CPA Files Suit on Veronica Meadows
At the heart of the challenge is the City’s recent approval of the creekside proposal to develop 23 luxury and two Affordable (upper middle income) homes in one of the City’s last open spaces in the Las Positas Valley. CEQA requires that no public agency shall approve a project that will cause one or more significant environmental impacts unless there is specific evidence demonstrating that alternatives with less impact are infeasible. In the case of Veronica Meadows, the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) identified alternatives to the project that would avoid or lessen significant (Class I) biological impacts to the Arroyo Burro Creek and significant (Class I) traffic impacts. However, contrary to the EIR and without evidence, the City Council made a Statement of Overriding Consideration dismissing these alternatives as infeasible.
Also, CPA says that the two $400,000 homes being offered is not enough mitigation for the loss of open space and the biological effects on Arroyo Burro Creek -- and I tend to agree. According to the release -- this isn't just about saying "no":
The purpose of the lawsuit is not to obstruct all potential development on the project site, but rather to ensure that if the site is to be developed, alternatives are chosen that mitigate significant impacts. “We need development to be the process of growing better, not just growing haphazardly because particular developers so desire,” concluded Ms. Kovacs. “We have a finite supply of land to build on and limited infrastructure to support development, so we must choose the right projects for the remaining places to build, and make sure those projects meet true needs of our community, with the least negative impacts possible.”