Sunday, February 16, 2014

Redwood City sued, environmental lawsuits usually pay

The Daily Journal (San Mateo County), Michelle Durand, 2/15/14.  "Redwood City sued over Laurel Way project.

A paved road, cul-de-sac and five new homes would cover this open space and would remove many established trees.
Widen the road, tear down large trees
to build 16 houses? OMG!!!
 ...."Save Laurel Way, the entity fighting the Laurel Way Joint Venture Project, also claims the city violated its own law by issuing a so-called master planned development permit because it is not defined or allowed by the zoning code. Instead, the city “improperly” used the planned development permit process to “shoe horn a dense, cookie-cutter subdivision into a small, semi-rural area, defer [California Environmental Quality Act] analysis and shied from public review the design and construction of 16 houses,” the suit stated.

.... Opponents argue the revised final EIR used to approve the permit is inadequate because it understated or failed to look adequately at the ramification. The site’s slopes, for instance, are “unusually steep” with “geologically unstable” soils but the revised final EIR deferred studies of possible landslides until after the project’s approval, according to the suit.

The suit also contends the city violated its own stormwater treatment ordinance by allowing a project that constructs roads and homes within 30 feet of a protected creek. Project opponents also cite concern about the destruction of heritage trees, construction noise and traffic impacts, increasing soil movement and damage to neighboring properties."   Read more.

Related article - Mercury News/Peninsula/Daily News/Bonnie Eslinger, Staff Writer, 2/14/14. "Suit filed to stop 16-home development on Laurel Way in Redwood City."  "City officials have reviewed the proposed project since 2007. Last March, the planning commission approved it after limiting the size of homes that could be built. Its decision was appealed both by a consortium of property owners behind the development and the group of neighbors opposed. The city council denied both appeals in September and reaffirmed its stance in January."

Reference - City of Redwood City/Planning, approved Laurel Way Project.

Reference -  "Save Laural Way". "Save Laurel Way is a community-based group seeking a sensible approach to planning that ensures public safety and protects fragile local open space in Redwood City."  Note:  photograph from this website/What's Next section.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

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