as any one else’s as long as they have MONEY. In Irvine those “foreign nationals” don’t want to live next to a bunch of dead veterans, it’s the “free market” in action …. chump! LOL!!!

            Another FYI: many undocumented folks have been here for decades and because they’re hard-working many of them OWN homes and businesses! : )

          • LFOldTimer

            “In Irvine those “foreign nationals” don’t want to live next to a bunch of dead veterans..”

            Then they should move someplace else. Many buyers would be honored to live in the area of a vet cemetery. Why won’t that simple concept stick between your ears?

            “Another FYI: many undocumented folks have been here for decades and
            because they’re hard-working many of them OWN homes and businesses!”

            Lots of criminals work hard. It’s hard work to burglarize homes or rob banks. But we don’t reward those criminals for their hard work. Why should we reward criminals who break into the country, steal jobs from our unemployed, steal our identity, steal government resources from our needy citizens, etc…??? The fact that you would distinguish between one class of criminal and another only shows what a hypocrite you truly are.

            Homes owned by illegals should be seized because they were purchased with funds that were obtained from illicit activity during an unlawful presence in the country. Just like a car purchased with drug money is subject to seizure. Again, the fact that you try to distinguish between the two shows both your ignorance and blatant hypocrisy.

            ITIN’s allow the illegals to obtain child tax credits. In 2010 the US taxpayers spent $4 billion dollars on child tax credits for illegal aliens.

            I supposed you approve of that too! lol.

            Why don’t you just move to Mexico and advocate for illegals?

            You seem to have much more in common with them than you do with us. lol.

          • justanon

            You have trouble with FACTS.

            ” Many buyers would be honored to live in the area of a vet cemetery. ”

            Ha, ha, ha, too bad they aren’t who the developers KNOW are going to buy their houses.

            The developers know who wants to buy and can afford their houses (it’s called … research) and those people are “foreign nationals” and they don’t want a stinking cemetery next to their new expensive American homes. The “free market” means money trumps a vet cemetery.

            As for the undocumented owning homes ….. surprise!

            All YOUR RACIST STEREOTYPING about them not having money was just blown to smithereens.

            And they pay taxes, especially SOCIAL SECURITY TAXES, so YOU should really thank your lucky stars that they’re payin’ in and supporting your lazy, old, racist carcass!

            Don’t blame me for telling you the FACTS! Remember, I’m for foreign investors having to pay a premium to buy our real estate.

          • LFOldTimer

            Every time you write a comment you stick your foot halfway down your throat.

            Now you claim that illegal aliens make enough income in California to own homes. It takes an income of well over $100,000 to purchase a home in this state. Yet you claim illegals only take jobs that Americans won’t do! LOL!!! Like scrub toilets. You can’t have it both ways pumpkin puss. Please tell us where to find those $100,000 toilet scrubbing jobs. LOL!

            Anybody with a lick of sense knows that most illegals perform minimum wage type jobs. They come across the border owning only the shirts on their backs. They pay next to nothing in taxes since most are paid under the table. They steal gov resources from our citizen underclass. They steal our identity. They steal jobs from the unemployed citizens. Everybody knows this. You make it sound like they come across the border in 3-piece business suits carrying leather briefcases! LOL!

            Your moronic comments would insult the intelligence of a 4th grader.

          • justanon

            CAN YOU READ????????????
            I didn’t pull those FACTS out of my *ss, they were compiled by the U.S. CENSUS!!!

            YOU are what is WRONG with this country! YOU and your ilk are so deeply committed to your own reality that even when presented with FACTS and the DATA to back it up, you won’t believe it because it doesn’t conform to the total B*LL SH*T you feed on at your right-wing hate sites!!!!

            YOU ARE A DISGUSTINGLY, STUPID AND IGNORANT RACIST!

          • LFOldTimer

            Anybody with the common sense of a 7 year old knows that’s fake news. Liberal propaganda. You stupid liberals keep telling us that illegals take low-paying jobs that Americans don’t want. Now you tell us they own homes worth half a million dollars or more!!! HA!

            Obviously you disrespect our homeless citizens. You disrespect lawful immigrants who play by the rule of law. You disrespect our unemployed citizens. You disrespect American tradition. You promote rewarding those who break our laws and punishing those who obey them.

            No wonder you defend AntiFa.

          • justanon

            Oh, now we’re back to “fake news” in other words, any factual information that doesn’t fit YOUR pre-conceived prejudices.

            Although, YOU are quite the expert on “fake news” YOU believe all kinds of BS, like “Obama killed a million people” and “Hillary killed Seth Rich”, lol! You’re such an easy mark for the “fake news” factories, like Breitbart and Fox.

            You have no capacity to LEARN or take in any new information.

            Yep, you’re a dangerous mix of low IQ, genuine gullibility and hatefulness coupled with absolutely no self-awareness and a ridiculous over-estimation of your cognitive abilities.
            In other words … a typical trump supporter.