http://pleasantonweekly.com/blogs/p/print/2012/05/04/ncrsp-feir-and-mmrp


Local Blogs

By Roz Rogoff

NCRSP FEIR and MMRP

Uploaded: May 4, 2012

Isn't it great to title a blog with cryptic abbreviations! I wasn't planning to write my Friday blog on the North Camino Ramon Specific Plan (NCRSP) Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) and Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program (MMRP), but the mail delivery person just had me sign a receipt post card from the City of San Ramon for a Certified Mail CD containing the above referenced documents. Wow, that was unexpected!

For an hour or two I thought the San Ramon Observer was so important that the Planning Department sent me a Certified copy of the FEIR, so I took it as a complement. Then I did a search on my name in the FEIR and realized I spoke in Public Comment at the Public Hearing on the Draft EIR. So that's why I was included in the mailing list. Ah well, so much for my importance.

For those of you who are not on the mailing list, the FEIR is posted online. I could not find the Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program on the City's website yet, so I posted my copy on Google Docs for those of you who want to read it. Much of it appears to be boilerplate the consultants, Michael Brandman Associates, use to cover standard categories like Biological and Cultural Resources.

An EIR is a document required by the State to consider specific environmental impacts from a proposed project. There are categories in the EIR that may not be what you are interested in or concerned about. The Draft EIR is posted publically for 45 days for comments from the public and from local agencies that might be impacted by the plan. All of the comments are then considered and answered in the Final EIR.

The EIR is designed to identify impacts from a project that could be considered "significant" and propose mitigation measures to reduce the significance of the impacts. The term "significant" in an EIR means the impacts require "mitigation" to reduce their level of significance. An EIR is not designed to identify what residents don't like about a plan to keep it from being approved.

I commented on an EIR a few years ago. I don't recall what it was for but my comments were brushed off as irrelevant to the purpose of the EIR. So don't think that because you don't like something in the plan and commented on it, that it will make any difference.

Section 2 of the FEIR addresses Master Responses, which are defined as ". . . similar comments made by multiple persons through both written comments submitted to the City of San Ramon and oral comments made at the March 6, 2012 San Ramon Planning Commission Meeting. Master responses are provided in the order in which they are referenced in the responses in Section 3 and Section 4."

The planned HOV ramps at Norris Canyon Road were brought up at the DEIR public hearing and included in Danville's response to the Draft EIR. Norris Canyon is the main East/West artery in the NCRSP. The FEIR answers the questions about the HOV ramps under Master Response 3 in Section 2. I attached a direct link to this section above.

The FEIR assumptions for the HOV ramps in the year 2030 concludes if ". . . all planned improvements listed on pages 3.12-70 and 3.12-71 in place (including the Norris Canyon Road HOV Ramps), all intersections would operate at acceptable levels. Thus, the Norris Canyon Road HOV Ramps are not considered 'mitigation' because no significant impacts would occur that would require mitigation."

A Public Hearing for the FEIR is scheduled for the May 15th Planning Commission meeting. The last Planning Commission meeting on the NCRSP was held on May 1st. Commission Chairperson Donna Kerger moved the item back on the Agenda to provide more time for speakers, but only one person spoke on the plan which was passed by the Commission to the City Council for their final approval at an upcoming meeting.

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