UCSC seeks community input for Long Range Development Plan

UC Santa Cruz wants to hear from public as it develops long range development plan

WATSONVILLE, Calif. - UC Santa Cruz is seeking input from Central Coast communities as they work to create a new Long Range Development Plan for its campus.

Though the final plan is still years away, the work towards developing it is well underway.

The final plan most likely won't be submitted until 2020. UC Santa Cruz officials say community input is not just critical at this stage, it can also bring major improvements to the university.

The University of California Santa Cruz serves more than just the town it's named for.

"We serve the whole state, we serve the whole country," said Sarah Latham, Vice-chancellor of business and administrative services at the university.

Officials say the long range development plan will help them continue to do that.

"It's a land use plan similar to a city's general plan and so we're looking out to the year 2040 to determine what different land use designations we should have on campus to support our mission," Latham said.

The plan looks at things already of concern at the university. That includes housing, transportation and water, just to name a few.

It's a couple of years away from being completed, it'll go to the board in 2020, but Sarah Latham says it's important to hear from the community early on.

"It gives you time to do plenty of feedback sessions, it also gives you time to do a very in depth environmental impact report," Latham said.

Though the plan wouldn't be implemented for nearly two decades, it's work that the younger generation can appreciate.

"Having an express that's coming from Watsonville all the way up, all the way to housing and making sure our fragile student populations have the ability to have that on campus housing to really feel connected to the community," said Dr. Michelle Rodriguez with the Pajaro Valley Unified School District.

And as UC Santa Cruz officials continue to develop that plan, they want the Central Coast community to be involved.

"The feedback we're gathering will be shared with the planning committee who's leading the process for putting the plan together," Latham said, "The feedback really helps inform us about different options and scenarios as we're going forward."

A Capitola meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, click here for more information on that and how to submit feedback online.

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