2020 - 2040 Long Range Development Plan - Notice of Preparation of an EIR

UC Santa Cruz

February 25, 2020

The proposed UC Santa Cruz LRDP would replace the 2005 LRDP for the campus and identifies land uses to support the academic mission of UC Santa Cruz through 2040. The LRDP campus population forecast is 28,000 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) students1 and 5,000 FTE faculty and staff. To accommodate the projected increase in campus population, the LRDP proposes to add 8,500 student housing beds,
2 up to 550 employee housing units, and approximately 2,800,000 assignable square feet (ASF) of academic and administrative building space. The LRDP land use plan supports potential growth on the UC Santa Cruz main residential campus and the Westside Research Park located at 2300 Delaware Avenue in the City of Santa Cruz.

PHYSICAL PLANNING, DEVELOPMENT & OPERATIONS SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA 95064
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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA CRUZ
BERKELEY • DAVIS • IRVINE • LOS ANGELES • MERCED • RIVERSIDE • SAN DIEGO • SAN FRANCISCO SANTA BARBARA • SANTA CRUZ
February 25, 2020
State of California Office of Planning and Research 1400 Tenth Street Sacramento, CA 95814
NOTICE OF PREPARATION ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT
Project Title: UC Santa Cruz Long Range Development Plan
Project Location: UC Santa Cruz Main Residential Campus & Westside Research Park (2300 Delaware Avenue), Santa Cruz (see Figures 1 and 2)
County Santa Cruz County
Project Overview
The University of California, Santa Cruz (UC Santa Cruz), Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) is a comprehensive land use plan that guides the physical development necessary to achieve the campus’ mission. The LRDP establishes a land use framework for, academic and administrative space needs, housing, open space, circulation and other land uses that ultimately facilitate the appropriate siting of capital projects. All UC campuses are required to prepare a Long Range Development Plan to guide physical campus development.
The proposed UC Santa Cruz LRDP would replace the 2005 LRDP for the campus and identifies land uses to support the academic mission of UC Santa Cruz through 2040. The LRDP campus population forecast is 28,000 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) students1 and 5,000 FTE faculty and staff. To accommodate the projected increase in campus population, the LRDP proposes to add 8,500 student housing beds,2 up to 550 employee housing units, and approximately 2,800,000 assignable square feet (ASF) of academic and administrative building space. The LRDP land use plan supports potential growth on the UC Santa Cruz main residential campus and the Westside Research Park located at 2300 Delaware Avenue in the City of Santa Cruz.
Environmental Review and Comment
The University of California is the Lead Agency under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) (PRC, § 21000 et seq.) and will prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the LRDP as required by PRC § 21080.09. The LRDP EIR will function as a Program EIR (pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15168) that can be used to tier the environmental review of subsequent campus development projects during implementation of the LRDP. Because UC Santa Cruz has determined that an EIR will be required for the project, and as allowed by CEQA when the decision to prepare an EIR has already been made, an Initial Study has not been prepared. This Notice of Preparation (NOP) has been prepared pursuant to Sections 15082 and 15083 of the CEQA Guidelines.
UC Santa Cruz requests input from responsible and trustee agencies and the public regarding the proposed scope of the LRDP EIR analysis. UC Santa Cruz requests that responses to this NOP identify: 1) the significant environmental
1 An FTE student is (1) an undergraduate student who enrolls for 45 credit hours per academic year; or (2) a graduate student (master’s level or doctoral student not yet advanced to candidacy) enrolled in 36 hours per year; or (3) a graduate doctoral student who has been advanced to candidacy. This does not include students studying at locations other than the main residential campus and the Westside Research Park.
2 UC Santa Cruz has provided student beds up to 15,000 FTE students and will continue to provide student beds for 67 percent of FTE students between 15,000 and 19,500 enrollment, in accordance with the 2008 Comprehensive Settlement Agreement (CSA). The proposed LRDP will provide 100 percent of student beds for 8,500 additional FTE students and enrollment of above 19,500.
UC Santa Cruz Notice of Preparation
LRDP 2 February 2020
issues, reasonable alternatives, and reasonable mitigation measures that should be explored in the Draft EIR; and 2) where submitted by an agency, whether that agency will be a responsible or trustee agency for the project.
