Saturday, January 17, 2009

RDEIR: INTRODUCTION (1.0)

ABSTRACT: Selected sections of the Introduction (1.0) are presented, including INTRODUCTION (1.1), AUTHORIZATION AND PURPOSE (1.2), FLANDERS MANSION PROJECT SUMMARY (1.5) and ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW PROCESS FOR THE RDEIR (1.6). Other sections, namely EIR PROCESS (1.3), CEQA REQUIREMENTS FOR RECIRCULATION (1.4), CONTENT, FORMAT, AND SUMMARY OF THE RECIRCULATED DRAFT EIR (1.7) and INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE (1.8), are not presented.

RECIRCULATED DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT FOR THE SALE OF FLANDERS MANSION PROPERTY, January 2009, DENISE DUFFY & ASSOCIATES, INC.

1.0 Introduction

1.1 INTRODUCTION

This Recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is part of the ongoing environmental review process for the proposed Flanders Mansion Project, which entails the sale of City-owned property, specifically the Flanders Mansion Property, a listed historical resource on the National Register of Historic Places, in the City of Carmel, California.

Reason for Recirculated EIR for the Project

In 2005, the City Council of the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea certified an EIR (SCH# No. 2005011108) and approved a project involving the sale of the Flanders Mansion property. The City Council’s decision to approve the project, and the adequacy of the previous EIR on which it was based, were litigated and found by the court to be inadequate. Pursuant to the Amended Judgment of the Monterey County Superior Court in The Flanders Foundation vs. City of Carmel-by-the-Sea, et al. (Mont. Co. Super. Ct. Case No. M76728), the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea rescinded its September 2005 certification of the August 2005 Final EIR (FEIR) for the proposed Flanders Mansion project.

This Revised Draft EIR is recirculated in its entirety to provide the public with a meaningful opportunity to comment on the additional data available as a result of modifications to the document based upon the court ruling. In accordance with Section 15088.5(f)(1), when an EIR is substantially revised and the entire document is recirculated, the lead agency may require reviewers to submit new comments and are not required to respond to those comments received during the earlier circulation period. In conformance with this section, the City is not including in this RDEIR the responses to those comments received in response to the previous document and provided in the Final EIR dated August 2005. Instead, this Recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Report modifies and revises the text contained in the August 2005 document (the now-decertified FEIR).

The following document is considered a Recirculated Draft EIR because significant new information and analyses have been added or changed to portions of the Draft EIR since it was circulated for public review on April 1, 2005 as modified in the 2005 FEIR. For purposes of clarity, this document will be referred to as the Recirculated Draft EIR, or RDEIR, and the previously circulated Draft EIR as modified in the August 2005 FEIR will be collectively referred to as the 2005 DEIR. Please note that public comments received on the 2005 DEIR during the public review period were taken into consideration as part of this RDEIR The analysis contained in this RDEIR includes information contained in the 2005 FEIR, plus new information and analysis where appropriate...

1.2 AUTHORIZATION AND PURPOSE

The purpose of an EIR is to inform the public generally of the significant environmental effects of a project, identify possible ways to minimize the significant effects, and describe reasonable alternatives that support the objectives of the project. As defined by the CEQA Guidelines, an EIR is an “informational document” with the intended purpose to: “inform public agency decision-makers and the public generally of the significant environmental effects of a project, identify possible ways to minimize the significant effects, and describe reasonable alternatives to the project.” Although the EIR does not control the ultimate decision on the project, the Lead Agency must consider the information in the EIR and respond to each significant effect identified in the EIR. As defined in the CEQA Guidelines, a “significant effect on the environment” is:

“...a substantial or potentially substantial, adverse change in any of the physical conditions within the area affected by the project including land, air, water, minerals, flora, fauna, ambient noise, and objects of historic or aesthetic significance. An economic or social change by itself shall not be considered a significant effect on the environment. A social or economic change related to a physical change may be considered in determining whether the physical change is significant.”

