Background for Reporters:

  • The disputes that prompted this settlement involve the UC Board of Regents' approval of UCSC's Long-Range Development Plan (LRDP) and accompanying Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in September 2006; and of the Biomedical Sciences Facility in March 2007.
  • Following the filing of lawsuits by the City and County of Santa Cruz and nine citizens, Judge Paul Burdick of the Santa Cruz Superior Court concluded that UC Santa Cruz's LRDP and EIR required more specificity on the topics of water, traffic and housing; he denied legal challenges in 10 additional EIR topic areas. On the basis of the decision, the University was ordered to perform additional analysis or specificity to the EIR sections on water, traffic, and housing. The decision suspended all campus project approvals that relied upon the 2005 LRDP EIR analysis.
  • Following Regents' approval of the biomedical sciences building–a development project that relied on the LRDP EIR–the City and County filed a joint CEQA suit alleging that the project's environmental analysis was inadequate because it was "tiered"–relied on–the LRDP's EIR. Two citizens groups–CLUE and the Rural Bonny Doon Association–and 11 individuals also filed suit. As a result of the court's earlier decision on the LRDP, the Biomed approval was also invalidated.
  • At Judge Burdick's suggestion, the parties retained a professional mediator in December 2007. On June 17, 2008, the negotiating team for each of the parties to the LRDP and Biomedical Facility litigations reached a settlement in principle.