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   Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | santa cruz county
Santa Cruz Group submits comments on University expansion

The Sierra Club is concerned that the growth planned for the two UCSC campuses in Santa Cruz will exceed the carrying capacity of the city. Accordingly, the Santa Cruz Group submitted comments to the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) prepared for the University's expansion. The fact that two separate DEIRs have been prepared, one for the main campus and another for the Marine Science Campus (Terrace Point) appears to be an attempt to segment the expansion project, a tactic that is forbidden under the California Environmental Quality Act.

Besides the "significant and unavoidable" impacts which the plan itself identifies, the Club enumerated other impacts in the areas of aesthetics, biological resources and major loss of natural resources. Especially egregious is the meaningless wording where proposed mitigations are to be carried out "to the extent feasible." This is no mitigation at all.

The impact that campus development will have on wildlife habitat is great. Habitat will be fragmented with a significant impact on wildlife. The Draft Environmental Impact Report greatly underrates the effect on wildlife.

The Club's comments also ask for a more serious analysis of the alternative of locating the projected University growth at its satellite campus in Silicon Valley.

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