March 08, 2016 - Request to the Vacaville City Council to Deny Development
08 March 2016
City of Vacaville
Attention: Honorable Mayor and City Council
650 Merchant Street
Vacaville, California 95688
Re: Request to Deny Agenda Item 8A: RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF VACAVILLE ADOPTING AN ADDENDUM TO THE 2004 FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT FOR THE LOWER LAGOON VALLEY POLICY PLAN IMPLEMENTATION PROJECT; AND ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL APPROVING THE PHASING AND DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CITY OF VACAVILLE AND LAGOON VALLEY RESIDENTIAL, LLC FOR THE LOWER LAGOON VALLEY POLICY PLAN IMPLEMENTATION PROJECT
Dear Honorable Mayor and Councilmembers,
The Lagoon Valley Conservancy is adamantly opposed to the proposed development of Lower Lagoon Valley and respectfully requests the Resolution to approve the above referenced Agenda item be denied.
Tentative Maps are not intended to exist in perpetuity. Tentative Maps are initially valid for a period of two years. Extensions may be allowed; however, per the Subdivision Map Act, Section 66452.6 (a) and the City of Vacaville Municipal Code, Chapter 14.11.152, Section 14.11.152.060, C, 2, a, no extension shall extend a tentative map more than ten (10) years from the initial approval date. The tentative map for this project is eleven (11) years old! Thus, the tentative map is legally expired by a year – no exceptions.
Per City of Vacaville Municipal Code, Chapter 14.11.152, Section 14.11.152.060, D, expiration of a tentative map results in the termination of all proceedings relative to the final map and requires a whole new application.
The Developer’s attempt in the proposed Phasing and Development Agreement to circumvent the law by requesting an illegal twelve (12) year extension to an already expired tentative map is a grave disservice to the public interest.
Further, the addendum to the 2004 Final Environmental Impact Report for the Lower Lagoon Valley Policy Plan Implementation Project relies solely on obsolete data. The 2004 EIR was reliant on the 1990 development plan (a plan acknowledged in the addendum to be expired).
Much has changed in over a quarter of a century since this project first came to light and without fail each item requiring mitigation in the original plan has become more challenging: Noise, Traffic, Public Safety, Natural Resources, Schools, Public Services, and Economic Considerations. None of these factors are adequately addressed by the expired and obsolete development plan or EIR.
For example, the project is still split between two school districts and relies on schools that have been closed for years. Further, it acknowledges the enrollment would exceed capacity for BOTH school districts; yet no provision is included to require construction of a school for the development. Nor is the issue of a lack of busing addressed (especially as it pertains to families whose children would be split between districts). To date, a resolution between the two school districts has not been accomplished or for that matter pursued.
The project has hinged on the approval of the Army Corp of Engineers. To date the approval has not been granted.
Traffic is a serious concern and yet it is not fully addressed. The plan does not incorporate the gridlocked traffic generated by the heavy development along North Texas Street in neighboring Fairfield or the heavy developments along the I-80 corridor.
The plan admits its own shortcomings in not fully addressing or considering the impact of the significant drought the city has been experiencing.
The proposed plan incorporates an alternative other than the golf course. Per the Settlement Agreement, the golf course is an integral part of the approved project. An alternative would be considered a deviation from the agreement and would thus be considered a new project item subject to public and environmental review. With that said, the recent closing of Green Tree Golf Course should be a reminder the gold course has never been a feasible, self-sustaining venture.
There are alternatives. There is broad public support to keep Lagoon Valley as open space. With innovative thinking and cooperation all parties could be happy. We have spoken with organizations such as the National Park Service, the Coastal Conservancy, and the Bay Area Open Space Council, just to name a few. All have been supportive but unable to offer assistance until the development agreement is off the table.
It is time to lay this project to rest. It has never been nor will it ever be feasible. It is the proverbial house built on sand. Please do not approve an obsolete and ill-conceived plan. Thank you.