Southern California's Great Park Gets a Colossal Cut

Landscape architect Ken Smith's bold vision for a Central Park-like open space in Irvine has been hobbled by funding shortfalls. Seeking a way to move forward, the city is considering cutting key elements in favor of a developer-led proposal.

"On Tuesday, the Irvine City Council is expected to vote on whether to approve a plan proposed by a developer to build about 688 acres of [Orange County Great Park]," reports Paloma Esquivel. "Gone is the long, winding canyon that was described in the park's master plan as a 'beautiful oasis — a place to wander and daydream.' In its place could be a 188-acre golf course. Gone is the largely centralized parking that would have forced people out of their cars to wander around the park. In its place, parking lots scattered throughout."

"They really are developing something that isn't creating a great public park in any way," Smith said. "It's just sort of cheap and fast and takes up a lot of space."

"But after years of spending and setbacks that left the city with little money and few options, the developer's proposal may be the only way to move forward, backers say."

Full Story: Irvine set to vote on developer's streamlined Great Park plan

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