April 20, 2007 Neelima Palacherla, Executive Officer
Local Agency Formation Commission of
Neelima Palacherla, Executive Officer
I represent the Committee for Green Foothills and write regarding the above-referenced project.
LAFCO’s Approval of the Negative Declaration Was Improper under CEQA
The threshold for an EIR is well established. An EIR must be prepared whenever “there is substantial evidence that any aspect of the project, either individually or cumulatively, may cause a significant effect on the environment.” (Guidelines, § 15063, subd. (b)(1); accord Pub. Res. Code, § 21100, subd. (a); § 15002, subd. (f)(1), (2); County Sanitation District No. 2 v.
The City approved the project and adopted the negative declaration on April 19, 2006. Accordingly, the statute of limitations for a challenge to the City’s decision has expired. When this occurs, a responsible agency confronted with a flawed negative declaration has several, limited options, two of which apply here. (CEQA Guidelines, § 15052, subd. (a)(1)-(3).)
Based on the above mitigation measures adopted by the City on April 19, 2006, the City appears to have deferred final analysis of agricultural resource impacts and consideration of potential mitigation measures to sometime after the adoption of the Mitigated Negative Declaration. Specifically, the City deferred their analysis until November 2006 and LAFCO did not receive a copy of that analysis until receiving the City’s recent application for an urban service area amendment. [¶]...[¶] Furthermore, this deferral process did not allow LAFCO, other responsible agencies, or the public the opportunity to comment on whether the City’s analysis of agricultural impacts and mitigation measures was adequate or consistent with their respective agency’s policies. LAFCO staff believes that all analysis of impacts to agricultural resources and mitigation measures should have been included within the Mitigated Negative Declaration adopted by the City in April 2006. (April 4, 2007, LAFCO memorandum from Dunia Noel to Neelima Palacherla.)
Paul V. Carroll
Paul V. Carroll
Black Rock LLC
 Even under the City’s criteria, the site missed being characterized as prime agricultural land by a half a point. (See PMC’s November 15, 2006, Agricultural Land Evaluation for Black Rock Property.)
 It is well to note that the City’s failure to consult LAFCO had been an ongoing problem that LAFCO raised in its letters to the City of