By Claude Ruibal, Daily Nexus, November 21, 1975
President David Saxon has recommended that the Regents approve the Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) for the Santa Barbara campus. However, in making such a request, Saxon has stated that it be accepted merely as a “guide to future development of the campus… without any commitment as to any specific project listed in the proposed construction program.”
The Regents must review the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) prior to approval in conformance with University procedure required by the state that, “a project shall not be approved which involves adverse consequences to the environment…”
This new 1975 LRDP differs in four ways from the LRDP of 1968.
- It seeks to meet the needs of a smaller enrollment (15,000 as opposed to 25,000)
- It recognizes the increasing importance of environmental values.
- It emphasizes the planning process — rather than the plan itself — in order to provide flexibility and to accommodate changing needs and opportunities.
- It acknowledges the close relationship between the campus and its environs — particularly the community of Isla Vista.
According to the LRDP the University will continue to provide housing for 25 percent of the estimated future enrollment of 15,000 and to achieve this, housing for 550 more students will be needed.
The LRDP provides for the building of additional housing for 385 students on the main campus near San Rafael dorm. Together with this, apartments near new married student housing are planned. They would accommodate 165 students.
According to the final EIR, implementation of the LRDP will effect the environment at UCSB in a number of ways.
The campus enrollment would increase by 900 students. This would increase the population of the Santa Barbara area by 2,000 people, including students, if a multiplier actor of 2.1 is used.
The increased population would, according to the report, “increase the demand for water,” which is already in short supply. Water demand on campus due to new facilities and additional housing could be “within the existing campus allotment.”
Increased traffic, air pollution, and noise levels could, “adversely affect campus parking” according to the report, yet this could be alleviated by the use of alternative means of transportation.
The student increase could bring about a severe housing shortage in I.V., forcing students to live further away from campus. Combined with this the high demand for housing could push I.V. rental prices prohibitively high for students on a fixed income.
Several mitigating measures are proposed in the final EIR to alleviate these possible problems.
- The use of private automobiles will be discouraged, with no increase proposed in the present parking capacity. The campus will implement improved public transit, paid for in part by student fees.
- The campus will implement further water conservation programs.
- Additional housing is proposed on campus for both single and married students.
- Areas of major ecological significance or containing archeological sites are reserved from development.