We were very disappointed in the 9212 report. A key concern is that it failed to identify all of the constraints they were operating under, constraints that call to question the ability to make any accurate conclusions about the truel impacts of the project.
For example how can you conclude it has addressed fire safety when there are no engineering drawings that show basic things like the turning radius for a fire truck, or conclude there are no impacts to wildlife when the report says the biological surveys are “not available.” In other cases they seem to have just parroted what was included in Carusos’ Environmental Assessment. For example on Aesthetics they talk about nightlighting, but fail to mention there are no visual simulations provided. The current views of the strawberry fields and lagoon from I-5 will be blocked by a wall of 35′ high buildings. Thousands of people will lose most of this scenic view- yet that is not mentioned. In other cases they have ignored key technical input. For example there is no discussion of the increased congestion on I-5, or mention of the letter from Caltrans that says the Cannon Rd ramps will not be constructed until 2035 and that further identifies five additional issues that were not adequately addressed in the EA on traffic. Nor do they address the water quality issues raised by Dr. Horner- including that there will be increased discharge of heavy metals, and that heavy metals are toxic to marine life.
In many cases they quality their responses – for example the project is “substantially ” in compliance with the General Plan- this is a yes or no question- and the answer is no.
There are four cases we have found where they call out some serious issues- air quality- there will be significant impacts- but no indication that there are numerous, feasible ways these impacts could be reduced. They call out that the project provides less parking and allows larger signs than is currently allowed- but minimizes the impact of those changes. They discuss the review process and confirm that the “ministerial” review Caruso proposes takes all approvals out of the hands of the Mayor and city Council.for 15 years but fails to call out that change could result in a final project with lots of problems- and no recourse for 15 years.
What the 9212 report really does is demonstrate numerous issues with this project – issues that require the kind of thorough review that can only come by putting this on the ballot and letting the people vote.
We wish that instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on TV ads and slick mailers that Caruso had put some of that money into fixing the traffic, air pollution, heavy metals being released to the lagoon, visual impacts, and the thousands of other problems with his project. We have to live with his mess- he just has to count his money.