District Says Empty Lot Across From Campus Will Not Be Used for Parking

Since February of this year, 384 total parking spots have been lost due to campus construction projects. A vacant lot owned by the district will not bring them back.
A lot on the southwest corner of 17th and Bristol streets was purchased four years ago by the district. / Photo courtesy by Google Maps

As construction continues on campus, causing parking issues and delays, an empty lot sits across the street. In 2013, Rancho Santiago Community College District purchased the empty lot for $5 million with a plan to create 181 parking spaces for faculty or staff members. But to date no efforts have been made towards that end.

RSCCD Trustee John Hanna said that a lot of options have been discussed for the vacant lot, but no final decision has been made.

The first option was to create space to store materials for our construction projects, which includes the new Central Mall, the Johnson Student Center and new Health Sciences buildings, all expected to continue through 2022. The second option was housing for students. With the new bachelors program, it would help the students who attend SAC for more than a three years. The third option was to hold onto the property as a liquid asset in case of a financial crisis.

“We put $5 million out, we could sell that for more today,” Hanna said, “We don’t know what the future holds. That is a safety vault for us. We can’t use it for educational use.”

In addition to being down 384 parking spots due to campus construction, sections of lots on campus have been closed over the last month for tree trimming. The school did not issue a warning to students ahead of time, causing frustration.

“This is a cause for concern,” student Anthoni Avila said. “Not only am I late sometimes because of traffic, but now having to waste time on finding a spot is very frustrating.”

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Officials say development of the empty lot has been put on hold as the district continues to explore other options.

“I’ll leave you with this, the spaces are too narrow, and the exits are too far from each other or lead straight into traffic, this is a mess”, SAC student Lucas Covarrubias, said.

Additional Reporting by Nathan Jacobo

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