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Irvine : Council Trims Density, OKs 832-Acre Village

After slicing 500 homes and a commercial zone from a new 832-acre village, the City Council voted 3 to 2 to approve plans for the city’s first new community development in 10 years.

Westpark, located north of the San Diego Freeway and west of Culver Drive, will include about 5,200 homes priced from $80,000 to $200,000, a new civic center, office buildings, a park and an elementary school.

Before approving the project Tuesday night, several council members expressed concern about the 14-unit-per-acre density. It is the first community, or “village,” to be approved since the massive Woodbridge project began a decade ago.

Officials of the Irvine Co., developer of the project, agreed to trim their plans by 500 homes although the Planning Commission had reduced the total by about 600 homes in earlier meetings. They also agreed to eliminate a 106,000 square foot commercial park at the north end of the site to help alleviate traffic problems.

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Council members Barbara Wiener and Larry Agran voted against the plans, citing the density and traffic problems. Ground breaking on the first phase of residential development--three apartment complexes--could occur next October, Planning Manager Paul Ireland said.

The Irvine Co. is also proposing that an assessment district for street construction be established, a plan that the council will consider at their first meeting in July.


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