Irvine City Council Newsletter 
April 2017

Councilmember Melissa Fox Helps Save Live Music in Irvine

Council votes in favor of new amphitheater in Irvine. 

Irvine, CA - Irvine City Councilmember Melissa Fox was proud to vote alongside her fellow Councilmembers to approve a new temporary amphitheater in Irvine. The 12,000 seat venue, which is expected to open this summer, will help fill the void that the closure of Irvine Meadows left behind. 

"Many people have so many fond memories of concerts at the old Irvine Meadows amphitheater - I think that it is important to continue Irvine's tradition of celebrating live music," Councilmember Fox said.

The new amphitheater will be located on land owned by FivePoint near the Orange County Great Park. Concert promoter LiveNation,  which ran Irvine Meadows, will operate the venue until 2020. 

The city could receive at least $20,000 to $30,000 from on-site sales tax if the temporary amphitheater performs similarly to Irvine Meadows. The amphitheater will employ up to about 400 people.  FivePoint and Live Nation will bear the cost of police services for the concert venue.

Councilmember Fox further stated that she had received commitments from both FivePoint and Live Nation to present local musicians, including the Pacific Symphony Ochestra, at the new venue.  

"I  look forward to working with my colleagues on the City Council very soon to build a permanent amphitheater at the Great Park," she added.

Irvine City Council Passes Melissa Fox's Motion for Proclamation Remembering Holocaust and to "Remain Vigilant Against Hatred, Persecution, and Tyranny"

April 23-30 officially proclaimed as "Days of Remembrance."

Irvine, CA - At the Irvine City Council meeting on March 14, 2017, the Council unanimously voted in favor of Councilmember Melissa Fox's motion for an official proclamation recognizing April 23-30, 2017, as "Days of Remembrance" in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, and in honor of the survivors, rescuers and liberators, and urging all to "remain vigilant against hatred, persecution, and tyranny."

"I want to thank the Mayor and my City Council colleagues for their unanimous support for this proclamation," Councilmember Fox stated. "The memory of the Holocaust should serve as a reminder throughout the ages of the need to treat all people with respect and dignity, and to ensure that hatred, bigotry, and tyranny have no place in America or any civilized community."

You can read the proclamation here.

Councilmember Melissa Fox Votes 'No' on Proposal for 1,960 New Apartments Along Sand Canyon

Councilmember Fox concerned about impact on Irvine's traffic and schools.

Irvine, CA - At the Irvine City Council meeting on March 14, Councilmember Melissa Fox voted against a proposal by the Irvine Company to start the process to build  1,960 apartment units along Sand Canyon Avenue near Interstate 5.  
The proposed project would require the City to amend the General Plan,  which defines the city's long-term plan for development, and change zoning. These changes would result in 1,343 more housing units than what's currently allowed in the General Plan while decreasing non-residential uses by 1.52 million square feet.
Fox was joined by Councilmember Christina Shea in opposition, but the Irvine Company's proposal that City staff begin evaluating the project was approved 3-2, with Mayor Don Wagner and Councilmembers Jeff Lalloway and Lynn Schott voting in favor. 
Councilwoman Fox said the project came at a bad time. The city is in the midst of updating the General Plan and reinstating a Transportation Commission to fight traffic congestion, while there are already dozens of other development projects in the pipeline.

"We are ahead of ourselves," Fox said. "Before we move forward with this project, we need to have in place a more robust system to understand how we are going to deal with these great to challenges of our City." 

Councilmember Melissa Fox:Working for Irvine in Sacramento

Spending a day at the State Capitol talking about transportation, public safety, and more with California legislators and officials.

Irvine City Councilmember Melissa Fox with Buena Park City Manager Jim Vanderpool, Board of Equalization Chair Fiona Ma, and State Senator Josh Newman
On March 13, I flew up to Sacramento with other Orange County elected officials for a quick trip to the state Capitol to participate in the Association of California Cities, Orange County (ACC-OC)'s "Orange County's Local Government Advocacy Trip."

The ACC-OC trip to Sacramento gives our voices maximum impact by allowing us to meet with legislators and state officials to discuss Orange County's regional priorities and directly advocate for bills improving our transportation infrastructure, strengthening our police and public safety, and other issues.

Among the California legislators and state officials I had the opportunity to meet with were State Senators Josh Newman and Jim Beal, Assembly Members Sharon Quirk-Silva, Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, David Chiu, and our own former Irvine Mayor Steven Choi, as well as California State Controller Betty Yee, Board of Equalization Chair Fiona Ma, and California T ransportation Secretary Brian Kelley.

