Skip to main content

students in lecture hall

2018 UC San Diego La Jolla Campus LRDP

The 2018 UC San Diego La Jolla Campus Long Range Development Plan (2018 LRDP) is a general land use plan that guides the physical development of the campus. The plan outlines possibilities for growth in a way that acknowledges the campus’s historic foundations, natural beauty and unique character while ensuring that UC San Diego can continue to advance its mission: to transform California and a diverse global society by educating, generating and disseminating knowledge and creative works, providing high-quality health care and by engaging in public service. The LRDP aligns with the goals of the university’s Strategic Plan while building upon foundational urban planning principles established by previous Long Range Development Plans and the 1989 Master Plan study.

Recognized as one of the top 15 research universities worldwide, UC San Diego is a catalyst for change, sparking discoveries that advance society, drive economic growth and positively impact the world.

In 2024, UC San Diego is embarking on an important effort to refresh its 10-Year Strategic Plan, remaining focused on the priorities that will support its continued growth and transformation as a public university. Keeping the LRDP current with the Strategic Plan helps to ensure UC San Diego’s priorities are aligned with a long-term planning horizon and shaped with an understanding of the opportunities and impacts of its growth. The UC Regents approved the La Jolla Campus 2018 LRDP in November 2018. The 2018 LRDP is the sixth comprehensive long-range plan for the physical development of the campus. UC San Diego produced previous plans in 1963, 1966, 1981, 1989 and 2004.

View the Final La Jolla Campus 2018 Long Range Development Plan (PDF).

Update to the 2018 UC San Diego La Jolla Campus LRDP

Expanding access to students seeking a high-quality education has been a priority for the State, the University of California and UC San Diego. It requires ongoing investments in infrastructure, classroom space as well as faculty and staff to enhance the student experience. The university’s growth reflects a focus on UC San Diego’s role as a leader in research and a destination public university that is student centered, research driven, patient dedicated and service oriented. UC San Diego’s mission is grounded in its commitment to service and guided by the Strategic Plan, including investments and strategies that advance the university’s responsibility as a public university.

Demand for higher education and system-wide priorities to increase enrollment has contributed to UC San Diego experiencing higher rates of admitted students and associated campus population growth than projected by the adopted 2018 LRDP. Increased enrollment growth rates, in addition to increased staff growth due to the academic, administrative and UC San Diego Health program needs, has prompted the need to reassess the future population and development projections of the adopted 2018 LRDP and accompanying Environmental Impact Report (EIR). UC San Diego’s Update to the 2018 LRDP would adjust these growth forecasts and extend the planning horizon year from 2035 to 2040 to better align with the university’s long-term Strategic Plan goals and priorities. In addition, the Update would make related modifications to the land use plan that support the refreshed long-term development program.

The proposed Update is not a new plan and would be supplementary to the adopted 2018 LRDP. The primary goals, objectives and principles of the 2018 LRDP would remain relevant and consistent with the proposed update. In accordance with Section 15162 of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), UC San Diego will prepare a Subsequent EIR to evaluate and disclose potential impacts associated with approval and implementation of the proposed Update to the 2018 LRDP as well as changed conditions since the 2018 LRDP EIR was prepared.

To stay informed on the CEQA process related to the Update to the 2018 LRDP, email with your name and email address.

Subsequent Draft Environmental Impact Report

An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is an informational document used to inform public agency decision makers and the general public of the potential significant environmental effects of a project, identify possible ways to mitigate or avoid the significant effects and describe a range of reasonable alternatives to the project that could feasibly attain most of its basic objectives while substantially lessening or avoiding any of the significant environmental impacts. A Subsequent EIR may be required when a substantial change is proposed to a project for which an EIR has been previously certified.

On February 29, 2024, UC San Diego issued a Notice of Preparation, a required step in the CEQA process intended to notify other agencies and the public on the decision to prepare a Subsequent EIR. The Subsequent EIR for the Update to the 2018 LRDP will incorporate by reference the certified 2018 LRDP EIR and will evaluate whether any new significant impacts or increase in severity of a previously identified impact would occur as a result of the update. New mitigation measures and alternatives may be proposed as part of the evaluation.

Notice of Preparation (PDF)

Public Scoping

The public scoping period offered an early opportunity for the campus community, neighbors, interested individuals, organizations and agencies to comment on the scope of the CEQA analysis. In compliance with time limits mandated by State law, the scoping period extended from February 29, 2024 to March 29, 2024.

The Public Scoping Meeting for the Subsequent EIR was held on the UC San Diego campus on March 20, 2024. You can view a pre-recorded version of the Scoping Meeting presentation.