COMMENT PERIOD: Written comments on the NOP will be accepted anytime during the NOP review period, which begins Tuesday, February 25, 2020 and ends Monday, March 30, 2020 at 5:00 pm. The NOP comment period is extended by five days in order to close during the first day of Spring Quarter at UC Santa Cruz. Please state “LRDP NOP Comments” in the subject line, and send your written or electronic responses, with appropriate contact information, to the following address:
Erika Carpenter Senior Environmental Planner Physical Planning, Development, and Operations University of California, Santa Cruz 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 Email: eircomment@ucsc.edu
SCOPING SESSIONS: Written comments on the NOP may also be provided at two public scoping sessions on Thursday, March 12, 2020:
Location: Merrill Cultural Center Address: UC Santa Cruz, 200 McLaughlin Dr., Santa Cruz, CA Time: 12:00 to 2:00 pm
Location: Louden Nelson Community Center, Room 3 Address: 301 Center Street, Santa Cruz, CA Time: 6:00 to 8:00 pm
At each scoping session, project information will be presented by UC Santa Cruz staff and NOP comments will be accepted. If you have questions regarding this NOP, the scoping sessions, and/or require accommodation to participate in the scoping meeting, please contact Erika Carpenter at escarpen@ucsc.edu or (831) 212-0187.
Attachments:
A Detailed Project Information
B Impact Analysis Areas and Probable Environmental Effects of the EIR
C Draft Land Use Map, February 2020
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UC Santa Cruz Notice of Preparation
LRDP A-1 February 2020
ATTACHMENT A UC SANTA CRUZ LONG RANGE DEVELOPMENT PLAN DETAILED PROJECT INFORMATION
1. Project Title
UC Santa Cruz Long Range Development Plan
2. Project Contact
Erika Carpenter Senior Environmental Planner Physical Planning, Development, and Operations University of California, Santa Cruz 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 Email: eircomment@ucsc.edu
3. Lead Agency
The Board of Regents of the University of California 1111 Franklin Street, 12th Floor Oakland, California 94607
4. Project Location and Setting
The main residential campus is located in Santa Cruz County, along the northern coast of the Monterey Bay, and approximately 70 miles south of the city/county of San Francisco, 30 miles southeast of the city of San Jose, and 30 miles north of the city of Monterey (see Figure 1). Approximately 53 percent of the main residential campus (as shown in Figure 2), including the majority of the on-campus structures and facilities, is located within the city of Santa Cruz with the remaining acreage located within unincorporated Santa Cruz County. The main residential campus is bounded on the east by the Pogonip City Park and the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, on the north by privately held land, on the west by Wilder Ranch State Park and the Cave Gulch neighborhood and on the south by residential neighborhoods located in the city of Santa Cruz.
In addition to the main residential campus, UC Santa Cruz owns two other properties in the city of Santa Cruz. The Westside Research Park is located at 2300 Delaware Avenue on the west side of Santa Cruz and is included in the LRDP. The Westside Research Park is adjacent to the Natural Bridges State Park to the south, city properties zoned as mixed use to the west and north, and Antonelli Pond and the UC Santa Cruz Coastal Science Campus to the west. The surrounding area includes a mix of industrial, commercial, and housing uses, and natural areas.
UC Santa Cruz’s Coastal Science Campus is a 100-acre property on the west side of the city and is governed by a Coastal Long Range Development Plan (CRLDP) that was adopted by the Board of Regents of the University of California (The Regents) and certified by the California Coastal Commission in 2008. As a result, the Coastal Science Campus is not included in the LRDP.
UC Santa Cruz Notice of Preparation
LRDP A-2 February 2020
Source: data downloaded from Santa Cruz County in 2019
Figure 1 Regional Location
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UC Santa Cruz Notice of Preparation
LRDP A-3 February 2020
Source: data downloaded from Santa Cruz County in 2019
Figure 2 Project Location
UC Santa Cruz Notice of Preparation
LRDP A-4 February 2020
5. Description of Project
Planning Process
UC Santa Cruz began the planning process for the LRDP in the Fall of 2017 by conducting a series of meetings and interviews with campus and community stakeholders. The planning process was steered by the the LRDP Planning Committee, made up of students, staff, faculty, and community members and the Executive Committee. Expert workgroups engaged and provided feedback on planning efforts for specific topics. The campus also engaged regularly with a Community Advisory Group, consisting of city, county, and community representatives, to maintain an ongoing exchange of ideas and information and explore common goals and to discuss issues that confront both the campus and the surrounding community.
