Guide to the Collection on the Development of the El Toro Airport
Processed by Joanna Lamb;machine-readable finding aid created by Joanna
Special Collections and Archives, University of California, Irvine
The UCI Libraries
P.O. Box 19557
University of California, Irvine
Special Collections and Archives, University of California, Irvine
Title: Collection on the development of the El Toro Airport
Identifier/Call Number: MS.R.141
1 Linear Feet
Date (inclusive): 1992-2003
Abstract: This collection comprises records
related to the development of the El Toro Airport in Irvine, California.
Language of Material:
The collection is open for research.
Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by
the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or to publish,
please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
Collection on El Toro Airport development. MS-R141. Special Collections and Archives, The
UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Date accessed.
For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information
about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder
descriptions, and box/folder locations.
Transferred from the UCI Libraries Government Documents Division, 2005.
Processed by Joanna Lamb, 2009.
In November 1994, seventeen months after the decision to close Marine Core Air Station
(MCAS) El Toro in Orange County, California, Measure A was passed by Orange County voters,
designating MCAS El Toro for commercial aviation use. The Orange County Board of
Supervisors, supported by the John Wayne Airport neighbors, hoped to develop a large
commercial airport that would serve 38 million passengers annually, and eventually replace
John Wayne as Orange County's airport. As plans for the El Toro airport project were made
public, the communities surrounding El Toro organized to oppose it and developed a competing
plan, the Orange County Central Park and Nature Initiative. The initiative supported the
development of a 1,300 acre public space that would include a sports park, botanical garden,
and cultural terrace.
After an intense grass-roots campaign, the initiative was placed on the ballot as Measure W
and passed by a 58 percent to 42 percent vote on March 5, 2002. The next day, the U.S. Navy
and the City of Irvine announced plans for the development of the Orange County Great Park.
Lennar Corporation, a real estate developer, purchased the land from the U.S. Navy for
$649.5 million in 2005 and construction began on roads and utilities in Great Park in 2006.
||Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) El Toro is commissioned.
|1993 June 27
||MCAS El Toro is placed on the Navy's base closure list.
||The El Toro Reuse Planning Authority (ETRPA) is formed by Orange County and the
cities of Irvine and Lake Forest.
||Measure A passes in Orange County, designating MCAS El Toro for commercial
||ETRPA expands membership to include South County.
||Voters reject Measure S, a South County initiative to overturn Measure A; thus
upholding Measure A.
||Orange County certifies the Environmental Impact report and Reuse plan,
recommending that the airport be large enough to accommodate 38 million annual
||ETRPA files a legal challenge to the Environmental Impact report.
||Judge Judith McConnell rules in favor of ETRPA and finds that Orange County has
"abused its discretion" in developing airport plans.
||South County cities present Measure F, the "Safe and Healthy Communities
Initiative" , which calls for a 2/3 majority county vote to expand airports, toxic
landfills, or jails near homes.
||The county runs a two-day demonstration flying commercial jets at MCAS El Toro,
angering immediate neighbors and creating county-wide controversy.
|1999 July 2
||MCAS El Toro closes.
|2000 March 7
||Measure F passes with a 2-1 margin.
||A Superior Court Judge S. James Otero rules Measure F to be "unconstitutionally
vague" and illegal since it usurps the County Boards of Supervisors power.
||Irvine unveils a citizen sponsored initiative to turn MCAS El Toro into Orange
County Great Park, this initiative becomes Measure W.
||Orange County launches $3 million "Just the Facts" Public Relations campaign
supporting the airport initiative.
|2002 March 5
||Voters pass Measure W 58 percent vote to 42 percent, eliminating planned airport
uses at MCAS El Toro.
|2002 March 6
||The Navy announces that it will sell the property in auction instead of giving it
to a city or county.
|2002 September 18
||Judge Phillip H. Hickok upholds Measure W, ruling that the people of Orange
County, not the board of supervisors, have the right to decide how the former base is
|2005 February 16
||Real Estate Developer Lennar Corporation purchases the bases for $649.5 million
to create Orange County Great Park.
|2005 July 12
||Lennar takes ownership of the base.
Collection Scope and Content Summary
This collection comprises records related to the development of the El Toro Airport in
Irvine, California. The bulk of the collection includes local newspaper clippings and Irvine
City Council agendas and memoranda. Additionally, the collection includes correspondence,
newsletters, ephemera, and agendas from the El Toro Airport Citizens Advisory Commission, El
Toro Reuse Planning Authority, and the Tustin Marine Corps Air Station.
This collection is arranged alphabetically.
Kranser, Leonard. 2002.
Internet for activists: A hands-on
guide to internet tactics field tested in the fight against building El Toro
. San Jose, California: Writers Club Press.Kransner,
Leonard. 2005. The grounding of El Toro.
The Orange County Business
(December 5-11), http://www.eltoroairport.org/issues/grounding.html
(accessed January 8, 2009). Rowe, Jeff. 2006. The chronology of
developments in the creation of The Great Park in Irvine.
, January 6, 2006.
http://www.eltoroairport.org/issues/GP-timeline.html (accessed January 8, 2009).
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Airports -- California -- Orange County -- History -- Sources
City planning -- California -- Irvine -- History -- Sources.
Regional planning -- California -- Orange County -- History --
Regional planning -- California -- Marine Corps Air Station El
Airports -- Environmental Aspects -- California -- Orange
Militatry base conversion -- California -- Orange County -- Public
Opinion -- Sources
Orange County Great Park Corporation
Marine Corps Air Station El Toro (Calif.) -- Archives
Marine Corps Air Station Tustin (Calif.)
box 1, folder 1
El Toro Airport Citizens Advisory Commission agendas
box 1, folder 2
El Toro Reuse Planning Authority (ETRPA) agendas
Irvine City Council agendas and memorandums
box 2, folder 1-6
2000-2003 and undated
box 2, folder 7-9
Irvine Planning Commission agendas
box 2, folder 10
Marine Core Air Station and El Toro Airport ephemera
1996, 1997, and undated
box 2, folder 11
Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) El Toro Local Redevelopment Authority
box 3, folder 1-10
1995-2003 and undated
box 3, folder 11
Tustin Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) agenda and correspondence