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Orange County Board of Supervisors to Consider Final Program EIR for Proposed El Toro 100-Acre Parcel Development Plan
County of Orange, Lowe, to recommend Reduced Intensity and Reduced Density Alternative
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Carrie Braun
Public Information Manager
Santa Ana, Calif. — The proposed El Toro 100-Acre Parcel Development Plan, along with the Final Program Environmental Impact Report (FPEIR), will be presented to the Orange County Board of Supervisors on Nov. 14 for final approval. On Nov. 3, the County issued a Notice of Availability for the FPEIR, which addresses potential environment impacts and recommends the environmentally superior alternative – the Reduced Intensity and Reduced Density Alternative – as the preferred project.
The development of the FPEIR and El Toro 100-Acre Parcel Development Plan is the culmination of a process that has involved at least 10 years of research, more than 70 meetings with community stakeholders and the creation of a proposed Reduced Density Alternative.
“The County is interested in the development of our real estate assets to create long-term revenue streams and return value to the taxpayers,” said Frank Kim, County Executive Officer. “The proposed Reduced Density Alternative reduces the impacts identified in the initial draft EIR while providing the potential to generate long-term revenue to support services for the County as a whole.”
On March 4, 2003, the County of Orange, the City of Irvine and the Irvine Redevelopment Agency entered into a three-party Property Tax Transfer and Pre-Annexation Agreement regarding the annexation and reuse of the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. As part of the Pre-Annexation Agreement, the City agreed to convey a number of parcels to the County, including the 100-Acre Parcel at the southern edge of the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro in Irvine, free of charge.
In 2012, the private real estate company Lowe was selected to assist the County in the entitlement and subsequent development of the 100-Acre Parcel. Lowe and the County worked together to master-plan the 100-Acre Parcel leading to the release of the Notice of Preparation (NOP), which proposed a project that was significantly more intense and impactful than the Reduced Intensity and Reduced Density Alternative.
Since then, the County and Lowe have held meetings with a variety of community stakeholders and government officials to share their vision for the El Toro 100-Acre Parcel in an effort to develop a mixed-use project that would complement the surrounding Great Park developments.
In November 2016, the County and Lowe released a draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and began a 60-day public comment period, in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Both parties reviewed comments submitted during the public review of the EIR, addressed concerns and continued to work with community stakeholders to solicit feedback on the best use of the 100-Acre Parcel Project.
“The County and Lowe conducted significant market analysis, extensive community outreach and listened carefully to stakeholders comments,” said Lowe Senior Vice President Rob Reitenour. “With this valuable input, we proposed a smaller project known as the Reduced Density Alternative that will unite retail, recreation, hotel, apartments, and office uses to create a destination and add vibrancy to the community.”
The proposed Reduced Density Alternative places an emphasis on providing business and lifestyle benefits. It is projected to generate commerce in the city of Irvine, including approximately a $2.5 million one-time sales tax revenue and nearly $1.6 billion in annual economic output. It is also projected to create more than 9,000 jobs each year and 1,998 units of much-needed for-rent housing options. The proposed Reduced Density Alternative balances morning/evening traffic and reduces vehicle trips by roughly 25 percent compared to the originally proposed project. It creates affordable housing, adapts an existing building for new uses and supports the use of mass transit through the adjacent Irvine Transportation Center.
The County of Orange is the project proponent and lead agency; Lowe is serving as the County’s development partner and was selected for its extensive experience tackling complex real estate issues and ability to create innovative, lasting environments that connect people and places.
To view the Agenda Staff Report item for the Nov. 14 Board of Supervisors meeting, along with a copy of the FPEIR, visithttp://bit.ly/2zcGtG5.
For more information about Lowe, visit http://bit.ly/2zaNYgN.
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