In the Spring of 2018, public workshops were held on the main residential campus and in the community, focusing on current concerns around the topics of housing, water, transportation, infrastructure and sustainability. The campus shared current planning efforts and sought feedback to help shape the approach to the LRDP. In Fall 2018, three initial land use scenarios were released for consideration and feedback through a public survey and an online visioning activity. In Fall 2019, UC Santa Cruz hosted several community and campus workshops and met with various campus stakeholders, in an effort to garner community input on potential land use plans. The draft land use map that is currently under consideration will be the proposed project considered in the EIR and is provided in Attachment C to this NOP.
Draft Project Goals
The overall objective of the LRDP is to support the teaching, research, and public service missions of UC Santa Cruz. The plan’s growth assumptions are based on campus population projections and an understanding of campus needs and goals beyond the 19,500 FTE planned for within the 2005 LRDP. However, the LRDP does not commit UC Santa Cruz to any specific enrollment level, campus population, or development. The LRDP planning effort projects on-campus student population growth from approximately 18,518 FTE students (2018–2019 academic year) to approximately 28,000 FTE students by the 2040–2041 academic year, and faculty and staff population growth from approximately 2,800 FTE to approximately 5,000 FTE in the same timeframe. Because of housing challenges in the region, UC Santa Cruz plans to accommodate 100 percent of the increase in students and up to 25 percent of the increase of the anticipated 2,200 FTE faculty/staff members in on-campus housing.3
Proposed Project
The LRDP embraces a compact academic core with housing around the periphery. The plan incorporates employee housing that would be strategically located to allow access to community resources. An enhanced historic district at the entrance to the main residential campus would provide an improved community interface. Designated reserve areas would be set-aside for ecological, cultural, and educational uses and natural space would protect wildlife corridors and scenic views. To improve circulation, the LRDP includes an improved and more efficient roadway network and enhanced alternative transportation throughout the main residential campus. Finally, the Westside Research Park would incorporate mixed use academic, research, and housing on the west side of Santa Cruz.
The 2005 LRDP land use plan established a mix of land use categories to accommodate academic, open-space, residential, and infrastructural uses. Under the proposed LRDP, these types of land use categories would be maintained but have been further refined through the LRDP planning process to reflect campus needs and functions today. The proposed land use map for the LRDP is shown in Attachment C. The LRDP identifies the following land use categories to support anticipated campus growth:
 Academic Land Use Designations (approximately 200-300 acres)
 Academic & Support—structures that facilitate teaching, research, student support and public service mission activities
3 For more detail on the commitment to onsite housing, please see Footnote 2 on page
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UC Santa Cruz Notice of Preparation
LRDP A-5 February 2020
 Outdoor Research—active landscapes for teaching, research and community education, including the following existing research programs: Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems farm, the Arboretum and Botanic Garden, and the Chadwick Garden.
 Historic District—land and structures intended to express the unique historic and cultural context for academic & support facilities, community-facing programs, and visitor resources.
 Open Space Land Use Designations (Approximately 1,350-1,550 acres)
 Campus Natural Reserve—land preserved to protect natural features and processes for the purposes of teaching and research
 Recreation & Athletics—indoor and outdoor athletic fields and facilities
 Natural Space—land preserved as open space to maintain special campus landscapes due to scenic value, special vegetation and wildlife continuity
 Residential Land Use Designations (Approximately 250 – 400 acres)
 Colleges and Student Housing—colleges and student housing, academic, and support spaces
 Employee Housing— staff and faculty housing, and support space
 Mixed Use—employee housing, academic and support space
 Other Campus Support—operations-oriented functions (Approximately 10-30 acres)
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UC Santa Cruz Notice of Preparation
LRDP B-1 February 2020
ATTACHMENT B UC SANTA CRUZ LONG RANGE DEVELOPMENT PLAN IMPACT ANALYSIS AREAS AND PROBABLE ENIVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF THE EIR
UC Santa Cruz has determined that PRC § 21080.09 requires that an EIR be prepared for this project. Therefore, as allowed under Section 15060 of the CEQA Guidelines (Title 14 Cal. Code Regs.), UC Santa Cruz has not prepared an Initial Study and will instead begin work directly on the EIR process described in Article 7 of the CEQA Guidelines, commencing with Section 15080. As required, the EIR will focus on the significant effects of the project and will document the reasons for concluding that other effects will be less-than-significant. Where significant or potentially significant environmental impacts are identified, the EIR will also discuss mitigation measures that may make it possible to avoid or reduce these impacts, when feasible.
