Major Programs Completed/Milestones Reached – September 2016-December 2018
Orange County Great Park
- The 1,300-acre Orange County Great Park is the largest public park project now underway in the U.S. Several hundred acres of parkland are under development, and beginning summer 2018 and through year’s end, several more facilities and fields will be turned over to the City for community public use. These are the 1-mile long Great Park bike and pedestrian trails; seven baseball fields that include a 1,000-seat baseball stadium; five softball fields that include a 500-seat stadium; six artificial turf soccer/lacrosse fields; four basketball courts; a Children’s Playground; and an 18-acre Flex Field in which up to four playing fields can be added for tournament use.
- Grand openings since August 2017 have totaled 183 acres.
- Park development is under a public-private partnership with FivePoint that involves 688 acres.
- Separately, the Anaheim Ducks-owned Great Park Ice – the largest ice facility in the state with four sheets of ice and one of the largest in the country at 270,000 square feet – will open by the end of 2018 at the Great Park. Ice time will include public skating, youth hockey games and tournaments, and figure skating. The Ducks affiliate has spent $100 million on the project.
- More affordable housing apartment complexes opened in 2018, continuing with the City Council’s focus of serving extremely low income, very low income, low income, developmentally disabled, and veterans.
- The 80-unit Parc Derian Apartments in the Irvine Business Complex finished construction in May 2018; a grand opening was held in August 2018.
- The 157-unit Luxaira Apartments located in the Great Park was completed in February 2018; a grand opening was held in August 2018.
- Two mixed-income apartment properties opened in the IBC in 2017 and 2018, Metropolis and Rize, adding 91 units of affordable housing.
- Implementation this year of the newly adopted Sunshine Ordinance, providing increased transparency and public participation.
- Upgrade of the City’s Electronic Content Management System from SIRE to OnBase that included the migration of 16 million electronic records.
- Certified the November 4, 2016 Election that included the coordination of a countywide Voting Center that served thousands of voters over nine days, including weekends.
- Conducted a Special Election on June 5, 2018.
- The City Clerk’s Office has been awarded $100,000 from the state Department of Finance to be used for strategic U.S. Census outreach efforts.
Community Development – Entitlements
- Working on final entitlements in Northern Sphere (Portola Springs, Orchard Hills). Building permit and construction activity is ongoing.
- Completed approximately half of the entitlements for Great Park Neighborhoods. Building permit activity and construction is ongoing.
Community Development – Hotels
- Five hotels have opened in the past two years, with more than 760 rooms, reflecting the need for business stays. A sixth hotel, the 200-room Staybridge, is expected to open in early 2019. The new hotels: Homewood Suites; AC Hotel by Marriott; Hyatt House; Hampton Inn; Marriott Irvine.
- Great Park staff added more than 100 acres of operations skill as the Sports Complex had major openings in August 2017 and September 2018.
- Public outreach was conducted for a draft update to the Senior Services Strategic Plan regarding key issues facing senior community members.
- The Disabilities Services Needs Assessment was completed to guide the development of the department’s Comprehensive Programs and Services Plan. Additionally, final design was completed to facilitate Disability Services program relocation to Sweet Shade Neighborhood Park.
- Launched Your Irvine campaign and branding to encourage use of the City’s new registration site at yourirvine.org.
- The Trust for Public Land ranked Irvine in the top 10 nationwide in its annual Parkscore index of 100 largest U.S. cities for a third straight year. New parks and community centers continue to be opened by staff, with Portola Community Park set to open in January 2019. For 2017-18, staff managed nearly 8,000 facility reservation permits for more than 42,000 individual reservations. In that time period, staff managed adult sports leagues with more than 500 softball teams, 430 basketball teams, and 450 soccer teams.
- The City Council approved funding to construct a new Animal Care Center. For 2017-18, Animal Care staff managed more than 2,310 pet adoptions and reunifications.
- For 2017-18, TRIPS provided 17,000 rides with 12 vans to 451 participants. Additionally, staff provided 115,000 meals through three programs, including Meals on Wheels.
- Quail Hill Community Center earned the California Parks and Recreation Society Award of Excellence in Facility Design for its outstanding benefit to the community.
- Shop Irvine! outreach is ongoing to educate the public on the importance of buying local, and the value of sales tax to a community.
- Organic pesticides, ongoing support, homepage presence, and outreach on the City of Irvine’s Organic Pesticides Program.
- Drowning Prevention Partnership with OCFA, ongoing ICTV, homepage, and video support.
- Annual State of the City Address and Chamber Business Lunch with the Mayor includes prep work, meetings, and speaking points with the Mayor prior to and in support of his two major speeches each year.
- PIO Division staff continued working across departments to design and community strategic programs, including the new Transparency Portal on the homepage
- The Irvine Police Department (IPD) created a Mounted Unit to enhance public safety. The Mounted Unit currently consists of two officers and a sergeant.
- IPD expanded the capabilities of its mental health/homeless outreach unit by adding an additional officer to the team. In March 2018, the unit was recognized as a finalist for the prestigious James Q. Wilson Award for Excellence in Community Policing.
- Public Safety enhanced its partnership with Irvine Unified School District and Tustin Unified School District by adding a D.A.R.E. officer to serve our elementary schools as well as a School Resource Officer assigned to the new Portola High School.
- Added personnel to the Traffic Unit to meet the needs of our community, recognizing that traffic safety is a top City priority.
- Re-established a policing team at the Irvine Spectrum Center to enhance public safety for community members and tourists who visit the recently expanded shopping and entertainment destination. The unit consists of two officers and a sergeant.
- The new Transportation Commission held its first meeting in May 2017, and a Transportation Director was hired to directly oversee the Transportation Department. The Commission is engaged in all aspects of traffic and transportation matters in accordance with City Council policy direction.
- Two new iShuttle routes will expand the ‘last mile’ commuter trips. One new route will support what is in place between the Irvine Station and businesses and destinations in the Irvine Spectrum, and the other between the Tustin Metrolink Station and the City’s other major business area, the Irvine Business Complex.
- Completed plans, specifications, and estimates for Protected-Permissive Left Turn Phasing for five locations; construction has commenced and will be completed in early 2019.
- Executed a cooperative agreement with Caltrans for Citywide Traffic Signal Synchronization:
- Caltrans has begun work with the City to upgrade 40 signals and improve synchronization plans throughout the City.
Public Works Department
- The 300-seat Council Chamber’s major renovation will be complete in late November to better serve the public during public meetings, including City Council meetings. Upgrades in technology, audio, and visual will better inform the public who either attend in person or watch on ICTV. The Public Works Department has been assisted by the PIO Division and the City Clerk’s Office on technology needs and public access.
Public Schools Opened/Supported by Ongoing City Council funding
- Fall 2016: Beacon Park School (K-8) and Portola High School (IUSD’s fifth comprehensive high school)
- Fall 2017: Eastwood Elementary
- Fall 2018: Cadence Park School (K-8)
- Irvine remains the Safest City of 250,000 or more in the nation, based upon FBI statistics for violent crime. Staff determined the latest designation in September 2018, reflecting 2017 data, for a 13th consecutive year.
- One of the City’s distinctions is a growing parks system, including the newly opened Quail Hill Community Center, Eastwood Park, and Portola Community Park, the latter of which opens in January 2019. In each of the past three years, the City of Irvine has been ranked in the top 10 of best park systems by The Trust for Public Land. Also, in April 2018, City officials and partners celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Irvine Open Space Initiative. In June 1988, Irvine voters overwhelmingly approved a plan to permanently preserve open space that will total 16,000 acres by buildout – about one-third of the City’s 66 square miles.