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Proposed Southern California State Veterans Cemetery

On May 23, 2017, the City Council took action to receive and file a preliminary analysis of a land exchange for the Veterans Cemetery, provided in this Staff Report.

On June 6, 2017, the City Council adopted Resolution 17-39 (by a 3-2 vote) expressing its intent to pursue a mutually satisfactory land exchange with Heritage Fields of the ARDA site for the District 2 site. With the Resolution, the City Council also expressed its intent to convey up to 125 acres of the District 2 site (after the land exchange) to the State for purpose of creating the Southern California Veterans Cemetery.

The parcels, both on the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro and both just outside the boundaries of the Orange County Great Park, are about equal in size. The map here shows the two sites – the City-owned ARDA site in the northern part of the map, and the Heritage Field “A-B-C” site in the southern part of the map.

City staff is proceeding with City Council direction for the land swap, with subsequent City Council updates on next steps and related approvals in the coming months.

State Land Swap Legislation Update

The State legislature proposed budget trailer bills, AB 112 and SB 96, reference the Southern California Veterans Cemetery, change the site to the District 2 site (referred to as the “Bake Parkway” site), and direct CalVet to prepare the required studies and Phase I cost estimate for the new site.  The State legislature is anticipated to act on the budget trailer bills before a midnight, June 15 deadline.  Pending Governor Brown’s signature, the bills’ provisions and allocations are effective July 1, 2017.

In summary, the proposed State Budget bills:

  • Change the designated Southern California Veterans Cemetery site to the “125 acres known as the Bake Parkway site.”
  • Authorize CalVet to oversee and coordinate the acquisition, study, design, development, and construction of the cemetery.
  • Allocate $500,000 for CalVet to complete the required studies, concept plan and Phase I cost estimate for the “Bake Parkway” site
  • Authorize CalVet to enter into an agreement with Heritage Fields or the City seeking reimbursement for these study costs

State Budget Legislation Update

The State budget also proposes a $5 million capital allocation for the Veterans Cemetery.  Proposed budget trailer bill AB 97 includes a $5 million allocation to the Southern California Veterans Cemetery Master Development Fund.  Future expenditures from this Fund are subject to appropriation by the Legislature. The $5 million is in addition to the $500,000 previously reported for CalVet to prepare site studies, concept plan and Phase I cost estimates. Final allocations will be determined after Governor Brown’s signature, and his line item veto authority.

Additional information is available via the following links:

    Background

    Reference Information Including Location Maps
 
    Contact Information