UCSC to hold public workshop on Long Marine Laboratory plan on August 15

The University of California, Santa Cruz, will hold a public workshop on Thursday, August 15, to discuss the preliminary draft of the Coastal Long Range Development Plan (CLRDP) for Long Marine Laboratory. The meeting will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. in the La Feliz Room of the Seymour Center at Long Marine Laboratory, 100 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz.

Anyone interested in this topic is urged to attend the workshop and provide input, share information, or ask questions.

The more than 300-page draft addresses the future development of UCSC's marine science campus, including such issues as where it is best to build, public access to the area, utilities, and drainage. The wetlands report, which fills two binders, looks at where the wetlands are and how to ensure that they are adequately buffered.

Copies of the Preliminary Draft Coastal Long Range Development Plan and a final report on wetlands in the Long Marine Laboratory area are now available. Paper copies may be reviewed at the Central Santa Cruz Public Library, 224 Church St., and UCSC's McHenry Library. They may also be ordered from Kinko's Copies, at (831) 425-1177. The CLRDP and the wetlands report are also available online at www2.ucsc.edu/ppc/planning/lml.html and in compact disc format. The free CD may be ordered by calling (831) 460-3570.

Written comments on the draft plan are due by September 1, 2002, at the UCSC Campus and Community Planning Office, 515 Swift St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060.

A UCSC planning committee, which includes representatives of the city of Santa Cruz and staff from the California Coastal Commission, has been working since fall 1999 to develop plans for the Long Marine Lab site, including the 55 acres acquired by UCSC in spring 1999.

In December of that year, the committee adopted a set of planning principles for developing the site as a marine research and education center that were presented to the public at an open house.

The university hired a consulting team--EHDD Architecture, a San Francisco firm that developed the original Long Marine Lab Master Plan over 20 years ago and also designed the Monterey Bay Aquarium; and BMS Design Group, also from San Francisco--to prepare the Coastal LRDP for the site. In spring 2000, the consultants and the planning committee met with interested parties in a series of focus-group workshops. Environmental groups, agricultural interests, and the Terrace Point Action Network were among the participants in the focus groups.

At the second public meeting, held in June 2000, the consultants and the planning committee presented the input they had received from the focus groups. In addition, consultants unveiled six different schematics, showing how the site might be developed as a marine research and education center.

At the third public meeting, held in October 2000, three site concepts were presented and discussed. In December 2000, meanwhile, the expansion of Long Marine Lab was discussed at a meeting of the Coastal Commission in San Francisco. Commissioners at that meeting asked UCSC staff and consultants to reexamine the boundaries of a seasonal pond and the drainage areas that make up the wetlands on the site.

The results of that wetlands review were discussed at a workshop in July 2001. A revised site plan was also presented, reflecting past discussions about incorporating research and educational facilities on the site, preserving open space on the site, and providing housing that would support the needs of the marine programs there.

The draft report was completed following that workshop and will be discussed by UCSC staff and project consultants at the upcoming workshop.

The draft will serve as the basis for the Coastal Long Range Development Plan--and accompanying Environmental Impact Report (EIR)--that the university will prepare for consideration by the UC Regents and the California Coastal Commission, probably sometime next year. (An Environmental Impact Report Scoping Meeting for the CLDRP was held in November 2001 to seek comments on issues to be discussed in the draft EIR.)

For maps of the site and additional information, go to the web site: www2.ucsc.edu/ppc/planning/lml.html