Underhill Plan Took Careful Research

Jennifer Lawrence is UC Berkeley's principal planner. Respond at [email protected]

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Boalt Hall School of Law student Rick Young advocates tirelessly for more campus housing. But so do the chancellor and other campus leaders responsible for development, funding, approval and construction of the nearly 900 beds of new housing in the Underhill Plan.

At formal hearings, at many informal campus-sponsored meetings, before the chancellor personally at a Graduate Assembly meeting, before the city and the campus at the city's public hearing on the plan and through letters to the campus and the UC Office of the President, Young and many others have been listened to and heard.

Opinions diverge widely. Some support faculty housing instead of undergraduate housing in the Southside. Some support the selected housing sites, while others prefer preservation. Others advocate for more and cheaper parking than proposed.

The Underhill projects are the result of long deliberation and careful analysis of campus housing, parking, and seismic improvement needs. As parking lots become housing sites, as a playing field is restored atop reconstructed parking, and as seismic improvement projects make the existing neighborhood safer, any one component may please or dismay the supporters of another.

The Underhill Plan is balanced to address the diverse needs of a diverse campus constituency, with good planning, good design, and environmental sensitivity. The task of leadership is to establish this balance.

The projects-parking, housing, seismically sound dining, offices, and play field-will contribute to an attractive, safer, and vital Southside.

Here are some background facts.

Weekday campus population - 30,000-40,000 faculty, students, staff, and visitors.

Only 50 percent of faculty and staff arrive at campus by single occupant vehicles. Eighty-five percent of students arrive at campus by alternative means.

Total number of current UC parking spaces (including attendant or stacked parking and parking for maintenance and service vehicles and motorcycles)-7,386.

Ratio of permits to parking spaces-1.2:1 for faculty/staff, 2.6:1 for students.

Number of free parking spaces provided to uc Berkeley staff and faculty (not including Nobel Laureate spaces)- 0.

Students housed in UC Residence Halls as of October, 1999-5,125.

Total students housed in uc operated or affiliated housing-10,562.

Since 1990, the university has spent millions in student housing.

Seismic retrofit of Units 1, 2, and 3-$71 million.

Foothill housing, 750 beds-$51.1 million.

Beverly Cleary, 170 beds-$8.3 million.

Manville Apartments, 132 studio units-$10.6 million.

University Village, 386 apartments-$59.0 million (projected).

Total housing expenditures (not including Underhill)-$200 million.


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