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Proposed development of a formerly toxic military facility by out of town real estate investors threatens our health, environment, infrastructure and quality of life for years to come. Without your involvement, City of Morro Bay officials can't properly represent our best interests. You can make a difference!

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City Attorney’s Letter Misrepresents the Law

Below is a Morro Bay stakeholders’  official attorney  summary analysis of a letter originally written by Morro Bay Assistant City Attorney Christopher Neumeyer, dated April 16, 2018, to the Morro Bay Stakeholders.

The subject of the letter is the City’s segmentation, or piecemealing of the environmental review of the development into two parts – site preparation and the residential development. Based on our attorney’s in depth analysis we feel that Mr. Nemeyer’s letter shows a clear misrepresentation of the actual law.

We hope this prompts people to attend the Planning Commission Meeting on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 to urge the Commissioners to not approve the permit without a comprehensive environmental impact report (EIR).

Introduction and overview:

HOW MR. NEUMEYER HAS MISREPRESENTED THE LAWS:

  1. Mr. Neumeyer changed words in the law to pervert its meaning and create the appearance that piecemealing does not exist in this case.
  2. Mr. Neumeyer’s invented “definitive plans” rule must be disregarded because it does not exist in CEQA.
  3. Other cases cited by Mr. Neumeyer are generally not applicable and text is cherry picked.

WHAT THE LAW ACTUALLY REQUIRES:

  1. Environmental review of site preparation must include discussion of the effects of the residential development to satisfy CEQA’s requirements.
  2. Clearing the site will induce growth and the City is required under CEQA to “…evaluate the environmental effects of the most probable development patterns”.
  3.  Site preparation including demolition is routinely reviewed as part of the “whole project” by the City of Morro Bay.
  4. Piecemealing risks pre-commitment to the next phase of a project and loss of open-minded decision-making.

Read the complete analysis below:

Prepared by Cynthia Hawley, Attorney on behalf of the MORRO BAY STAKEHOLDERS on June 14, 2018

6-14-18- Stakeholders’ attorney report-on-neumeyer-letter

Original Letter from Neumeyer to Stakeholders

 

Note for Planning Commissioners, prepared by Betty Winholtz

I want to identify concerns with the staff report for tonight’s meeting:

First, none of the pages are numbered. This makes it difficult to reference sections of the report.
Second, the link provided to the 2018 MND is actually a link to the 2016 MND, as listed on the top of each page.
Third, the staff report refers to the second MND as the February 2018 MND, yet the document has the date June 2018 on each page.
Fourth, project phasing is addressed–metal materials removed, soil testing, concrete removal, site condition review, grading/planting– but omits the final phase: housing development, as first identified in the “Risk-Based Closure Report,” 1996, stated at a Planning Commission meeting as filed with the County Health Department, as is its zoning, and as stated in the staff Report’s CONCLUSION.
Fifth, any tree over a decade old in Morro Bay can be labeled by an arborist as “diseased or dying.” No tree in an ESHA should be cut down. An ESHA is for animal habitat not humans.
Sixth, the serious nature of contamination is downplayed. “The objective of a RBC [risk-based closure] approach is to enable risk managers to determine what chemical concentrations can  remain in the environmental media without posing potential adverse effects on an exposed individual [through skin, injection, inhalation].” The standards the RBC used were based on superfund guidelines. Fortunately, “The  maximum concentration of TPH [total petroleum hydrocarbons] detected from surface to 10 feet  below grade…is also lower than the  risk-based  action level that is protective of a construction worker.” However, the report stopped at a  depth of 10 feet for being safe.

Also, please be aware of the difference between the two labels I italicized from the staff report: “The environmentally sensitive habitat area is comprised of the stream channel and areas of adjacent riparian vegetation, collectively called the “stream corridor” and referred to as ESHA in the Mitigated Negative Declaration.” The buffer is adjacent to that. I believe the Planning Commission should decide if this is an urban or non-urban area in order to identify the buffer width. As taken from the Zoning Ordinance, “Streams. The minimum buffer for streams shall be one hundred feet in non-urban areas and fifty feet in urban areas.” 17.40.040.4b

Respectfully submitted,
Betty Winholtz

Make your voice count – attend the Planning Commission Meeting:

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 – 6:00 p.m.

Veteran’s Memorial Building – 209 Surf Street, Morro Bay, CA

Despite Objections the City of Morro Bay Rubber Stamps Development

Dear Stakeholder: Please see the linked legal public notice below.

Despite a long list of citizens’ objections, it seems that the City of Morro Bay is once again piece-mealing the Panorama project and skirting around an Environmental Impact Report. This “negative declaration” makes it clear that City officials aren’t willing to respond to citizen concerns in a meaningful and comprehensive manner.

