UCSF’s New Long-Range Development Plan in the Works

Columnist
School of Medicine

A Vision for Parnassus Heights in 2035

In 1996, UCSF rolled out a Long-Range Development Plan (LRDP) that guided the university’s physical development through 2012, including the establishment of the 2.65 million gross square feet of new facility that we now know as UCSF’s Mission Bay Campus.

UCSF is currently developing its next LRDP, which will see UCSF’s physical development into the year 2035 and includes major demolition and building projects planned for the Parnassus Heights campus.

The centerpiece of the new LRDP is the demolition of the Langley Porter Psychiatric Hospital and Clinics to make way for the construction of a brand-new Moffitt Hospital, in order to meet the more stringent seismic requirements for inpatient facilities by the year 2030. The current Moffitt-Long hospital will remain, but will be repurposed to suit other needs.

The new LRDP also addresses the fact that the Parnassus campus, at 3.84 million gross square feet, is currently 8.2 percent above the space ceiling limit of 3.55 million gross square feet, which was established by a Regents’ Resolution in 1976. That same resolution restricts the expansion of the Parnassus campus beyond its current borders, and stipulates that the 61 acres of Mount Sutro Reserve remain designated as permanent open space.

 When UCSF developed its 1996 LRDP, the Parnassus campus was 3.8 percent over the space ceiling limit, so in order to curb the trending growth and to make room for the construction of the new Moffitt facility, a number of buildings have been targeted for demolition.

Funding has already been approved for the demolition of 374 and 735 Parnassus Avenue. Also up for demolition are Medical Research 4, the Laboratory of Radiobiology, three of the Aldea housing sites, and the Surge, Woods, Koret and Proctor buildings.

An interesting loophole in the space ceiling limit is the fact that housing does not count towards space ceiling gross square footage (this, however, does not include the aforementioned Aldea sites up for demolition, which do count toward the space ceiling). As a result, the new LRDP includes plans for student and resident housing at the Parnassus campus. Proposed reconstruction of the UC Hall Building has the top three floors dedicated to housing, and remodeling of the Millberry Union towers will see them converted into housing as well.

Also included in the new LRDP are plans for the Parnassus Avenue Streetscape. With 18,500 people walking across Parnassus Avenue each day, in addition to the UCSF shuttle system and three Muni bus stops on each side of the street, there is certainly a need to make Parnassus Avenue safer, more user-friendly and more visually appealing.

The Core Concept Plan for the Parnassus Avenue Streetscape is in line with the framework set forth by the “Better Streets” plan, which the City of San Francisco unveiled in 2011. The proposal includes expanding the current crosswalks — currently each 30 feet wide — to make them 60 feet and 100 feet wide, thereby developing a true pedestrian thoroughfare to heighten driver awareness of pedestrians in the area.

Hazardous and sickly-looking trees will be replaced by deciduous trees all along the road, and the sidewalk areas will be redesigned to allow for a smoother flow of pedestrian traffic and additional outdoor seating.

Clearly, UCSF’s LRDP will dramatically change the Parnassus Heights campus that many of us consider a home away from home. There are also many community members living in the blocks surrounding UCSF who will be profoundly affected by changes to traffic flow, building noise, student housing and the extent of this significant physical development at the Parnassus campus. For this reason, UCSF has already engaged with the community in the planning process, and is holding its second Parnassus Community Workshop on January 28 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. in Millberry Union. All community members and stakeholders are welcome and encouraged to attend, in order to help plan UCSF’s future.

For more information about the long-range development plan, visit http://www.ucsf.edu/about/cgr/current-projects/lrdp