Subsequent Draft EIR

Comments received during the public scoping period will be considered during preparation of the Subsequent Draft EIR. Once the Subsequent Draft EIR is completed, a 45-day public review period will take place; this is expected to occur late summer 2024 and will be advertised, similar to the scoping period, with the addition of interested individuals who provided email addresses during the Scoping Period. Draft documents available for review will be posted here. Email with your name and email address to receive a notification when the Subsequent Draft EIR becomes available for public review and when the Draft EIR hearing is scheduled.

Frequent Asked Questions

Updated June 2024

What is a Long Range Development Plan?

A Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) is a comprehensive plan that guides physical development such as the location of buildings, open space, circulation, and other land uses. An LRDP identifies the physical development needed to achieve academic goals and is an important reference document for the university and the general public. Each University of California (UC) location is required to have an LRDP.

Why is UC San Diego preparing an update to the 2018 LRDP?

LRDPs are updated periodically to meet changing needs and conditions. This process ensures that campus development supports academic, research and public service goals, while also responding to UC system-wide policies and projected enrollment demand. UC San Diego is updating its 2018 LRDP for the La Jolla campus because the university has experienced higher rates of population growth than was anticipated during preparation of the 2018 LRDP. This has created a need to plan for additional facilities such as campus housing and academic/research and healthcare space.

What is the focus of the update?

The update to the 2018 LRDP will refresh the previous growth and development projections and extend the planning horizon year from 2035 to 2040. 

What is the anticipated projected growth being assumed in the update to the 2018 LRDP? 

Land use development is anticipated to increase by approximately 30 percent from the projections outlined in the 2018 LRDP.

Does the LRDP guarantee which projects will be prioritized?

While land use plans like the update to the 2018 LRDP project outline the possibilities for growth, they do not mandate growth, nor do they commit campus to specific capital projects. 

Why does UC San Diego need to grow?

The university’s growth helps respond to increasing demand and expands access to the top-ranked education, groundbreaking research, award-winning healthcare and community enrichment that UC San Diego is known to deliver.

Are projections in the LRDP reflected in the university’s Strategic Plan?

UC San Diego’s mission is grounded in our commitment to service and guided by our Strategic Plan, which includes investments and strategies that advance our responsibility as a public university. Our growth reflects a focus on student access and support, but also UC San Diego’s role as a leader in research and a top destination for patient care.

June 2022 Celebrating 10 Years of UC San Diego’s Physical, Cultural and Intellectual                    Transformation

Why is student enrollment growing so fast?

Expanding access to higher education has been a priority for the State, the University of California and UC San Diego over the last decade and continues to be a focus.

Governor Newsom and University of California announced a multi-year compact in 2022 that combines predictable increases in State funding for UC with a commitment to advance multiple shared student-focused goals.  Under the compact, the university is required to increase undergraduate enrollment for California resident students. The compact also enjoys strong support from the Legislature, which has required continual growth from UC over the years.

How will the updated LRDP address increased enrollment?

UC San Diego is investing in classroom space and student housing to enhance the student experience, as well as expanded and improved research facilities and inpatient and outpatient medical facilities, given the university’s focus on research and patient care.

July 2022
UC could grow by 33,000 California students, equivalent of new campus, to meet surging demand

January 2024
UC enrolls record number of California undergrads in fall 2023, cuts out-of-state students

How does increasing enrollment directly contribute to the success of California?

As a top-ranked research university, UC San Diego develops students who are capable of solving problems, leading and innovating in a diverse and interconnected world.

Communities all over California benefit from the contributions of students who graduate from University of California:

  • UC-educated doctors are in 60 percent of California towns.
  • UC-educated teachers are in 75 percent of California public schools.
  • UC-educated Ph.Ds make up 20 percent of CSU faculty and 25 percent of UC faculty.
  • UC alums are also major contributors to California’s startup economy, launching new businesses, creating jobs and driving innovation.

June 2022
The economic clout of a UC degree

What is the economic impact of UC San Diego?

UC San Diego plays an important role in the economic vitality of the state and contributes significantly to the regional economy (up to $9.3 billion, including $4.3 billion in direct spending), public health, research and innovation, access to exceptional education, and more. One in every 17 jobs in the City of San Diego (62,516 jobs) is linked to the university, which contributes $493.7 million in annual state and local tax revenue.

What contributions has UC San Diego made to support regional improvements?

The university has contributed millions of dollars to the city for improvements that support regional growth.

