Friday, August 10, 2007

What Do YOU Think: How's the Great Park Doing?

(Image courtesy of OC Register; cross-posted at The Liberal OC)

"(This agreement) adds one more brick to the solid financial foundation of the Orange County Great Park."

That was Irvine City Council Member and Great Park Board Chair Larry Agran, quoted by The Register about the Great Park Board's decision to approve a deal to give the Great Park $134 million and develop 35 acres of Irvine city land. The Great Park Board approved the deal with no dissenting votes, though board members Stephen Choi, Christina Shea, and Walkie Ray were absent at the time of the vote. Choi actually was at the meeting early on to ask staff members questions, but after he was rebuked by Agran over refusing to stop mixing questions and comments while not allowing Agran to speak, Choi just left the building. Wow, talk about raw emotions!

OK... And in other Great Park related news, the board also gave final approval to a $27.3 million contract with Ken Smith's design team in order for the lead designer of the park to continue making the dreams of the Great Park into a reality. According to The Register:

Under the contract, the designers will refine the park plans in the next year to the point of "schematic design" – or 30 percent of the detail needed to build the park. The designers also will work on construction-ready drawings for mass grading of the park site, along with everything needed to build a wildlife corridor and a stream.

I guess as this process goes on, we'll need to regularly check up on how the park is doing. So how's the park doing? When will these dreams of a perfect natural retreat in the heart of our urban area become reality? Is we having proper oversight over this project? And of course, is this all what we were hoping for when we approved Measure W in 2002?

So I want to know what you think about the Great Park. Do you like the design so far? Do you like the governance so far? And are you glad that we'll have a little more nature in the heart of Orange County instead of another airport?

Go ahead. Make my day. Fire away! ;-)

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