The LRDP EIR will evaluate the probable environmental effects, including cumulative effects, of the project, in accordance with the following CEQA issue areas:
 Aesthetics – The EIR will evaluate the potential changes in the visual characteristics and quality of the main residential campus and the Westside Research Park and surrounding area.
 Agricultural and Forestry Resources – The EIR will evaluate the potential impacts to agricultural and forestry resources, including the conversion of agricultural uses to non-agricultural (educational/administrative) uses, associated with construction and operation under the LRDP.
 Air Quality – The EIR will evaluate the potential impacts resulting from implementation of the LRDP (during construction and operation) to air quality conditions, locally and regionally, and the potential for the LRDP to conflict with local and regional air quality planning efforts.
 Biological Resources –The EIR will evaluate the potential for implementation of the LRDP (including construction and operation of new/modified uses) to have a substantial adverse effect on sensitive biological species and/or habitat, as well as potential conflicts with local/regional conservation planning efforts.
 Cultural and Tribal Cultural Resources –The EIR will evaluate the potential for implementation of the LRDP (including construction and operational activities) to cause a substantial adverse change, either directly or indirectly, in the significance of archeological, historical, and tribal cultural resources.
 Energy – The EIR will evaluate potential impacts to energy resources and capacity associated with development under the LRDP.
 Geology, Soils, Paleontology, and Mineral Resources – The EIR will evaluate the potential for construction and operational activities associated with the LRDP to involve unstable geologic/soil conditions that could expose people and/or structures to substantial adverse effects. In addition, the EIR will also evaluate the potential for implementation of LRDP to affect paleontology and mineral resources.
 Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Implementation of the LRDP may result in the generation of additional greenhouse gas emissions during construction and operational activities. The EIR will evaluate the potential increase in emissions, as well as the LRDP’s consistency with applicable planning efforts.
 Hazards & Hazardous Materials – The EIR will evaluate the potential for construction and operational activities associated with the LRDP to increase hazards on campus and in the area and the potential for increased risk of exposure to hazards and hazardous materials.
UC Santa Cruz Notice of Preparation
LRDP B-2 February 2020
 Hydrology & Water Quality – The EIR will evaluate the potential for construction and operational activities associated with the LRDP to affect water quality (surface and groundwater supplies) and modify existing drainage patterns.  Land Use & Planning – The EIR will evaluate the potential for implementation of the LRDP to affect established communities and conflict with applicable plans and policies adopted for the purpose of reducing or avoiding environmental impacts.
 Noise – The EIR will evaluate the potential for construction and operational activities associated with implementation of the LRDP to increase noise levels on-campus and in the area.
 Population & Housing – The EIR will evaluate the potential for implementation of the LRDP to induce (directly or indirectly) unplanned substantial population growth or displace substantial housing or residents.
 Public Services – The EIR will evaluate the potential for implementation of the LRDP to necessitate the construction of new or modified public facilities, including fire and police stations, which could result in environmental impacts as a result of their construction.
 Recreation – The EIR will evaluate the potential for implementation of the LRDP to increase the use of existing recreational facilities such that the condition of the facilities would be substantially and adversely affected and whether the construction and/or operation of any additional/modified recreational facilities resulting from implementation of the LRDP could result in similar effects.
 Transportation – The EIR will evaluate the potential for implementation of the LRDP to increase vehicle miles traveled (VMT) locally and in the region and whether such increases would conflict with applicable plans, policies, or regulations related to the effectiveness of the local/regional circulation system. The EIR will also include a discussion of emergency access adequacy, and potential transportation hazards resulting from or increased by implementation of the LRDP.
 Utilities & Service Systems – The EIR will evaluate the potential increases in demand for utilities and service systems as a result of implementation of the LRDP.
 Wildfire – The EIR will evaluate the potential increases in wildfire risk as a result of implementation of the LRDP.
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UC Santa Cruz Notice of Preparation
LRDP C-1 February 2020
ATTACHMENT C UC SANTA CRUZ LONG RANGE DEVELOPMENT PLAN DRAFT LAND USE PLAN FEBRUARY 2020