Mesa Nueva housing slated for graduate students, with 1,350 beds, is expected to be finished by July 2017.
  • Mesa Nueva housing slated for graduate students, with 1,350 beds, is expected to be finished by July 2017.
  • Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

People who live around the UCSD campus — both in University City and in La Jolla — say the coming addition of more than 5,500 dorm beds came as an unpleasant surprise. "They tell you they are putting in a single building and they build the roads to access it, and then they turn around and slam in more tall buildings," said Cameron Volker, a La Jolla resident. "We tried to have a good relationship with them, and they lied flat out about what they were planning."

UCSD Capital Improvements Map. "The coastal commission gave them the green light to exceed the coastal zone height limits of 30 feet. They came back with four or five 10-story buildings." (Click to enlarge.)

The campus is building a housing projects at the northwest end of the campus called the Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood, with 2,000 beds, and 1,250 parking spaces. The east end of campus is slated as the site for three new projects which add a total of more than 3,500 new beds and 2,400 parking spaces. The environmental impact statement for the North Torrey Pines project is now a draft in the comment period, which began on June 2 and ends July 2.

Torrey Pines North, which will cost $627 million, is going to use the Torrey Pines Gliderport for construction equipment and storage.

Both neighborhoods say they already are de facto parking lots for students and campus employees who can't or won't pay to park. They point out that if the city regulated campus development, it would require one parking space for each bed. And, they say, the university will add more employees as a result of the 5,500 new resident students — and the new staff will park in their neighborhood

Both neighborhoods say they already are de facto parking lots for students and campus employees who can't or won't pay to park.

"Traffic, parking, fire protection are all community issues no one at UCSD has to deal with because they are accountable only to the regents," said Janay Kruger, the chairwoman for the University City planning group. "For over 10 years we've been begging for a fire station that we need more with each project."

The university's plans are reviewed only by the state university system and the California Coastal Commission. (Ironically, a fight between La Jollans and the university in the early 1970s appears to be the driving force behind the Coastal Act and the creation of the coastal commission.) "The coastal commission gave them the green light to exceed the coastal zone height limits of 30 feet," Volker said. "They came back with four or five 10-story buildings."

University spokeswoman Judy Piercey said that 80 percent of the campus undergraduates are Californians, many of whom would be unable to pay the high rents near the campus. With the new Mid-Coast Trolley line slated for completion about the same time the housing is built, planners anticipate that students will use mass transit and won't need cars. But neighbors on both sides say that adding students and the staff to support them will simply drive up the numbers of people driving their streets and parking there.

"The campus was supposed to be a maximum of 10,000 people, and they are planning for 45,000" said Joy Urich, who lives in La Jolla. "Now we can look forward to some not particularly interesting buildings that block people's ability to see and feel the ocean.

The projects are in advanced planning stages, with one already under construction. Torrey Pines North, which will cost $627 million, is going to use the Torrey Pines Gliderport for construction equipment and storage. "That's three years of construction and the loss of public access at the glider port," Volker said."Nobody wants the density, nobody wants the traffic and certainly nobody wants three years of construction that change the coastline." The 1,400 bed Nuevo East project, to increase graduate and professional student housing, will cost $252 million and begin construction in 2020.

The Nuevo West grad student project, with 804 beds, will cost $178 million and will break ground in late 2019. And the Mesa Nueva housing slated for graduate students, with 1,350 beds will also cost $178 million. It is under construction now and is expected to be finished by July 2017. The university is already leasing the completed units.

Drafts of the environmental impact reports for the two east campus project not under construction yet are being written and will become available for public comment once they are finished, according to Piercey. She pointed out that the university "has formed a community advisory group so that representatives from the community can engage with campus administration of the 2018 long range development plan.

"They have those meeting so they can say they listened to community input," Urich said. "They don't actually listen."

  • Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

Comments

ucsdtriton June 26, 2017 @ 4:48 p.m.

I'd like to address some of the misinformation in this article. Responses to the claims are here:

"They tell you they are putting in a single building and they build the roads to access it, and then they turn around and slam in more tall buildings," said Cameron Volker, a La Jolla resident. At no point has UC San Diego said they're putting in a single building, EVER. See the current planning map here: http://physicalplanning.ucsd.edu/projects/map.html; I count at least 10 buildings under construction. Furthermore, this exact same website (physicalplanning.ucsd.edu) has been available to the public since at least the late '90s.

"We tried to have a good relationship with them, and they lied flat out about what they were planning." There is no lie; this is public information. The surrounding wealthy community has felt entitled to dictate the terms of expansion of the campus ("a maximum of 10,000 people") and they feel ignored when they don't get their way.

"Traffic, parking, fire protection are all community issues no one at UCSD has to deal with because they are accountable only to the regents" Parking can be regulated, and traffic isn't what the NIMBYs think it is, especially with the trolley coming in. UC San Diego has recognized its impact on the surrounding emergency response system and is constructing a fire station at the intersection of Genessee and Torrey Pines Rd. This is a net gain to the community, not a cause for complaint.

"We can look forward to some not particularly interesting buildings" What a privileged opinion! The majority of San Diego residents don't get to dwell high above the clifftops overlooking the beach. The personal private residences of those who are wealthy enough to afford them are highly likely to be considered 'not particularly interesting' buildings to the vast majority of the general public. They encroach on the public's access to Black's Beach and the surrounding beaches and blufftops. Maybe this land should revert to University land where it serves the people, not the wealthy few.

"The campus was supposed to be a maximum of 10,000 people" At no point in the University's history has 10,000 students ever been a goal. Original plans from 1960s called for a 30,000 student bull ring on the north end of campus. If enrollment was 10,000, who are the other 20,000 to fill this structure? Certainly not the NIMBYs in the surrounding community.

"They have those meeting so they can say they listened to community input," Urich said. "They don't actually listen." UC San Diego is not going to listen to demands to cap enrollment at 10,000 students. The university is already at 30,000. I'm not a representative of the University, but if the surrounding community provides reasonable, thoughtful input, then the University will be highly likely to listen and take these viewpoints into consideration. A demand of "reduce your enrollment back to 10,000" is a non-starter.

0

martygraham619 Dec. 28, 2017 @ 4:08 p.m.

Paul, you kind of proved their point with this: "They have those meeting so they can say they listened to community input," Urich said. "They don't actually listen." UC San Diego is not going to listen to demands to cap enrollment at 10,000 students.

Plus you failed to disclose that you work for UCSD and they pay you over $100,000 a year. "I'm not a representative of the University" just one of their high-pay employees.

0

Sign in to comment

Win a $25 Gift Card to
The Broken Yolk Cafe

Join our newsletter list

Each newsletter subscription means another chance to win!

Close