May 9, 2011
UC Santa Barbara, SUN Reach Agreement on Campus's Long Range Development Plan
Santa Barbara, Calif. UC Santa Barbara and representatives of Sustainable University Now (SUN) have reached an agreement relating to the adoption of the campus's Long Range Development Plan (LRDP). Among the terms of the agreement are more effective mitigation of potential environmental impacts and allowing community groups to join UCSB oversight committees.
SUN is a coalition made up of community groups, including Citizen's Planning Association (CPA); Coalition for Sustainable Transportation (COAST); the Santa Barbara League of Women Voters; the Santa Barbara County Action Network (SBCAN); the SBCAN Action Fund; and the Santa Barbara Audubon Society. Campus officials, including Marc Fisher, UCSB's senior associate vice chancellor, administrative services, met with SUN representatives about 30 times over a six-month period to resolve issues related to the plan and to craft the agreement.
"This was a collaborative, collegial, and informative process," said Fisher. "We, together, affirmed that the campus and the environmental community share many common sustainability goals. This agreement solidifies our mutual approach and commitment to those goals."
A statement issued by Ron Cortez and Bruce Tiffney, co-chairs of the Chancellor's Sustainability Committee, said: "UCSB values and appreciates the participation of the community in realizing UCSB's aggressive sustainability goals. We look forward to working with members of the public in working toward an efficient, effective, and sustainable future for Santa Barbara, California, and the nation."
Richard Flacks, SUN convener, said: "We sought to accelerate the campus's movement toward environmental sustainability and ensure that its future growth serves the wider community by focusing on transportation, housing, biological resources, water resources and energy. The agreement also provides for SUN representatives to sit on a number of campus committees that influence campus policy on sustainability and impact issues."
Among the highlights of the agreement:
The campus will strive to reduce car trips to campus, thereby reducing congestion and emission levels. This will include reducing the number of future parking spaces by 650 from the original campus plan. It will also include increasing the number of bicycle paths and bicycle parking spaces. Reductions in campus-related car trips will also help the campus avoid substantial financial penalties under a parallel agreement the campus has with the City of Goleta and Santa Barbara County.
The campus will continue and expand opportunities for effective alternative transportation services. The campus also will eventually replace its car and truck fleet with ultra fuel-efficient vehicles.
The campus agrees to build housing for all new students in a timely manner and up to 1,800 units for faculty and staff. "If the campus fulfills its faculty/staff housing plans, it will make a major contribution to easing the region's shortage of housing for people who work here," Flacks said.
The campus will revise the LRDP's water analysis if supplies are less than projected. In addition, the campus will prioritize conservation in meeting future shortfalls and will continue to be a leader in reclaimed water use.
The campus will generally maintain a 100-foot buffer between development and all environmentally sensitive habitat areas, and will make its lands available for other habitat restoration projects.
The campus will monitor and report on greenhouse gas emissions and implement energy reduction strategies.
The campus will appoint members of the SUN coalition as ex-officio members to several campus advisory committees.
As part of the agreement, SUN agrees to collaborate with Santa Barbara County on a parking permit program for Isla Vista, and will support approval of UCSB's 2010 LRDP before the California Coastal Commission.
UCSB's LRDP has already been endorsed by the City of Goleta, Santa Barbara County, and has been adopted by the UC Regents.