This past Friday, our coalition received a copy of a letter dated August 16th which was written by Ronald S. Cortez, CFO and Vice Chancellor of UCI's Division of Finance and Administration. The letter was forwarded to us by P. Alberto Sandoval, UCI Senior Director of Strategic Communications & Public Affairs.
The letter is addressed to Mo Honarkar who is the potential buyer of the Rancho San Joaquin golf course, and who has proposed to build UCI student housing on the golf course property at University and Harvard. Read the letter from UCI
In the letter Vice Chancellor Cortez states the following to Mr. Honarkar:
"...As we discussed, UCI has many student housing projects in various stages of development, and we are positioned to accommodate the on-campus housing needs of our students. As such, we cannot partner with you or assist you in your development plans at this time." *
Vice Chancellor Cortez continues on and states:
"As we indicated previously, affordable housing for students in our community remains a priority. We remain supportive of affordable student housing projects; however, we are not in a position to endorse external housing projects." *
In addition, Mr. Sandoval who forwarded Vice Chancellor Cortez's letter to us, stated in an email to us:
"Thank you for your interest in the future of San Joaquin Golf Course and how it relates to UCI. As a result of your email, I investigated UCI’s position on the project. I can confirm that the university is not participating in the redevelopment of the golf course and is not endorsing the developer’s plans for student housing. The attached letter [from Vice Chancellor Cortez] makes our intentions clear." *
* Bold text added for emphasis
We believe Vice Chancellor Cortez makes clear that UCI has no interest in cooperating with Mr. Honarkar on his proposal to build "external" student housing on the RSJ golf course property.
Coupled with the Planning Commission's 5-0 vote on August 16th to reaffirm the General Plan and current zoning for the RSJ golf course, we hope this letter from UCI gives comfort to our Irvine community that UCI has no interest in student housing to be built on the golf course.