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2019 Hillcrest Campus LRDP

UC San Diego Health is one of five academic medical centers within the 10-campus University of California system. Collectively known as UC Health, these medical centers comprise California’s fourth largest healthcare delivery system and train nearly 50 percent of the state’s medical students and residents.

The only academic medical center in the San Diego region, UC San Diego Health maintains a two-campus strategy, integrating research, teaching and clinical care at its Hillcrest and La Jolla locations. UC San Diego has had a presence in Hillcrest since 1966 when the university began operating the county hospital.

Covering approximately 60 acres, the Hillcrest Campus is located 13 miles south of the UC San Diego La Jolla Campus and is a critical regional resource. The Hillcrest Campus has a Level 1 Trauma Center, Regional Burn Center and Comprehensive Stroke Center as well as provides a significant portion of San Diego County’s uninsured inpatient care.

Through the 2019 LRDP, UC San Diego addresses replacement of the campus’s aging and outdated buildings and the need for its acute care facilities to become compliant with seismic safety provisions of the California Hospital Code by 2030. The 2019 LRDP aligns with the goals of UC San Diego Health’s 2013 Clinical Strategic Plan.

The Hillcrest 2019 LRDP is the third comprehensive long-range plan for the physical development of the campus. UC San Diego produced previous plans for the Hillcrest in 1978 and 1995.

View the Final Hillcrest Campus 2019 Long Range Development Plan (PDF).


Development of a Hillcrest Master Planning Study, the Long Range Development Plan —and its required Environmental Impact Report— was a multi-faceted effort and included consultation with a variety of stakeholders: faculty, physicians, staff, adjacent cities and neighborhoods, community planning groups and agencies such as the City of San Diego and the San Diego Association of Governments. The process, which began in 2016, involved three general stages: development, outreach and approval.

Stage 1 – Plan Development

  • Campus leadership formed an Executive Steering Committee ¾an advisory committee comprised of a range of campus stakeholders charged by the chancellor. The steering committee facilitated development of a strategic vision for the Hillcrest Campus. This vision served as the basis for the Master Planning Study and associated population and development projections through 2035.
  • The MPS process allowed planners to study alternative land use scenarios and development implications to accommodate the physical growth associated with necessary program requirements.
  • Planners and leadership developed existing conditions and baseline studies during this stage, including circulation and access studies, land use and infrastructure studies and biological resources analyses.
  • The MPS effort led to a new urban design framework and guiding principles for the Hillcrest Campus, which then formed the basis of the general land use plan that is the new LRDP.
  • The steering committee reviewed and provided input on the planning and land use assumptions that were incorporated into the MPS and the LRDP for the Hillcrest Campus.
  • An EIR was prepared to analyze the potential environmental impacts of the LRDP.

Stage 2 – Outreach

  • Throughout the plan development process, UC San Diego held a variety of community meetings, town halls, work groups and presentations as well as a public scoping meeting and a public hearing.
  • UC San Diego shared information on the process via email, campus publications, websites and social media.

Stage 3 – Approval

  • After extensive outreach, planner sand leadership finalized the LRDP and the EIR and presented them to the UC Regents at their November 2019 hearing.
  • The UC Regents certified the EIR and approved the LRDP on November 13, 2019.
  • The 2019 LRDP now guides the Hillcrest Campus’s redevelopment until completed or the next LRDP update becomes necessary.

Community Involvement

UC San Diego shared draft, proposed and final versions of the 2019 LRDP with the campus and the surrounding communities through a variety of avenues, including town halls, community meetings and outreach through email, website and social media. Throughout the LRDP process, UC San Diego shared information was shared with these groups:

  • UC San Diego Committees
  • Elected Officials and Government Agencies
  • Community Groups
    • Uptown Planners
    • Hillcrest Business Association
    • Hillcrest Town Council
    • Bankers Hill Community Group
    • Mission Hills Town Council
    • Mission Valley Planning Group
  • City of San Diego
  • Local Advocacy Groups
  • Large events, such as employee town hall meetings and community forums and open houses had good attendance.

Campus Planning formed a Hillcrest Advisory Council so that local leaders and community representatives could engage with UC San Diego campus and health administration on the 2019 LRDP. The council met throughout the process and discussed aspects of the plan related to: circulation, transportation, housing, program, sustainability, amenities and other applicable topics. The meetings provided a forum for local stakeholders and UC San Diego leadership to better understand each other’s priorities and improve the collective understanding of the Hillcrest campus’ future development.

Environmental Impact Report

In accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), prior to beginning the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR), UC San Diego issued a Notice of Preparation (NOP) and conducted a public and agency scoping process to consider input on the range of impacts and approach to the environmental analysis process. The NOP review period began March 1, 2018 and ended March 30, 2018. A scoping meeting attended by the public was held on March 21, 2018.

UC San Diego circulated the Draft EIR for a 45-day public review period from June 26, 2019 through August 9, 2019, during which agencies and the general public were invited to provide comments on the EIR. Responses to all comments received are included with the Final EIR. A public hearing on the Draft EIR was held on July 18, 2019 during which staff gave a presentation on the Draft EIR findings, followed by an opportunity for the public to provide oral and written comments. A court reporter recorded the hearing and the transcript is included with the Final EIR. See the 2019 LRDP Draft EIR Public Hearing Presentation (July 18, 2019).

The 2019 LRDP Final EIR was certified by the UC Regents in November 2019. The Final EIR can be viewed or downloaded through the links below: