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A Short History of the Land North of Foothill
Page numbers refer to “An Unfinished Dream” by Robert J. Bernard
1924: Miss Scripps authorized the purchase of 250 acres north of Foothill and donated it to the Colleges for educational use.
1925: Money donated for building the Memorial Infirmary (p 106). Completed 1931.
1926: The land given by Miss Scripps (except for 59.7 acres on the mesa and its slopes), a 3.85 acre Native Garden Preserve, and the site of Scripps College were designated as an endowment for Scripps College. Any of this land used for future institutions had to be purchased from the trust with the proceeds going to Scripps.
1935: 10 year lease to the City of 30 acres of land north of Foothill for a park (p 116).
1943: Sale of 10 acres east of the Infirmary road approved. Not completed. (p 229).
1945: Board voted to sell 76 acres north and west of Indian Hill Mesa to developers (p 242).
1948: Land on mesa leased for five years to Japanese gardeners for growing flowers.
1950: The colleges sold 30 acres to RSABG. In addition, they bought back (for three times the selling cost) 54 acres of the 76 previously sold and sold it to RSABG.
1957: Faculty housing developed on 10 acres of land north of Foothill (p 118). Now privately owned.
1958: Ground broken for the School of Theology (p 544).
1959: Golf course established (p 116).
1964: Consortium agreed to College of the Immaculate Heart moving to the corner of Foothill and Mills. Project abandoned in 1970 (p 732).
1973: CUC considered building 18 hole golf course on future site of BFS.
1975: Board of Fellows recommended selling 20 acres of the remaining land north of Foothill for development (p 703) to reduce tax burden, in spite of Scripps Trust requirement that it could only be sold for educational use.
1976: RSABG was granted the use of 10 acres for a Baja California annex (p 401). Essentially the same site as proposed for the KGI and now owned by HMC. Never constructed.
1976: Donald McKenna arranged for the Kennametal Foundation to donate $600,000 to CUC to buy the BFS land from the Scripps Trust, fence it, and build the lake, plus $100,000 for an endowment. This was the Robert J. Bernard trust which allowed the land to become an official field station.
Over the next 20 years there were several plans to build on part of the BFS. All were opposed by faculty and students and all were abandoned for one reason or another. College and community use of the BFS continued to grow.
1996: Colleges began land planning process and approval of the Keck Graduate Institute as the seventh institution.
1997: Board of Fellows approved KGI at January meeting.
Policy Council voted to build KGI on BFS in March.
Board of Fellows approved this as well.
1998: CUC submitted North Campus Master Plan to the City.
1999: Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) submitted for public comment.
Architectural Commission approved EIR in spite of considerable opposition from citizens.
Friends appealed the approval to the City Council. Appeal was denied.
North Campus Master Plan began its consideration by the Architectural Commission.
2000: NCMP development agreement approved by AC and Council despite much opposition.
Friends of the Bernard Biological Field Station brought a lawsuit against the City maintaining the EIR was inadequate.
Coalition to Preserve Claremont’s Character circulated referendum petition (during August) asking that the development agreement be put on the ballot, and gathered well over the required number of signatures.
City asked CUC to negotiate with the Friends.
CUC barred use of BFS by all non-college groups.
Settlement terms for the lawsuit were agreed to by the Friends and CUC in November.
The City rescinded its approval of the NCMP also in November.
CUC then reneged on the settlement terms and negotiations resumed.
2001: Negotiations continued until February when a weakened settlement agreement was signed.
Major terms:
A 45 acre center strip was to be preserved for 50 years, access to the BFS by public educational groups was to be re-instituted, more support, financial and otherwise, was promised, a new governance structure was to be implemented, no future building was to occur until the City approved a Master Plan for all CUC land (quarry, BFS, golf course).

CUC decided to demolish the Infirmary at the BFS. City refused permission until Master Plan is approved.

CUC disbanded the Steering Committee, the faculty group which oversaw the BFS, and eliminated the position of Director. An Advisory Committee was formed with one member from each of the seven colleges, including one from KGI and a non-scientist from CGU. Its function was unclear, as was the governance structure.

CUC put up signs at the BFS saying “Claremont University Consortium. North Campus Property. Held in Trust for Future Expansion of the Claremont Colleges”
2002: Brenda Barham Hill confirmed CUC plans to build on all the land it owns including the BFS, golf course and quarry, and that a master plan was being prepared.
2004: CUC transferred ownership of the western 11.4 acres of the BFS to KGI, which leased the area back to CUC for continued use as part of the Field Station.
Procedures for community use of the BFS for educational purposes were finally drawn up.
2005: A new Advisory Committee was formed still without a clear function or powers.
CGU graduate housing approved for area north of School of Theology. This required widening North College Ave and resulted in the loss of 5-8 ft of the western edge of the BFS in the process.
2006: Signs went up on the fence around the KGI-owned site saying they owned it.
2007: CGU housing constructed.
CUC announced plans to buy KGI-owned part of the BFS and move physical plant, administration, dead storage for library books and parking there.

CUC decided it was not economically feasible to move to the BFS.

Consortium moving forward with plans to develop quarry for parking and playing fields although Master plan for CUC lands (quarry, golf course, field station) still not completed.
Harvey Mudd College bought KGI-owned part of BFS to build parking lot.

Posts were placed inside the BFS marking off HMC-owned part.
CGU announced plans to buy half of the HMC property.
2010: Changes to City parking ordinance eliminated need for a parking lot on the BFS, but HMC said land was bought with future expansion in mind.
City approved tract map splitting HMC part of BFS into four pieces preparatory to sale of two to CGU.
Pitzer announced plan to buy 14 acres of land around Infirmary with intent to renovate building and establish an institute for the built environment named for Robert Redford.
City approved division of eastern portion of BFS into three 12 acre parcels
Colleges announced sale of these parcels to Pitzer, HMC, and Scripps.
Pitzer plans to renovate Infirmary and preserve natural state of its 12 acres.
No indication by Scripps or HMC of their plans
If CGU, HMC, and Scripps build on parts they have bought, the BFS will be reduced by almost 40%
Golden State Water employees sparked a fire that burned 17 acres
New CGU master plan does not include building on their part of the BFS
Sale of eastern 36 acres to Pitzer, Scripps, and Harvey Mudd completed.
Fire of unknown origin burned 4 acres east of College Ave and south of the lake.
Pitzer completed renovations to the infirmary and opened the Redford Conservancy.
CUC (now renamed The Claremont Colleges Services or “TCCS”) still hasn’t carried out 2011 promise to permanently protect TRP after sale of the east 36 acres.
Still no master plan for the former golf course or BFS; building in the quarry is going ahead even though there is no master plan for all three areas as required by the lawsuit settlement.
2020: Still no master plan or announcement of permanent preservation of the central 45 acres (the TRP) as promised in 2011.
Last updated 08/04/2020.
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