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Tustin Votes to Accept East Side Master Plan

March 18, 1986|BARRY S. SURMAN | Times Staff Writer

A plan expected to increase the city's population by 50% by adding nearly 8,000 housing units, commercial development, a golf course and parks won approval late Monday night from the Tustin City Council.

The controversial master plan, which will guide the development of 1,740 acres on the city's rural east side, was approved after a lengthy debate.

Although it included some minor compromises to satisfy some neighbors' complaints, the council essentially adopted the plan which had previously been worked out between the city planners and the Irvine Co., which owns the acreage, known as the Tustin Ranch.

The council voted 4 to 1 in favor of an environmental impact report for the area and approved the plan in a series of six more votes on various aspects. Most of the votes were 4 to 1, but two were unanimous.

The council tried to strike a balance between the concerns of some citizens about density and development patterns, and the need to establish a broad economic base to support public improvements for the 1,740 acre area.

Compromise Solutions

Faced with earlier opposition from residents of both the city and nearby unincorporated areas, representatives of Tustin and the Irvine Co. reached a series of compromise solutions to minor objections to the master plan, such as moving a proposed roadway farther from existing homes.

"We have reached a great number of compromises . . . compromises that have been beneficial to the city," said Councilman Richard B. Edgar.

The council also accepted an accord between the Irvine Co. and the Tustin Unified School District in which the firm agrees not to build homes until a plan to pay for new schools can be worked out.

But the basic plan--three years in the making--remained: A planned community of 7,950 housing units, with commercial development, a professional-quality golf course and seven new parks.

"I feel extremely proud of what we have done," said Edgar, a member of the joint committee that formulated the plan.

Other council members rejected the concerns of Councilwoman Ursula F. Kennedy, who objected to the overall density allowed in the master plan, to the number of apartments allowed, and to the lack of open space the plan leaves.

In her invocation at the beginning of Monday's council meeting, Kennedy, wearing a green blazer, asked God's guidance in planning the "large and unique" area, and asked God to "help us to keep some of it green . Amen."

Accused Kennedy

During the council meeting, Mayor Frank H. Greinke accused Kennedy of posturing for public sentiment, since she is up for reelection in November.

Kennedy did end up voting with the majority on two phases of the master plan, but was the no vote for most of it.

The master plan includes standards, procedures and guidelines for all aspects of east Tustin development, now marked by orange groves, fields and green hills.

When completed, the development would increase the city's population, now about 41,000, by about 50%.

Brad Olson, president of the Irvine Community Development Co., a branch of the Irvine Co., said: "We're very pleased with the outcome. . . we think it will be beneficial to the community, and to the company."

He predicted that construction could begin as early as spring of 1987.

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