The location of Orange County’s first veterans cemetery remains unclear after the Irvine City Council directed staff to identify a site in or around the Great Park and put the project through the planning process. Councilman Jeff Lalloway brought a motion Tuesday night to reinstate original cemetery site near the heart of the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, adjacent to the Great Park. But, before it could go to a vote, Mayor Don Wagner introduced a substitute motion that directs different commissions and city staff to start studying the original site and explore other city-owned land. “Give me a site,” Wagner told Voice of OC after the meeting. “You tell me where it can be … is it a golf course (that’s slated to be built in the Great Park)?
Irvine voters will decide June 5 if they want to keep the ability to vote on city development projects after Mayor Don Wagner proposed two ballot questions, including one that would exempt developments approved by the City Council from voter approval.
Orange County’s long-anticipated veterans cemetery took a big step forward in 2017 with a developer’s land swap that moved it from the heart of the former El Toro Marine Air Corps Station to strawberry fields near the junction of the 5 and 405 freeways. But enough voters signed a petition to move it back to the main base that the city council will have to decide Jan. 9 whether to reverse itself or put the issue on the ballot.
Councilmembers also voted to have the phrase e pluribus unum – Latin for “out of many, one” — emblazoned in the meeting chambers. The gesture is a reminder of an ongoing effort by the council’s Republican majority to cast the city in a more conservative light.