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Orange County Ponies up for Great Park

Seth, Marissa, Summer and Ryan will soon have some new recreational opportunities. The OC Board of Supes is appointing its own chairman, Bill Campbell, to the board of the Orange County Great Park Corp., which is responsible for constructing a $1 billion park facility. On the site of the former El Toro Marine base, voters endorsed the Great Park in 2002 as a smackdown to the County?s plans for a commercial airport on the site, which it was argued would add to local traffic congestion.

Earlier this year, the Navy sold 3,700 acres of the base in a public auction to developer Lennar Corp.. Of this, 1,300 acres will be devoted to parks, open space, and rights of way. In addition to the Great Park (we applaud the visionary name), Lennar will also build 3,400 homes, commercial and retail centers, and a university. Since these uses will also contribute to traffic congestion (duh!), stakeholders are ambivalent about starting construction and have dithered for months. Lennar is prepared to begin homebuilding - natch - but plans for the Park itself have remained abstract and absurdly inclusive: the present plan calls for museums, open space, sports facilities, riparian corridors, commercial agriculture, botanical gardens, a CSU satellite campus, a veteran?s memorial, woodlands, and 45 holes of golf. The Supes hope Campbell will crack the whip and get the Park finally started.
· Great Park Leverage Sought [LA Times]