Planning Commission Aug 6

Planning Commission Meeting August 6

Pt Molate Call to Action:  Planning Commission Presentation on the Pt Molate Environmental Impact Report (EIR), Aug 6th

The Planning Commission’s agenda  is revised to hear a presentation on the Final Supplemental Impact Report. The new agenda is online here.

Please write and speak to the Planning Commission against certifying the EIR.  Include the problems (some are listed below) with SunCal’s plan and ask friends and neighbors to write to the Commission and share the call to action and your own letters on social media and elists. 

The Planning Commission will meet again on August 17th.  Please write and speak to the Planning Commission on August 17th.  If they certify the Pt Molate EIR and recommend the rezoning of Pt Molate to a Planned Area District at their Aug 17th meeting, the City could sell Pt Molate to SunCal as early as September 1st. 

Here’s the Planning Commission’s August 6th agenda with email, zoom and call-in information: 

http://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/Archive.aspx?AMID=32

Via email to pccomments@ci.richmond.ca.us. Email must contain in the subject –Public Comments – Agenda Item #2

Written comments received after 3pm on the day of the meeting and up until the public comment period on the relevant agenda item is closed, will be part of the official meeting record, and will be posted online following the meeting.

All comments received by the close of the public comment period will be posted online after the meeting as supplemental materials and will become part of the official meeting record.

Please speak during the public comment period, even if only a few words:

To participate by computer:

https://zoom.us/join Webinar ID: 826 3900 7218 Password: pcaug6

To participate by phone only:

United States Toll: +1-669-900-6833 or 1-253-215-8782 or 1-346-248-7799 Webinar ID: 826 3900 7218

Password: 180950

Background

  1. The City is negotiating a deal that amounts to gifting Ohone and public land to a luxury housing developer without Ohlone or public consent.
  2. The sale to SunCal of the land and their proposed housing development are driven by an illegal backroom settlement deal that is being litigated in federal court.
  3. The City’s financial analysis of the SunCal project proves everything the Pt. Molate Alliance has argued and the Hatch financial analysis shows — the SunCal project as planned will cost Richmond taxpayers millions/year.  If the project fails, it could bankrupt the City.  The City is not protected from the financial risks.

Analysis of the SunCal funded financial analysis: http://ptmolatealliance.org/financial-analysis/ and https://tinyurl.com/y3mtmd8f\

 Some of the Reasons City Should Not Certify the EIR

Here is the link to the 1300 pages of comments on and critiques of the City’s Environmental Impact Report, and the weak attempts by the City’s hired consultant, AES, to minimize the environmental, safety, and traffic impacts and risks in SunCal’s plan:  https://tinyurl.com/y457ooe2

  • The proposed project violates the General Plan and all the City’s planning documents that guide the development of Pt Molate.  Public access, 70% open space, active recreation and protecting biodiversity and sacred/cultural heritage sites are core elements in our General Plan and all the City documents that guide the development of Pt Molate.

—70% open space.  The SunCal plan has, at best,  60% open space; the spaces too toxic or too steep to build on.  To get even 60% open space, you have to count, as they do, the spaces between buildings, around water tanks, utilities and sewerage infrastructure, and a roadway.

—Public access. The SunCal plan has no truly public access outside of the Bay Trail and a small surrounding park.  The “public area” between the residents and ridge line is exaggerated in size on SunCal’s maps, is extremely steep to the extend of being inaccessible to most people, and will be owned by the home owners association.

— Active recreation.  The SunCal Plan has no active recreation.  Active recreation is included in all the planning documents for Pt Molate.  Richmond has incredible athletic talent but not enough soccer and other sports fields to train and compete. 

—Cultural Heritage Site recognition and preservation.  SunCal’s plan will destroy Ohlone Shellmounds.

—Rare Biodiversity.   SunCal’s plan will destroy CA native habitats that are already 97% destroyed on the CA coast and the healthiest eelgrass beds in the SF Bay.  According to Dr. Kathryn Boyer, who studies the ~100 acres of Pt Molate eelgrass meadows, the healthiest eelgrass in the SF Bay, the SunCal plan will ultimately destroy these eelgrass meadows.

  • The proposed project violates federal, state, regional and City regulations and guidance for protecting habitat and limiting GHG emission increases.

SunCal’s retainer of $900,000 for Downy Brand, LLC  — a law firm that prides itself on successfully fighting and finding ways around state and federal law, esp environmental — to defend the inadequate EIR instead of investing that money in a proper EIR to protect public and environmental health is criminal.

  • The City’s process for  Molate is being politically rushed by an illegal settlement agreement, one which is being litigated because land use decisions regarding Pt. Molate, decisions that are required to be done through a public process, were decided in a Council closed session. 

The timeline pressure is a tactic to force a Planning Commission and Council vote in the casino developer and SunCal’s favor.  The settlement deadlines have already been changed.  They can be changed by mutual agreement by the parties to the settlement or by the judge who certified the agreement between the parties. 

All decisions should be postponed until the City’s Brown Act violation has been heard and judged in federal court and until the public can participate fully in the review process.  The Planning Commission and City Council should push to amend the judgment so the city has more time to consider its options.

  • It is time for the City Council to base its decisions for Point Molate on what makes sense for Richmond, what the people of Richmond want, and what will provide tax-dollar revenue. 

Support the Community Plan, http://ptmolatealliance.org/community-plan-slide-show/.

Develop the Winehaven Historic District to provide needed employment and wealth building opportunities for Richmond residents.  Surround it with a world-class regional park that protects rare native habitat and Ohlone sacred sites, provides needed sports fields and outdoor recreation for Richmond families and the region, and revenue for Richmond’s General Fund. Pt Molate is in the East Bay Regional Park District’s Master Plan, and they have $4.2 million for Pt Molate.

The Community Plan grew out of years of public input, the overwhelming majority of public input at the City’s Pt Molate Public Planning meetings, and surveys done by UC Berkeley graduate students in City planning and the Pt Molate Community Advisory Committee.

The Community Plan is in the public interest:

Consistent with the General Plan and other planning documents that guide the development of the Pt Molate, and it does not violate the settlement.

—Provides needed employment and wealth building opportunities for Richmond residents.

— Provides tax dollar revenue for Richmond’s General Fund.

—Protects Ohlone sacred Shellmounds and the Chinese Shrimp Camp’s remaining artifacts.

—Provides sports fields, outdoor recreation for Richmond families and the region,

—Provides cultural and educational opportunities for Richmond and the region.

— “Environmentally superior” in the Environmental Impact Report.

—Protects Pt Molate’s rare biodiversity and eelgrass beds.

—Protects climate mitigating carbon sinks.

—Provides a world-class regional park for Richmond youth and families, the region and future generations.

Questions? Comments?  Want to volunteer? info@ptmolatealliance.org

Thank you!

 

 

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