Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Let's Review UCSB's Long Range Development Plan

From a citizen stringer:

A topic that needs discussion and airing is UCSB's LRDP, which is the major planning exercise for UCSB. The old one was put together in 1990, and the new one was due in 2005, and the public process has just begun for the new one. LRDP stands for `Long Range Development Plan', and that is UCSB's major blueprint for the future, like the General Plan for a City.

UCSB's LRDP website is:

In the reports there, you can read that UCSB planned in 1990 to grow to 20,000 students, 1,175 faculty, 2,650 staff, and to add 1.21 million square feet of buildings, 2,000 student beds, and 50 new faculty housing units by 2005.

In fact, the numbers now are 20,000 students, 1,054 faculty, 3,631 staff, 1 million square feet of buildings, 1,776 student beds, and 172 faculty housing units. The main difference is a lot more staff; the faculty housing has actually not yet been built.

The plans for the next 20 years include: adding 5,000 new students, 300 new faculty, 1,400 new staff, 5,386 student beds, and 1,800 new housing units for faculty and staff.

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Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

Outsource the "UCSB Long Range Development Plan" to the Santa Barbara City Planning Department. It's the best we've got. It's like sending in the 82nd Airborne. They'll start by taking the airport and then take the Mesa Campus. They'll study the earlier Plan of the Marines and take it from there.

This is serious business.

Guarantees are needed that Academics are not doing planning...oh my God, the thought of it gives me "frissons."

6/14/2007 4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UCSB has a responsibility to the surrounding community to cap its growth. Sustain thyself!

6/14/2007 5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Growing UCSB is the best damn industry this area could attract.

6/14/2007 7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UCSB has done a great job. The City really could learn about planning from them. They get things done!

6/14/2007 8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it really worth discussing when no city or county agency has the authority to stop the growth out there?

6/14/2007 8:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This growth should be removed.

6/14/2007 10:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn industry is right. This place is damned if UCSB doesn't cap it's growth.

6/14/2007 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard Travis had a secret meeting with Blockbuster the other day. The "heinous meeting" involved renting some no doubt despicable movies. Don't those "stooges" at Blockbuster realize what we are trying to do? Why didn't they even consult with us?

Sara, what should we do? Should we falsely accuse Blockbuster of being sexist? "Part of me is ready to move on", but maybe we should have a "casual study"?

How's the anti-climax treating ya?

6/14/2007 10:36 PM  
Anonymous take the long road and walk it said...

Whole sound-bite advocate opinions, such as anonymous 6/14 @ 7:33 PM are exactly what is wrong with any review process. All growth must eventually come to an end for "sustainability." UCSB can build all the "Green" monuments the donors and State Governemnt can support but in the end "growth" takes resources and creates impacts. Regardless of UCSB's dominace in the local economy it's importance or proposals should not permit it's continued degradation to the community's desire for sustainability.

6/14/2007 10:44 PM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

What goes on out there does effect the community obviously. And as we know, City College and the University, are IN Santa Barbara (In the case of UCSB, thanks to some nifty downfield political running by the Storke family of old Newspress fame). Yet, planning review is not given to the City in either case. Why is that?

Westmont on the other hand, gets regularly bashed and mashed in the planning process.

For my money, the Santa Barbara Planning Department IS the best planning agency we have on the South Coast, and the best thing that could happen would be that they were brought into the picture of University Plans and Planning. Somehow the Santa Barbara Planning Department must become part of the process. That's my suggestion. I can even see how this might be done financially.

It is the autonomy of University planning that results in the mediocre results of the campus. Now that the University has an excellent fund development administration, it is time to put that to use and as they say for Iraq, "change direction."

6/15/2007 7:06 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

Could anonymous 10:36 actually be Travis? So nasty.

Bonjour Travis. Keeping up with the community dialogue?

