SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - On city of Santa Cruz ballots, voters will get the chance to make a statement about the growing UC Santa Cruz campus. It’s called Measure U and it comes as the university looks into the possibility of adding 8,000 more students, by 2040.
Measure U asks people if they are against the possibly of adding students. Specifically, the measure asks if Santa Cruz residents want the government to adopt an ordinance expressing opposition to proposed enrollment growth. Right now the school makes up nearly one third of the city's population.
"It’s very clear that the community at large feels tapped out. Enough is enough,” said Coalition of Limiting University Expansion Chairman John Aird.
UC Santa Cruz spokesperson, Scott Hernandez-Jason said, "Regardless of Measure U, we are going to continue working with the community to provide them updates, information, and really make them part of this process."
It comes as UC Santa Cruz releases information about their long-range development plan for 2040. In the plan they are discussing what they would need to do if they seen an annual two to three percent growth. So, they are planning for roughly 28,000 students--a large increase over the approximately 19,000 they have now.
"This (the long-range development plan) is a plan that's dead on arrival," Aird said. Speaking with KION about Measure U, "our hope is that it passes overwhelmingly. 75 percent or more."
But the school says they are working on a plan to deal with this growth. Their long-range plan would include added housing and transportation.
"The goal is this project would draw students out of the community, and we would be able to support
them living on campus," Hernandez-Jason, said.
Hernandez-Jason calls Measure U premature, because there isn't an official proposal yet for the 2020-2040 long-range development plan. He says the planning committee should have that later this year.