This RDEIR has been prepared in accordance with CEQA and the CEQA Guidelines, as amended. This EIR has been prepared by Denise Duffy and Associates, Inc. (DD&A) for the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea as the “Lead Agency,” in consultation with the appropriate local, regional and state agencies.

1.5 FLANDERS MANSION PROJECT SUMMARY

The proposed project analyzed in both the 2005 DEIR and this RDEIR consists of the sale of City-owned property, specifically the Flanders Mansion Property, a listed historical resource on the National Register of Historic Places. The description of the proposed project has not substantially changed since the preparation of the 2005 DEIR with the exception of several modified project objectives. The project objectives for the project have been revised in this RDEIR to reflect changed circumstances associated with the project. In addition, revisions have been incorporated into this RDEIR to provide additional information concerning the status of the property as parkland. Where the previous project description was unclear additional language has been incorporated for clarification purposes. This RDEIR proposes the following changes relative to the 2005 DEIR:

• Proposed sale of City-owned property and a historic resource;
• Proposed sale consists of parkland zoned a P-2 (Improved Parkland); and
• Proposed sale shall comply with California Code §38440-38462 and §54220-54222, including but not limited to subjecting any proposed sale to a public vote.

1.6 ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW PROCESS FOR THE RDEIR

The review process for this RDEIR will involve the following procedural steps:

Public Notice/Public Review

CEQA Guidelines §15088.5 describes the procedures for recirculation of an EIR. The procedures require simultaneous submittal of a public Notice of Availability of the RDEIR and a Notice of Completion to the State Clearinghouse. The RDEIR will be subject to public review and comment for a period of 45 days...

All comments concerning the adequacy of the RDEIR must be addressed to:

Sean Conroy
City of Carmel-by-the-Sea
Community Planning & Building Department
P.O. Drawer G
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA. 93921

Responses to Comments/Final EIR
Following the 45-day public comment period on the RDEIR, a Final ERI will be prepared. The Final EIR will respond to written comments received during the public comment period on the RDEIR…No aspect of the proposed project will be approved until after the Final EIR is considered.

Certification of the EIR/Project Consideration
The City, as Lead Agency, will review and consider the Final EIR. If the City finds that the Final EIR reflects the City’s independent judgment and has been prepared in accordance CEQA and the CEQA Guidelines, the City will certify the adequacy and completeness of the Final EIR. A decision to approve the project will be accompanied by written findings in accordance with CEQA Guidelines §15091, and if applicable, §15093.

Pursuant to the policy stated in §21002 and §21002.1 of CEQA, no public agency shall approve or carry out a project for which an EIR has been completed which identifies one or more significant effects. Although the EIR does not control the lead agency’s ultimate decision on the project, the City must consider the information in the EIR and respond to each significant effect identified in the EIR. If significant adverse environmental effects are identified in the EIR, approval of the project must be accompanied by written findings, as follows:

A. Changes or alterations have been required in, or incorporated into, such project that mitigate or avoid the significant environmental effects thereof as identified in the completed EIR.

B. Such changes or alterations are within the responsibility and jurisdictions of another public agency and such changes have been adopted by such other agency, or can and should by adopted by such other agency.

C. Specific economic, social or other considerations make infeasible the mitigation measures or project alternatives identified in the EIR.

1 comment:

Blogger 304 said...

Watch out for Sue’s hidden agenda here. She wants everyone to believe it was the intention of every council to sell the Flanders Mansion. She wants everyone to believe this because she does not want to be seen as the one and only mayor who advocated for the sale of the Flanders Mansion. Classic Sue, everything about her is covert. She gives a plausible reason to the public, divest property because of maintenance costs, but her real reason is always hidden from the public and is always about the personalities surrounding the particular issue. Here, her animosity against Melanie Billig is so consuming, she cannot see how the Flanders Mansion is a historical asset for us to enjoy now and into the future.
The only silver lining to this dark cloud I can think of is if this process can be delayed until Carmel elects a new mayor, then a new mayor could persuade the other people on the council to concentrate on other more worthwhile things.