Great Park amenities: Amphitheater? Water park? Irvine residents say what they want

IRVINE – An amphitheater, a water park, museums, a library, pools, a botanical garden, an archery range.

These are some of the amenities residents said they want to see get built at the Orange County Great Park during a community workshop Tuesday night. The 1,300-acre former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro site owned by the city could match the size of San Diego’s Balboa Park when fully developed.

About 250 people packed the lobby and City Council chamber at City Hall to get information about the existing plans and voice their opinions.

“I think it’s got great potential,” said attendee Christine Ellis Comp, who’s lived in Irvine’s Turtle Rock community for 24 years. “I’m glad there is a renewal of this community outreach to bring the public back into planning.”

Irvine had conducted public outreach between 2004 and 2010, but the City Council in November decided to bring it back to make sure the city’s on the right track.

The city has developed 200 acres of the land it received from a developer in the mid- to late-2000s. Amenities include the Great Park balloon, a carousel, a visitor center, a kids rock play area, walkable historical timeline, a Hangar 244 event center, an arts complex, a horticulture area and sports fields.

Developer FivePoint is developing another 688 acres of the park for the city in exchange for approval to build more than 4,600 homes adjacent to the park. That portion will include a 194-acre sports park, an 18-hole golf course, trails, agricultural fields, playgrounds, open space and a wildlife corridor.

The third component of the Great Park is the future Cultural Terrace, a 248-acre area where the city is considering an amphitheater, a lake, a library and museums. The city is seeking bids from potential operators to build and run a water park at or near the Cultural Terrace.

A 270,000-square-foot community ice complex and practice facility built and operated by the Anaheim Ducks will break ground this…

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