April 28, 2020
As the university has continued to grow and enjoy greater prestige, and as the cost of market-rate housing continues to climb, the demand for faculty and staff housing at UCI has increased, especially for for-sale housing. In response to these pressures, UCI informed ICHA in December that it was
evaluating the construction
of approximately 90 for-sale, 2-3 story, single-family detached units at the Las Lomas Apartments site (Area 12). The University is now prepared to begin the process of project approval. We understand that University Hills residents will have questions and comments about the project, and we are committed to communicating and responding to those as quickly and clearly as possible.
On Monday, April 27, ICHA presented a webinar to University Hills residents living directly adjacent to the Area 12 site—those most impacted by the project. The webinar guided participants on a tour of the proposed project, as well as a separate plan to refurbish the Los Trancos Pool & Park area. Following the presentation, participants' questions were answered by Victor Van Zandt, ICHA's CEO & President, and Bryce Bunker, Manager of Planning & Construction.
ICHA has created an
Area 12 Project Page
with information about the project including a recording of the April 27 webinar, plans, graphics, project timelines, previous communications and a link to submit additional questions. All University Hills residents are encouraged to ask questions via that link. ICHA will compile these questions and provide written responses on the Area 12 Project Page, hopefully within a week. Additionally, the Q&A from the April 27 webinar will also be added to the webpage as soon as it has been transcribed. We encourage you to visit the Area 12 Project webpage to learn more.
UC Irvine has developed a formal mechanism to receive community comments regarding the Area 12 project: the Homeowner Representative Board (HRB) will use the questions and comments from the April 27 webinar and from the Submit a Question responses from the Area 12 Project Page to craft a presentation for UCI’s CPEC (Campus Physical and Environmental Committee) reflecting the community's thoughts. The Area 12 project is tentatively scheduled to be included on the May 28 CPEC meeting agenda. The campus is committed to hearing community comments in its planning for Area 12
. The university makes the final decision on all land use and design for University Hills projects, including Area 12. ICHA, via the Ground Lease, is tasked with carrying out the university's approved plan.
As mentioned, ICHA is also planning to refurbish the Los Trancos Pool & Park area. Unlike the Area 12 Project, the Los Trancos Renewal will be planned in collaboration with the community. This summer, we will launch a community engagement campaign to bring ideas from residents into the project planning. We intend to mirror the Area 11 park planning process, undertaken jointly by ICHA and the HRB. Following that process, we anticipate three key components: 1) gather ideas for the park space from the community, the HRB, consultants, and ICHA staff; 2) rank the ideas by the community via an online tool; and 3) present conceptual plans to the HRB and community reflecting the highest- ranked preferences by fall, 2020.
We Look Forward to Your Questions!