Today's LRDP EIR ruling

To: UCSC Community

From: Acting Chancellor Blumenthal

As many of you know, UCSC's Environmental Impact Report, produced to assess the impacts of our 2005 Long-Range Development Plan--and to identify actions to mitigate those impacts--has been the subject of legal challenges. In Santa Cruz County Superior Court this morning, Judge Paul Burdick ruled that elements of three sections of the EIR--in housing, water, and traffic--require additional analysis or explanation of proposed mitigations. He dismissed 13 other California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) claims against the LRDP and EIR.

We are disappointed in this ruling and dispute its legal basis. When the court issues its formal remedy in late September, we will determine the most effective strategy to move forward, including appealing the decision or completing additional environmental analysis.

It's important to note that the judge acknowledged the university's right to grow responsibly to meet the needs of California's students and forcefully encouraged the parties to make every effort to resolve this dispute outside of litigation. My personal support for such negotiations is well known. The campus has attempted on multiple occasions to reach agreements with the City and County on the issues of traffic, housing, and water, and I remain committed to pursuing such a resolution.

In closing, the campus is working diligently to minimize the impact this ruling might have on our academic programs and on the students we serve.