6/15/2007 7:09 AM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

I would hope that the folks who lament the dearth of well-paid, middleclass jobs in the County are not the same folks complaining about growth at UCSB. The University is a source of stable, relatively high-paying middleclass jobs, that are nearly immune to perterbations in the economy. While not pollution free, education is a fairly clean industry. Also, drawing highly educated people to the area is good for the general cultural milieu. As long as UCSB is going to take responsibility for providing some of its own housing and transportation, I, for one, am willing to give the plan a chance.

6/15/2007 8:04 AM  
Anonymous k. moran said...

UCSB has never stepped up to the plate and been a leader in Isla Vista. They treat IV like an unwelcome stepchild, who is lucky to get any table scrap, and they kick it when it doesn't show dutiful respect.

What's amazing is that UCSB and IV are planning to add something like 15,000 new residents inside the 1 or two square miles of place. UCSB is so high handed they've pissed off the Sewer and Water district, Those local agencies can charge quite a bit for the new development... it ain't true that there are no agencies that can influence the growth. UCSB needs water, poop removal, and streets that go into it, also bus lines and bikepaths.

6/15/2007 8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Growth at UCSB is good. And there are plenty of other activities that can contract and we end up with a higher quality community and a net sum zero.

Stop thinking growth at UCSB is all bad and nothing good. It is fantastic to have such a world class university as one of our major sustaining economic forces.

Let's contract tourism and the Spearimint Rhino crowds it attracts. Or, all the dumb RV squatters this city intentionally invites. And trade all of that for some good, healhty UCSB growth.

6/15/2007 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The City Planning Department is a joke. Didn't they review the plans for the Granada Affordable Housing Project. How wide is Anacapa?

6/15/2007 1:37 PM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

I watched the Granada Garage fiasco. I was there for the DETAILS, let me tell you.

Too bad George Gerth ( a great, classic, funny guy with great ties and remarkable vehicles who drank at Jimmy's)--better known as the City's Parking Czar, suddenly tragically died. He was right in the middle of the planning. (Maybe it killed him? Who knows?)

Anyway, he was working hard in the system, and knew the ins and outs of the City process well. What I mean by that is: his body was bruised, his hair greying, and life was tough. As we all know, "Shit Happens" or as more polite people say nowadays--here amongst the more educated class: "We discovered the reality of a lurking Black Swan event."

I think what happened was that one day, the site plan for the building suddenly had a requirement to move a number of feet towards the street and that was priority number one (It had already been tweaked to maximum capacity)--I don't remember the reason, but it was a good one, that is to say a necessary one, and then at the same time, there was enormous political pressure that the whole thing had to open for Xmas to please the merchants and protect the economy. That killed farther review and pondering.

Street landscaping and tree wells disappeared, and oops, now we know, an entry lane. From what I saw, the public was stupendously involved in the process and every constituency in the community got to glob something of their preference onto the garage. Too bad we didn't have an entryway constituency!

Remember there was a Children's Museum, Ensemble Theatre, Rooftop Housing, Bicycle Showers and Lockers, Restrooms, and Harriet the Mayor wanted to go deeper, "DEEPER SHE SAID!" And soon, this became the only garage in our already cathedral-like system of parking garages (dedicated to a religious reverence for the automobile--as key to all abundance) that didn't have openings in the walls to let in nature and light, and structural issues came to the fore, and ruled the day. Suddenly air needed to be circulated so as not to die of suffication while in use by the public.

It's a great story but hey, it all started with the heartfelt notion that this was across from the sacred Courthouse, and this had to be good, really good. Everybody went after it with gusto and the process was very Santa Barbara.

Personally I think it would make a great study of what goes wrong when the process is really democratic, the politicians push for what everybody wants, the planners get knocked around, and we're in a hurry.

And talk about expensive! I can remember going to the Council podium when the idea first came up which was when the City discovered that it had more Redevelopment Money than they had thought at the time ($18 million I think, but Dave Davis warned us this might be the last golden goose egg). I had the audacity to suggest that the Parking guys should only get $9,000,000 or half, and the rest should be used for other neat stuff. Gregg Hart agreed with me but was voted down.