These include:

  • $22 million for a new City of San Diego fire station on the corner of North Torrey Pines Road and Genesee Avenue, scheduled to open this year.
  • Partnered with MTS and SANDAG, as well as provided several acres of land as well as pedestrian, bicycle and wayfinding improvements around the two new campus UC San Diego Blue Line stops.
  • $7.8 million in contributions since 2011 for City of San Diego lifeguard services at Blacks Beach and the beach adjacent to the Scripps campus.
  • $2 million to implement adaptive traffic signal controls at 26 intersections along five miles of roadway surrounding campus, including Regents Road, La Jolla Village Drive and North Torrey Pines Road, and an additional $2 million to install high-visibility pedestrian crosswalks at intersections heavily used by pedestrians and bicyclists. The adaptive traffic signal control system is expected to complete installation and testing in late summer 2024, with completion of the crosswalk improvements soon after.
  • $13 million for a City of San Diego sewer upgrade along Gilman Drive south of La Jolla Village Drive. The campus also contributed $5 million for a new city sewer main on La Jolla Shores Drive that serves adjacent off-campus neighborhoods.
  • $25 million for the Gilman Bridge project with SANDAG and Caltrans that connects the East and West campuses to improve access and reduce traffic on surrounding city streets.
  • EV charging stations on campus offering lower rates than many community locations, available to all private vehicle owners. UC San Diego provides one of the nation's largest EV charging station networks.

How is green space preserved with the construction of additional buildings on the campus?

Recent campus projects redeveloped surface parking lots (approximately six acres) to better utilize university land, while providing new open space amenities. The designs of current projects include natural light, natural landscape elements and open space for passive recreation and contemplation. In addition, the campus’s Open Space Preserve will be maintained.

Is the university planning to analyze impacts to transportation?

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines require that a Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) analysis be prepared to assess transportation-related project impacts. 

What is VMT? Does VMT account for local congestion?

VMT, or Vehicle Miles Traveled, is the statewide standard performance metric for analyzing transportation impacts in CEQA documents. It is the total miles of vehicle travel divided by the total population of a service area. It is a holistic measure of how a project, or planned growth, will affect congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, and air quality.

What has UC San Diego contributed to decrease traffic in and around La Jolla?

UC San Diego is recognized to have a far reduced VMT compared to other employers in the City of San Diego and greater region. Over half the population of UC San Diego students and employees (56%) take advantage of alternative commuting methods. The campus is well served by transit, with two campus trolley stations along the UC San Diego Blue Line, as well as multiple major bus routes and an extensive internal campus shuttle system. The campus offers subsidized transit passes for students and staff, telework agreements (remote/hybrid work), ridesharing and alternative transportation incentives. For example, the Triton U-Pass is a program offered to UC San Diego students that grants unlimited access to regional MTS and NCTD mass transit bus and trolley/light rail routes during the fall, winter and spring academic quarters.

The UC San Diego Blue Line Trolley has been operational since late 2021 and has become increasingly popular. For example, in October 2023, ridership at each of the UC San Diego trolley stations reached an average of over 4,680 daily on-boardings and 4,600 daily off-boardings, reaching as high as 7,080 on-boardings and 6,700 off-boardings on a single weekday. October 2023 was selected to collect this data, because it represents a typical month during the academic year for most students.

Does UC San Diego plan to grow in other parts of the region?

UC San Diego’s nationally ranked medical specialties and world-class patient care are delivered at its La Jolla and Hillcrest campus locations. The Hillcrest campus is undergoing a multi-year, multi-billion revitalization planned by the UC San Diego 2019 Hillcrest Campus LRDP. The university also will continue to explore other strategic growth opportunities in the region that align with its mission.

What is the LRDP Update process going forward?

In accordance with Section 15162 of the CEQA Guidelines, UC San Diego is preparing a

Subsequent Environmental Impact Report (SEIR) to evaluate and disclose potential environmental impacts associated with approval and implementation of the proposed Update to the 2018 LRDP, as well as changed conditions since the 2018 LRDP Environmental Impact Report was prepared.

How can people learn more and provide feedback? 

A draft Subsequent Environmental Impact Report (SEIR) will be circulated for a 45-day public review before the process is completed. The projected date for public review and feedback is late summer/early fall 2024.

More information can be found in the “Subsequent Draft Environmental Impact Report” section above for information on the CEQA process and its public engagement opportunities.

When will the Update to the LRDP be completed?

The Update to the LRDP and Final SEIR will be presented to the UC Regents for review, approval, certification in spring 2025.

Can UC San Diego offer a shuttle from the UC San Diego campus to La Jolla Village and La Jolla Shores Beach and downtown La Jolla?

The campus currently is well-served by transit, including the campuswide shuttle as well as local and regional buses. MTS Route 30 travels from campus to La Jolla Shores Beach and La Jolla Village, and therefore there is no plan to replicate these services. The University City area is served well by the Super Loop with stops on both the east and west campus.

Does the Gliderport fit into the LRDP/campus development plans?

The “Gliderport” area of the UC San Diego campus generally is referred to as the unpaved, dirt area located immediately east of the City of San Diego Torrey Pines Gliderport. This area currently is utilized for construction staging and parking, campus overflow parking and limited as needed special events parking.

