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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pepperdine Expansion Plans Put on Hold As Coastal Agency Staff Needs More Time

• One-Year Extension Will Allow for Additional Plan Review

BY BILL KOENEKER

The California Coastal Commission granted a one-year  extension on the time limit for action on Pepperdine University’s request to amend its certified Long Range Development Plan to implement its expansion plans when the coastal panel met in Oceanside last week.
Called the campus life project by school officials, the expansion plans consist of what the coastal commission staff are calling the six elements of expansion.
Not unexpectedly, the CCC staff indicated they would need more time in order to analyze the proposal.
Plans call for redeveloping existing student housing and providing additional student residential capacity, providing for a new multi-purpose athletics/events center, upgrading the existing soccer field for NCAA-compliant competition, providing for a new visitor welcome center with landscaped quad and two levels of  underground parking at campus core, placing approximately 157,000 cubic yards of excess fill generated by the expansion in the existing Marie Canyon debris basin and equestrian field, relocating the Marie Canyon debris basin further upstream and providing for an improved intramural sports field upon the fill placement area and replace a surface parking lot with a multi-level parking structure.
In May 2011, the Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission unanimously approved the expansion plans that authorizes the construction, operation and maintenance of 394,137 square feet of new development and grading in excess of 100,000 cubic yards within approximately 365 acres of existing core campus on an 830-acre site within a two-year, two phase development program, according to regional planning department documents.
The applicant and 12 persons testified in favor of the project and no one opposed the project or expressed concern regarding the request.
The so-called student housing rehabilitation consists of 150,692 net new square feet, 468 new beds, an athletics and events center with a maximum 5000 fixed seats and 470 temporary seats consisting of 235,845 net new square feet and two underground levels and five above ground levels of structure parking, a new 4000 new square foot town square and welcome center with two levels of underground parking, school of law parking structure, three levels  above ground,
The approved plans also include a total of 2013 new parking spaces with the loss of 1217 spaces for a net increase of 796 spaces of onsite parking and up to a total of 5380 maximum spaces at project built out.
Project related earth movement is comprised of approximately 434,000 cubic yards, according to county planning officials.
An Environmental Impact Report indicated that after implementation of the required mitigation measures, the project would result in no significant and unavoidable impacts to the environment with the exception of special event traffic.
The matter went before the Coastal Commission for a determination of the expansion plans consistency with the LRDP. The extension would also give the CCC staff more time to make that evaluation.

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