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Sparrowhawk
07-24-02, 11:56 AM
Calif. Unveils Plan for City Park

By CHELSEA J. CARTER

The Associated Press

IRVINE, Calif. (AP) After more than a decade of fighting over the fate of a shuttered Marine base, officials unveiled a plan Tuesday that calls for the nation's largest municipal park amid thousands of new homes and apartments.

As proposed by Irvine city officials, the 4,000-acre park on the former site of the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro would include a wildlife corridor, nature preserve, sports park and space for museums and a university campus.

The remaining 700 acres around the park would be developed with 3,400 new homes and apartment units, including senior housing, and 2.9 million square feet of retail, office and commercial space.

The site would be larger than San Diego's famed Balboa Park, San Francisco's Golden Gate Park and New York's Central Park combined, officials said.

The plan came as another blow to a proposal to build Orange County's second commercial airport at the site.

"There will be no airport at El Toro," Irvine Mayor Larry Agran said.

The Navy intends to auction the land as early as next spring.

Meanwhile, the city will move to annex the former base. The park would be developed and maintained with private dollars, the mayor said.

El Toro, about 45 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, closed in 1999 after 50 years of operation.

Voters have gone to the polls four times to determine how the land will be used. In March, they approved a plan to turn the base into an urban park with some housing and office development.

But backers of the failed plan to build an airport have sued the Navy seeking to stop the sale of land to developers pending a new environmental review.

Published: Tuesday, July 23, 2002 21:50 PDT

TeufelHunden
07-24-02, 12:47 PM
...El Toro was always considered a primo duty station for wingers and support personnel. As a 2542 and later a 2651, El Toro was always tops on my dream sheet whenever I re-enlisted, of course I never got it, never figured out the Corps usually sent you to the place you least wanted to go. :mad:

It became a liability when commercial development and the civilian population started encroaching on the perimeter. It'll be interesting to see what kind of civilian housing gets built thereon - Might hafta consider putting it on my dream sheet for retirement locales.

MASTERGUNSGT
07-24-02, 04:28 PM
I hope they do a better job than they are doing at the closed Pease AFB in N.H. It closed several years and and still not much has happened. NAS South Weymouth closed about 3 years ago and they are still trying to decide how to use it. A time frame shoud be set and if nothing happens it goes to the highest bidder.

MASTER GUNS