So it ended up costing probably about $30,000,000, maybe more. The official number is too low, but that's politics. It's kind of Iraqian-like in its use of reconstruction numbers.

So the moral of this story as related to UCSB, is study this fiasco, but let City Planning in anyway on Long Term UCSB planning. UCSB's own self nurtured fiascos are even more enormous than the Granada Parking Garage.

Some day just for fun, I'll tell you about the day I spent in committees where we were just thinking about the name and what color to paint the signage on the now infamous Garage.

Now that China owns all the cement and rebar in the world, don't even think about this kind of project again.

6/15/2007 7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Granada Housing Project is a shrine to housing those who have not earned it, while the rest of us have to struggle, the lucky few thanks to the city get to lord it over us.

Thanks a lot city - do you really understand what you are doing to those of us who have actually worked and sacrificed to be here?

Stop handing out freebies to only a few lucky people -- either give us ALL cheap housing or none at all. But is plain unfair to give it away to only a few - for what reason?????

6/15/2007 10:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could anonymous 10:36 actually be Travis? So nasty.

Bonjour Travis. Keeping up with the community dialogue?

You're welcome, and I'm not Travis. How does that make you feel to know that?

1. Comments which try to point to the identity of another reader/commenter will not be published. For example, "Bob -- I know that's you" will not be published as Bob might want to stay anonymous.

(Unless of course the someone is part of the agenda. If that's the case, Sara's double standard will be engaged.)

6/15/2007 10:45 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

10:45 pm -- you are right, I shouldn't have let that one slip by....and you probably shouldn't have introduced a subject that wasn't part of the post.

6/16/2007 2:39 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

10:45 PM Anonymous. My sincere apologies. Anonymous postings always make me feel
like asking "Who's that?". So many anonymous's, so hard to tell them apart.

Again my sincere apologies. I'll try never to guess again.

6/16/2007 6:15 AM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

"So many anonymous's"

I prefer anonymooosi

6/16/2007 11:41 AM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

Pop Quiz: (#2 pencils only)

What's the difference between students, faculty and staff?

Ha Ha...Trick question. The answer is nothing.

Seems like the Uni just ignored the population restriction of the BOS and the Coastal Commies. by 1000 people or so. But it's ok to decieve and ignore the gov't (especially when you are the gov't)..Right Scooter?

Scooter says: "I want to bunk with Paris :-P...and fold origami with Emperor Yang "

Not sure how they got the OK to increase the pop again by 6700 polluters, er people. If it wasn't OK last year, how could it possibly by OK next year? Let's not even talk about the other ten thousand or so people the COG needs bring in to meet the demand for...what was all that demand for again??

Wow, that's some beautiful maneuvering. I think we should all approve a 1% increase in all taxes to give all them "Deciders" a raise. God knows they earned it.

I was thinking of helping out with some neighborly input but I think it'd be like wrestling with a pig...You both get dirty and the pig likes it.

6/16/2007 12:49 PM  
Anonymous k. moran said...

sa1... the legal restriction was only on the number of students, not faculty and staff.

Students are actually the most profitable from a public moneys perspective... they only reside here for 9 months but pay loads of sales tax, and 3/4 of them pay rent to landlords for the full 12 months, even when they move home for the summer.

Students have darned few children, and put little load on the schools (the UCSB/IV community would have 3 or 4 elementary schools if it were all `adults', but as it is, it has one (IV School) filled mainly with the children of very low paid service workers who work cleaning the homes and caring for the elderly of Goleta and Santa Barbara).

So it is the usual mess up that the limit was on students. Limiting staff growth makes the most sense from a public policy perspective, and staff is the least paid attention to in the public process.

