A plan to annex Bonita Canyon development from Irvine to Newport Beach has received another key approval.
The Irvine City Council on Tuesday ceded the 334-acre area, citing the need to help the city's schools. Irvine Unified School District officials said it would have been difficult to bus students from Bonita Canyon to city schools and too costly to build a campus.
In related action Tuesday, Newport Mesa Unified School District trustees agreed to reopen Eastbluff Elementary School next fall to accommodate children who will live nearby in Bonita Canyon. The private Waldorf School, which leases Eastbluff, will have to leave by June 30.
The Irvine Co., which is building 1,500 houses and 1,000 apartments on the land off MacArthur Boulevard and Ford Road, previously agreed to pay Newport-Mesa $6 million in developer's fees and donate $1 million to the district's endowment. Extra students in particular will benefit underenrolled Corona del Mar High School.
The Newport Beach City Council preliminarily approved the annexation earlier this week. The Local Agency Formation Commission has final say.