weccAd Info
 Brownfields:   Comments on Catellus EIR:   Report Organization

Catellus EIR

 Cover Letter
  Project Alternative
 Analysis Failures
 Deferred Mitigations
 Report Organization
 Land Use
 Population and Housing
 Air Quality
 Public Services
 Drainage and Hydrology


 Brownfields Info
 Alameda Tour Guide
 Marsh Crust
 Catellus EIR


 Home Page

Organization of the EIR

Piece-mealing of environmental analysis is often used to reach conclusions about environmental impacts that are contrary to what a reasonable person would conclude. As a result, California courts have consistently ruled against EIR's proposing piece-meal analysis. In the EIR for the Catellus Mixed use development, land use issues, the policies that govern land use, and the loss of fair share housing created by the project where considered separately as if these analyses were unrelated.

In January 2000, Renewed HOPE Housing Advocates, East Bay Housing Organizations, ARC Ecology and Clearwater Revival Co. submitted the following comments, to the City of Alameda, on the organization of the Catellus Mixed-use Development EIR.


Artificial Distinction Between Land Use and Public Policy and Housing Demolition Impacts

This EIR discusses land use issues, the policies that govern land use, and loss of fair share housing in three separate sections of the EIR. The bizarre result of these distinctions is that the EIR concludes that the Project creates no land use impacts and is not inconsistent with land use policies (page 12), but must mitigate population and housing impacts by amending the General Plan. (page 12).

Considering land use impacts apart from issues of compliance with land use law is inconsistent with the this EIR?s analysis of other impacts and with EIR practice statewide. For no other potential impact area (e.g., noise, traffic, air quality, water quality) does the EIR suggest, as it does with land use, that compliance with regulatory standards stands apart from determination of impacts. Furthermore, recent changes to the CEQA Guidelines: Section 15064(i) - in particular - strengthen the role of regulatory standards in determining the significance of impacts.

Land use laws ? including General Plan elements, the Zoning Ordinance, and redevelopment plans ? codify community values about the physical environment. As stated by the Alameda General Plan "A city's General Plan has been described as its development constitution: the set of policies within which development regulations and decisions must fit. The General Plan is a statement of the community's vision of its long-term or ultimate physical form and, desirably, a guarantee of stable development policies." (Alameda General Plan, 2/91, page 5)

By means of the policies articulated in its various elements, the General Plan determines where people will live, where they will work, where they will shop, and where they will find recreation; it determines which streets will be wide and which will be narrow, how much noise will be allowed, and whether buildings with historic value will be protected. The goal of the General Plan policies is to create a physical environment that sustains community values by controlling changes to the physical environment.

This is as true of the Housing Element as of any other element of the General Plan. State law requires local jurisdictions to address regional housing needs in their General Plans because a jurisdiction?s policies on affordable housing impact the physical environment of that jurisdiction, the region, and the state as a whole. The physical impacts of local policies that create jobs without creating housing are intolerable air pollution and overcrowded roadways. The physical impact of scarce low income housing in many cities is that parks and sidewalks no longer function as public land uses because they have been pressed into service as living space for homeless people.

This EIR must be clearly inform policymakers and the public that failure to comply with the Housing Element is a land use impact.

Correction Required: Integrate the discussion of land use, land use policy, and loss of housing units into a single section.

Cover Letter - Project Alternative - Analysis Failures - Deferred Mitigations
Report Organization - Land Use - Population and Housing - Traffic - Air Quality
Public Services - Noise - Drainage and Hydrology - Hazards

© 2000 Clearwater Revival Company
January 31, 2000