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Proposed Southern California State Veterans Cemetery
The Irvine City Council is proceeding with an exchange of City-owned property for private property owned by Heritage Fields/FivePoint Communities. The land received by the City in the exchange will be conveyed to the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) for a State Veterans Cemetery.

Land Exchange Agreement
  1. Agreement:  The City Council invites you to view signed Land Exchange Agreement.
  2. Maps:  The Land Exchange Map shows the two sites to be exchanged (City-owned ARDA site for privately owned Strawberry Fields/Bake Parkway site).  The Strawberry Fields/Bake Parkway Site Map shows the site designated by the City for a State Veterans Cemetery, pending ownership transfer to the City with the land exchange.
  3. City Land Transfer to State:  The City Council directed that the entire 125-acre Strawberry Fields/Bake Parkway Site be dedicated to CalVet immediately upon City ownership, after the land exchange, for use only as a Veterans Cemetery and interim agriculture uses.

Irvine City Council Actions – Land Exchange

  • June 6, 2017: Adopted Resolution 17-39 (by a 3-2 vote) to: pursue a mutually satisfactory land exchange of the City-owned ARDA site for the Heritage Fields’ owned Strawberry Fields/Bake Parkway Site (formerly District 2); and convey up to 125 acres of the Bake Parkway site (after exchange) to the State to create the Southern California Veterans Cemetery. City staff immediately proceeded to implement this direction. Both parcels are on the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, just outside the boundaries of the Orange County Great Park, about equal in size.

  • September 26, 2017:
    • At its Special Meeting, took action (by a 3-2 vote) to dedicate the entire 125-acre alternative Strawberry Fields/Bake Parkway Site to the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) immediately upon its transfer to the City, for use only as a Veterans’ Cemetery and interim agriculture uses; direct the proposed land swap with Heritage Fields be completed; grant authority to staff to finalize the document consistent with the direction provided at the meeting (including making the document available on the City’s website for five to seven days prior to execution, which was done); and authorize execution of the agreement by the Mayor upon completion.
    • At its Regular Meeting, approved item 3.1 (by a 3-2 vote), approving a Zone Change, a  necessary step for the land exchange of the City-owned ARDA site for the Strawberry Fields/Bake Parkway private property owned by Heritage Fields.

  • October 10, 2017: Adopted Ordinance No. 17-08 approving a Zone Change required for the Land Exchange Agreement to facilitate a State Veterans Cemetery.

City of Irvine Next Steps

  • Complete actions as required in the agreement. 
  • CalVet provided with the agreement and informed the City is prepared to immediately dedicate the entire 125-acre Strawberry Fields/ Bake Parkway Site to the State for the Southern California Veterans Cemetery.

CalVet Next Steps

  • The FY 17-18 State budget:
    • Authorizes CalVet to acquire, study, design, develop, construct, and equip a state-owned and state-operated Southern California Veterans Cemetery at the Strawberry Fields/Bake Parkway site. 
    • Allocates $5 million to the Southern California Veterans Cemetery Master Development Fund, including $500,000 for CalVet to complete site studies, a concept plan and Phase I cost estimates for the Strawberry Fields/Bake Parkway Site.
  • CalVet, with the assistance of the Department of General Services, continues its evaluation of the new site for a Federal pre-grant application.
  • CalVet will submit a pre-application requesting Federal Cemetery Grant funds for the Strawberry Fields/Bake Parkway Site. According to CalVet, it intends to submit the pre-grant application by the July 1, 2018 deadline.

Additional information is available via the following links:

    Background and Project History

    Reference Information Including Location Maps
    Contact Information

*updated as of Nov. 8, 2017