Great Park Neighborhoods developer Heritage Fields El Toro is seeking to more than double the number of homes surrounding the Orange County Great Park, according to the Voice of OC. They also reported that “the developer is proposing to build 10,700 residential units, far more than the 4,894 units already approved by the Irvine City Council. The developer would reduce the area dedicated to nonresidential uses to mitigate the impacts of the new homes.”
Why did the Great Park’s Board of Directors vote to greatly increase the number of homes at the Great Park? Simple. Developer Fees. And you can bet that some of those fees will find their way back to Great Park Board Member Beth Krom’s campaign for Irvine Mayor, and Irvine Council Member Sukhee Kang’s Congressional campaign. Don’t forget that Kang is a member of the Great Park’s Board, and Krom is their Board Chairman.
The irony here is that the Great Park will now feature some twenty to thirty thousand cars, as no doubt the folks that move into those homes will have at least two to three cars per home. Now let me get this straight, wasn’t the point of the Great Park to keep things sedate in Irvine by preventing the construction of a new airport at the former El Toro Marine Base? Does John Wayne Airport have twenty to thirty thousand cars driving in and out every day? Fail!
To make matters worse for the Great Park’s Board of Directors, when California Governor Jerry Brown killed redevelopment, he took away the Great Park’s main funding source. So now the Great Park’s Board of Directors is having to cut their budget. Lord knows how they are going to make their bond payments…
“The Orange County Great Park Board of Directors Thursday approved a fiscal year 2012-13 budget with significant cuts to no-bid contracts, including the $100,000-per-month compensation for public relations firm Forde & Mollrich,” according to the Voice of OC.
One has to wonder why in the world Krom and Kang ever thought that the Great Park needed to spend $100,000 a month on public relations. Spending $50,000 a month on public relations is still a giant waste of money. Irvine Council Members Jeff Lalloway and Steven Choi are both asking the Great Park’s Board of Directors, which they belong to as well, to slash that expenditure even further.
Kang is running against U.S. Rep. John Campbell. Good luck with that Kang. Not only does he have egg on his face with regard to the Great Park, he also belongs to a party that is trying to raise taxes in California, with two such ballot measures. Again, fail!
Ready for more irony? An airport at El Toro would have paid for itself. And it might have generated less traffic than the homes at the Great Park ultimately will. If you hate being stuck on the 5 and 405 freeways, while driving though Irvine, you will hate that even more once these homes get built. Krom and Kang’s lasting legacy will be over-development and traffic congestion, not to mention wasting hundreds of thousands of public dollars. Nice job Agranistas!