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Donald Bren
Final pieces of Irvine Ranch complete 'open-space puzzle' in O.C.
Final pieces of Irvine Ranch complete 'open-space puzzle' in O.C.

The GMC Yukon bounces past a barbed-wire fence and up a dry, grassy hillside — the brush scratching loudly against its underside as it heads toward the ridge. Below, the parched hills roll out in rust- and khaki-colored swatches, and Irvine Lake is blue and glassy in the morning sunlight. "It's funny to think that just over the hill is civilization," says Mike Lyster, a spokesman for the Irvine Co., which owns this rugged landscape. This spot in eastern Orange is now part of a proposed 2,500-acre gift from the Irvine Co. to Orange County — 1,400 acres here and an additional 1,100 in Anaheim Hills. The properties represent the final slices of the historic...

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