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Hello Mr. Moore
The following comments are a follow-up to the Planning Commission meeting last night (Mon. May 10).
1. Commissioner McCauley requested the EIR contain research on traffic impacts during all the "peak traffic" periods. Morning commute, mid-afternoon school pick-up time, and evening commute were specifically mentioned. I would submit that weekends, and especially Saturday morning should also be studied. Saturday mornings are atrocious on E. Blithedale.
2. Commissioner Richardson asked that story poles be put up on the property to inform everyone as to the mass and height of the Project. I also think story poles are important to see the setbacks that are planned. My question is how will people see the poles representing the top row of units due to their being obscured by the existing trees? It is very important for people to see the scale of the project, but how can that be accomplished? We do NOT want the trees cut down to see the story poles.
3. Several Commissioners were concerned about the aesthetics of a three-story complex in a neighborhood of one-story houses (along Blithedale and in Freeman park across Blithedale). I think the aesthetics question could be answered effectively if any models and any drawings, etc. of the Project also include portions of the surrounding neighborhood.
4. Several people questioned if the developer had any influence on the outcome of the Draft EIR (DEIR). Had there been any contact between the DEIR writers and the developer? According to at least one place in the DEIR, there was not only contact, but the developer directly influenced the content of the DEIR. On page 16-3 of the "Alternatives" Chapter, we find the following statement about the alternative concerning maintaining the Heritage Oak Tree:
"However, given the tree’s size and extensive root structure, much of the southeastern portion of the site would not be able to be developed under this alternative. The applicant has determined it would be infeasible, both economically and from a site planning perspective, to maintain the tree while still developing the 20 residential units..."
Here, the DEIR writers dismiss the alternative of keeping the Heritage Oak because the developer "has determined it would be infeasible, both economically and from a site planning perspective". The DEIR writers asked the developer about keeping the Heritage Live Oak, the developer says it would cost him money and mess up his plans, and the writers accepted this without question. And without submitting another obvious alternative that the Project could be reduced in size and preserve the tree. That alternative should be studied.
50 Altamont Avenue