According to the City, stakeholders’ concerns are “less than significant.”

Piece-mealing a project is illegal; this is established California law. Citizens of Morro Bay deserve a complete picture of what is being planned for 3300 Panorama before construction begins. That is why an EIR is critical for to protect the taxpayers, residents, local ecology and the City of Morro Bay for future generations.

Public Notice – February 28, 2018

2-16-18-mitigated-negative-declaration-3300-Panorama

There is a statutory public comment period through March 30, 2018. Now is the time to send your written comments to:

City of Morro Bay
Attn: Nancy Hubbard
955 Shasta Ave.
Morro Bay, CA 93442

Urgent Petition: Morro Bay Residents

Jet Fuel Tank Removal Performance Bond

Dear Morro Bay Resident

I the undersigned hereby petition the City of Morro Bay to require a performance bond from the applicant associated with project Case No. CPO-500, UPO-440 - Demolish & Removal of 2 Fuel Tanks & 1 Water Tank at 3300 Panorama Drive, Morro Bay, CA. Provisions of the bond are to be fully commensurate with the full term, scope, cost and schedule for this project. This project presents a liability to the citizens and City of Morro Bay that far exceeds the fiscal capabilities of both, should this project be abandoned or rendered incomplete by the applicant.

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Are you a Morro Bay resident? Please sign the above petition to protect your property, safety and health during the proposed redevelopment of a toxic jet fuel site in our city.

An out of town developer has petitioned the City of Morro Bay to approve the first stage of development of a formerly toxic Superfund site in Morro Bay. The developer is proposing to remove the large jet fuel tanks located at 3300 Panorama.

While most residents support the removal of these tanks, we want to make sure that the project is completed in a safe and timely manner, and at no cost to the City of Morro Bay or its residents.

Because this project poses health/safety as well as fiscal dangers to Morro Bay residents, the Morro Bay Stakeholders are petitioning the City of Morro Bay to require that the developer obtain a performance bond. We feel that this is the only way to insure that the project is completed in a safe and timely manner.

Without a performance bond a failed or bankrupt developer can leave a project incomplete, and Morro Bay taxpayers would be stuck with cleaning up and paying the bill. Clearly, the City of Morro Bay cannot afford to fix a failed project of this size and scope. What exactly is a performance bond? Read about it here.

Please sign this petition and share it with your neighbors. Ask your City officials to do their job and protect our health, property and future prosperity. Thank You!

Notice to Morro Bay Residents

There is an application before the Morro Bay Planning Commission to remove the former jet fuel tanks at 3300 Panorama. Though we agree that the tanks need to go, they must be removed with due consideration of public safety, environmental issues and our crumbling streets and sewers. Join the Morro Bay Stakeholders to learn more and help keep Morro Bay a great place to live at www.morrobaystakeholders.com.

  • Public Safety- The site is contaminated from jet fuel leakage, lead paint, asbestos.
  • Environmental issues- The biological assessment is minimal, incomplete, deceiving.
  • Infrastructure- North Morro Bay roads and sewage drains old and deteriorating.
  • Mitigated Declaration- Why no Environmental Impact Report?
  • The Applicant- Has a controversial reputation on the Fresno City City Council and our neighborhood.

Public Safety The tank farm is a former military facility, and as such, had lower standards in the use of contaminants than a comparable private industry facility. The Defense Fuel Support Point (DFSP) Estero Bay was no exception: jet fuel was stored at the site and leaked into the soil: lead based paint was used to paint the tanks; asbestos was used on the site.

Environmental Issues We do not trust the applicant to protect sensitive species over the course of the project. We are pressing for a full time biologist to monitor the applicant and contractors.

Infrastructure  North Morro Bay roads and sewers are the worst in Morro Bay, they will use heavy trucks, The applicant has proposed using Sicily Street, the worst of the worst. The main sew lines on Main Street is in horrible condition, the trunk lines running up all the streets are bad, as are the laterals.

Mitigated Declaration The City of Morro Bay Community Development Department has decided to prepare a Mitigated Negative Declaration instead of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR). We believe that a EIR should be prepared for the project and that the California Coastal Commission should oversee the project.

The Applicant Our health, safety and infrastructure are being played fast and loose by a Fresno developer with a controversial record on the Fresno City Council, bad relations with our neighborhood, and vague plans for the site. At the same time, the City of Morro Bay Community Development Dept. is actively pushing this project forward by advocating on behalf of the applicant with little or no regard for our concerns and welfare.

The Morro Bay Stakeholders invite all Morro Bay residents to join us at our informative and proactive meetings: 7pm, October 24, 331 Kodiak Street, Morro Bay..