FivePoint Seeks Approval of 1,174 Homes in the Great Park Neighborhoods
FivePoint, on behalf of Heritage Fields El Toro, LLC, is seeking approval for 1,174 homes and a park plan modification in the Great Park Neighborhoods at this Thursday’s Planning Commission meeting at 5:30PM. The 1,174 homes will consist of 1,062 market-rate condominium units and 112 affordable apartment units. FivePoint received entitlements (approval) to build a total of 10,556 homes in the Great Park Neighborhoods over the past years — these 1,174 units are included in that number.
According to the staff report,
“There are no other commercial or retail projects under review for the Great Park Neighborhoods at this time.”
“At the March 3, 2022 Planning Commission meeting, the Commission requested that FivePoint provide an update on the retail strategy for the Great Park Neighborhoods. Five Point representatives have indicated that they have been focusing on a review of the company’s retail strategy and are planning to provide the Commission with a verbal update at its May 19, 2022 meeting.”
This may be the first meeting where we get to meet and hear from FivePoint’s new Chief Executive Officer, Dan Hedigan.
Note: In order for FivePoint to obtain approval to build the 10,556 homes, they had submitted plans for local retail to accommodate the homes at the time of initial approval. However, FivePoint has requested changes over the years. There is no current retail strategy or plan in place that has been made known to the public. And the FivePoint X plan in District 1-South, is no longer being pursued, which the public was notified of at the April 2022 Great Park Board meeting.
The project site is generally bounded by Irvine Boulevard to the north, Chinon to the west, Harrier to the south, and Lynx and the Great Park Wildlife Corridor to the east. Access to the project site occurs on Chinon, Merit, and Lynx via Irvine Boulevard. Additionally, the project can be accessed from Cadence and Astor. New connections to private courts and private ways within the proposed master plan will provide direct access to the proposed residential units and park sites.
Per the Staff Report:
In 2018, the Planning Commission approved Vesting Tentative Tract Map (VTTM) 18165, a Master Plan, and a Park Plan for Development District 5 of the Great Park Neighborhoods. The subdivision map anticipated development of homes, approximately 44,600-square-foot of multi-use development, and a child care facility. A conditional use permit for a child care facility was submitted, however, that application is still pending.
Through the intervening years, there have been several revisions to the underlying master plan and modifications to the underlying park plan. The various revisions/modifications were as a result of additional maps and master plan approvals that resulted in changes to the number and type of market rate and affordable rate units for the project site. The approved development for the boundary of District 5-North consists of 1,686 market rate dwelling units and 144 affordable units.
In the summer of 2021, the City of Irvine approved VTTM 19130 (Development District 5-South and Development District 6-North). This map was approved for the subdivision of approximately 193 acres for future development of up to 1,335 residential units, private parks, roadways, and landscape purposes in VTTM 19130.
Proximity to Amphitheater
Per the Staff Report:
“The interim FivePoint amphitheater and associated parking and access is currently located along the proposed southwest boundary line of the project site in Development District 6. The amphitheater was approved under an Interim Use Permit (00686703-PPA) by the Irvine City Council March 14, 2017 for a period of three years. As a result of pandemic, the City of Irvine granted the amphitheater an additional year to operate until December 2021. Subsequently, the City of Irvine granted the amphitheater a second extension to operate until December 2023.”
“According to FivePoint, the Interim Use Permit and associated land lease agreement between FivePoint and Live Nation, the operator for the amphitheater, will be modified, as appropriate, to address potential compatibility issues with future residential development in the area and to accommodate any future operation of the amphitheater until December 2023.”
“The project area is a predominately residential neighborhood with private neighborhood parks and schools like Portola High School and a K-8 public school that is under construction.”
While the staff report states “the roadways within the project area are designed with reduced widths… to promote traffic calming and enhance pedestrian/cyclist safety,” there have been concerns address by members of the public in years prior regarding the narrow roads and narrow bike lanes.
Municipal Code Section 5-5-1004(G) allows affordable projects to utilize a reduced neighborhood parkland dedication rate of 2 acres per 1,000 residents upon making applicable findings. As applied to this project, if approved, the affordable unit dedication requirements would be reduced from 0.49 acres to 0.33 acres for the 112-unit family affordable apartment project. The findings required to grant the neighborhood parkland reduction for affordable units are:
a. The reduction in park dedication will help lower the cost of construction of the units planned for Income Level II, III, or IV households;
b. The new affordable units will be guaranteed as affordable for low-income households for a minimum of 30 years; and
c. Projects for family units will be located within one-half mile of a publicly maintained park and/or school playground.
By reducing the park dedication obligation for the affordable units only, the project increases its revenues and offsets developer costs for providing affordable units. Additionally, the project developer has entered into a contract with the City, known as a Density Bonus Housing Agreement, which requires that these units remain affordable in perpetuity. Staff has also verified that the 112-unit family affordable project is within one-half mile of a publicly maintained park (Great Park) and future school playground (future K-8 School/District 5-North). Therefore, this project qualifies to utilize the reduced park dedication standard.
For information on how to attend the meeting or submit a public comment click here.