UC Santa Barbara Public Affairs and Communications

NEWS RELEASE

UCSB COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS HOUSING PROJECT AND PROTECTION OF OPEN SPACE FOR CAMPUS PROPERTY

November 12, 1999

A UCSB committee formed to assess a proposal for additional faculty and student housing on the university's North and West Campuses recommends in its final report that the campus should designate, on an interim basis, areas adjacent to its Coal Oil Point Reserve as open space and move forward on remaining areas to meet UCSB's immediate housing needs.

The recommended housing project, to be built over 20 years, includes 100 faculty units on inland areas of West Campus, and 144 student units and 269 faculty units on North Campus. Under the proposed plan, all identified environmentally-sensitive habitats on North Campus will be placed in UCSB's Coal Oil Point Reserve or other open space areas. The committee recommended that the parcel slated for 122 units south of the Ocean Meadows Golf Course should be held as open space while other housing alternatives are explored.

The south parcel's designation as open space is regarded as an interim measure. The long-term disposition of this area depends upondiscussions withgovernmental officials and community groups to find achievable alternative solutions to UCSB's housing needs, such as the housing transfer credit plan proposed by County officials.

The recommended housing plan is the direct result of UCSB's acute need for affordable dwellings for faculty and students, and the campus's agreements with Santa Barbara County, City, and local community and environmental groups to provide a substantial proportion of this housing so as not to drain the housing available for other county residents.

By locating residences in the North Campus area, UCSB would not only help meet both of these goals, but would also reduce the impacts of traffic and emissions by locating faculty and students near campus, according to the North Campus Advisory Group (NCAG) report.

"I am grateful to our faculty colleagues, administrative staff, students, county officials, and environmentally-concerned community friends for participating in this enormous consultation process. I am appreciative of the patient and thorough work by the North Campus Advisory Group chaired by Professor Scott Cooper, " said UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang. "We are now one important step closer to fulfilling the acute need for affordable housing for our faculty and students. We are ready to move ahead following the thoughtful recommendations of the North Campus Advisory Group."

"After 18 months of reviewing numerous documents, listening to presentations on housing needs and environmental issues, discussing these issues, and consulting with numerous campus and community groups, and local government officials and agencies, we are pleased to provide a series of recommendations which balance UCSB's needs for affordable housing with concerns about the loss of open space. I believe that the NCAG has done a thorough job of examining all of the data and issues to arrive at a sensitive compromise," said Cooper, professor and chair of the department of ecology, evolution, and marine biology, and director of UCSB's Natural Reserve System.

The North Campus Advisory Group, led by Cooper, was composed primarily of UCSB environmental scientists and biologists.

"The North Campus Advisory Group has completed a dedicated and diligent process to assure that the campus hears and addresses all of the concerns voiced for the development of the future of campus housing," said Richard Watts, chair of UCSB's Academic Senate. "The faculty owe a great debt of gratitude to Scott Cooper and the members of the group for the thoughtful effort they have exercised in reaching the conclusions embodied in their report.

"Affordable campus housing is essential if we are to continue to develop the UCSB campus by bringing to it the very best new faculty and students.

Studies of the cost of housing in the areas where faculty and students need to live in order to work and study on this campus clearly indicate the campus must find ways to accommodate new recruitments and to retain current faculty. I am convinced that housing development by UCSB on campus-owned property is key to providing affordable housing for its faculty and students. The report provides a clear way in which the campus should now proceed, with California Coastal Commission approval, to develop critically needed housing for our campus community."

Copies of the report are available at the Santa Barbara Library, Goleta Library and UCSB Library. The report is also available on the web. The URL is:bap.ucsb.edu/planning

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