The Save RCI group is asking the community to attend this coming Irvine City Council meeting, which is on Tuesday, August 13th. Those attending should plan to arrive by 5pm.
The Council will consider a resolution to affirm that "it has not intent to change the General Plan and/or Zoning Ordinance designations applicable to the RCI property."
City Councilmember Mike Carroll, along with Mayor Christina Shea announced at their July 11th town hall meeting on their plans to introduce this resolution at the CC meeting. And the Save RCI group hopes that Councilmembers Anthony Kuo, Farrah Khan and Melissa Fox will also vote in favor of the resolution.
Read the City of Irvine memo on this proposed RCI resolution.
The Save RCI group reported that the RCI property owners, the Spearman family and KB Home withdrew their application to build 123 condos/homes on the property, but have since been talking to City Council members and others about building 49 homes.
But the Save RCI group states that they "do not believe that this attempt to coopt the [RCI] resolution has affected the resolve of any of the City Council members."
The Save RCI group further states that those who plan to attend the August 13th CC meeting should wear a yellow neon shirt to show solidarity.
And if any attendees plan to speak, to keep it respectful and short. The group will pass out yellow-colored flyers saying "Save RCI!" to hold up in the audience.
For more information on the RCI zoning resolution and the August 13th CC meeting, visit the SaveRCI.com website.
A few members of our Rancho San Joaquin Golf Course Coalition met recently with a representative from KB Homes on their interest in potentially purchasing the RCI property for a proposed residential development.
Part of the meeting was spent discussing the expected community opposition to any application to change the city’s General Plan and zoning to allow residential development on the RCI property.
Toward the end of the meeting, as part of KB Homes' due diligence they indicated that they found it unsuitable to move forward with the acquisition of the RCI property.
A letter written by the owner of Racquet Club of Irvine (RCI), a tennis club near the corner of Culver and Michelson, was recently posted by a resident on Nextdoor.com. Read the RCI letter
The letter, written and signed by Cecil Spearman, CEO of Spearman Clubs states that RCI "will continue to operate as a club for at least 18 months." But he has a consultant who is studying to see if a "change of entitlement" could be approved for the RCI property (which is about 11 acres) for another purpose other than a tennis club.
Mr. Spearman states that since the deed restriction on the property has expired several years ago, several developers have approached him and "would make a significant offer [to purchase RCI] if I would change the entitlements." He also states "If the change to the highest and best use [zoning] is made and a significant offer is made, I MIGHT CONSIDER SELLING THE LAND."
RCI has been in existence for 45 years and is currently zoned by the City of Irvine for "Commercial Recreation" use.
Consisting of 28 tennis courts including 6 clay courts, RCI is known as one of the most affordable tennis clubs in Orange County. RCI has approximately 500-600 members and is also home to a tennis academy which attracts young players from around the world as well as an afterschool children's tennis program and a swim school.
The letter does not state a developer's intent for the property. But it's reasonable to assume that if the Irvine City Council were to approve a General Plan amendment and zoning change for RCI for medium- or high-density residential development, the RCI property could fetch a much higher sale price.
But Irvine residents who drive on Culver and/or Michelson may question whether these streets can handle more traffic from a new residential development at RCI, especially during peak traffic times.
What Can I Do?
Though it's unknown if a developer will buy RCI and develop the property, it's not too early to voice your opinion. If you would like to voice your opinion on the possible zoning change for the RCI property, below are the email addresses for our Mayor and Irvine City Council: