Irvine City staff are asking questions about the future of idle portions of a proposed 125-acre veterans’ cemetery – possibly eyeing vacant parcels for commercial development. Veteran leaders are publicly worrying that an expected Tuesday vote to finalize a controversial land swap for the vets cemetery could be in doubt along with key aspects of the deal to bring a state veterans’ cemetery to Irvine.
The Irvine City Council, citing fears that pending state legislation could cost it money, rejected its staff’s top ranked firms and instead awarded one of the lowest-rated companies a contract to help upgrade wireless communications inside the Great Park.
“I need to put my trust in someone to help me resolve that conflict,” said Councilman Jeff Lalloway, who made the motion to hire a consultant and bring the issue back for a vote Sept 12. “When public safety is involved, this is way too important of an issue just to dismiss.”
Developer Greater Far East will have to wait until July 25 to see if the council will overrule the commission because some council members said they didn’t have enough information to decide whether to overturn the Orange County Airport Land Use Commission’s (ALUC) April 20 decision or uphold it.
The Irvine City Council, in a special meeting as soon as Tuesday, is likely to move a proposed veterans cemetery from the heart of the old El Toro Marine Base to a developer-owned strawberry field next to the 5 and 405 freeways.
As websites like Airbnb have created a boom in short-term rentals, council members want to update the city’s rules on when and how private homes can be rented out. But they want to study the issue first.