State Supreme Court Rules SDSU Expansion Must Include Infrastructure Funds

The ruling treats SDSU "like any other developer," the City Attorney said.

San Diego State University must find a way to pay millions for street projects needed as part of a massive campus expansion, the California Supreme Court announced in a ruling issued Monday.

The Master Plan approved in 2007 by the California State University Board of Trustees calls for additional academic and housing space to attract 10,000 more students.

It will also require more than a dozen intersections as well as freeway and street upgrades. The improvements would cost upwards of $15 million according to the project’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR).

However, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith’s office said the EIR left the costs to the City of San Diego and Caltrans.

The City Attorney sued, claiming trustees violated state environmental laws by not including money to pay for needed infrastructure.

Other college cities like Long Beach and Monterey Bay where the university “was similarly trying to stick cities with the bill for street projects” followed the case, according to a written release from the City Attorney’s office.

After an initial legal loss in May, CSU appealed to the higher court.

On Monday, justices ruled in the City’s favor ordering the university to create a new EIR that offers a solution on where to find the millions necessary to complete the infrastructure upgrades.

"This is an important decision which treats the CSU system like any other developer. It must come to the table and negotiate its fair share in a way that protects the environment and protects the city’s taxpayers," Goldsmith said in the written release. "I am proud that our City Attorney’s Office took the lead on this important legal issue, which has great significance in cities throughout our state."

SDSU’s Campus Master Plan is slated to be complete by the year 2025.

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