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Overwhelming Concern Over Saltworks Development Voiced in Public Comments

The comment period ended March 31, and the city is now inundated with hundreds of comments.

Seeking public input on the controversial Cargill Saltworks development, officials in Redwood City have received nearly 900 pages of comments.  Individuals, and invested organizations like the California Bay Conservation and Development Commission submitted opinions in the development proposal's first comment period. A second comment period will allow residents to review a revised application and comment again, according to city Senior Planner Blake Lyon.

No topic went undiscussed in the comments, and now the city must compile them into a scoping report, with an approximate completion date of summertime.

Most organizations expressed some concerns and suggested highly pertinent questions that they addressed in the second Notice of Preparation. The developer, DMB Associates, has the opportunity to incorporate them into a refined proposal.

The city will hold a second Notice of Preparation (NOP) period to gather more comments from the community, a previously anticipated step for a development proposal this large, according to Lyon. The application calls for up to 12,000 housing units on 1,436 acres of land for approximately 30,000 residents.

“We went into this knowing we were going to have a second NOP,” Lyon said. “A second NOP is required if there is a substantial revision in the project description.”

A date for the second Notice of Preparation depends on how quickly and how substantially the applicant revises the project description, Lyon added.

DMB spokesperson Jay Reed wrote in an email, “We couldn’t be more pleased at the depth and breadth of input from the community. As we move forward, we will thoughtfully consider and work with the City to incorporate appropriate refinements to the original proposal to produce the best possible future for this site responsive to the needs of this community.” 

Additionally, DMB must also submit an application to the federal government because much of the proposal falls under federal jurisdiction. The affected federal agencies would identify a lead agency that has the broadest range of authority over the project, according to Lyon. The lead agency would then decide if Redwood City’s completed environmental impact report is sufficient or if the federal government would have to write a separate environmental impact statement required under U.S. federal law.

“That lead agency hasn’t even been determined yet, so this also adds to the uncertainty of the second NOP’s date,” Lyon said.

Due to the magnitude of comments, Patch has compiled two separate articles summarizing the comments from organizations, business and residents.

The majority of the opposition comments came from environmental organizations, state agencies, neighboring cities and towns, and individual residents.

In contrast, comments from the organizations that were decidedly in favor of the project came from housing organizations, youth recreation supporters and a few residents.

Sharon Levin May 20, 2011 at 10:45 PM
I have a question for Mr. Lyon What costs may not be getting reimbursed by the developer? Which supervisors in which departments are spending any time on this?

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