On Wednesday, March 3, UC Irvine reached a $6.5 million agreement with the city of Irvine, settling a lawsuit over the “unlawfully approved” construction of UCI’s $1 billion medical complex.
Per the agreement, the university will contribute more than $6 million toward the future of Irvine’s transportation infrastructure.
These improvements will help support new development, as well as help mitigate traffic and noise pollution created by future projects.
In terms of specifics, the agreement will allocate $6.5 million in future investments from UC Irvine. Of that, $4 million will go directly to roadway, bike lane and sidewalk upgrades to help alleviate congestion along Jamboree Road.
Additionally, UC Irvine will dedicate $2.5 million toward improving roadways near campus. On Wednesday, March 3, UCI delivered the $2.5 million payment to the city of Irvine, during the signing of the multi-million dollar settlement agreement.
Originally slated to appear in court on Friday, March 5, both sides were able to reach an agreement before a court appearance.
Tom Vasich, Senior Director of Communications & Media Relations for the University of California, Irvine, said the effort to bring a state-of-the-art medical care into Irvine is the top priority of UCI and the city.
“UCI and Irvine have maintained a strong partnership for 50 years, and we’re pleased that we worked together to reach an agreement. We look forward to building a world-class medical center on the UCI campus, which will bring thousands of jobs and necessary health care services to our community.”
In a statement, Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan expressed her gratitude for UC Irvine’s ability to reach an agreement that will benefit the surrounding area for years to come.
“The city of Irvine has always valued and maintained a good working relationship with the university,” said Khan. “Our collaborative history streamlined the process of coming to a mutually beneficial agreement for the city and one of our top educational institutions.”
Irvine’s lawsuit against UCI was filed in OC Superior Court in February, and later obtained by Irvine Weekly. In it, Irvine alleges the UC Regents and UC Irvine approved the UCI Medical Center Irvine-Newport project without obtaining proper land use entitlements within the city of Irvine.
Irvine City Council member Mike Carroll added that he is confident the city of Irvine and UCI can work together to mitigate traffic while maintaining a trajectory for future growth.
“This is a crucial first step towards the city of Irvine working together with UCI to maintain Irvine’s quality of life,” Carroll said. “We couldn’t verify their traffic numbers before they approved their project, and while we support a new Irvine-based hospital, we need to put our residents’ concerns about traffic first, at the very forefront of discussions.”