Campus plan projects student, facilities growth

    UCSD Physical Planning released its 2004 Long Range Development Plan outlining the physical growth and development of the campus through the 2020-21 academic year on May 26. An accompanying Draft Environment Impact Report assessing the environmental effects of the LRDP was also released on the same date.

    The UC Board of Regents approved the first LRDP for UCSD in 1963, with subsequent revisions in 1966, 1981 and 1989.

    According to Vice Chancellor for Resource Management and Planning John Woods, the purpose of the newest version of the LRDP is to update the university’s long-range development plans in light of demographic and educational changes.

    “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,” Woods said in a May 26 statement.

    The 2004 LRDP projects a student population of approximately 29,900 in the 2020-21 academic year, including about 21,900 undergraduates, 6,000 graduate students and 2,000 students in the health sciences. The 2004 LRDP projection for student enrollment is a 15-percent increase from the 1989 plan and would be about 6,000 students more than current 2003-04 enrollment.

    The population of students, academic employees and administrative staff during regular university sessions is projected to grow by about 4 percent annually over the LRDP planning period, according to the report.

    “The LRDP provides the blueprint and long-range plan of how UCSD will accommodate the inevitable growth that will occur in higher education as a result of general population increases and increased demand for UC admissions,” said Milton Phegley, campus community planner.

    To accommodate the increased student enrollment, the new LRDP plans to grow from its current 10.1 million gross square feet to about 19.2 million gross square feet by 2020-21. Such growth would be a 20-percent increase from the 1989 projection. New space and buildings will be allocated for the expansion of UCSD’s academic, clinical, administrative and recreational programs.

    New expansion will focus in the areas surrounding the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and property adjacent to Interstate 5.

    In 2003-04, UCSD housed a total of 8,300 students. The 2004 LRDP plans to provide housing for 13,300 students, including 9,785 undergraduates and 3,515 graduate and professional students.

    “The development of the campus in accordance with the plan will provide space for additional students in the years ahead,” Phegley said. “The students in the future will have increased opportunities for on-campus housing and new teaching and research facilities. The possibility of being able to study, shop and find entertainment, recreation and dining on-campus will be greatly increased.”

    The new LRDP also estimates that the need for parking will increase by about 77 percent for the whole campus, from 15,400 spaces in 2002-03 to 27,200 spaces in 2020-21. A majority of future parking space will need to be constructed in structures due to the limited amount of vacant land.

    “I think that the current situation is that there isn’t enough parking for everyone,” Earl Warren College sophomore Lauren Randall said. “Most of the parking spots that are open are in areas that aren’t near anything useful to students.”

    According to Phegley, 36 percent of all UCSD commuters currently come to campus using a mode of transportation other than a car with a single occupant. According to the 2004 LRDP, UCSD will continue improving alternative methods of transportation, including campus-operated shuttles, public mass transit systems, bicycle networks, carpooling and vanpooling programs.

    Neighbors and businesses in the local community have raised several concerns regarding the long-term growth of the campus, including parking and traffic impacts, the loss of open space, an increase in noise and the potential encroachment of university usage.

    However, according to Phegley, efforts have been made to address these community concerns.

    “The plan incorporates significant measures to reduce community impacts through steps such as providing housing for 50 percent of the students and the continuation and expansion of alternative transportation measures,” Phegley said. “The plan will continue to preserve significant open space and natural areas on campus — approximately 25 percent of the entire campus.”

    Both the 2004 LRDP and the DEIR are available for public review and comment until July 9.

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