UCI

2002 PPIC Statewide Survey: December 2002
Special Survey of Orange County
Public Policy Institute of California
in collaboration with the
University of California, Irvine

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The Great Park

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2002 Survey
Survey Advisory Commitee

University of California, Irvine
2002 UC Regents

The Great Park

The passage of Measure A on the March 2002 ballot set in motion the "Great Park" plan at the former El Toro Marine Air Base, putting to rest a county proposal to build an airport on the site. How many Orange County residents are familiar with the Great Park? Seven in 10 say they know either a lot (25%) or a little (46%) about the plan. Residents in the South County, where the park would be located, are more likely than those in the North County to say they know a lot about the plan (35% to 21%). Eighty-one percent of whites have heard of the Great Park plan, compared to 44 percent of Latinos. Knowledge increases with age, education, income, and homeownership.

When read a brief description of the Great Park plan, a solid majority of Orange County residents (65%) said they favored the plan, while 24 percent opposed it. Majorities of both whites (62%) and Latinos (71%) say they like the idea. Interestingly, while 52 percent of Latinos say they are unfamiliar with the plan, after they are read a description of it they overwhelmingly support it. South County residents greatly favor the plan (75%), while North County residents are somewhat less enthusiastic (62%). Republicans are less likely to favor the plan (59%) than Democrats (67%) or independents (68%). Similarly, conservatives (59%) are less likely to favor the plan than liberals (71%) or moderates (69%). People with children at home are more likely to support the idea than those without (71% to 62%). Support for the Great Park declines with age: 73 percent of those under age 35 favor the park, compared to 55 percent of those age 55 or older. There are no significant differences in support across education or income levels. Sixty percent of those who say they know a lot about the Great Park plan favor the idea.

When residents are asked about funding for the Great Park with their local tax dollars, support levels decline considerably, although the level of decline varies by demographic group. About half of all residents (49%) favor using their local tax dollars to fund the park, while 44 percent are opposed to the idea. South County residents are more likely than North County residents (58% to 45%), and Latinos are more likely than whites (58% to 45%), to support the idea of directing local tax dollars toward the park. Majorities of liberals (57%) and moderates (51%) support this approach, while a majority of conservatives (52%) oppose it. Democrats (55%) are more likely than independents (48%) and Republicans (40%) to favor using taxes. People with children at home are more likely than those without children at home to lean toward directing local tax dollars to the park (53% to 46%). Support for using taxes for this purpose declines with age: Residents under age 35 are more likely than those age 55 and older to favor the idea (56% to 38%).

All
Adults

Region

Race / Ethnicity

North

South

White

Latino

Do you favor or oppose the Great Park plan?

         

Favor

65%

62%

75%

62%

71%

Oppose

24

27

19

28

16

Don't know

11

11

6

10

13

Do you favor or oppose using your local tax dollars to help fund the Great Park project?

         

Favor

49%

45%

58%

45%

58%

Oppose

44

47

36

48

34

Don't know

7

8

6

7

8


Seven in 10 Orange County residents favor setting aside some of the residential development in the Great Park for affordable housing. While the lack of substantial opposition across groups is evident, there are differences in levels of support for including affordable housing. Latinos are more supportive of the idea than whites (81% versus 67%), and renters are more supportive than homeowners (80% versus 65%). The idea also has more support among lower-income residents: 80 percent of those making under $40,000 a year favor affordable housing at the site, compared to 64 percent of those who have an annual salary of $80,000 or more. The same is true for younger residents and those with less education: Residents under age 35 are more likely than those age 35 and older to favor the affordable housing set-aside (77% versus 67%), and residents with no college education are more likely than college graduates to like the idea (76% versus 67%). In addition, those who have lived in their current residence less than five years are more supportive of the set-aside than those who have lived at their residence longer (75% to 66%). Along political lines, Democrats (75%) are more likely than Republicans (62%) to support the idea. Overall, people who think that affordable housing is a big problem in Orange County are more likely than those who do not think it is a problem to favor affordable housing as part of the Great Park plan (75% to 63%).

While residents may appreciate the concept of the Great Park, few think they will visit it often. Although more than half of Orange County residents (57%) say they expect to use the Great Park for recreational purposes, only 13 percent plan to use it often. Thirty percent say they will visit it sometimes, and 14 percent say they will visit it rarely. Thirty-nine percent do not expect to use the park at all. Focusing on those who expect to use the park either often or sometimes reveals some rather substantial variations. Latinos are more likely than whites (50% to 38%), and South County residents are more likely than North County residents (54% to 38%), to say they will use the park at least sometimes. Residents under age 35 (49%) are more likely than those age 55 and older (29%) to say they will often or sometimes use the park. People with children in their households are much more likely to say they will use the park than those without children at home (52% to 38%). Renters are also more likely than homeowners to use the park, as are those who have lived at their residence less than five years compared to longer-term residents. There are no major differences by gender, education, or income.

All
Adults

Region

Race / Ethnicity

North

South

White

Latino

Would you favor or oppose setting aside some of the residential development included in the Great Park plan for affordable housing?

         

Favor

71%

71%

69%

67%

81%

Oppose

25

25

27

29

15

Don't know

4

4

4

4

4

Do you think you will use the Great Park for recreational purposes?

         

Yes, often

13%

10%

19%

11%

15%

Yes, sometimes

30

28

35

27

35

Yes, rarely

14

15

10

12

20

No

39

42

32

46

24

Don't know

4

5

4

4

6