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In The News

Redwood City to study impacts of Cargill project

By Shaun Bishop

The Daily News, 2/3/10

Eight months after a developer applied to build thousands of homes on Redwood City’s salt flats, the city is starting the lengthy process of assessing the project’s environmental impacts.

City council members indicated at a study session Monday that they are open to proceeding with an environmental review of plans submitted by Cargill and DMB Associates to develop a 1,436-acre site east of Highway 101, said Redwood City Senior Planner Blake Lyon.

With the council’s go-ahead, planners will begin crafting a “request for qualifications” from firms up to the complex task of preparing an environmental impact report for the proposal, which calls for 8,000 to 12,000 homes, playing fields, commercial development and 436 acres of restored wetlands.

State law requires cities to determine whether a proposed project’s impact on such issues as air quality, traffic and water supplies may have a “significant effect on the environment.”

Lyon said the city will prepare a list of requirements for an environmental consultant and hopes to advertise for the job within a couple of months. Ideally, the search would be completed in time for the council to vote on hiring a firm by this summer, Lyon said.

While residents who spoke at Monday’s city council meeting mostly supported moving forward with an environmental impact report, opponents of the project who say the site should be restored to wetlands called for the council to halt the process.

For such a large project, the EIR process will likely take years, Lyon said. He said it’s too soon to put a price tag on preparing the environmental report, though the developer will pay the entire cost.

In the meantime, the city will also be discussing setting up other public meetings to allow residents to ask questions about three preliminary reports on transportation, water and jurisdictional issues that the council reviewed on Monday.

“Our council is very interested in a public outreach process that goes beyond what’s required by” state law, Lyon said. “We want to make sure we engage the public.”


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