Environmental Planning

Geisel Library

Environmental Planning reviews the environmental impacts of UC San Diego projects, developing mitigation measures for potential impacts and overseeing ongoing monitoring of these measures.

Our goals:

  1. Promote the design and construction of environmentally appropriate campus projects.
  2. Manage the environmental review process required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) – the basis for environmental law and policy in California – and UC CEQA Handbook for proposed development on campus.
  3. Develop resource management plans that promote long-term sustainability of the campus' natural resources.

UC San Diego CEQA Process

Several paths ensure compliance with CEQA – the basis for environmental law and policy in California:

  • Categorical Exemptions
  • Mitigated Negative Declarations
  • Environmental Impact Reports
Environmental Planning is responsible for determining the appropriate path for UC San Diego project proposals. See the CEQA process flowchart (PDF) for more information.

UC San Diego CEQA Tiering Process

The CEQA concept of "tiering" refers to the coverage of general environmental matters in broad program-level Environmental Impact Reports (EIR), with subsequent focused environmental documents for individual projects that implement the program.

CEQA and the CEQA Guidelines encourage the use of tiered environmental documents to reduce delays and excessive paperwork in the environmental review process. This is accomplished in tiered documents by eliminating repetitive analyses of issues that were adequately addressed in the Program EIR and by incorporating those analyses by reference. The environmental reviews of currently proposed projects on campus are tiered from the UC San Diego 2004 Long Range Development Plan Environmental Impact Report.

2004 LRDP Environmental Impact Report

UC San Diego prepared an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to evaluate the environmental effects of growth under the 2004 Long Range Development Plan. The 2004 LRDP Program EIR can be used for future environmental review of and subsequent to project-specific campus development through 2020.

A Project EIR was subsequently prepared for the East Campus Bed Tower project and certified on July 13, 2010.  This Final EIR updates the analyses contained in the 2004 LRDP EIR and, together with the 2004 LRDP EIR, serves as the basis for the long-term traffic and cumulative construction emissions analyses for future campus projects proposed under the 2004 LRDP.

2004 LRDP Final EIR (in PDF format)

2010 East Campus Bed Tower Final EIR

Mitigation Monitoring

CEQA requires that a lead agency establish a program to monitor and report on mitigation measures adopted as part of the environmental review process to avoid or reduce the severity and magnitude of potentially significant environmental impacts associated with project development. The CEQA guidelines (Section 15097 [a]) require that a mitigation monitoring and reporting program be adopted upon certification of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) or Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) to ensure mitigation measures identified in the EIR or MND are implemented.

The Mitigation Monitoring Program describes monitoring and reporting procedures, monitoring responsibilities, and monitoring schedule. Environmental Planning oversees the implementation of the Mitigation Monitoring Program.

Based on these updated analyses in the 2010 East Campus Bed Tower EIR, the 2004 LRDP Mitigation Measures (MMs) have been revised. The 2004 LRDP MMs Tra-1B and Tra-1C through Tra-1L have been removed and replaced with New LRDP MMs Tra-1 and Tra-2a through Tra-2f, and 2004 LRDP MMs Air-CA and Air-CB have been removed and replaced with New LRDP MMs Air-CA and Air-CB, and New LRDP MM Air-CC was added.

Revised LRDP EIR Mitigation Monitoring Program (PDF) – updated July 2010

Projects Currently Under Environmental Review

North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR)

The public review period for the North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood project EIR extends from November 1 through December 15, 2017. Comments may be sent no later than 5 p.m. on December 15, 2017.

The draft EIR is available in PDF format to view or download using the links below.

Public Hearing on the Draft EIR

  • When: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29
  • Where: UC San Diego Faculty Club, Atkinson Pavilion (directions); enter on the west side of the building
  • Parking: Ask the receptionist on the left for a parking permit to place on your vehicle dashboard.

Written and oral comments from interested parties will be accepted at the hearing for entry into the administrative record.

For more information, visit the project website.

Projects Pending Environmental Approval

LRDP Amendment #3 and Voigt Parking Structure IS/MND

In accordance with established University of California procedures, the President of the University of California will consider approval of the Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) Amendment #3 prior to the subsequent approval of the Voigt Parking Structure project; approval is anticipated no sooner than December 2017 and an Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) was prepared in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). 

View the Voigt Parking Structure IS/MND (PDF).


Mesa Housing Nuevo West and East Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR)

In accordance with established University of California (UC) procedures, the UC Board of Regents will consider approval of the Mesa Housing Nuevo West and Mesa Housing Nuevo East projects at the November Board of Regents meeting, which begins on Nov. 15, 2017.

The project consists of two campus student housing developments (Nuevo West and Nuevo East) and a parking structure located on separate but proximate sites within UC San Diego’s east campus Mesa Housing Neighborhood. At their November meeting, the Regents will consider the EIR that was prepared for the projects in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act.

The final EIR is available in PDF format to view or download using the links below.

Public Participation in the CEQA Process

UC San Diego encourages public participation in the environmental planning and review process. We post public notices, hold public scoping meetings and hearings, and receive and respond to comments on CEQA documents.

If you would like to participate, you can:

If you are unable to view draft environmental PDF documents, you can review them in two other ways:

  1. By appointment at the Campus Planning office. Call (858) 534-6515 to schedule.
  2. Printed versions are available during normal operating hours at the following libraries:

Public Comments

You may provide comments regarding the accuracy of draft environmental documents by:

  • Email
  • U.S. mail or delivery to:
Catherine Presymk
University of California San Diego
Campus Planning
9500 Gilman Drive, MC 0074 (for U.S. Mail)
Torrey Pines Center South, Suite 355 (for deliveries)
La Jolla, California 92093-0074

UC San Diego Natural Resource Management

UC San Diego Park

The 2004 Long Range Development Plan and Environmental Impact Report have designated campus natural resources consisting of canyons, steep slopes, native vegetation and eucalyptus groves as "Park". This integrated system of open spaces contributes significantly to the campus' identity and character and is planned as a permanent campus feature to preserve these natural resources. The UC San Diego Park consists of three types of natural reserves that have different constraints to development: Ecological Reserve, Restoration Lands and Grove Reserve.

Open Space Management Program

The 2004 LRDP EIR implemented an Open Space Management Program intended to maintain and enhance existing biological values within the UC San Diego Park. Activities addressed by the program include habitat restoration/enhancement, exotic species control/removal, erosion control, trash removal, public awareness, recreational activities research/education activities and operational protocols. It also includes monitoring measures for both habitat and species in the park. A habitat banking and monitoring program was established wherein the geographic boundaries of all mitigation lands (and associated habitat descriptions) are entered into a database and monitored by a qualified biologist to ensure that habitat values are being maintained. For more information, see the Ecological Reserve flyer (PDF).

Habitat Management Plan

A Habitat Management Plan was prepared for the management of the approximately 120-acre Ecological Reserve pursuant to the Open Space Management Program contained within the 2004 LRDP EIR. This plan takes the Open Space Management Program a step farther by providing specific direction for the preservation and long-term management of the Ecological Reserve and expands upon the applicable management guidelines identified in the LRDP. Given that UC San Diego does not record conservation easements over mitigation areas on campus lands, implementation of specific recommendations in the Habitat Management Plan ensures that the habitat functions and values of the Ecological Reserve are maintained and protected over the long term.

Questions about Environmental Planning? Contact Catherine Presymyk, (858) 534-3860.