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May 26, 2004

UCSD Updates Long Range Development
Plan, Invites Public Review And Comment

By Pat JaCoby

The 2004 Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) and Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the University of California, San Diego—a plan for the physical development of the campus through 2020-21—will be released today for public review and comment.

During the 45-day public review period, which will end on July 9, the documents will be available for review on UCSD’s LRDP web site at:, as well as at San Diego’s main downtown Library, the La Jolla and University City branch libraries and UCSD’s Geisel Library. A public hearing to receive comments on the DEIR will be held June 14 from 6-8 p.m. in Conference Room 111A, University Center, on the UCSD campus. Information about the plan was also presented earlier this month to several La Jolla and University City community groups.

The 2004 plan, UCSD’s fifth comprehensive LRDP, maintains the land use objectives that have been consistently reflected in plans for the campus since its inception in 1960. The current LRDP, adopted in 1989, was proposed to guide growth through 2005-06; it called for an enrollment of 26,050 students and facilities comprising about 16 million gross square feet (GSF). In comparison, UCSD’s enrollment in 2003-04 totaled 24,160 students and its facilities provided about 10 million GSF of space.

The 2004 LRDP identifies academic and student life goals, delineates campus land uses, and estimates the campus building capacity. The 2004 LRDP lays out a plan to accommodate approximately 29,900 UCSD students by 2020-21 (a 15 percent increase above the total indicated in the 1989 plan); to increase academic, housing and support space to approximately 19 million GSF (a 20 percent increase above the total indicated in the 1989 plan), and to develop additional on-campus parking and alternative transportation options.

The UCSD campus comprises three distinct land areas: the properties west and east of Interstate 5 and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography along the coast. Under the proposed 2004 LRDP:

  • the campus land west of Interstate 5 would continue to be developed with academic, housing, mixed use, and sports, recreation and general services uses;
  • the east campus property east of Interstate 5 would continue to be developed with a medical, academic/science research park, academic/community-oriented housing, sports and recreation land uses;
  • the Scripps Institution of Oceanography campus would continue to be developed with academic, academic/community-oriented and housing uses.

The majority of natural and open-space areas, known as the UCSD Park, would remain undeveloped under the 2004 LRDP.

“In updating our long term blueprint for future growth, we are refining our land use objectives in a manner that is consistent with our founder’s vision, and we believe this plan will sustain UCSD’s position as a world-renowned center for higher learning, research, medical and community facilities,” noted John Woods, vice chancellor for Resource Management and Planning. “We are also confident that this plan will enable UCSD to manage its growth in an orderly, coherent fashion that will be sensitive to the needs and interests of the surrounding community and beyond. In that spirit, we welcome and value community feedback.”

Woods said the purpose of the LRDP is to bring UCSD’s long range planning up to date in light of evolving changes in the demographic and educational landscape. The LRDP also provides the campus with a framework to achieve UCSD’s program goals, and provides the basis for future decisions concerning land uses and capital projects.

Nine factors were considered in producing the 2004 LRDP, including: academic and non-academic program requirements; distribution of student enrollment across the academic programs; optimum rate of student and faculty growth; appropriate ratio of graduate students to undergraduate students; UCSD’s unique characteristics in light of its history and culture; environmental resources; need for services such as student housing, parking, transportation, recreation, childcare and administrative support; opinions of various campus constituencies and community stakeholders, and the needs and interests of the surrounding community, city, state and nation.

In response to campus and community concerns regarding traffic impacts, UCSD will continue to place a high priority on alternative transportation modes for the staff, students, and faculty. According to Milt Phegley, campus community planner, 36% of all UCSD commuters currently arrive on campus in some alternative mode of transportation other than a single occupancy vehicle. UCSD’s alternative transportation efforts include a community shuttle in North University City which carries 28,000 riders a week; nine different shuttle routes and services carrying more than 3.5 million passengers each year; 20 vanpools—the largest fleet in the county—and more than 1,100 registered carpools. In addition, UCSD parking revenues (non-State funds) paid to the San Diego Transit Corp. allows free bus service to provided to UCSD students, faculty and staff in the areas around campus and as far south as Mission Beach and Clairemont. Other alternative forms of transportation, said Phegley, include the planned extension of the San Diego Trolley to the UCSD campus, which will reduce traffic congestion and parking demand.

The 2004 LRDP identifies 297 acres of land—on the approximately 1,150 acre campus— for new development or redevelopment, enough to accommodate the facilities need for realizing the campus program goals. It incorporates five general development concepts, created in the 1989 UCSD Master Plan Study, to guide the actual physical planning processes. These include:

  • Neighborhoods, where compact clusters of buildings and open space are used to break the campus into smaller college communities that have distinct boundaries and entries and coherent urban design.
  • University Center, a neighborhood intended to serve as the urban “downtown” of the campus and a hub for academic, social and administrative activities.
  • Academic Corridors, a conceptual planning principle to cluster related departments near one another and to provide a consistent basis for locating academic facilities in the future.
  • The Park, encompassing UCSD’s approximate 300 acres of natural resources such as the coastal bluffs, hillsides, canyons and eucalyptus groves.
  • Connections, the courtyards, arcades, paths, roads, public entries, landmarks, view corridors, landscape features and buildings that tie the campus together and to the community. These special public spaces preserve the human scale and distinctive attributes of the neighborhoods.

For additional information about the LRDP and DEIR or planned meetings contact Milton Phegley at (858) 534-5782.

Media Contacts:
Pat JaCoby, (858) 534-6404 or Dolores Davies, (858) 534-5994


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