You're definitely correct on the ridiculous mello roo situation in GP. And the fact that not one of the new homes in Solis has a driveway is aggravating. The only reasons I would say GP > Eastwood is because I feel like Eastwood is too overrated for the amount of money it costs. The new developments are all nearing 2M at the lowest for the same copy-and-paste house. Obviously, Irvine is known for its copy-and-paste style but at least with other communities (such as GP) there are top-of-the-notch amenities and park/trail systems.Why do you even recommend GP? MR is ridiculous and most of them, other than Altair, are condos.
As for school, personally, I would also prefer my son to go to a school where competition is less intense (but not MUCH less). I actually wouldn't want him to go to IUSD.
Eastwood only has two parks for the entire village and is irritatingly close to that asphalt plant as well (that's definitely the biggest issue I see plaguing the community as of late). Not to mention the fact that some streets in Eastwood are a mere few yards from Northwood, making that entire portion of the village look so mismatched. If I had to buy a house in great park (which I never would) at least I would feel secure knowing I have 9+ community parks and neighborhood trails and coffee shops to go to vs. two community pools and a sidewalk path. Eastwood is the ugly sister of Stonegate. And with the new Orchard Hills community coming up, Eastwood Elementary will be more crowded than ever. In GP I believe there are 3 K-8 schools and one high school all within walkable distance.
In case it wasn't clear I definitely do not recommend anyone purchasing in great park, but I definitely suggest it over Eastwood. The biggest problem aside from costs and such is definitely the lack of retail, but I feel like that isn't specific to great park but more the whole north Irvine area. At least that "Five Point X" project seemed to have been approved, but we know how Irvine can be