Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Environmental Review

The main topic of the Planning Commission meeting last night was an environmental review and approval of a proposed mitigated negative declaration of what they refer to as the “Circle S” project. Adjacent properties are involved, but the project name is “Circle S”, the name of our mobile home park.

Environmental studies are, of course, of great interest today. The environmental impact of a new subdivision on the property is not as great as the problems caused by present conditions – ancient trailers and trash accumulated on asphalt, with runoff being deposited directly into Wildcat Creek.

According to the multiple-page handout available at the meeting, extensive studies of steelhead in the creek, and removal to upstream or downstream locations is a top priority in creek management. Measures will be taken along the banks to prevent erosion and sedimentation into the stream and to prevent the spill of contaminants in or around the stream.

A biologist will conduct surveys to avoid impacts to raptors and other migratory nesting birds, depending on the construction season. The creek shall also be surveyed for the presence of western pond turtles. Removal of non-native trees in the buffer zone between the development and the creek, after it has been determined that no nesting birds are present, is a plan that is difficult for me to handle. I realize that this is the accepted way to go, now that the Eucalyptus has taken over a great deal of the environment, but there are only two things that keep me from being crazy living in this mobile home. One is the view of Mt. Tamalpais, and the other is the large group of Eucalyptus along the creek with raptors roosting in the tops. I am a tree person, and these are about the only trees I can see from my windows.

A part of the report that was very interesting to me was in regards to the actual excavation on the site. With the possibility that human remains of Native American origin could be discovered, provision has been made for identification by the Native American Heritage Commission, which would provide recommendation for the proper treatment of the remains. Also, an archaeologist will conduct a subsurface investigation to determine the presence of archaeological deposits, and a paleontologist will determine if there are any resources. I wonder what is under here.

There will be numerous studies, as with any construction site, but one problem which will undoubtedly crop up is that the lumber company section of the site was probably contaminated by treated lumber. There was also a gas station at some location on the property. It seems to me that this could be a very lengthy process, although perhaps not quite as much as a property that has permanent construction. There are small buildings here and there, but the mobile homes can just be moved out.

I get nervous thinking of the disruption all of this will cause, but I have no intention of remaining in this mobile home forever.


Post a Comment

<< Home