UCSB admin actually detests the wrestling, and nearly always caves with cash payments. The administration, through and through to the highest levels, is extremely ignorant about the local community and even their own students and staff. They also are arrogant and dismissive of the local community. So in the end they find it easiest to fork over dollars to compromise, which they then just turn around and harvest from student rents in the dorms and lower salaries for their staff and faculty.

And like admins everwhere, they then turn around and give themselves big raises.

6/17/2007 10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do UCSB administrators (who work the full year compared to faculty who do not work the full year)get the same percentage increases as other faculty and staff or are all three schedules bargained for at different rates: (1) faculty (2)staff and (3)administration

6/17/2007 11:36 PM  
Anonymous k. moran said...

UCSB faculty work the whole summer doing research, which determines their professional advancement. Their teaching is pretty much ignored in their professional advancement. Publish or perish.

Staff and faculty never have received `COLA' increases. In fact, their salaries have been clamped flat for 5 years or so (there was a 2% or so increase in the last year, but before that, 4 or 5 years, since the CA budget crises). Staff and faculty salaries are way behind comparable institutions now (10 to 15%) without any consideration of SB's cost of living relative to places like College Station, TX or State College, PA.

The administration gets raises directly from the Regents, and all sorts of extra compensation is available, and lots of special pleading about needs to stay competitive, etc. Administration compensation has outpaced inflation by a considerable amount.

A typical situation: an administrator for UC Santa Cruz got $50,000 to move from Santa Cruz to Oakland.

The UCSB administration is one of the best in the system, actually. But they still swim in the same polluted river as the rest of them.

6/18/2007 9:37 AM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

"the legal restriction was only on the number of students, not faculty and staff."

Any chance some of the 1,000 are grad student teachers/support staff who could be classified as students? Along with the large increase in transfer ready SBCC students (in IV?), is UCSB maybe guilty of circumventing the "intent" of the contract?

What was the source (by dept) of the staff mis-estimation? 1,000 people is a 26 % increase in support bodies from planned. Just goes to the credibility when you read the"Vision Statement".

What about Goleta Beach? Is there any concern about how this large increase in planned pop will impact the community's enjoyability quotient? Are we going to see "alternate tribal lifestyle activity" over BBQs, picnic tables, boomboxes, parking, dogs, restrooms! Will we ever be able to just walk into the Beachside Cafe and get a table?

Will we find that the EIR finds that no upgade at GB is permissable but the pop increase is already approved so "let's just move on folks"....

6/18/2007 10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do UCSB faculty and staff get automatic "step" increases, just staying around and not doing anything more to get them?

Do they get automatic increases in health and retirement benefits when these expenses annually go up, or do they have to pay these annual increases out of pocket until the next round of negotiations?

What would be the size of a nest egg to produce the income that is the equivalent of UCSB retirement benefits? At let's say 5%.

How many faculty and staff are moving to Collegetown, PA next year?


6/18/2007 9:18 PM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

So I've been through the report three times, read, rinse, repeat.
(Don't tell the Uni, I'm shunning them)

–adjective 1. having the simplicity, charm, serenity...

Anybody realize they're putting in 4 and 5 story buildings?. Mock that up and let's see what that does for the views in the area.

Why was the first project approved in the far corner of the kingdom for faculty/staff housing? 1,000 unplanned people in the area?

Maybe they were just marking their territory so the rest of their idylic neighborhoods could be sold to the BOS as infill. The approvals are easy the farther you are from sensetive sights.

What about the impact to local retail sites? I asked them once and they said "yeah...we don't care, not our problem."

COG approved a large comercial building plaza just down the street. Is anyone taking this into account? Traffic, street wear, sewers, water, all concentrated on what used to be a quiet part of town.

Notice all the parking lots they're pushing out to the city line rather than say in IV where they belong?

I could go on but that'd be like playing Melfi to their Tony Soprano.

6/18/2007 9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:18pm... no automatic step increases. Increases in healthcare costs have been shared between U and staff/faculty deductions. UC retirement system is in a shambles, and 10% salary deduction by staff/faculty for the 401a to start in 2009. Drama/theater department at UCSB just lost three of its star young faculty to other institutions. There have been many, many losses in the past year.

