Goleta Sues UCSB Over Lack of Student Housing

Update by the City of Goleta
December 16, 2021

On December 10, 2021, the City of Goleta filed a lawsuit against UCSB for breach of the 2010 Long Range Development Plan Settlement Agreement which ensured that the pace of UCSB’s growth in student population from 20,000 to 25,000 would be matched by the construction of on-campus housing. As a result of UCSB’s unmitigated population growth and ongoing negative impacts on Goleta’s housing shortage, the City had no choice but to resort to litigation to compel UCSB to abide by its promise.

For additional information see press release below sent on November 5, 2021.

Source: City of Goleta
November 5, 2021

The Goleta City Council has directed its attorneys to file a lawsuit against UCSB for failing to provide student housing for its burgeoning student population. The announcement was made at a public City meeting on Friday, November 5th.

City of Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte stated, “I am disappointed that it has come to this because the City of Goleta has always had a good relationship with UCSB. However, the failure of UCSB to meet its obligations under the 2010 Long Range Development Plan Settlement Agreement to provide housing has made us reach a breaking point.”

In 2010, the City of Goleta, County of Santa Barbara, and UCSB entered into the 2010 University of California, Santa Barbara Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) Mitigation Implementation and Settlement Agreement, which can be viewed here. The Agreement settled a dispute over the impacts of UCSB’s 2010 LRDP, which proposed a significant increase in student enrollment, with UCSB promising to build campus housing to mitigate this growth.

UCSB has breached the Settlement Agreement since 2015 by failing to provide sufficient housing for its students. This has had negative repercussions on the City, the most recent being UCSB’s placement of students in hotels in the City, depriving the City of critical tax revenues that are the mainstay of the City’s budget. UCSB students also take up housing in the City of Goleta, thereby decreasing housing supply and increasing housing costs for Goleta’s workforce, such as nurses, teachers, and public safety officers, who are forced to live elsewhere and have to commute to work in the City. Increased enrollment at UCSB also generates a greater demand on Goleta’s public resources and services. There is no foreseeable end in sight for these negative impacts on Goleta.

“UCSB’s currently proposed student housing project, Munger Hall, a 4,500-unit dorm, has recently received harsh scrutiny in the national press. In light of this, we, at the City, are concerned that there may be no certainty as to whether the needed student housing will be built in a reasonable time frame,” Mayor Perotte also said after Friday’s meeting.

After a decade of UCSB’s failure to satisfy its obligations and the negative repercussions on the City, the City has determined that it is necessary to file a lawsuit in order to preserve its rights and require UCSB to finally take meaningful responsibility for the impacts it has created.


Written by CityofGoleta

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  1. UC Merced can absorb a lot more student enrollments and plenty of room for student accommodations. One reason it was built, to take pressure off existing UC campuses elsewhere . Original plan was for only 15,000 students at UCSB. The area is well-beyond carrying capacity for its current enrollment numbers. Divert students to UC Merced. As originally intended. Who is really behind driving excessive growth at UCSB? Follow the money. How much real estate is the UCSB graduate division now taking up instead of being primarily an undergraduate institution?

  2. Get rid of the private rooms, put in bunk beds and sleeping porches which can open up the floor space to “Great Rooms’ with windows. Provide individual windowless data rooms and study carrels in the center of the building instead. Hollow out the building for a central atrium to provide more window access to the interior rooms.

  3. We had a 10 story dorm with an interior atrium at my school so that interior rooms could have a window. It was used to dump school trash at the end of each quarter. Computer printouts, notes, etc. I bet the cleanup crew is onboard with Munger’s design.

  4. Harry, you forgot waves of confiscatory city of SB rental rules that are scaring mom and pop landlords out of the rental business entirely, leaving even fewer rental units locally esp for SBCC students who will now be forced to go to Isla Vista for any housing at all.

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