Thank you to all who attended the “Open House” Scoping meeting. It was a lively discussion with some great ideas discussed and exchanged. Unfortunately, it was a pretty one sided exchange. IMT and their hired guns puffed up the project and told us how good it would be while our city representatives hid in the background.
The idea of this meeting was for IMT to officially unveil their pretty pictures and diagrams. We are now supposed to take the information we gleaned from this event to submit written comments and concerns to the city. The city will then use this information to design the Environmental Impact Report to cover the concerns of the neighbors. The EIR is paid for and commissioned by IMT. Therefore it is up to us to monitor the EIR and work it to produce results that most accurately reflect the situation.
I believe the most troubling single piece of information about the EIR today was the way in which the traffic will be surveyed. An EIR will aim to measure “Normal” situations. It is not required to take into account the highs and lows of traffic. As any neighbor knows, traffic around the mall during certain holidays creates incredibly different stress on the streets than a “normal mid day” flow.
Also Troubling to me is the idea that with the 101 Freeway to one side and a residential neighborhood to the another this property only has 2 streets to accommodate ingress and egress. One of those streets, Hazeltine, is already overburdened with traffic in and out of the Westfield Fashion Square Mall. This will dump most of the traffic onto Riverside Drive.
Another amazing thing contained In the Initial Study section XIII A … the project will (Induce substantial population growth in an area either directly (for example, by proposing new homes and businesses) or indirectly (for example, through extension of roads or other infrastructure)? Will have a LESS THAN SIGNIFICANT IMPACT. This is simply not possible. They are proposing adding almost 300 residences which will accommodate 500-900 residents in an already congested area. I guess if they figure that we are already at critical mass it will not matter than it makes sense. Othewise, any thinking individual will realize that this is a huge influx of people living in a small area and that will indeed have an impact. This is one of the major points that will need to be brought out in our written comments.
We have many groups that want to work on this oppostion. We need to coordinate these groups to work together. It is my opinion that we need to keep these groups putting forth separate efforts so that the opposition does not get diminished into one voice. Many voices will work to garner more attention. But the strength will come from our combined knowledge to do the best things for our efforts.
We will be organizing several meetings in the next few weeks. I will put these meetings up on this website.