Op-Ed: Building the Great Park… Building A Public Bypass As Well?
According to a January 14, 2020 article from the Orange County Register, Irvine has found a “new Great Park location for a bigger Wild Rivers water park”. This was the first time anybody had heard about Wild Rivers moving to a new location. Here are the recent details provided by this article:
- This new site “is within the Great Park’s planned cultural terrace”.
- According to City Manager Russo, “there will be a buffer between the new water park and the entrance to a planned veterans cemetery”.
- This new site “will require design changes and environmental review”.
- This new site “will be 50% larger than the old one”.
This detailed information was not provided during the City Manager’s report at the January 14th City Council meeting. The Council authorized Mr. Russo to provide a brief report where he stated, “we have an agreement in principle with Wild Rivers LLC for the construction of a water park.”
Given the timing of the very detailed article, we wonder how the OC Register received details regarding this project that the City Manager was unable or unwilling to provide to the residents.
You can watch City Manager Russo’s report below. To watch the entire Council meeting click HERE.
Because the City Manager and the Great Park Board (which consist of the City Councilmembers) are making decisions using City assets and controlling our public dollars that shape the Great Park footprint, they agreed last year to do a better job of communicating to the residents and receiving input. After all, Irvine residents have a direct interest in their actions, for both financial reasons and quality of life issues.
Community members continue to have valid questions about the City’s vision for our Great Park and how our leadership is managing the process. Tuesday, January 28th at 2pm is the Great Park Board’s next monthly meeting. Here is the agenda and below is the staff report on Wild Rivers which is found under agenda item 1.2. Notice the different in detail?
If no public information is deemed to be shareable at that time, we should check that evening’s edition of the Orange County Register to be sure.
*Updated January 21, 2020 with video of City Manager John Russo’s report on Wild Rivers.
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Susan SayreJanuary 20, 2020 at 11:13 am
The article stated that the location of Wild Rivers Water Park had to me moved because the Navy had not released the prior site for development. The Navy does not own the land, however, as the Navy is responsible for cleaning up contamination of the Great Park before the property can be released for development, it appears likely that the prior site for Wild Rivers Water Park is too contaminated to be released for development.
For the sake of public health and safety, Irvine residents should demand a report on the decontamination process of the Great Park listing all the areas that have yet to undergo decontamination and the time frame for the completion of the decontamination process.
Scott HansenJanuary 20, 2020 at 2:20 pm
Our city is famous internationally for careful advance planning. For government working with the community to gather input during the planning process. And for having a clear picture in advance of what is going to go where. From the viewpoint of an ordinary resident like me, this announcement is a surprise. Going forward, can the Great Park Board first develop a master plan – with the help of world-class park planners – that the community can contribute to?
Scott HansenJanuary 21, 2020 at 9:50 am
January 21, 2020: Please note the article above has been updated to include video of the City Manager reporting to the public at City Council meeting of Jan. 14 about the Wild Rivers project. No mention that the site had been moved. That information came out in the newspaper.
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