It was a pleasure to work with our legislators and state officials, and with other local elected officials, across party lines, on issues that are important to all of us in Orange County. 

Councilmember Melissa Fox Attends Orange County Fire Authority Academy Graduation Ceremony

Newest OCFA firefighters showcase their skills in thrilling live-fire demonstration.

I had the honor of attending the graduation ceremony for Academy 43, the newest class of the Orange County Fire Authority Academy.

The ceremony included a fly-over salute by an OCFA helicopter, a stirring presentation of the colors by the OCFA Honor Guard and the OCFA Pipes & Drums, a benediction by OCFA Chaplain Bob George, presentation of badges led by OCFA Fire Chief Jeff Bowman,  and a thrilling live-fire exhibition of the graduates in action as the 36 newest members of the OCFA showcased their skills as the rookie firefighters rappelled from the fire tower, took a car apart with the Jaws of Life and demonstrated forcible entry techniques. 

Congratulations to our newest Orange County Firefighters!  Thank you for your service to our community!

You can view a terrific video of the ceremony here.

You can view an exciting video of the OCFA Academy 43's training here.

Councilmember Melissa Fox Attends Affordable Housing Grand Opening in Irvine

"We  need to provide housing for workers, housing for students, and allow people who maybe aren't getting an income anymore, our senior population, to have a comfortable terrific place to live within the city and not have to leave," Fox said.

Irvine, CA -- Irvine City Councilmember Melissa Fox was on hand with Mayor Don Wagner for the grand opening of Anton Portola, a new  affordable apartment complex in the Portola Springs community of Irvine.

Anton Portola has amenities that make it indistinguishable from market-rate apartments, but the rent price at Anton Portola is $876 per month for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,050 for two-bedroom, compared to the average rent of about $1,800 per month for apartments in Orange County.

The affordable housing project was a requirement by the City Council for the landowner, the Irvine Company, to develop Portola Springs. The apartments are available only to low income households, which make less than 50 percent of the area's median income adjusted for household size. 

"We have to supply housing for everybody," Irvine City Councilmember Melissa Fox stated at the grand opening. 

"I am committed to advocating for more affordable housing," said Fox, who is also a member of the Irvine Community Land Trust and was recently appointed to its finance committee. The Irvine Community Land Trust is dedicated to building permanent affordable housing for purchase and rent in Irvine.

"We need to provide housing for workers, housing for students," she said, "and allow people who maybe aren't getting an income anymore, our senior population, to have a comfortable terrific place to live within the city and not have to leave."

For more information about Anton Portola, contact their office at 949-232-1819. 

Councilmember Melissa Fox Joins Celebration of Nowruz Persian New Year Festival

Fox presents proclamation from City of Irvine honoring Persian-American Community.

Irvine, CA -- Councilmember Melissa Fox joined in the fourth annual Irvine Nowruz Festival on Sunday, March 26.

Nowruz, meaning "New Day," is the traditional Persian celebration of the new year. It has been celebrated for more than 3,000 years.

The event at Irvine's Bill Barber Park attracted between 4,000 - 5,000 people and featured dancing, music, Persian food, and informational booths by community organizations.

Councilmember Fox presented a proclamation from the City of Irvine honoring "Iranian-Americans in the  City of Irvine who greatly contribute to the economy of the City, and consistently participate in the civic affairs towards maintaining and improving the quality of life in our great community," and urging "all residents to become more aware of this beautiful tradition, the cultural marvels of the ancient Persian civilization, and the contributions of the Iranian-American community in the City of Irvine."

Help Irvine Win the Wyland Foundation's National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation!

Take the "My Water Pledge," a positive way to motivate residents to conserve water and energy resources. 

Help Irvine win the Sixth Annual National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation, sponsored by the Wyland Foundation.

My Water Pledge is a friendly competition between cities across the US to see who can be the most "water-wise." Mayors nationwide challenge their residents to conserve water, energy and other natural resources on behalf of their city through a series of informative, easy-to-use pledges online.

Winning cities are those with the highest percentage of residents who take the challenge. Participating residents from those cities are entered to win hundreds of eco-friendly and water-saving prizes, including a 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Plug-in Hybrid vehicle, home irrigation makeovers with Toro water-saving products, home cleaning products from ECOS, and home improvement store gift cards.

The Wyland Foundation was founded in 1993 by environmental artist Wyland (best known for hismonumental marine life murals). The Wyland Foundation has helped millions of children and families around the nation to rediscover the importance of healthy oceans and waterways through public art programs, mobile exhibits, and classroom science education, and live events. Learn more at

"Whether it's drought conditions in the West or the high costs of energy related to water use in the East, saving water has become one of the most talked about issues facing the nation today," said the artist Wyland, president and founder of the Irvine-based Wyland Foundation. "This contest gives city leaders a way to supplement their awareness efforts in a friendly, spirited way."

