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Category Archives: Palo Alto Medical Foundation Sunnyvale
“Please hold your laughter but . . . . what can $25,000 get us?” writes Sunnyvale Principal Planner Gerri Caruso’s replacement, Steve Lynch, in an email to city transportation staff Heba El-Guendy and Jack Witthaus.
So . . . while the Sunnyvale Heritage District Neighborhood was earnestly advocating for safe and calm streets, the paltry $25,000 initially required of PAMF for traffic calming devices was considered laughable?
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Get ready to party to agitating, pile driver, hammering noise, and lots of it! The Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) did not seem to bat an eye at imposing 28 months of loud, 6 day work-week, intense construction noise to their neighbors despite numerous comments and complaints from community members during the June 23, 2009 hearing.
Before the neighbors are told, “Tough luck, there are overriding considerations as to why you must expect over 2 years of construction noise exceeding the City of Sunnyvale Noise Standards,” CEQA requires there be a thorough analysis of alternatives that could reduce this significant adverse unavoidable environmental impact to a less than significant level.
And . . there wasn’t. This is so despite the numerous comments on the noise problem, noise mitigation or lack thereof.
The PAMF FEIR Traffic Analysis, apparently a Morse code to Sunnyvale Planning Officer Trudi Ryan, as well, emails the Environmental Preparers David J Powers at the last-minute for HELP.
With only 4 DAYS until the June 23, 2009 Council Hearing, Ryan emails a request, “Karli and John, can you ask Fehr and Peers to provide an estimate of the percent of traffic on Bayview and Carroll that are associated with PAMF.” Continue reading
Why wasn’t the Illingworth & Rodkin, Inc Vehicle Exhaust Emissions Air Quality Report for the Palo Alto Medical Foundation PAMF Sunnyvale Underground Parking Structure, designed by Hawley Peterson Synder Architects, provided in the PAMF DEIR/FEIR for disclosure and review?
LATE for the party and PRESENTED for the first time ON THE EVE of the COUNCIL VOTE, the Air Quality report estimates 75% of the expelled carbon monoxide emissions to vent independently through these narrow ramps leading to the underground parking structure for PAMF to be located at 301 Old San Francisco Road.
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Former Sunnyvale City Manager, Amy Chan, described Palo Alto Medical Foundation, a subsidiary of Sutter Health, PAMF’s 301 Old San Francisco Road location as both “at the edge of and within a residential neighborhood.”
Palo Alto Medical Foundation, a subsidiary of Sutter Health, proposed PAMF $120M, 270,000 square foot, 5-level structure, designed by Hawley Peterson Synder Architects , is ambitious, to say the least. Is it a “FIT” with the quiet Heritage Neighborhood District?
A Public Agency, or Lead Agency, determines whether a “project,” such as The Sunnyvale Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), under The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), has potential for a direct physical change or a reasonably foreseeable indirect physical change in the environment.
CEQA is a statute that requires state and local agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of their actions and to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible.
The Lead Agency for the PAMF Project, coincidently, was the City of Sunnyvale Planning Staff: Principal Planner Gerri Caruso and Planning Officer Trudi Ryan. The Environmental Consultants and Planners were David J. Powers & Associates.
Shortly before the Commission/Council Vote on June 23, 2009, Sunnyvale Planner Steve Lynch replaced Principal Planner Gerri Caruso. On an email dated 4/13/2009, Caruso wrote that she was resigning to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. PAMF004718
It’s important to NOTE: If the responsible agency believes that the environmental analyses in the CEQA document is incorrect or inadequate, CEQA Guidelines section 15096(e)(1) provides that a responsible agency may “…take the issue to court within 30 days after the lead agency files a NOD, or within 180 days of the commitment to go ahead or approve the project where a NOD is not filed.”
The PAMF Project was approved during the June 8, 2009 City of Sunnyvale Commission Hearing. The PAMF Project and EIR was approved and certified during the June 23,2009 Sunnyvale Council Hearing.
Copies of the PAMF DEIR/FEIR are available at the City of Sunnyvale Library and Planning Dept for review.
