St Vincents Scoping meeting Sep 10th
Video thankyou John Parulis, Bright Path Video.
I got there early to find about a
dozen people already there holding protest banners. 2 of them were dressed
as cows holding a banner “Cows don’t drive".
Most of the public presenters represented environmental organizations. And
made important points.
Some of the points:-
- Many people addressed the Traffic
issue and wanted to stress how bad it already was and no matter how
little St Vincents would add, - any addition to the traffic was
Arnold of Marin Citizens for Effective
Transportation urged the commission to have the EIR consultants
analyze not just traffic and numbers of cars, but the congestion that
"The EIR needs to quantify these kinds of delays," Arnold
said. "It needs to quantify for the public how much additional
time people will spend in their cars."
- It is important that Peer revue be made of all
traffic analysis, which must be thorough. The past shows us how biased
this analysis can be, especially in the example of Novato where
traffic impacts were virtually ignored. The City does not give the
impression of being impartial here. (Darn right,
they need ST Vincents to make up their State mandated quota of new
Adams requested that developments in Oakwood and Hamilton etc. be
included in impact reports and water usage be carefully considered.
Landfill must not sink as it did in Santa Venetia, well after the
developers have gone. Wildlife habitat destruction needs to be closely
- Evaluate any benefit to traffic on increasing
reverse commute. (That would refer to the
commercial part of the development attracting workers from San Rafael,
although the vast majority come from the north)
- Others questioned the “affordability”
of the 182 units. And whether the 584 other houses would produce more
of a negative effect because of their associated demand for services
to be met by employing the residents of the affordable units …..
- Marge Macris, Sierra Club
recommended that there be a General Plan Revision before any more EIR.
It is not normal for EIR to precede a necessary Gen Plan
Revision. The "No-Development" Alternative is
definitely a possibility, not as impossible as the City has been
portraying. The Silveira DEVELOPMENT plan MUST be included, (not just
a Concept Plan) because Silveira includes a higher proportion of
commercial development. We must ensure provisions that the affordable
housing remains affordable, especially in the light of Shapell's
history of escaping affordable obligations in Contra Costa.
- Barbara Salzman, Marin
Audubon Society was pleased the scope included “No
Development”, (consideration of the
acquisition of the property),
because her organization has been successful in raising money
to purchase Bahia, Novato $18 mil. Need to explain how you can include
a "Concept Plan" in an EIR in her experience she
has never encountered this. Her written submission includes habitat
- Joe Walsh of the Ecumenical Association for housing:
“A60 zoning has made this county what it is”. He said the
EIR should include an evaluation of the legal aspects of not building
on the parcels, noting the county had zoned the Highway 101 corridor
for development. (Alluding to the Quid-Pro-Quo
in the 70’s Gen Plan where 85% of Marin was designated Open Space.
But as I say here we
have traffic problems today that we DID NOT have then.)
Some of the discussion:-
- The Joe Nation bill, merging the governance of SMART Rail,
also prohibits a Rail Station
at St Vincents-Silveira. (Then
why does Silveira’s Concept Plan include a 9 acre Transit Hub next
to the railway line?)
- John Alden, Commissioner, asked the City Manager if “Traffic
will need Mitigation” “for instance a school bus etc…” and
“would it be too expensive” The city manager said “We need to get extremely creative when it
comes to traffic mitigation”
(he knows how difficult traffic increase will be to justify)
- Do a traffic analysis
independent of the GAP project. The GAP project would simply move
the bottleneck to Larkspur.
- Look at a Tax on the property
as mitigation for its effect on traffic and to pay for transit.
- Talk of SMART rail figuring
into traffic analysis (despite what I say here)
- Does LAFCO’s mandate not
reject development on St Vincents open space?
- Silveira property will be
annexed, even without their consent as St Vincents is larger.
- The developer has committed to
a “zero net usage of potable water”, no net increase in water
- A MMWD analysis is imminent.
- A commissioner:
stressed how much details were needed on Traffic Counts and Soil
- - “what
are the potential uses of the Honor Farm?” The City replies:
“it has potential uses in the Gen Plan”
- - “Look
at NOT grading the scenic hill”