Take the Water Conservation Challenge pledge here!

Take a special pledge for kids here!

Celebrate Earth Day, April 22!

Let's preserve Irvine's earth-friendly traditions.

The City of Irvine has long been a leader in earth-friendly environmental policies, green technology and environmental awareness.  

Irvine's environmental programs have been on the leading edge of advances in green building and construction, environmental education, recycling, water conservation, waste disposal, and energy saving.

In addition, Irvine's  Green Ribbon Environmental Committee   advises the City Council on matters related to climate protection, energy, recycling, waste management, sustainability, transportation, and water, helping the City serve the community through advancing environmental policy initiatives and programs.

For me, one of the best - and most distinctive - qualities of Irvine is our commitment to preserving open space. The City of Irvine has more than 16,000 acres of permanently preserved parkland and open space - remarkable for a city of our size.

In 1974, early in our City's history, voters approved multi-million dollar measures to fund public parks and recreational facilities, and for the acquisition and development of bicycle trail and hiking trail improvements.

In 1989, the City negotiated an historic agreement with the Irvine Company that set aside more than 9,500 acres as permanent open space marshlands, bike trails, parks, nature conservancies and agricultural areas, protecting fully one-third of the City from development.

In addition, in 2006, nearly 37,000 acres of the Irvine Ranch were selected as a National Natural Landmark, a designation which reflects the outstanding condition, rarity, diversity, and value to science and education of the natural resources on the land.

As our  Irvine Open Space Preserve website explains, "Since its incorporation in 1971, Irvine has had a strong desire to balance the built and natural environment. As this incredible master-planned community has grown, each phase of development has been accompanied by the preservation and enhancement of natural open spaces, creating the network of parks, trails, and wildlands that residents and visitors may enjoy today and for generations to come."

From its beginnings as a visionary master-planned community developed from the Irvine Ranch, the City of Irvine has strived to be simultaneously people-friendly, business-friendly, and earth-friendly. 

That success can continue into the future, as long as we insist that each phase of our City's development be accompanied by careful planning and the preservation and enhancement of our environment.

Spring Donation Drive for Families of Irvine's Adopted 2/11 Marine Battalion

Let's make the Spring Season brighter for Marine families!

Help make the spring season brighter for the families of Irvine's adopted 2/11 Marine Battalion by donating items for their first 11th Marine Regiment Spring Donation Drive. 

Marine families are in need of donations of new plastic eggs, candy, small toys, stuffed animals and gift baskets.

Donations accepted at the Irvine Civic Center through Monday, April 3.

For more information, call 949-724-6606.

The 2nd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division (2/11) was officially "adopted" by the City of Irvine at the Irvine Civic Center on September 15, 2007.  

The City of Irvine and the 2/11 Marines made a pledge to encourage mutually beneficial interactions between the community and the battalion.

The  Irvine 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, encourages the community to support our adopted Battalion by participating and donating to a variety of activities, including charitable and educational activities and support, such as holiday and pre-deployment events, care packages, toy drives and more. for the benefit and welfare of the United States Marines and their families.

Stay In Touch with Councilmember Melissa Fox!

Melissa would like to stay connected to you.

There are many ways to stay in touch with Irvine City Councilmember Melissa Fox. 

You can connect with Melissa Fox's Official Irvine City Council email at Note: All correspondence is public record.

You can connect with Melissa's Council Executive Assistant Allison Binder at Note: All correspondence is public record.

You can connect with Melissa's Official Irvine City Council webpage  here.

You can connect with Melissa's Irvine City Council Facebook page  here .

You can connect with Melissa's Irvine City Council Newsletter  here.

You can connect with Melissa on Twitter here.

You can connect with Melissa on Facebook here.

You can connect with Melissa on Instagram here.

You can connect with Melissa's Law and Public Affairs Firm  here.

Upcoming Events

What's up in Irvine!

  • 4/2-4/8 Pretend City Children's Museum -- Kidchella (10:00 am - 4:00 pm).

Melissa Fox
Irvine City Council
Staff and Commissioners

Allison Binder, Council Executive Assistant

Lauren Johnson Norris, Community Services Commissioner

Dustin Nirschl,  Planning Commissioner

Roger Sievers,  Finance Commissioner

Zhihai Li, Children, Youth and Families Committee
Dawn Antis,  Childcare Committee

Juneu Kim,  Senior Council

Krishna Hammond,  Green Ribbon Environmental Committee

Fred Judd, Investment Advisory Committee