Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND COUNCILMEMBERS

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING & CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: FEBRUARY 17, 2004

SUBJECT: REVIEW OF SUPPLEMENTAL DRAFT COMMENTS ON THE DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT FOR THE PROPOSED SOUTH COAST COUNTY GOLF COURSE AT THE FORMER PALOS VERDES LANDFILL

Staff Coordinator: Kit Fox, AICP, Senior Planner

RECOMMENDATION

Review Staff’s draft supplemental comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the proposed South Coast County Golf Course, and provide feedback to Staff to finalize these comments prior to their submittal to the County.

BACKGROUND

On January 6, 2004, the City Council reviewed Staff’s revised draft comment letter on the DEIR. This letter incorporated the comments of the City’s environmental consultant in the matter, The Source Group, Inc. (TSG). At the City Council’s direction, the comment letter was modified and forwarded to the County on January 15, 2004. Also at the January 6, 2004, the Mayor noted that the local Sierra Club chapter had submitted comments to the County in December, which cited comments from several reports prepared on behalf of the City of Rolling Hills Estates. The City Council agreed that it might be appropriate for TSG to review these additional comments as well.

DISCUSSION

The Sierra Club letter of December 26, 2003 cites three technical reports regarding hazardous materials, hydrology and soils/geology that were prepared on behalf of the City of Rolling Hills Estates by Mearns Consulting Corp., KOMEX and Arroyo Geotechnical, respectively. In addition, Staff has recently received a copy of the air quality analysis prepared on behalf of the City of Rolling Hills Estates by Air Quality Dynamics. Copies of these four reports were forwarded to TSG. Staff asked TSG to review these reports to determine if TSG concurred with the issues identified, and to provide any additional comments or questions triggered by these reports that may not have been included in TSG’s previous report of December 8, 2003. As of the date of the completion of this Staff report, TSG had reviewed the Mearns Consulting Corp., KOMEX and Arroyo Geotechnical reports. In reviewing these reports and the DEIR, TSG focused on the analysis of environmental impacts attributable to the proposed project as compared to the existing (i.e., baseline) site conditions without the project. Some of the comments and recommendations with which TSG did not fully concur are related to baseline conditions on the landfill site rather than impacts of the project itself. However, as discussed in the attached review letter (dated February 10, 2004), TSG generally concurs with the comments and recommendations of these three reports.

Staff anticipates that TSG will complete its review of the Air Quality Dynamics report and other materials in time to provide its additional comments (if any) for the City Council’s consideration at the March 2, 2004 City Council meeting. Staff’s draft supplemental comment letter cites and concurs with the conclusions of the Mearns, KOMEX, Arroyo Geotechnical and Air Quality Dynamics reports. Also, included is an additional technical comment from TSG that originated in a follow-up e-mail on December 15, 2003.

CONCLUSION

Based upon the foregoing discussion, Staff seeks direction from the City Council regarding its draft supplemental comments. Staff intends to finalize these comments and submit them to the County prior to the end of the public comment period for the DEIR on March 4, 2004.

FISCAL IMPACT

On November 18, 2003, the City Council authorized the expenditure of up to $5,000.00 for TSG’s services, which have been $3,018.75 to date, slightly less than the estimated bid amount of $3,024.00. Staff believes that the cost of TSG’s additional analysis for these supplemental comments will not exceed the $5,000.00 allocated for this purpose.

ALTERNATIVES

The alternatives available for the City Council’s consideration include:

  1. Accept Staff’s comments and direct Staff to forward them to the County.

2. Direct Staff to modify its comments and forward them to the County.

Since the deadline to submit comments on the DEIR is March 4, 2004, the City Council has one more opportunity to review these comments at its March 2, 2004 meeting.

 

Respectfully submitted:

Joel Rojas, AICP, Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement

Reviewed by:

Les Evans, City Manager

Attachments:

Sierra Club comment letter (dated December 26, 2003)

Review letter by TSG (dated February 10, 2004)

Supplemental draft comments on the DEIR

 

[Supplemental Draft Comment Letter]

17 February 2004

VIA FACSIMILE AND U.S. MAIL

FAX: (213) 487-0380

Larry Hensley, Chief of Planning

County of Los Angeles

Department of Parks and Recreation

433 S. Vermont Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90020

SUBJECT Supplemental Comments in Response to the Notice of Availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Proposed South Coast County Golf Course

Dear Mr. Hensley:

On January 15, 2004, the City of Rancho Palos Verdes submitted comments on Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the above-mentioned project. The City now respectfully offers the following supplemental comments on the DEIR for the proposed golf course:

  1. The City of Rolling Hills Estates, in which the proposed project site is located, has retained the services of several consultants to review and comment upon many of the technical aspects of the DEIR. Specifically, the following reports have been prepared:

a) Mearns Consulting Corp., Comments, Sections 3B, 3E, 3F and3G, Appendices B and H, Draft Environmental Impact Report, New South Coast County Golf Course. Santa Monica, California: November 3, 2003.

b) KOMEX, Review of Draft New South Coast County Golf Course Environmental Impact Report, prepared for the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation and dated September 2003. Los Angeles, California: November 3, 2003.

c) Arroyo Geotechnical, Geotechnical Review Services, Draft Environmental Impact Report, Los Angeles County Golf Course Project, Rolling Hills Estates, California, Arroyo Project No. 12136-3000. Baldwin Park, California: October 24, 2003.

d) Air Quality Dynamics, Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Proposed New South County Golf Course: Assessment of Air Quality Impacts. Woodland Hills, California: January 31, 2004.

These reports have identified a number of apparent deficiencies in the analysis in the DEIR, and have suggested additional analyses that would be appropriate to address these deficiencies (see attachments). The City of Rancho Palos Verdes’ environmental consultant has reviewed these analyses and generally concurs with their conclusions and recommendations. As such, the City of Rancho Palos Verdes believes that the issues raised in the analyses conducted on behalf of the City of Rolling Hills Estates should be fully addressed in the Final EIR for this project.

2) The City’s environmental consultant offers the following additional comments and observations on the DEIR for this project:

a) On page 20 of Chapter 3F, there appears to be a discrepancy in the text. In the paragraph above the subtitle "Current Off-Site Resident," the landfill gas collection efficiency rates assumed for the average exposure and reasonable maximum exposure scenarios appear to be opposite of the efficiency rates presented in the conclusions for the various exposure scenarios, particularly the current and future off-site residents.

Again, thank you for the opportunity to provide comments on this important project. If you have any questions or need additional information, please feel free to contact me at (310) 544-5228 or via e-mail at kitf@rpv.com.

Sincerely,

Kit Fox, AICP

Senior Planner

Attachments

Mearns Consulting Corp. report (dated November 3, 2003)

KOMEX report (dated November 3, 2003)

Arroyo Geotechnical report (dated October 24, 2003)

Air Quality Dynamics report (dated January 31, 2004)

cc: Mayor and City Council

Les Evans, City Manager

Joel Rojas, Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement

Douglas Prichard, City Manager, City of Rolling Hills Estates