Festival moves to halt building

Festival officials ask for support for leasing of 'buildable' lots above Irvine Bowl, and to reconfigure entry.

November 11, 2010|By Barbara Diamond,

Outgoing Festival of Arts President Wayne Baglin asked at the annual membership meeting on Wednesday for support of two projects: city acquisition of property behind the festival grounds and approval of a new façade.

"We could use your help," Baglin said.

He urged festival members to attend the City Council meeting on Tuesday to support the acquisition of the 32,000 square feet of buildable R-1 lots behind the grounds, which is scheduled to be on the agenda.

The acquisition would prevent development at least until the city found itself in a financial bind, Baglin said.

He would like to see the property added to the festival's lease. Landscaping the lots would buffer light and sound from properties above, Baglin said.


At least one uphill residential project had been approved for development despite entreaties by festival officials and much to their dismay.

Baglin also asked for membership support of proposed changes to the festival's façade.

"You may be attached to it," Baglin said. "Enjoy it now. It is not going to be around much longer."

A proposed design was not displayed, but Baglin said it would include removing the parking in front of the grounds. Although the California Coastal Commission requires the replacement of public parking spaces, Baglin said the festival parking is on private property and he expects no difficulties.

"This will be the first building block of the Village Entrance," Baglin said. "We would like to have it in place by the 2012 show."

Plans for the façade were originally drawn to complement the proposal for the city's Village Entrance project, which were subsequently revised. An environmental impact report on the city's project is making the rounds, but the costs are considered an impediment to the project.

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