Glickman Hillel Center for Jewish Life
Hillel of San Diego is proposing to construct the Beverly and Joseph Glickman Hillel Center for Jewish Life to provide a permanent space to nurture the religious, spiritual, and intellectual growth of Jewish students at UC San Diego. The center will offer religious programming for Jewish holidays and festivals, programs relating to Israel as the Jewish homeland, Jewish community building, and community service opportunities.
On April 27, 2016, the San Diego Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the project. We will head to the City Council to receive final permits soon.
The Glickman Hillel Center is proposed to be located on a triangular 0.8-acre parcel in La Jolla across the street from UC San Diego. The property is bound by La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla Scenic Drive, and La Jolla Scenic Way.
GHC consists of three small structures surrounding a courtyard overlooking La Jolla Village Drive. Features of the project include:
- 6,479 square feet of space in three one- and two-story buildings surrounding a central courtyard, designed to be compatible with the adjacent community;
- 27 spaces of surface parking and bicycle storage facilities;
- A small park-like area, open to the public and maintained by Hillel, with California native species and Torrey Pines, and walking paths to encourage pedestrian and bicycle access;
- Environmental sustainability: LEED Silver, solar energy meeting 30-50 percent of on-site energy demand, optimized water conservation;
- Minimal environmental impacts – all will be mitigated.
History & Current Status
Hillel of San Diego has been working for many years to make this project a reality. The sale of the property to Hillel – originally owned by the City of San Diego – was approved by the City Council in 2000 for the purpose of building the GHC. After the project was approved by the City Council in 2006, a lawsuit was filed by opponents challenging the validity of the land sale and the CEQA environmental review. In 2008, courts upheld the land sale, but required that an EIR be prepared for the project.
Since that time, Hillel has redesigned the project to respond directly to input from neighbors and completed a rigorous environmental review process. The project has been reduced in size by nearly 50 percent, the design has been modified to be more compatible with the adjacent neighborhood, and additional environmental sustainability features have been added.
We expect to bring the project back to the City Council for permitting in 2017.
Hillel is a religious organization whose mission is inspire Jewish students to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel. Programs provided by Hillel range from one-on-one mentorship and leadership development, to immersive travel opportunities and religious services.
Hillel is proposing to construct the Glickman Hillel Center on a triangular property it owns across the street from UC San Diego. The property is bounded by La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla Scenic Drive, and La Jolla Scenic Way. The nearly 6,500-square-foot religious center consists of three small buildings around a central courtyard that will house a chapel/library, a professional leadership center, a common area for students to meet and surface parking. The project has been carefully designed to ensure that it complements the surrounding neighborhood in scale and design. The landscape plan for the property will incorporate a small open park-like area that includes a publicly-accessible walking path, a bench and a water fountain. Environmental sustainability is a priority for the project; it will be built to LEED Silver standards, optimize water conservation, include on-site renewable energy (solar), and reduce vehicle use through enhanced bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
Currently, UC San Diego Hillel has no permanent location to host its programs and activities. This limits the organization’s ability to fulfill its mission of providing learning, community-building, and spiritual counseling that nurtures the religious, spiritual, and intellectual growth of Jewish students at UC San Diego. The Glickman Hillel Center will provide a permanent religious space in a centralized location for students. The proposed location is close to UC San Diego to serve students where they live and attend classes, and will have enough space for programs, activities and offices for religious leaders.
Hillel is an independent religious corporation whose purpose is to serve the religious needs of Jewish college students. It was incorporated in the State of California on July 1, 1992, “exclusively for religious purposes” under the Nonprofit Religious Corporation Law. In its Articles of Incorporation, Hillel’s specific purpose “…is to provide for the religious needs of Jewish students on the university campuses in San Diego County.”
Yes. Religious uses are allowed by right in single family zones in the La Jolla Shores Planned District.
Two other religious organizations exist in the La Jolla Shores single family neighborhood. The San Diego LDS Institute of Religion is in La Jolla Farms. The University Lutheran Church is located nearby on La Jolla Shores Drive. The mission of both institutions includes a particular emphasis on serving students at UC San Diego.
UCLA Hillel’s facility – more than three times the size of the proposed Glickman Hillel Center – is located across from the residential neighborhood of Holmby-Westwood, where home prices average $4 million and range up to $100 million. Citing UCLA Hillel’s record of being a good neighbor, the president of the Holmby-Westwood Property Owners Association has advocated approval of our project in La Jolla.
Significant changes have been made to the project to respond to public input. The original project proposed a single building of more than 12,000 square feet with underground parking, including a large congregational facility to accommodate weekly Shabbat services and larger gatherings. The revised plans call for approximately 6,500 square feet of space (approximately 50% the size of original plans) in three one and two-story buildings surrounding a central courtyard, with surface parking. This new design more closely relates to the scale of the adjacent single-family residences along La Jolla Scenic Drive, and has a floor-to-area ratio of .21, significantly less dense than the rest of the neighborhood.
Yes, Hillel of San Diego purchased the land from the City of San Diego after Hillel won exclusive negotiating rights through an open bidding process. Courts have upheld Hillel’s right to own title to the land.
All activities at the Glickman Hillel Center will support students’ connections to their Jewish faith and the Jewish community. Activities will include small religious services, lectures, religious study, discussion groups, leadership development and advising, and pastoral counseling.
The Glickman Center will not cause significant noise impacts to the surrounding neighborhood. Most programs will be held Monday through Friday during non‐peak hours. Regular hours of operation during the academic year are planned to be 9:00am to 6:00pm. The center will not be open evenings or weekends unless an activity is planned at that time. About 60 percent of all gatherings will have 10 or fewer students.
Pedestrian access will be from La Jolla Village Drive, where there is a bus stop and crosswalk leading to the UC San Diego campus. Parking lot access is from La Jolla Scenic Way, with a right turn in and right turn out only.
A thorough traffic analysis for the project was completed, analyzing the potential for direct traffic impacts and cumulative traffic impacts through 2030. Based on this analysis, the project will result in no significant traffic impacts and mitigation is not required.
The Glickman Hillel Center will have 27 surface parking spaces, significantly more than necessary to accommodate the center’s visitors.
To assess the parking needs of the Hillel Center for Jewish Life, an extensive parking study was completed. The study assembled data from UC San Diego student surveys, Hillel program attendance logs, and detailed surveys on parking and usage at two comparable Hillel facilities, at UC Santa Barbara and UCLA. The study concluded that 27 on-site parking spaces are more than adequate to provide for the regular parking needs of the facility. For the rare events that would require additional parking, Hillel has agreed to provide off-site parking to ensure there are no impacts on the adjacent neighborhood.
Hillel Centers do not create significant parking demands. The Glickman Hillel Center will provide a parking ratio of 3.7 spaces per 1,000 square feet, while other California Hillel centers provide fewer than 2 spaces per 1,000 square feet. Many recently developed Hillel centers nationwide provide approximately 1 space per 1,000 square feet, and they operate without parking impacts.
To address a concern raised relating to impacts on traffic by pedestrian crosswalks, the study also considered an “all walk” scenario and found no significant impacts on parking or traffic under current and future conditions, both for the project and on a cumulative basis.