Sunnyvale is a windy city. The wind does not always blow south. In fact, the wind blows from the southeast to the north 25% of the time!
Information needed within hours, Caruso’s replacement Planner, Steve Lynch requests details regarding the Palo Alto Medical Foundation PAMF Parking Garage Exhaust Vents.
Lynch emphasizes to Mahlstedt urgency of the answers needed by the end of the same day to meet the PAMF project report deadline and advises him to “assume southward exhaust direction since it cannot vent across property lines.”
Why did Lynch advise the architect to “assume south” when the wind blows toward the north as well?
And why was an Air Quality Impact Analysis omitted from request? Is the air healthy?
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It appears that careful, strategic seating arrangement is about as important and skillful as choosing the right jurors to win a trial.
Sunnyvale Planner Trudi Ryan writes to the Director of Community Development, Hanson Hom, discussing various center bull pen seating arrangement options for staff during both the Palo Alto Medical Foundation PAMF EIR, a subsidiary of Sutter Health, Project Commission and Council Hearings.
PAMF Chimney Type Parking Garage Vents Dispel Hazardous Air Pollutants Adjacent to Residential Homes
How did the objectionable, massive, 94dBA Parking Garage Exhaust Vents for the Sunnyvale Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), fly under the radar without full public disclosure or analysis?
Architects Hawley Peterson Synder state the purpose of the imposing PAMF Garage Exhaust Vents, is to ventilate the carbon monoxide/air toxins/exhaust accumulating from vehicles circulating, parking and exiting PAMF’s two-level, 150,000 s.f. underground garage to total the capacity of 399 parking spaces.
Notably non-existent and missing from the PAMF Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) and the Final Environmental Impact Report(FEIR) were any identifiable Architectural Illustrations, discussions or analysis of the loud, powerful vent structures designed to be placed just a few feet away from residential homes.
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The placement of the vents was discovered shortly before the June 8th Sunnyvale Commission Hearing, when, despite months of meetings with the Sunnyvale Planning Staff, a keen resident, Tynna Jones, pointed to the two empty boxes on an illustration, identified simply with an “x,” at both the northwest and northeast of the PAMF site design and asked “what are these?”
Trudi Ryan, serving as both PAMF EIR Lead Agency and Sunnyvale Planner, responded, “oh, I don’t know, I’ll find out.”
Thus began a frustrating, perilous quest to find out what the function of the vents were for, what would be the intensity of the noise measured by dBA, what amount and how dangerous would the toxic emissions be (still not adequately answered), Air Quality impacts, the distance from each property lines, etc, only to be subject to vague and non-responsive answers from the Sunnyvale Planning Staff.
As a matter of fact, Sunnyvale Planner Steve Lynch replied to our inquires “Your comments will be forwarded to the Sunnyvale Commissioners.” “Comments?” we replied, “these are questions!”
Our questions were of little concern to the Sunnyvale Planning Staff and never fully answered.
This illustration of the vents, from Hawley Peterson Synder Architects, was presented and viewed for the first time on June 23, 2009 during the Council Hearing.
Both Sunnyvale Council Members John Howe and Melinda Hamilton remarked about the vents during the hearing, “I wouldn’t want to live near those . . .” yet approved and voted “yes” anyway.
Solely identified by decibel levels of the PAMF parking lot vents for each (east and west unit): FEIR Appendix J, pg 13 states 94 dBA at 5 feet. Both vents are 40-horsepower garage exhaust fans and very close to residential homes. According to Table 2, 94 dBA falls within the range of Night Club with live music.
Wowowowow! PAMF was a high bidder for 448 Kenny Court! Palo Alto Medical Foundation, a subsidiary of Sutter Health, generously purchased this modest residential property for $1,250,000.00 on 11/13/2008 to be developed into a 3,250 s.f. Storage and Waste Management Area for PAMF in Sunnyvale!
To compare apples with apples, a similar home in the neighborhood~ 389 S Pastoria Ave, SOLD for $621,000 just one month prior! Now, that’s STEEP APPRECIATION !
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