6/18/2007 11:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We worry too much about losing "star" people. Good enough is good enough. Look what all the "star" worshiping has done for the NewsPress and Montecito.

I'd settle for pretty ordinary myself and that goes for health care, education and local gossip. That was good enough for Santa Barbara a few decades ago. Star worship has put this town where it is now.

Let the prima donna faculty go and get back to the core issue of educating young people - this does not take rocket science - just dedicated competency and elvated mediocracy.

The heck with "stars" - cut 'em loose and don't bother saying goodby.

6/19/2007 9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1,000 unplanned people in the area?

Yikes: Guess they've never heard of the condom

6/19/2007 3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heh, heh ..good one. Use a condom or build another condo.

6/19/2007 6:10 PM  
Anonymous clarence said...

Young faculty stars are a bit different than Ophrah or Rob Lowe, and they certainly don't earn or cost even 1/50 of what Ophrah and Lowe do. Don't see them as household names anywhere around here.

The rank and file at UCSB are also not in good spirits... 4 years of no pay increases will do that, as will a messed up pension fund, as will the spiraling health costs. UC is not like local public schools or the County, although it is not as brutal as the private sector either (although the UC pay is not as high as the private sector).

UCSB does have Salsipuedes going on, both literally in terms of good young faculty moving away, and more figuratively in terms of its staff and faculty starting to freelance in a variety of ways. Less and less do people there care about doing a good job.

UC is in a very bad way. The administrations are antagonistic toward the bulk of employees, and the administrators seem to lump the great bulk of employees (including all levels of staff and faculty) in with the loudest complainers. And so the administration seems to genuinely dislike the great bulk of employees. It's a recipe for dysfunction.

6/19/2007 11:05 PM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

Wasn't there a famous experiment involving too many rats in a cage? Seems to me the four and five story units are going to enclose the area even more, restrict views looking north and also the view of the whole area looking south from the rise of Storke Rd. overpass. A sea of roofs and high rises. What's that view worth to the whole south coast community?

There used to be a beautiful view biking down El Colegio, per the new plan the entire view north is blocked. The ambience of the trip is changed from open to closed in, further isolating the feel of the campus. The feel of maximizing capacity from footprint to traffic is all over this plan. Max capacity is not what Goleta should be about.

The Ocean rd. piece is good as it's siteing and orientation goes with the flow and adds a lot of value to IV.

Although it's proposed as a LRDP, the bulk of the impact to Goleta neighborhoods, streets and freeway will be complete within the next 6-7 years!

The BOS just dealt negatively with a "View Issue" a few miles away, off 101 with the Ballentyne proposed mansion on the hill. Why are the views within Goleta Valley, less important.

What happens when like many so-called mitigations get bought off by cash and then lost in the system the way the Marketplace money did. Sure'd be nice if some investigative Clark Kent could follow up with all the promised mitigations and what their status is today.

I can only hope that COG and the county will take a critical eye to the cost/benefit ratio and negotiate accordingly.

6/20/2007 1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I hear one more bloated benefit union pack complain there "morale" is bad, I may spit.

These are my tax dollars these people are sucking up. Tell them to appreciate them more. Or get a job in private industry and see how well their "morale" problem scam will work there.

Only civil service people actually believe they should be paid to not have "morale" problems. Give it up.

6/20/2007 3:08 PM  
Anonymous student for consistent architecture said...

i am sorry but ucsb makes the worst decisions about building. have you seen the new srb? when do they finish it? oh wait i think they were going for the concrete prison look. why dont they build all of the buildings in the same architectural style? they want to make the university more prestigious but that includes making it look like an elite school instead of a prison. it makes me embarrassed when i go to sc or ucla or any number of schools campus to visit friends. consistent

11/08/2007 6:19 PM  

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