City Council in the News – State Veterans Cemetery Land Swap

City Council in the News – Votes and Direction on Major Issues in 2017 and 2018


Irvine in the News

January 9, 2018, Irvine City Council Regular Meeting regarding the future state veterans cemetery.


The City Council called a special municipal election to be consolidated with the Statewide Primary on June 5, to bring a referendum to the qualified voters of the City that contests the City’s land swap of 125-acre parcels near the Orange County Great Park, for the purpose of a state veterans cemetery. The City Council had four options: call a special election on 1) April 10, 2) June 5 or 3) place the referendum on the General Municipal Election ballot on November 6; or, 4) , or to repeal Ordinance No. 17-08, which approved the zone change to reflect a land exchange with master developer FivePoint.

To view the Agenda, “Certification of sufficiency for referendum petition against Ordinance No. 17-08 and discussion of corresponding City Council election actions related thereto, go to:

Item 6.1:

To watch ICTV: Item 6.1:

Maps: To view distinctive maps of sites, click here 

Irvine in the News

September 26, 2017, Irvine City Council Special Meeting and Regular Meeting regarding the future state veterans cemetery.


The City Council approved a land swap with developer FivePoint that immediately dedicates 125 acres of land to the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) to build a State Veterans Cemetery just south of the Orange County Great Park, on the former El Toro Marine Base. The land exchange agreement vote follows up on the City Council’s intent in June 2017 to swap land with the developer, an exchange that provides FivePoint with the land at the original ARDA veterans cemetery location, a site that was approved in 2014. Both sites are 125 acres. A Zone Change was also approved September 26 by the City Council as FivePoint has requested a transfer of its already entitled 812,000 square feet of R&D uses to its new site, just north of the Great Park. Time and manner of dedicating, planning, developing, and constructing the State Veterans Cemetery is now solely in CalVet’s hands.

To view the Agenda for both the approved Implementation Agreement and the Zone Change, go to:

Implementation Agreement, Item 1.1:
Watch ICTV Now 

Zone Change, Item 3.1:
Watch ICTV Now 

To view distinctive maps of sites, click here 

In other action:

Irvine City Council gave direction to staff to submit a request for proposal (RFP) for Amazon HQ2. Amazon recently announced it is seeking bids for a second corporate headquarters and will consider North American cities and regions. Amazon’s intent is to open its first phase of 500,000 square feet of corporate space in 2019; its plan is to incorporate 8 million square feet and hire about 50,000 highly paid employees over the next 10-15 years. City staff is working with its development partners and will submit the RFP by the October 19 deadline. Amazon has reported that it will make a decision on location in 2018.

To view Mayor Donald P. Wagner’s memo to the City Council to consider directing staff to submit an RFP, which the City Council approved:

Memo, Item 4.2:


Irvine in the News

June 27, 2017, Orange County Great Park Board and City Council meetings: Recommend that the City Council approve an exclusive negotiating agreement with Wild Rivers, LLC, to bring a water park to the Orange County Great Park.


The City Council, acting on the recommendation of the Great Park Board, approved the beginning of negotiations between the City and Wild Rivers that could result in a water park opening by summer 2019. Wild Rivers, which operated a water park on private land in Irvine until it was closed in 2011, recently was chosen through an RFP, a bidding process that chooses a potential vendor. Now comes Period One, which would include preliminary site planning and development of a lease. Period Two includes environmental analysis and specific approval of a lease by the City Council. Should the various steps be approved by the City Council, a site would become available at the Great Park for construction, with a grand opening in about two years.

In other actions:

The Great Park Board approved moving forward with a 188-acre golf course as part of the more than 713 acres that are being developed at the Great Park by FivePoint, on behalf of the City of Irvine. The Great Park Board also directed staff to negotiate an agreement with a group run by A.G. Kawamura, the former state of California Agriculture Director and the longtime contractor of the 70-acre urban farm at the Great Park. The negotiation will focus on his vision of a Full Circle Farm concept that would include the City’s Farm + Food Lab and tie into organic farming, the Farmers Market, and programs to enhance healthy eating, among other uses.

To view Agenda Item 2.1:

To view the ICTV replay of the Great Park Board meeting that aired live on Channel 30, beginning at 24:01:


Irvine in the News

June 6, 2017, City Council Special Meeting on “Consideration of a request from Mayor Wagner and Councilmember Fox to Change the Designated Site for the Veterans Cemetery”


The City Council voted for the Resolution to begin the process for a land swap between the City of Irvine and private developer FivePoint regarding the State Veterans Cemetery. The parcels, both on the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro and both just outside the boundaries of the Orange County Great Park, are about equal in size. The map here shows the two sites – the City-owned ARDA site in the northern part of the map, and the FivePoint “A-B-C” site in the southern part of the map.

What the Resolution says:

Section 1.  That the City Council of the City of Irvine hereby rescinds its July 22, 2014 designation of the ARDA Transfer Site as the best possible site for a State Veterans Cemetery, and re-designates the District 2 Site as the best possible site for a State Veterans Cemetery.

Section 2.  That the City of Irvine expresses its intent to pursue a mutually satisfactory land exchange with Heritage Fields of the ARDA Transfer Site for the District 2 Site.

Section 3. That the City of Irvine expresses its intent to, upon completion of a land exchange with Heritage Fields, convey up to 125 acres of the District 2 Site to the State for purposes of creating the Southern California Veterans Cemetery – subject to all necessary and appropriate studies, procedures, and agreements with the State and Federal governments.

To view the Agenda and the Resolution:

To view the ICTV replay of the City Council meeting that aired live on Channel 30: