Protect Rancho San Joaquin Golf Course from development - keep it as an open space amenity

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To The Irvine City Council and Planning Commission:

  1. Since 1964, the Rancho San Joaquin Golf Course is a popular and cherished open space amenity for all Irvine residents.  For over 50 years, the RSJ Golf Course has continued to be a profitable business with over 150,000 visitors using its driving range and golf course each year.  The RSJ Golf Course also runs a popular junior golf academy where hundreds of kids learn to play golf.  The RSJ Golf Course makes money, it’s viable and it’s a hugely popular amenity to the residents of Irvine.
  2. Despite the golf course sitting on a landfill and abuts against established neighborhoods, the owner is attempting to sell the golf course as a potential for development.  A buyer wants to build a multi-story complex of 800 units of housing for 3,200 UCI students on 25 acres of the golf course property.  This development would be completely inconsistent to the character of the surrounding Irvine Villages and will decrease our residents’ quality of life.
  3. The developer wants to also shrink the 18-hole golf course into an “executive” short-course. This will lose golfers and ultimately fail as a business. This will lead to even more development on the remaining golf course property, further sinking property values for thousands of homeowners and decreasing tax revenue to the City of Irvine.
  4. Development on the golf course will further increase traffic on our already clogged streets, especially on Culver, Harvard, Michelson and University which already sees bumper-to-bumper traffic. With 3,200 students crossing Harvard and University, it will further delay traffic and increase congestion.
  5. We support UC Irvine and its quest to provide more affordable student housing – but not in an established residential neighborhood, and at the expense of losing our open spaces.  The UCI campus has hundreds of open acres for new housing, including its “North Campus” property at Campus and Jamboree, and it has hundreds of on-campus units in the pipeline for construction.  Building more off-campus housing -- as what's being proposed by the potential buyer of the golf course -- is not going to address the lack of affordable student housing, as the developer's proposal will simply offer more housing whose rents will still be out of reach for most students. This is simply a ruse by the developer to try to gain sympathy from the community for his proposal of high-density housing on the golf course.

Please prevent any development on the Rancho San Joaquin Golf Course by keeping it as a permanent, open space, recreational amenity to serve all Irvine residents—now and in the future.