On Thursday, the California Coastal Commission approved UCSB’s Long Range Development Plan, which will add 5,000 undergraduate students and several hundred faculty and staffers — and the housing and classroom buildings to support them — by 2025. The ambitious plans have been in the works for about six years and have the blessing of Goleta and the county. They’ve also gone through considerable back and forth with a number of environmental watchdogs concerned about the impacts of such growth. The commission’s approval is the last step for UCSB, though each development site will have to return to the commission for separate approval.
The expansion will be the legacy of Chancellor Henry Yang, who has been at the helm of UCSB for 20 years. In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, he expressed “tremendous appreciation for the approval and thoughtful review” by the commission. “We are extremely grateful to all who collaborated with us on UCSB’s Long Range Development Plan. The collective insight and true partnership provided by so many throughout this process have made our plan even stronger, and ensured that it is in harmony with our neighbors, the California coast and the environment,” Yang said.