In 2010 UCSB introduced its 2025 Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) proposal. The (LRDP) called for raising its 20,000 student cap by adding 5,000 more students, most of them graduate student. It also proposed to add 1,400 more staffers, 300 more professors. In addition, the plan would add 2.2 million more square feet of building - which would nearly double the academic space on the existing campus by 2025.
UCSB planned to mitigate the traffic impacts through several measures:
- providing on-campus housing for newly added students, staff and faculty and their families on UCSB’s campus, in order to reduce commuting traffic impacts.
- expanding and improving bike paths on campus.
- signing a joint agreement with The City of Goleta and SB County to provide some traffic mitigation funding; additional financial mitigations would be required if designated limits were exceeded. Sustainable University Now (SUN) is a coalition of community groups formed to deal with impacts not adequately covered by Goleta’s and SB County’s agreement. After much negotiation, in March of 2011 a legally binding SUN/UCSB Agreement was signed. Signators for SUN included:
Citizen’s Planning Association of Santa Barbara County (CPA);
Coalition for Sustainable Transportation (COAST);
League of Women Voters, Santa Barbara Chapter;
Santa Barbara County Action Network (SBCAN);
SBCAN Action Fund (SBCANAF);
Santa Barbara Audubon Society.
The Agreement provided:
1. TRANSPORTATION: Specific reductions over the 15 years of the project in the amount of on campus parking; including elimination of plans for at least one major parking structure and denying daytime, on-campus parking permits to staff and faculty living in on-campus housing.
2. HOUSING: Commitment to develop on-campus housing to meet demand from existing as well as newly hired staff and faculty.
3. WATER: Increased UCSB conservation efforts and agreement that UCSB would conduct a new LRDP EIR on water if a forthcoming Goleta Water District (GWD) Strategic Supply study projected significantly less water than the amount UCSB’s EIR projected. (The later GWD study concluded a 1,000 acre ft./year shortfall.)
4. BIOLOGY: Implemented a general buffer of 100’ from all Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas (ESHA) excepting all development entitled or otherwise agreed to. And when the buffer was reduced under very limited conditions, it required the creation, enhancement and/or restoration of native habitat in permanently protected areas at a 3-to-1 ratio.
5. ENERGY: UCSB shall continue to reduce energy consumption in compliance with Title 24 and AB 32 regulations, and in accordance with stricter standards in the UCSB Sustainability Plan and UC system-wide Sustainability Policies. The campus will monitor and reduce energy use on a square-foot basis over the life of the 2010 LRDP.
6. REPRESENTATIVE FORMS OF COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION: SUN, and its member organizations and individuals, will actively participate in monitoring and evaluating UCSB’s progress in implementing the requirements of this agreement. This includes SUN members’ ex-officio participation in several UCSB committees including the Campus Sustainability Committee, the Campus-Wide Sustainability Change Agent committees, the Transportation Alternatives Board and the Parking Ratepayers Board.
COASTAL COMMISSION APPROVAL: Final approval of UCSB’s LRDP and its agreements with SUN depended on the California Coastal Commission (CCC). UCSB’s negotiation with CCC staff took several years. SUN also conferred with CCC Staff and testified at CCC’S November 2014 hearing on the LRDP. CCC approved the final LRDP, preserving, embracing and enhancing the agreements contained in the SUN/UCSB Agreement, particularly those relating to Transportation, Water and Biology. SUN Coalition organizations will continue to monitor implementation of the LRDP with the goal of making UCSB a leader in the region and in higher education in policies and practices that promote sustainability.