Supporters who want to build Orange County’s first veterans cemetery near the heart of the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station rather than on strawberry fields near the 5 and 405 freeways, turned in more than 18,500 signatures Thursday to call a special election on the issue.
Orange County’s first veterans cemetery was dedicated Friday at what is now strawberry fields near the 5 and 405 interchange, marking a milestone in a battle fought by county veterans for over 15 years.
The city of Irvine and developer FivePoint Holdings are sponsoring a flag raising and dedication ceremony today for Orange County’s first veterans cemetery on what are now strawberry fields next to the 5 and 405 freeway interchange.
Orange County’s first veterans cemetery will be 125 acres from the beginning, despite earlier uncertainties, after the Irvine City Council voted 3-2 to transfer all of the land, along with the deed, to the California Department of Veterans Affairs following a land swap with a developer.
The Irvine City Council has scheduled a last-minute special meeting at 4 p.m. today to discuss specifics for a land swap with developer FivePoint Holdings that could lead to Orange County’s first veterans cemetery.
The Irvine City Council is rumored to have scheduled a closed session discussion of the veterans cemetery during its Sept. 26 meeting. The discussion reportedly will include using 100 acres of the veterans cemetery land for hotels, homes or other commercial purposes until the land is needed to bury veterans.
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.