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Irvine leaders are back on the drawing board and have approved a new concept for the future of Great Park – Orange County Register

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Specially themed botanical gardens surrounding Veterans Memorial Park. A working farm that can feed local retailers. Extensive meadows and marsh gardens bordering a flowing lake.

These are some of the ideas at the top of a new conceptual plan that Irvine leaders will use to guide the future development of hundreds of acres within Great Park.

Drawing on recent outreach events and public input gathered over decades of park planning, city officials have devised a plan that will serve as a “framework” for the park’s future amenities and attractions, Mayor Oliver said. Mr Chi said.

The plan is focused on the first 313 acres of land yet to be developed. Beyond that, about 450 more acres remain unsketched.

After spending years and millions of dollars developing a meticulous plan for Great Park, city leaders last year decided to go back to the drawing board and plan for future development. We have revamped our public outreach campaign to gather new information. In 2,900 survey responses, people said they wanted a location that was “the West Coast equivalent of Central Park.” “There will be cultural uses, open spaces. It’s truly a world-class park setting.”

A botanical garden, a museum, a library and an amphitheater are among the facilities residents want, he said.

The new conceptual plan focuses on the future development of the first 313 acres of undeveloped land in Irvine’s Great Park. Beyond that, about 450 more acres remain to be planned. (Courtesy of the City of Irvine)

The conceptual plan, recently submitted to and approved by the city council, is the “first step” to organize and advance the Great Park project, which has gained widespread support from city officials and residents, said Chee. .

The framework outlines a series of attractions scattered across several corners of the Great Park, from improvements to existing sports parks to the woodland ambiance of the Bosque Trail, the Museum of Cultural Terraces, and new attractions in the heart of the park. I’m explaining. The staff calls it “the heart of the park”.

The city council had previously indicated that it wanted a large botanical garden with a dedicated 125-acre Veterans Memorial Park known as the ARDA site. The conceptual plan envisions the first 30 acres to feature a main garden planted with native California plants, surrounded by other themed spaces such as a children’s playground and a butterfly garden. A veterans park leads to the adjacent 5 acres next to the library and terraces. And public squares can connect all the elements.

City officials expect this first phase of the gardens and memorial park to cost about $36 million.

Just south of the gardens, on approximately 140 acres in the heart of Great Park, is an outdoor amphitheater and plans to explore natural features such as a lake, a 700-foot-wide “meadow” and a farm.

Officially, it envisions two blue lakes where people can walk across bridges along boardwalks, incorporating elements that showcase wetland habitats. Agricultural components include barns, culinary laboratories, and regular farmer’s market spaces.

The Meadow is also a possible space for a memorial to the Armenian Genocide. Mayor Farah Khan said he would investigate a video posted of a meeting with a man who denied genocide after it was criticized by the Armenian community earlier this year. .

A large outdoor amphitheater that will permanently replace the temporary Five Points Amphitheater will anchor the space. City officials are working with concert his promoter Live Nation from April to find a site for at least 20 acres of concert venues within Great Park.

Already home to the new Wild Rivers Water Park, Cultural Terrace, attractions such as the Flying Leathernecks and the California Fire Museum are expected to find a home in the historic hangars left over from the former El Toro Marine Corps Base. I’m here.

And in addition to the vast soccer and volleyball courts and ball fields already built, city officials are also coming up with ideas for a gym and community center, swimming facilities in partnership with USA Water Polo, and food and beverage options for Great Park visitors. outlined.

Officials said they are looking at how best to connect park elements through walking and biking trails and the flow of traffic through the park, among all ideas for new facilities.

With $580 million in funding dedicated to Great Park on hand, Qi said Tuesday that the city’s available funds are sufficient to fund and sustain the projects being considered in the conceptual plan. Stated.

Qi said city leaders’ approval of the outline paved the way for authorities to begin pursuing contracts and design plans.

Alderman Larry Aglan, who has argued that the ARDA site should be dedicated to a larger veterans memorial space and surrounding park, voted against the plan last week. Many of the framework’s ideas require “more consideration, more discussion, and more public participation,” he said.

Agreements with Live Nation for the amphitheater and US Water Polo for the water facility are expected to be submitted to the City Council in September.

Chee and city staff said they were focused on fulfilling their promise to fill more of Great Park after years of properly starting off from previous planning attempts. Aside from the sports sector, the development vision “moved from the beginning to the end and moved forward due to various influences,” said Qi, including a lack of consensus on how to proceed with the veteran’s plans. Grand Park Cemetery.

But it should be encouraging this time around to have a “comprehensive plan” for next steps, with parliamentary majority approval, Qi said.

“This time, we will make sure we keep our promise to build the Great Park.”

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