Is it a good idea for UC San Diego to build a student village for 5,000 to 6,000 students?

A UC San Diego chancellor is considering building a village that could accommodate 5,000 to 6,000 students as part of a long-term plan to help students afford the district’s expensive costs.

Chancellor Pradeep Khosla said many students can’t afford rent in La Jolla and UTC — and there are a lot of students who need housing. Fall quarter enrollment is expected to reach a new high of 42,300.

Critics in La Jolla have argued that the area is already too crowded and the university may need to consider lowering enrollment.

Large projects like this have been proposed before and failed. UC Santa Barbara, combined with private investment, wanted to build a housing complex for 4,000 students, which was heavily criticized, and the plan eventually collapsed.

Q: Is it a good idea for UC San Diego to build a student village for 5,000 to 6,000 students?

Chris Van Gorder, Scripps Health

Yes:But only with a warning. UC San Diego is growing into a major university, and there is no doubt that housing is essential to continue growing — or they should freeze their growth. But I would support it only if UC San Diego agreed to the same conditions that any nongovernmental or private company would be required to adhere to to obtain permission to build facilities: facility benefit assessment fees and other fees and costs, plus community input and approvals.

Jimmy Moraga, Franklin River

no: As with Mission Valley, there are many considerations before moving forward with a building of this size in the La Jolla/UTC area. Is there (or will there be) adequate infrastructure (including parking, traffic, fire, law enforcement, water, electricity, sewer, roads, and grocery stores) to support this village? This area currently faces challenges due to the density it already has. Considering quality of life and what is best for the community should be a factor in future development plans.

David Ely, San Diego State University

Yes: The large and growing student body at UC San Diego needs affordable housing options. In the area surrounding the UC San Diego campus, vacancy rates are low and rents are high, which puts pressure on the budgets of students who live near campus. Living far from campus means commuting long distances and missing out on many college experiences. Given these circumstances, on-campus housing is a much better option for UCLA students. To meet demand, a significant expansion of on-campus housing is needed.

Ray Major, Sunday

Yes: Chancellor Khosla’s idea to house UC San Diego students on campus is a great solution to the transportation and housing shortage problems we face. UC San Diego is more than just a university, it is the catalyst for tens of thousands of high-paying jobs being created here in the San Diego area by companies spun out of UC San Diego. Supporting this effort allows UC San Diego to continue to grow, take charge of problems associated with increased enrollment, and reduce the impact on the region’s housing shortage.

Caroline Freund, School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego

Yes: The value of expanding access to higher education far exceeds the costs to neighbors. UC San Diego has transformed the satirical provincial town in the movie “Anchorman” into a thriving hub of innovation, technology and culture. Greater access to high-level education will foster growth and innovation in San Diego. Some neighbors may not like this view, but the gains that will accrue to future generations of students, in San Diego and California, far outweigh their losses.

Hani Hong, San Diego County Taxpayer Assistant.

Yes: If UC San Diego can build housing on the properties it owns, that will ease a bit of the demand pressures coming from San Diego residents who want to work and live here. UC San Diego can also get funding and ongoing revenue from outside the local area, whether it’s from Sacramento or full tuition and room and board from international students. UC San Diego already generates significant economic activity; Why not allow for more? A rising tide lifts all boats.

Kelly Cunningham, San Diego Institute for Economic Research

Yes: Building housing on campus helps relieve overcrowding and congestion throughout the area as students compete with other tenants, driving up costs. Proposing high-density housing on existing university property reduces the need for development elsewhere. Creating a village community campus for students to live, play and study removes the necessity of commuting across area streets and highways to housing elsewhere. This will actually help alleviate the current traffic and shortage of rental housing in the area.

Lynn Reaser, economist

Yes: It is clear that the University needs more accommodation and the Chancellor’s approach should be considered. UC San Diego is already a world-class university, but its housing stock is woefully inadequate. Students were accepted without housing. Notably, the Governor’s signing of AB 1307 prohibits the use of CEQA lawsuits related to noise and alternative site requirements to block the project. Until it is completed, students will be forced off campus, but the project will be worth the wait.

Phil Blair, Manpower

Yes: With the shortage of junior housing in the San Diego community, it would be foolish not to develop land that is within walking distance for students to get to the classroom. Every student who lives and resides on campus makes room for others to rent apartments that were meant to be occupied by students.

Gary London, Moder London Consultants

Yes: They have to do something. It makes no sense to admit that there are so many students without having a way to accommodate them. Maybe I would suggest they downsize the village concept, and use this as an opportunity to distribute housing throughout the trolley corridor and the city. The Morena and Claremont area should be prime candidates for student fill-in projects. Fill the cart. Upgrading neighborhoods. Spread out negative impacts such as traffic, while giving time to pursue infrastructure improvements.

Alan Jin, University of San Diego

no: Housing is important. But the infrastructure surrounding UC San Diego is not sufficient to accommodate the university’s expected growth of 50,000 students. An example is the inbound and outbound routes from Genesee Street to I-5, which are already among the worst in the area in terms of congestion. A student village can help with housing issues but can have a distinctly negative impact if it attracts more students to the university without addressing other infrastructure issues.

Bob Rauch, R. A. Rauch & Associates

He will not participate this week.

James Hamilton, University of California, San Diego

Yes: Building thousands of new housing units will help ease the distress in San Diego’s housing market regardless of whether the units are zoned for students. UC San Diego’s growth has been a big factor in San Diego’s strong economy. The university is a major catalyst for San Diego’s ongoing biotechnology boom, is an important contributor to a strong construction sector, and provides a continuing supply of highly skilled workers after students graduate.

Austin Neudecker, tissue growth

Yes: Building large student housing complexes on or near campus and on transit helps reduce traffic and parking, as well as rental demand in outlying neighborhoods. Additionally, living in student accommodation can enhance your university experience. I was able to walk to school in undergraduate and graduate school. Without a car, I appreciate being able to meet classmates or do activities easily.

Norm Miller, University of San Diego

Unavailable: Inexpensive housing sounds good, but I suggest that UC San Diego provide long-term land leases to private developers for select housing at below-market rates, and commit to teaching and research work, unless they can obtain state grants, which would reduce Housing costs. The cost of housing, which appears high at $283,000 per student for the proposed housing. If in-person on-campus enrollments decline over the next decade, in favor of online options, this will seem overly ambitious.

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