Great Park Board Meeting (9/24/19) – Surprises and Concerns
Great Park Board Members Present:
Chair Farrah Khan
Mayor Christina Shea
Mayor Pro Tem Anthony Kuo
Council-member Michael Carroll
Council-member Melissa Fox
The Great Park Board met on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. Here are the highlights:
Permanent Location for FivePoint Amphitheatre
A representative from Live Nation was invited to address the Great Park Board and provide an update on the Amphitheatre. The Board discussed the item and unanimously passed a motion to start the process of finding a permanent location. Mayor Pro Tem Kuo requested to have a fast, streamlined negotiation process.
FivePoint is Live Nation’s partner on the project. The Amphitheatre is currently operating on private property owned by FivePoint, adjacent to the Great Park.
Note: The discussion to relocate the FivePoint Amphitheatre, an impactful decision for many residents, was not listed on the agenda. Therefore, the Board should not have discussed or voted on this item which was brought up by a member of the public, in this case a Live Nation representative. Yet, a vote was held and a decision was made without public notice.
Only items posted on meeting agendas can be discussed and voted on during
Great Park Board, City Council, or Commission meetings.
Meeting agendas must be posted with related documents prior to the meeting and
the public must be given the opportunity to comment.
Great Park Master Plan
The Master Plan will be on next month’s agenda. Chair Khan directed the Great Park staff to prepare a Great Park Master Plan and provide ongoing updates at each meeting.
Note: A Memo dated August 6, 2019, to Great Park Executive Director John Russo stated, “OC Great Park Chair Khan and Mayor Shea would like to bring forth a series of public discussions on the development of the OC Great Park. Specifically, where we are now and where we are going, to create transparency with Irvine community members about all upcoming projects and proposals.”
This item was sent to GP Executive Director Russo seven weeks ago. However, at the meeting, there were no staff reports, no staff presentations — nothing was prepared for this meeting except a brief, unrevealing update.
Great Park Operations Building Approved
The Council unanimously approved to increase the budget for “Design and Engineering Services” for this Capital Improvement Project to $1.9M based on the space needs assessment and expansion of services. The previous contract value was $636k. For more info click HERE.
Great Park Balloon Rides Continue
The Board unanimously approved to extend the contract for the balloon operation for an additional month, ending at the end of October, at the cost of $33,175. The Board indicated they are very close to a sponsorship deal with private funding for the ongoing operation of the balloon.
Co-Authored by Susan Sayre and Jeanne Baran
DougElliottSeptember 26, 2019 at 12:03 pm
It seems to me that the current site of the amphitheater is excellent, in that it’s adjacent to the train station. With coordination with Metrolink, people should be able to get to and from events without driving–like games at Angel Stadium. Any alternative site should afford the same opportunity. We need a plan to avoid the kind of traffic jams events at the old amphitheater created.
Branda LinSeptember 26, 2019 at 10:29 pm
“Mayor Pro Tem Kuo requested to have a fast, streamlined negotiation process.” Does that mean the new location for the Amphitheatre, wherever it’s proposed, will not go through proper vetting by the Planning and Transportation Commissions, as they normally would? I know park plans in the Great Park DO NOT get vetted by the Community Services Commission, as they would anywhere else in our city, which makes me wonder — What type of agreement did our city get into with FivePoint to give them a free pass at developing the Great Park without adequate consideration of the biggest concern along Sand Canyon – traffic. Where’s the great planning we’re used to seeing in the rest of our city? And where’s the shopping center we’ve all been expecting in the GP?
pattyyooSeptember 26, 2019 at 11:18 pm
Great reporting by Jeanne and Susan! It’s interesting how quickly something like an amphitheater gets approved. Other things like the long promised botanical gardens are taking years and years. Instead of just sport venues and amphitheater’s, I think the Great Park needs more natural elements reminiscent of Central Park. It is a “park” after all. Otherwise, we should change the name to The Great Corporate Park!
Scott HansenSeptember 27, 2019 at 3:01 am
Irvine loves outdoor concerts and people came from all over SoCal to the previous amphitheater. With the current location – residents clear on the opposite side of the city complain about noise from concerts. FivePoint is working hard on Great Park generally but on some things are learning as they go, it seems, and can use a helping hand. This is one of those times – only 1 shot to get the noise issue right. I suggest getting multiple opinions of outside, disinterested acoustic experts to sign off on the site and design before proceeding.
Jeanne BaranSeptember 27, 2019 at 9:08 am
City led discussions and planning meetings are happening with potential GP tenants. We just don’t know about it. Yet- residents were given assurances of guaranteed transparency. The City Manager states “the vision of the Great Park is coming to fruition.” What is the vision? Why isn’t our City Council demanding more transparency? The city budget for the next 2 years has allocated:
$141 million toward Cultural Terrace predevelopment costs
$48 million for Great Park capital projects
Great Park Board meetings need to raise their game.
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