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Proposed Southern California State Veterans Cemetery
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 the 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.

Next Steps and Pending Meetings

As directed, City staff has been implementing the next steps to exchange the City-owned land (ARDA site) for private property owned by Heritage Fields/Five Point Communities (District 2/Bake Parkway site), for the State Veterans Cemetery project.
  • On September 5, 2017, the Transportation Commission is scheduled to consider the traffic evaluation prepared for the proposed Zone Change.  Link: 9-5-17 Transportation Commission (Item 4)
    • The Transportation Commission approved Item 4.  Minutes will be available at a subsequent meeting.

  • On September 7, 2017, the Planning Commission is scheduled to consider a City initiated Zone Change to comprehensively amend applicable sections of the Zoning Ordinance related to Planning Area 51 (Orange County Great Park). The proposed Zone Change would reflect a land exchange of the existing Amended and Restated Development Agreement (ARDA) Transfer Site with a portion of Development District 2 within Planning Area 51 to facilitate development of a future State Veterans Cemetery. Link: 9-7-17 Planning Commission (Item 2)
    • The Planning Commission approved Item 2.  Minutes will be available at a subsequent meeting.

  • Pending the above mentioned Commission advisory actions, the proposed Zone Change and Veterans Cemetery Implementation Agreement is scheduled for City Council consideration at its September 26, 2017 meeting, to implement the land exchange.

State Funding and Next Steps for a State Veterans Cemetery

Governor Brown signed the FY 17-18 State budget including the following budget allocations and direction related to the Southern California Veterans Cemetery:

  • Authorizes CalVet to acquire, study, design, develop, construct, and equip a state-owned and state-operated Southern California Veterans Cemetery at the Bake Parkway site.
  • $500,000 for CalVet to complete site studies, concept plan and Phase I cost estimates for the District 2 site (“Bake Parkway Site” referred to by the State). 
  • Authorizes CalVet to submit a pre-application requesting Federal Cemetery Grant funds. CalVet indicates it intends to submit the pre-application by the July 1, 2018 deadline.
  • $5 million transfer to the Southern California Veterans Cemetery Master Development Fund.

CalVet will prepare its pre-grant application requesting Federal grants funds for the District 2 site concurrent with the City’s steps to implement the land exchange.

Additional information is available via the following links:


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