Why is UC Riverside Preparing A New Long Range Development Plan (LRDP)?
UC Riverside has been growing consistently for many years. In pursuit of its own strategic enrollment goals, as well as in cooperation with State requirements regarding overall California resident and resident transfer student enrollment levels, UCR has steadily grown its student population year over year. For example, in Fall 2018 the campus enrolled approximately 600 more students than it did in 2017 – growth of nearly 3 percent.
The current LRDP in use by the campus was last updated in 2010, and bases its land use assumptions on a projected maximum population of 25,000 students. At 24,025 students in Fall 2018, the campus is quickly approaching this important enrollment milestone. It is time to update the LRDP to reflect UC Riverside’s current vision regarding enrollment and the physical development necessary to support continued future growth.
Who Is Involved?
The LRDP is an important reference document for the campus, University, and the general public. The Regents of the University of California, as well as the California Code of Regulations, require each campus to have a current LRDP. LRDP’s are also subject to the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which requires that decision makers and the public be informed of the potential environmental effects of a proposed project. Consequently, the Regents must consider and certify the CEQA document prior to approving an LRDP.
UC Riverside is planning to prepare a new LRDP and LRDP Environmental Impact Report to submit to the Regents for certification by early 2021. The Campus Planning unit of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Planning and Budget is entrusted with the management of the day-to-day LRDP effort, with a Steering Committee and Executive Committee providing oversight and direction. Additionally, subject-specific workgroups consisting of appointed stakeholders representing many campus perspectives will provide critical insight on key issues such as Academic and Research needs, Housing, Safety, and Instrastructure, among others.
For a complete listing of current Committee Members, please see Current Working Group Roster.
What will the Working Groups Focus On?
Academics & Research
The Academics and Research Working Group will discuss proposed enrollment and planning horizon, and identify the potential challenges and opportunities associated. Members will be challenged to explore ways to balance and accommodate student growth and research growth at UCR, as well as to help identify what some characteristics of future growth may be, and how those characteristics will influence physical planning decisions. In particular the group should review and discuss any major changes in the delivery of instruction over time, including use of technology and/or any anticipated major changes in the enrollment mix that exists now.
The Student Experience Working Group will identify areas within the built environment that will enhance the student experience across various dimensions, as well as identify current deficits and missed opportunities. Recreation, athletics, student life, and wellness environments will be emphasized. The group will bring forward ideas and principles of how to incorporate a variety of uses that all relate to the overall student experience and how these uses physically and optimally interact with each other spatially and programmatically.
The Sustainability Working Group will be challenged to explore the three dimensions of sustainability – people, planet and profit – within the UC Riverside context. The group will identify the campus’ most challenging sustainability issues, and propose innovative ideas for addressing them via land use and design of the built environment. Particular emphasis will be placed on developing strategies that will also assist the campus in meeting the University of California’s commitment to carbon neutrality, energy use reduction, water conservation, and more.
Infrastructure & Technology
The Infrastructure and Technology Working Group will explore aspects of infrastructure and technology that influence the larger campus physical environs for opportunities to realize greater efficiencies and longer building life-cycle time frames. Members will be encouraged to imagine how evolving technology may influence physical future development on campus over the next five and ten years, and identify areas of campus where growth can most easily be accommodated. The group will also be challenged to develop standards to support the campus wide storm water management plan and consider strategies that reduce UCR’s carbon footprint. It is also important for this group to identify and comment on any perceived major risks/issues they see for UCR.
City & Community
The City and Community Working Group will provide a forum to engage the Campus with city and community constituents on campus planning issues. This group will be encouraged to imagine how the campus/community interface and relationship can be strengthened through the built environment, find opportunities for collaborations/partnerships, and furnish recommendations for consideration.
The Agricultural Operations working group is tasked with developing a greater understanding of the nature of land-based research in the coming years, and how that research will influence land planning at UC Riverside. The group will be encouraged to imagine how developing technologies and changes in research methodologies may influence how the campus conducts land-based research, and what implications that will have with respect to acreage, energy/water consumption, sustainability etc. It is important that the LRDP is able to characterize land-based research that is supportive of the campus’ academic and research mission. This group will also need to carefully review the current assumptions about future development of the West Campus vs Agricultural Operations specific needs for the existing (and possible expanded) land.
Housing, Transportation, & Safety
The Housing, Transportation & Safety Working Group will focus on the high-level logistics of supporting current and future campus population needs, how physical and environmental safety, and the residential experience are impacted. Of importance will be to discuss how ongoing major capital projects including the North District development, Student Success Center and UCR Mobility Hub will change campus traffic, deliveries, pedestrian movement, and safety as student and staff populations grow. Current demand, future capacity, and needed resources will also be examined.
How Is The 2021 LRDP Different From The 2016 Physical Master Plan Study?
In 2016 UC Riverside prepared the Physical Master Plan Study (PMPS) to develop a vision for the physical environment of the campus. The study assumed a future growth of up to 30,000 students in the next decade. During the PMPS process, the campus examined how it could grow and physically develop to achieve its goal of academic excellence to meet UCR 2021, with a particular focus on the East Campus area.
In many ways, the PMPS puts forth the foundation for the 2021 LRDP. Many of the concepts and possibilities brought forth in the PMPS will be translated into more formal land uses and planning policies in the LRDP and LRDP EIR. Significantly, however, state requirements related to enrollment (discussed above) and UC Riverside’s own growth aspirations will likely increase the projected student population assumed for the LRDP. Using the 30,000 maximum student population proposed by the PMPS as a starting point, the LRDP process will analyze and define how much growth will be needed to achieve UCR’s academic goals and satisfy state requirements. Of course, planning for additional students will necessitate some changes in how the campus approaches its land use and density assumptions, which will also be reflected in the LRDP document.
What Is The Timeline?
Work on the LRDP, including necessary pre-studies, is projected to begin in November 2018, with substantial completion by end of Summer 2019 so that work can then begin on the LRDP EIR. Final revisions and adjustments to the LRDP, as needed, with be made in late 2021, with the goal of certification of the LRDP EIR, and approval of the LRDP by the Regents in Spring of 2021.