UC San Diego Hillcrest Programmatic EIR for Long-Range Development Plan

Meeting Seismic Safety Mandates with Minimal Environmental Stress

California’s Hospital Seismic Safety Law requires that all acute care facilities in the state comply with safety provisions in the California Building Standards Code by 2030. To meet this mandate, UC San Diego Hillcrest must replace or disable nearly all 35 of its campus’s critical buildings.

Further, the school’s 2019 Long-Range Development Plan (LRDP) aims to redevelop approximately 34 acres of the 62-acre campus, including the removal of buildings and replacement of an 11-story hospital. UC San Diego Hillcrest called on Harris to prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and collaborate with the LRDP consultant to develop policies to help mitigate environmental impacts.

Core Elements

For the existing hospital to remain open until its replacement begins operation, the project requires a total of six phases with construction lasting 15 years. Harris’ EIR provided a detailed analysis of each phase, as opposed to the programmatic approach that is typical of a long-range planning document. The EIR analysis identified significant impacts requiring the implementation of mitigation measures, some of which were programmatic and others that were specific to the development of each stage.

The EIR addressed 17 environmental impacts ranging from aesthetics, biological resources and greenhouse gas emissions to noise, transportation and wildfire. To support the EIR, the Harris team prepared and/or peer reviewed technical studies for a variety of areas, including:

  • Air Quality Analysis
  • Biological Resources Study
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions Analysis
  • Health Risk Assessments
  • Hydrology and Water Quality Studies
  • Noise Analysis
  • Population and Housing Analysis

Meet the Team

Diane Sandman, AICP

Diane Sandman, AICP

Vice President / Environmental Planning + Compliance


UC San Diego Hillcrest


San Diego, California




Environmental Planning + Compliance