PROTECT UPPER CAMPUS

LAFCO public hearing on June 6, 2012 is our best hope to fight a plan to bulldoze UCSC’s Upper Campus. The proposed Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) would develop 240 acres and construct 3,000,000 square feet of new buildings in what is now the campus natural reserve.  This development would destroy fragile ecosystems and local hydrology, stress an already taxed city water supply, and threaten endangered species including federally listed salmon and steelhead trout.

Despite the University of California’s fiscal crisis, UCSC administrators are proceeding with the Long Range Development Plan (LRDP), an initiative that would fund unsustainable infrastructure at the expense of education, sensitive ecosystems, and regional water sustainability. On June 6, the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) will vote on a resolution that will determine the fate of this plan.

Since 2005, the UCSC administration has been planning for expansion into the redwood and chaparral landscapes of upper campus. In order to enact this plan, UCSC needs LAFCO – a governmental body tasked with curbing urban sprawl – to approve the extension of water service to that area. At the June 6 meeting, LAFCO has the authority to force the University to rethink its plans for expansion and to seriously consider ways to live within the region’s natural limits to growth.

The proposed LRDP would develop 240 acres and construct 3,000,000 square feet of new buildings in what is now the campus natural reserve.  This development would destroy fragile ecosystems and local hydrology, stress an already taxed city water supply, and threaten endangered species including federally listed salmon and steelhead trout. Water scarcity is already critical in Santa Cruz County. Current water usage is depleting our aquifers, creating salt water intrusion, depriving the San Lorenzo River of its natural flows, and leading the City to pursue the construction of an energy-intensive, costly desalination plant. Proposed UCSC campus development would only add to these burdens.

The June 6 LAFCO public hearing is our last best hope to change the direction of this plan.

Please join us, make our voice stronger, by signing this petition now.

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