By Tomoya Shimura
An amphitheater, a lake, trails and a botanical garden are among the most popular features residents would like to see built at the developing Orange County Great Park, according to the latest surveys.
The City Council, acting as the Great Park board, on Tuesday, May 23, will discuss results from Irvine’s efforts in the past several months to get resident input on the future of the 1,300-acre former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro site. When fully developed, the city’s park could match the size of Balboa Park in San Diego.
The city asked Irvine and county residents mainly about the future Cultural Terrace, a 248-acre area where the city is considering an amphitheater, a lake, a library, museums and most recently a water park.
One takeaway from the $240,755 public outreach was that respondents showed strong support of the proposed amenities at the Cultural Terrace, according to a staff report prepared for Tuesday’s meeting.
Among them, an amphitheater was the most popular, with 74 percent of Orange County residents responding they are at least somewhat interested, according to telephone surveys conducted by Encinitas-based True North Research, which was hired by the city. The company surveyed 1,268 households across Orange County.
A lake and museums came in second at 73 percent, followed by a contemporary library (61 percent) and a water park (58 percent).
The City Council in March approved the building of a temporary 12,000-seat amphitheater adjacent to the Great Park to keep the summer outdoor concert tradition in Irvine after the closure of Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre. The city can’t develop the Cultural Terrace site because Tierra Verde Industries operates a recycling facility there and has a lease until 2018.
PHOTO CREDIT: Mark Rightmire / Orange County Register