Friday, July 29, 2011

CGF letter gets extension of time to file comments on San Jose General Plan EIR

(We're happy to note that the letter we wrote and found co-signers below resulted in a two week extension of time to file comments by anyone, greatly helping the role of public participation.  CGF Intern Kelsey Grousbeck did great work to help make it happen.  San Jose staff also deserve credit for being willing to give extra time to comment preparation.  -Brian)


July 26, 2011

John Davidson, San Jose Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement
Joe Horwedel, Director of the City of San Jose Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement

Dear Mr. Davidson and Mr. Horwedel,
           
            The undersigned organizations and individuals request a 30-day extension on the public comment period for the DPEIR for San Jose’s General Plan.  A project with this vast scope requires more time to fully consider and respond to than the 45-day comment period currently allocated, and the summer time period makes it too difficult to coordinate and develop comments in the minimum statutory period.
Because the General Plan for San Jose will be implemented for the next 28 years, it is extremely important to address any potential concerns at this stage as opposed to after the plan has been implemented. If we are able to resolve issues now, it would save both parties more time and resources than if we were to address them once the projects are underway. This is particularly vital for issues regarding development goals and their potential environmental impacts on San Jose and the surrounding regions. Forty-five days is not enough time to consider every potential environmental impact the project might have for the next 28 years, nor is it enough time to consider the potential mitigation measures.
Additionally, the comment period falls during the summer months, when many key organizations are not operating with a full staff. As a result, it is taking longer to organize comments than it would during other months. A 30-day extension would allow organizations the time they need for formulating accurate and thorough comments, which we are assuming you are going to take into close consideration when moving forwards with this plan. Not allowing adequate time for organizations to comment to the best of their ability is neglecting the purpose of the comment process. 
We understand that the City is expecting our organizations to provide you with comments that are valid, beneficial, and thoughtful. In order to meet your expectations, we request that you grant a 30-day extension for comments to be submitted.



Thank you for your consideration, and please contact us if you have any questions.
Sincerely,

Committee for Green Foothills     The Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club      Greenbelt Alliance
            Brian Schmidt                                       Megan Fluke                                Michele Beasley

Individual Signatories:
Linda J. LeZotte
Susan Marsland

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