Irvine Finalizes Plans to Establish Gateway Preserve

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

On April 11, at its special meeting, the Irvine City Council unanimously approved plans to acquire and close the All American Asphalt plant, while also establishing the Gateway Preserve, a nearly 700-acre open space preserve located in the hills above North Irvine.

Once established, the Gateway Preserve will create a new hub for hiking, biking, and enjoyment of the outdoors, while also serving as an entry point – a gateway – to the vast 20,000-acre Northern Open Space Preserve. It will connect to Limestone Canyon, Black Star Canyon, and extend to the Cleveland National Forest. The location will serve a broad range of outdoor experiences for residents and visitors alike, as it sits adjacent to residential neighborhoods, the Native Seed Farm, and some of the region’s most productive avocado fields.

Gateway Preserve is made possible, in part, through the acquisition and closure of the All American Asphalt Plant. The 11-acre site will be incorporated into the Preserve and be replaced with a park, interpretive area, and staging ground for hikes in the open space. The closure of the asphalt plant provides a final solution to the long-standing concerns of North Irvine residents and neighbors. Funds to acquire the asphalt plant will come from the sale of developable land that the Irvine Company is transferring to the City.

“I take pride in the City of Irvine’s unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability and preserving our exceptional quality of life,” said Mayor Farrah N. Khan. “The creation of the Gateway Preserve is an incredible testament to what the City, in partnership with the community, can accomplish when goals and visions align. This monumental agreement is a remarkable achievement for our community and residents of North Irvine.” 

As part of the overall transaction, the Irvine Company is dedicating 91 acres of land to the City, called the Gateway Land. A portion of the Gateway Land will be maintained to allow for the Jeffrey Open Space Trail, which will span Portola Parkway by way of a new pedestrian bridge that will continue along Jeffrey Road to its new terminus at the entrance of the Gateway Preserve.

"The acquisition of the All American Asphalt plant is a significant milestone for the City of Irvine and our community,” said Councilmember Larry Agran, who serves on the AAA City Council subcommittee. “The closure of the plant and the restoration of the site to its natural state will greatly enhance the quality of life for residents. The process was complex and challenging, but City staff and many individuals involved have worked commendably to ensure that the outcome will be a benefit to all Irvine residents for generations to come."

In addition to the JOST, the City will be exploring use of the Gateway Land at the northeast corner of Jeffrey Road and Portola Parkway for development. After the appropriate environmental study, this land will be considered for entitlement as the City’s newest residential village. The Gateway Land is envisioned to include a collection of homes that complement the masterplan for the North Irvine area, and brings a variety of new housing options to the community. 

“It is the responsibility of this City Council to uphold the exceptional quality of life as envisioned by our masterplan,” said Councilmember Mike Carroll, who also serves as a member of the AAA City Council subcommittee. “By listening to our residents and proactively addressing their concerns, we have been able to create dedicated open space and eliminate a public nuisance, while creating a hub for hiking, biking, and enjoyment of the outdoors. That is the Gateway Preserve.”

For more information about Gateway Preserve, visit

View Gateway Preserve video.

View Gateway Preserve photos.