Irvine Land Trust | Updates & Concerns
Patrick Strader (via phone)
Land Trust Chair Melissa Fox was in Sacramento
Irvine Community Land Trust
The Land Trust was created by the city council in 2006 for the creation of permanently affordable housing. In its 13 years of existence, the city has given the land trust $72 million in cash and land and was operated for 11 years as part of the city housing managers responsibilities. The Trust was always required to provide periodic reports to the city on its activities and finances until the Land Trust voted to become “independent” in 2017-18. Currently, councilmembers Melissa Fox and Anthony Kuo represent the City on the Land Trust.
The Land Trust Board voted 3-1 at their June 17, 2019 meeting to provide certain financials (not all) as was requested by the City. This information was routinely available for public review before the Board made critical bylaw changes in 2017-18, and comes 9 months after the city was told they would be receiving this info. Board member Patrick Strader, VP of StarPointe Ventures voted no to the request for providing the city with any financial information.
The City requested that reports include comprehensive details for each of the following:
- Annual beginning of year budget
- Quarterly budget updates
- Annual end of year audit
- Financial settlement statements for each completed project
Why did the Land Trust Board amend the bylaws to change their relationship with the city, and what authority did the Land Trust have to make this decision? We asked. We looked. We found no documentation from the city directing the Land Trust to separate from the city.
The remaining city funds due the Land Trust are $22,669,070 and based on city projections the final payments should be made in fiscal year 2024-25. This is a lot of money and Irvine residents should know how it’s being spent. Where is the state transparency law (Brown Act) & the Irvine Sunshine Ordinance when you need it?