The UC San Diego Sanford Consortium building located adjacent to the dirt parking and staging area also was once part of the Gliderport. The land use designation of the “Gliderport” area of UC San Diego would remain as it is in the approved 2018 LRDP: Sports and Recreation (western portion) and Science Research (eastern portion).

Can UC San Diego provide a dog park or dog run for neighbors to exercise their dogs in a low-emissions and low-noise area of the campus?

UC San Diego welcomes members of the public, including neighbors who live in the areas surrounding the campus to enjoy the many amenities the campus has to offer. This includes open spaces, walking paths, event venues, lectures, retail, and restaurants. The campus is not considering a public dog park or dog run at this time, as it could present conflicts with the academic environment of the campus.  The goal is to maximize the use of open space to support the university’s core mission.

The City of San Diego has many approved leash-free dog exercise areas.

Will UC San Diego commit to developing only low-rise buildings and a tall tree buffer zone along North Torrey Pines Road?

While the 2018 LRDP and Update to the 2018 LRDP do not specify the building heights of future projects, to meet the needs of the university and it`s students, the university expects to continue to consider a range of development types, including mid- and high-rise buildings. Low-rise development reduces the ability to offer a mix of co-located uses and preserve open spaces and would conflict with the university’s smart growth strategies and goal to efficiently utilize land. Increasing housing through redevelopment with higher densities maximizes the use of land that is scarce and is consistent with statewide and local efforts to address the lack of housing throughout the state and region.

However, when developing along North Torrey Pines Road, care will be taken to ensure new development along this campus-community interface includes pedestrian-friendly, welcoming, and high-quality architectural design. This will also include landscaped buffers and tall trees where appropriate to soften large-scale architecture, wayfinding elements, limited use of walls or pedestrian barriers, and pedestrian connections and pathways, as well as proportional building mass, form, and roof profiles and building setbacks, fenestration, and visual relief. These strategies were introduced with Mitigation Measure AES-2B of the 2018 LRDP EIR, which applies to all projects in a designated Perimeter Development Zone and is expected to be maintained with the Subsequent EIR.

Does the campus implement speed controls for vehicles and micromobility devices (bicycles, scooters, etc.)?

The speed limit for micromobility devices on shared pathways is 8 miles per hour, and micromobility devices that rely on electric power and have a top speed greater than 20 miles per hour are prohibited from use on campus. In addition, the SPIN scooters operated on campus have speed-limiting software which do not allow them to be used at speeds higher than permitted. For vehicles, speed limits have recently been reduced to 20 miles per hour (mph) throughout campus, with just two locations remaining at 25 mph. UCPD enforces speed limits for vehicles and micromobility devices and will stop drivers/users who are observed violating them.

The campus currently is studying the need for design interventions to help control vehicle speeds. Solar powered speed radar, with data collection abilities, has recently been implemented in various locations on campus for this purpose. Traffic calming measures being considered include but are not limited to: bicycle and micromobility infrastructure, “road diets”, speed cushions, raised crosswalks, narrower vehicle lanes, and additional stop signs. Exact locations of where these measures would be implemented are being studied and future projects may be implemented as funding becomes available and depending on need, priority, and suitability.

Note that the topic of speed limits falls outside the scope of the LRDP and SEIR, and a response is provided for informational purposes only.

Where does the Coastal Zone 30-Foot Height Limit occur?

The City of San Diego Coastal Zone Height Limit applies to properties that are under the land use jurisdiction of the City of San Diego. UC San Diego has its own land use autonomy and local land use regulations are not applicable to campus lands. However, UC San Diego has placed height restrictions in some areas of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) portion of campus for the purpose of protecting public views, and this area falls within the Coastal Zone regulated by the California Coastal Commission. UC San Diego projects within the Coastal Zone are subject to California Coastal Commission review and approval through a Coastal Development Permit process. The Coastal Zone includes all of SIO and approximately half of West Campus. The Update to the 2018 LRDP does not the propose additional growth within the SIO portion of campus from what was already approved by the 2018 LRDP; however, additional growth is anticipated within the portion of the West Campus that lies within the Coastal Zone.

2018 LRDP Environmental Impact Report

In accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), prior to beginning the Draft Environmental Impact Report, 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 November 4, 2016 and ended Dec. 5, 2016. UC San Diego held a Public Scoping meeting on November 29, 2016.

UC San Diego circulated the Draft EIR for a 45-day public review period from July 30, 2018 through September 12, 2018 and invited agencies and the public to provide comments. Responses to all comments received are included with the Final EIR. UC San Diego staff held a public hearing and gave a presentation on the Draft EIR on August 23, 2018. After the presentation, the public had an opportunity to provide oral and written comments. A court reporter recorded the hearing and the transcript is included with the Final EIR.

In accordance with established University of California procedures, the UC Board of Regents approved the 2018 LRDP and certified the Final EIR on November 15, 2018. You can view the three volumes of Final EIR using the links below.