Category Archives: CEQA EIR Law

High-Speed Rail: Judge Again Orders Peninsula Route Scrapped

San Jose Mercury News, 2011-11-11
By Mike Rosenberg

Once again, a judge on Thursday ordered the state to scrap its plans to zip high-speed trains from Gilroy to San Jose and up the Peninsula, saying officials failed to show how the massive route would harm local traffic and homes.

An artist's rendering of the proposed high-speed rail line station_Courtesy LA Times

An artist's rendering of the proposed high-speed rail line station_Courtesy LA Times

Even so, the California High-Speed Rail Authority signaled it would reapprove the route along the Caltrain corridor after completing more studies to appease the judge. That could trigger yet another lawsuit, extending a three-year long legal battle against the polarizing $99 billion bullet train project.

The cities of Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Atherton don’t want the elevated tracks to divide their communities, create an eyesore and lower property values. So they sued in October 2010 to ax the Bay Area route for the San Francisco-to-Los Angeles line. They prefer a railroad that would run through the East Bay and across the Dumbarton Bridge to San Francisco.  Continue reading

PAMF EIR Oral Arguments Heard Today in the 6th Court of Appeals

The oral arguments for the Palo Alto Medical Foundation PAMF and City of Sunnyvale City Council Environmental Impact Report EIR Lawsuit were heard this morning in the 6th District Court of Appeal with Associate Justice Patricia Bamattre-Manoukian presiding.

The complaints address the inadequacy of General Plan Discussion for the three Kenny Court Residential Homes to become part of the medical facility, improper traffic and noise baseline , and improper construction mitigation for the nearby residential homes influenced by nearly 2 1/2 years of construction noise that exceeds the City of Sunnyvale Noise Ordinance.

In fact, the initial indicators of a required PAMF EIR, according to John Schwarz, of David J Powers & Associatesin an email, warned Sunnyvale Planners Gerri Caruso and Trudi Ryan 9/19/08 of “given the proximity of the residential uses, the HIGH construction levels anticipated and the duration of exposure to those levels . . . ”

The purpose of an Environmental Impact Report EIR under the California Environmental Quality Act CEQA is to disclose the impacts to those not involved in the decision-making process as well as mitigate to avoid or significantly lessen the impacts.

Take a look at this plywood fence that Sacramento Attorneys Trainor Fairbrook consider “good enough!” for noise mitigation, egad! Additionally, wouldn’t it be reasonable to include the massive underground structure in the PAMF EIR analysis? It is not.

Sunnyvale PAMF Intense Shoring Adjacent to Residential Homes Exceeds City of Sunnyvale Noise Ordinance