Veterans Cemetery Timeline


March 11, 2014 – Approved having a cemetery in the Orange County Great Park (Resolution 14-27)

The Council acted to:
1.   Support the passage of State Assembly Bill 1453 for a State owned and State operated Southern California Veterans Cemetery in Orange County. Assembly member Sharon Quirk-Silva sponsored the bill; and
2.   Express its strong interest in providing at least 100 acres of land in the OC Great Park for a cemetery.

Approved 4-1
Yes: Agran, Krom, Lalloway, Choi
No:  Shea

July 22, 2014 – Approved designating the ARDA site for the State Veterans Cemetery (Resolution 14-92)

The Council acted to designate the ARDA site as the best possible site for a State Veterans Cemetery and to convey the property subject to all studies, procedures and agreements with the State and Federal governments.

Approved 5-0
Yes: Agran, Krom, Lalloway, Choi, Shea

September 27, 2014

Governor Brown signed AB 1453 that directed the State (CalVet) to work with the city to design, develop, construct, and equip a state-owned and state-operated Southern California Veterans Cemetery on the ARDA site and approved funding for the conceptual design work.


June 2016

Owen Report issued. The State Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) hired design and environmental consultants to evaluate the ARDA site for the development of a Veterans Cemetery.


June 6, 2017 – Rescinded ARDA site for State Veterans Cemetery (Resolution 17-39)

The Council acted to rescind the designation of the ARDA site as the preferred site (see 7/22/14) for the Southern California Veterans cemetery, and instead pursue a land exchange with FivePoint of the ARDA site and the Bake Parkway site. Upon completion of a land exchange with FivePoint the city was to convey 125 acres of the Bake Parkway site for the purpose of creating a cemetery.

Approved 3-2
Yes: Wagner, Shea, Fox
No:  Lalloway, Schott


June 5, 2018 – Special Municipal Election / Voter Referendum on Measure B

Measure B asked Irvine voters if they support an ordinance approved by the City Council for a zone change to build a veterans cemetery near I-5 and Bake Parkway (strawberry fields/freeway site). This measure was put on the ballot through a successful initiative petition campaign. The signature drive turned in nearly 19,000 signatures. Result: 62.64% voted “No”. The “No” vote invalidated the previous councils approval of zoning text amendments that were initially approved by the City Council (see 6/6/17). No cemetery on the Bake Parkway site.

July 10, 2018 – Approved substitute motion to identify alternative cemetery sites and have city staff and commissions study ARDA 

A motion was presented by Councilmember Lalloway, seconded by Schott, to reaffirm the City Council’s 2014 decision designating the Great Park ARDA site for the cemetery and to establish a demolition, cleanup, and site plan for immediate implementation consistent with the CalVet study approved in 2016. Lalloway placed this decision item on the Council agenda and cited the voter referendum that invalidated the Wagner, Shea, Fox preference for the Bakeway site. This motion could not be acted on due to a substitute motion proposed by Wagner and Shea.

Click here for the City Council Minutes for the list of public speakers and the Council agenda with the copies of residents written correspondence on Agenda Item 4.4.

Substitute Motion by Councilmembers Wagner and Shea

Councilmembers Wagner and Shea made a substitute motion to study the ARDA site further and also look for alternate cemetery sites, which was approved.

Approved 3-2
Yes: Wagner, Shea, Fox
No:  Lalloway, Schott

July 16, 2018  – Joint Memorandum by Councilmembers Shea and Fox 

Councilmembers Shea and Fox submitted a Joint Memorandum to the City Manager requesting that, in addition to studying the ARDA site, City staff also analyze the potential development of a cemetery on 100 acres of land known as the golf course site in the OC Great Park.


July 23, 2019 – Approved designating golf course as the site for the cemetery (Resolution 19-76)

The resolution designates up to 100 acres of land in the golf course site in the Great Park as the preferred site for the State Veterans Cemetery. This resolution rescinds all prior resolutions in this timeline.

“The City Council directed the City Manager, with the assistance of the City Attorney, to immediately begin negotiations with the State of California on an agreement to transfer the Golf Course Site to the State of California, at no cost, once the State provides binding assurances to the City that there are sufficient funds available to remediate the entire site and to complete Phase 1 of the Southern California Veterans Cemetery.” FivePoint will contribute $18,000,000 toward the construction of the veterans cemetery on the golf course site in lieu of constructing the contracted golf course amenity.

Approved 4-1
Yes: Shea, Kuo, Khan, Carroll
No:  Fox

August 12, 2019

Former Irvine Mayor Larry Agran filed an initiative petition with the Irvine City Clerk. If the initiative qualifies for the ballot and is passed by Irvine voters, it will designate and re-zone the 125-acre ARDA site for one use – a State built and State operated Veterans Cemetery.

September 12, 2019 – Assembly Bill 368 approved by Governor

“This bill would instead authorize the department to locate the cemetery at either a specified site in the Orange County Great Park in the City of Irvine, or at a site known as the Golf Course Site, as specified. The bill would require the department, after completing acquisition studies of each site, to consult with the Department of General Services to determine which site to pursue based on specified factors, including, among other things, the availability of each location.”