EIR Certified (San Jose)

Darryl Boyd is doing a brief presentation on the SEIR (“S” for supplemental) process. So far, letters have been submitted by the Shasta/Hanchett Park Neighborhood Association, the San Jose Sharks, and San Jose Giants. Staff recommends certification due to no new impacts after studying the modified project.

Now Dennis Korabiak is giving an overview of the project. Notes that there are 29,000 parking spaces in the downtown area.

So far, two commenters recommend not certifying the EIR, Eloy Wouters on the grounds that parking and traffic analyses are flawed, another because of fiscal responsibility concerns. A member of S/HNPA recommends the creation of a citizen oversight committee, similar to what was done with the arena. Another commenter recommends the 237/Zanker site as an alternative for the ballpark.

The lawyer from Stand for San Jose asserts that the traffic impact analysis for the weeknight 6-7 PM makes no conclusions and does not properly identify mitigation measures. Essentially this is a question of whether or not the SEIR properly states all of the impacts. Cites a couple of lawsuits in LA and Oakland.

A member of the Willow Glen Neighborhood Association is concerned about traffic along CA-87′ though he also says that the ballpark would be a huge economic impact for downtown and San Jose. He wants VTA to make a commitment to provide improved services in the area, based on the success of transit usage in SF.

Michael Mulcahy (Baseball San Jose, friend of the Wolffs) is giving his sales pitch.

Another commenter criticizes the large environmental impact, while the last commenter critiques the traffic study.

Dennis Korabiak summarizes, notes that the project will require a vote due to the land contribution. Council decision to place project on the ballot would occur in June. Commissioner Zito asks if the various mitigations that will be needed have been disclosed. Korabiak replies yes. Commissioner Kamkar asks if the A’s will be paying for the police and traffic enforcement. Answer is that it will have to be negotiated by the A’s and City, with recommendations provided by the Good Neighbor Committee.

Public hearing closed. Now the rest of the planning commission has questions.

PG&E – What happens? No intention to acquire and relocate the substation.

Staff clarifies that the project is not in the “fair analysis” realm, which is often used to create legal challenges for an EIR. I’m not sure if I’m interpreting this right, but it may be because no major new impacts have been identified, compared to the old EIR. If true, that’s huge. Staff also says that regardless of a day or night game situation, there will be enough parking throughout downtown – though I have to say this is a flawed argument given the broad and one-sided definition of what downtown is.

8:33 PM – Motion to certify by Zito. Makes a statement to clarify that certifying the EIR is not about being for or against the project, it’s about whether or not the document itself is complete. Commissioner Jensen seconds. Commissioner Platten will not support the motion but considers it close, thinks there may be a lawsuit. Commissioner Klein thinks all of this could have been done with an amendment instead if a SEIR.

8:38 PM – Vote taken. Motion passes 4-1 with two commissioners absent. See ya in June.

10 thoughts on “EIR Certified (San Jose)

  1. So why did Platten not support…because he is worried that there will be a lawsuit…what EIR for a project of this size wouldn’t have a lawsuit….its the California way—unfortunately—but it won’t stop the project–

  2. “Land Contribution”? Then the land WILL be free for the A’s to build. So then YES, I’m now convinced R.M. that (gulp) there will be a vote. I stand corrected on thinking there would be some form of land lease. I agree with GoA’s as it pertains to lawsuits. That’s almost a given; I’d be more surprised if there wasn’t one. But again, just stating that something is “flawed” is one thing; proving it is a whole new ballgame (no pun intended). This SEIR appears to have covered all bases (sorry for the baseball analogies). Hopefully the opposition won’t be allowed to lie during the campaign; “While San Jose is providing millions to Lew Wolff in hard earned tax dollars, your libraries are closing and kids are going hungry.”

  3. Tony D–of course that will be the message—campaigns are always full of half truths. If it goes to the ballot in November the pro-ballpark group will need to focus on the economic development and job creation that a $500M+ project will provide near-term (this would be true stimulus) and have the broad support of the trade unions who have 30+% unemployment now. At least you have the Tank and ATT to point to as models of success…and potentially the ’49ers successful campaign.

    I would like to see Carl Guardino and the SVLG get involved in running the campaign. Even though it is SJ specific it will benefit the entire region and this group has a knack for understanding how to run a successful campaign.

  4. @Tony – There’s no telling when a lease will be hammered out. It might not happen until construction begins. You can’t assume a fair market lease will exist when it’s not known what fair market will be when the time comes to negotiate. SJ is contributing land without that knowledge. Case closed.

  5. I like the pic of the 90%-95% empty public seating area
    — it makes the Coli seem positively crowded.

  6. 1200 jobs possibly? thats great news.

  7. Wow, awesome news!

  8. So does this mean we’re back again to a two horse race?

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