Local Political Group Pressures Land Trust on Transparency

On November 18, 2018, the Democrats of Greater Irvine (DGI) unanimously passed a resolution introduced by Kev Abazajian that states:

“The Members of the Democrats of Greater Irvine RESOLVE that
the Irvine Community Land Trust should abide by the Brown Act,
and that the City of Irvine’s Sunshine Ordinance
should be applied immediately to the Irvine Community Land Trust.”

The Back Story

The Irvine Community Land Trust was established by the City Council in 2006 and has received $35 million to date of public cash and land from the city and will receive another $23.5 million in taxpayer money over the next six years from the Department of Finance settlement funds.

Cities are limited, by law, on what they can do with real estate because cities are not in the primary business to have real estate holdings. However, the City wanted to grow the affordable housing inventory so they created this 501(c)(3) non-profit entity called the Irvine Community Land Trust. This allowed the City to invest in housing.

The Land Trust was created to operate on the city’s behalf and as such, the city holds the majority interest in the Land Trust. Simply put :

The City transfers public assets, both publicly owned land and public money, to the Land Trust for the purpose of building permanently affordable housing (rental, ownership and special needs housing) in Irvine.  

Around June 2018, the ICLT closed its doors to the public. Their monthly board meetings and meeting minutes are now private, violating the Brown Act.