Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Long Range Development Plan (LRDP)?

University of California campuses use the Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) as a tool to plan facilities and services to accommodate changing demand. The LRDP defines how a campus will accommodate anticipated enrollment, and the faculty and staff needed to support it. The LRDP is only a guide – it does not commit the campus to specific projects as it must provide flexibility for changing conditions.

The LRDP is a comprehensive plan that addresses subjects including:

  1. Land Use and Development
    The plan provides general guidance for land use and development goals while maintaining adequate flexibility for future decision-making. It shows the amount and type of proposed research and academic facilities, as well as estimation of housing units. Building on established physical planning objectives (1989 Master Plan Study), the LRDP articulates principles that are intended to guide site development and organization of uses and supporting facilities. It also will align with relevant city, regional, state and federal policies and plans.
  2. Open Space
    The plan identifies areas of potential and preserved open space. These could include paved plazas, less formal landscaped areas, undeveloped areas and natural reserves.
  3. Transportation and Parking
    The plan explains how people access and circulate through the campus and considers modes of travel including pedestrian, bicycle, cars, mass transit, service and delivery vehicles and emergency vehicles.  It addresses transportation demand management measures and identifies how parking needs will be accommodated.
  4. Utilities and Infrastructure
    The LRDP discusses how campus systems for water, waste water, storm drainage, sanitary sewers, chilled water and steam, electrical distribution, natural gas and communications will be accommodated to address projected campus growth.
  5. Sustainability
    The LRDP and EIR discuss how campus sustainability, including climate change and resiliency objectives will be achieved to meet UC Office of the President and other environmental mandates.

Why does UC San Diego need an LRDP?

Every campus in the UC system is required by the UC Regents to have, and periodically update, an LRDP. LRDPs guide campus decisions in a comprehensive manner in regard to the long-range physical development of a campus. UC Regents use LRDPs in reviewing capital projects and approving proposals for individual buildings. The LRDP identifies general locations for housing development, appropriate locations for academic and support buildings or medical uses, places to expand recreational facilities, and sensitive lands that need protection and restoration.

Who approves the campus LRDP?

An LRDP requires approval by the UC Regents. It does not require approval from the state or local governments or the California Coastal Commission. Before the LRDP is presented to the UC Regents for approval, the campus and community will have an opportunity to provide input, review and comment on the plan.

Who prepares the campus LRDP?

Planning professionals and campus leadership work collaboratively to develop the LRDP. The process includes a review of projected enrollment demands, analysis of assets and limitations of the campus, traffic studies, resource and service demands, sustainability objectives and many other factors. The LRDP integrates findings and ideas from this work and adapts a plan for managing growth.

Elements of the plan will be presented to a wide range of interested people and groups, including the campus community, environmental organizations, business groups, neighborhood associations and residents, and elected officials and staff members of local government. Stakeholders will have ample opportunity for public review and comment.

How often are LRDPs updated?

Each UC campus periodically develops an LRDP for an established period of time that typically varies from 15 to 20 years.

When were UC San Diego’s previous LRDPs updated?

The 2018 LRDP will be the sixth comprehensive long-range plan for the physical development of the campus. Previous plans were produced in 1963, 1966, 1981, 1989 and 2004.

Why aren’t UC projects subject to local land use control?

As a state entity, UC is constitutionally exempt from local land use control. This means the university has autonomy in land use entitlement decisions when the use of such land promotes the university’s mission. In addition, state agencies typically do not approve a UC campus’s LRDP.

However, the LRDP will address how campus planning will align with relevant city, regional, state and federal policies and plans. UC San Diego plays an important role in the region and the LRDP will strive to help advance the relevant development policies and objectives that guide the city and the region.

What environmental requirements are associated with an LRDP?

Existing state law requires the university to prepare and certify an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for its LRDP. This EIR, known as the “programmatic” EIR, evaluates the impacts of the plan on the surrounding environment and identifies solutions to mitigate the identified impacts. The UC Regents must certify the EIR before they approve an LRDP.

Does the 2018 LRDP update include the UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest?

No. UC San Diego Health maintains a two-campus strategy, integrating research, teaching and clinical care at locations in Hillcrest and La Jolla. The La Jolla location will be included in the 2018 LRDP for the UC San Diego La Jolla campus. The UC San Diego Hillcrest campus has its own LRDP, which was last updated in 1995. The Hillcrest LRDP will be updated separately.

How can I comment on the LRDP update?

UC San Diego will share the updated LRDP with the campus and the surrounding communities through a variety of avenues including town halls, community meetings and outreach through email, web, social media and more. We also invite you to provide feedback or ask questions at any time by emailing