UC Berkeley News
Press Release

UC Berkeley Press Release

UC Berkeley releases final, revised land use plan

topkey  LRDP in full: Check out UC Berkeley's land use plan

– University of California, Berkeley, officials released today (Monday, Jan. 3) the final version of the 2020 Long Range Development Plan (LRDP), moving the campus a major step forward to implementing a new campus land use plan for the next 15 years.

The policies and guidelines set out in the document seek to meet the future teaching and research needs of the campus community while preserving the historic architecture, natural beauty and unique character of UC Berkeley.

Both the 2020 LRDP and a specific project, the Chang-Lin Tien Center for East Asian Studies, will be presented to the UC Board of Regents for consideration at its Jan. 18 meeting.

"UC Berkeley is a premiere public university, and this plan reflects our commitment to renew the campus in a way that enhances our core academic mission and also maintains that special sense of community that is so important to all of us," said UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau.

Each campus in the UC system is required by the Board of Regents to create a new long range development plan and environmental impact report (EIR) every 15 to 20 years. UC Berkeley's current plan was adopted in 1990.
The new 2020 LRDP and EIR describes the scope and distribution of campus growth anticipated through 2020 and establishes policies to guide decisions on the location, scale and design of individual campus projects.

As outlined in initial drafts of the plan, first presented to the public in early 2003, building space for academic and support programs could increase by up to 18 percent or 2.2 million square feet; university housing could increase by as much as 32 percent or 2,600 new beds; and campus parking spaces could increase by as much as 30 percent or 2,300 new spaces.

The final document retains the same guiding principles and land use policies set out in the draft 2020 LRDP. However, campus planning officials have made several changes in response to comments received from community residents, concerns raised in public hearings, and suggestions offered by Berkeley city officials during meetings with campus leaders.

More than 150 individuals submitted comments opposing plans for up to100 units of faculty housing in the hill area of the campus. The comments include concerns about traffic problems, wildfire hazards, emergency access problems and ecological impacts. Campus officials have dropped those faculty housing plans from the final 2020 LRDP.

UC Berkeley also received numerous letters and public comments about traffic, including worries that a 30 percent increase in parking spaces would exacerbate problems. Several residents called on campus officials to reduce congestion by providing all its employees with a free transit pass.

While UC Berkeley's current employee drive-alone rate is impressive, 50 percent for the campus compared to 66 percent for Alameda County, the final 2020 LRDP describes a full range of campus programs designed to further encourage use of public transportation. For example, in October 2004, the campus launched its Bear Pass program, which provides employees with unlimited rides on AC Transit lines for just $20 a month.

The 2020 LRDP has also been changed to defer 500 of the 2,300 new parking spaces until after 2020 if AC Transit begins construction on a bus rapid transit route along Telegraph Avenue by 2010. Campus officials project that such a transit system could further reduce the drive-alone rate of campus staff and lower parking demand.

The final 2020 LRDP, as well as earlier versions of the document, incorporates a strong ethic of resource conservation and environmental stewardship. It includes provisions to protect and enhance the historic structures and features of the campus. It also designates as off-limits to construction the most precious areas of the campus landscape -- its beautiful creeks, woodlands and glades -- and identifies areas for new landscaping projects and other open space improvements.

The proposed Tien Center, a two-building complex which would be located on the central campus near Doe Library and Observatory Hill, is a tangible example of how the principles of the draft 2020 LRDP would translate into building projects. The Tien Center's architectural design would respect and complement the classical forms of nearby buildings. The Tien Center would provide a new home for UC Berkeley's East Asian Library and academic programs focused on East Asia.

The public is invited to view the final 2020 LRDP and EIR. The document is available on the 2020 LRDP Web site at http://lrdp.berkeley.edu and copies may be viewed at the following locations: the UC Berkeley Doe Memorial Library; the UC Berkeley Environmental Design Library; the Central and Claremont branches of the Berkeley Public Library; the Rockridge branch of the Oakland Public Library; and the Albany branch of the Alameda County Public Library.

The UC Regents' Committee on Grounds and Buildings will consider the final LRDP and EIR on Jan. 18 at UC San Francisco's Laurel Heights campus.