But the damage was done. Silva's vote delayed the acceptance of the airport plan by a month, which in turn pushed the Navy's date for handing over the El Toro deed from March to April of this year.
That's why Silva's vote—then widely dismissed as merely stupid—now looks brilliant. In delaying by one month the Navy's handover of El Toro to the county, it preserved through the March 5 vote the Irvine Co.'s relationship (through Chris Cox) to the Navy Department. Had Silva not caused the delay, the Navy would have given the county the base deed before the March election, and Measure W would be the law of the land. But the Navy is not bound by Measure W.
Because of the delay, they said they'd wait until next month. Now it looks like the county is out of luck.
What does this mean for the Great Park that we just voted for? As things stand now, it's gone. The developers drooling over a chance to grab a chunk of the base want to build houses and condos, not art museums or botanical gardens. There will be parks at El Toro—because developers know nearby open space increases property values—but nothing on the scale of the Great Park. So what's going to be built at El Toro? At this point, that's anyone's guess. The Navy has already said they'll sell the base for "mixed use" development, and that means pretty much everything. Look for lots of commercial and housing development—and all the increased traffic and pollution that brings.
Chances are there will be a park there—just not the grand park everyone voted for.
Who's ultimately going to end up with the land? Simply put, the Navy will sell the land to whatever Irvine Co. it wants to.