Gas station without pumps

2016 August 10

Response from UCSC on MRC’s beauty spot

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 22:37
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In MRC’s beauty spot revisited, I complained about the temporary construction staging area having become a permanent blight on campus. I brought the blog post to the attention of the administration, who had the campus architect answer me:

I am responding to your inquiry about the staging area on behalf of the Chancellor. Thank you for your comments and I apologize for the delayed response. The areas adjacent to the East Remote Parking Lot are anticipated to continue to be used for contractor staging, as campus infill sites lack on-site staging space. During periods of low demand for contractor staging, the areas will be used as surge campus parking. Transportation and Parking Services is exploring the feasibility of making the area in and around the East Remote Parking Lot more efficient.
Please let me know if you have any other questions or would like to talk about this further.

I decided it was worthwhile to pass on Ron’s comment about the lack of environmental review, so I asked,

OK, but a question came up in response to my blog post.  Did the campus ever do an EIR on the development of that “temporary” staging area which now apparently has been redesignated a permanent staging area?

And I got a subsequent reply:

The Campus determined that the creation and use of the staging area was categorically exempt from CEQA so no environmental document was prepared. At the time, the Campus anticipated that the staging area would only be needed for up to 5 years, at which time it would be restored. However, since the campus has accommodated enrollment growth under the 2005 LRDP through infill development, ongoing construction in the central campus has necessitated continued use of the staging area.
The Campus created a mechanism to collect funds for eventual restoration of the area. This mechanism is still in place.
Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

While a temporary staging area may be categorically exempt, I’m not sure that a permanent one is. I believe that the exemption was based on the assumption that the site would be restored after five years.

It has been 16 years now that this five-year staging area has been around, and there are clearly no plans to ever restore the site as originally promised.  Perhaps the Sierra Club or some other land-use watchdog might want to look into this issue—I don’t have the time nor the energy to pursue it further.

3 Comments »

  1. As an aside, it seems like the work on the bike path is not progressing. I noticed that between about July 20th and Aug 7th there seemed to have been no progress. I doubt it will be ready for start of school, which will encourage more students to drive instead of trying to bike. That’s sad…

    Comment by Ron Goodman — 2016 August 12 @ 06:09 | Reply

  2. I’d believe them if they made a tiny little effort to beautify that site. I mean, even if nothing will grow there, there must be some MFA sculptors with steel and welding equipment that could surround it with art.

    PS – If you still have a viable newspaper in the area, student or otherwise, you won’t believe the response if a simple story appears where local citizens or the university’s Board can see it. Just give them a tip.

    Comment by CCPhysicist — 2016 August 15 @ 20:19 | Reply

    • I’ll probably point something out to the student paper when the students get back in the fall. I don’t know whether pointing things out to our local daily paper is worthhwhile—perhaps a letter to the editor of the weekly paper might be. I think I’ll give the student paper a shot first, though, since student activists are more likely to do something about a university problem than townies are.

      Comment by gasstationwithoutpumps — 2016 August 15 @ 21:28 | Reply


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