The Candlestick Point Hunters Point Shipyard Environmental Impact Report is a once in a lifetime opportunity to help shape the future of the BVHP Community. NPC is joining a coalition to call for the extension of the Public Comment Period for the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) to 90 days until February 12, 2010.
We urge you to contact Mayor Newsom and support this extension. Releasing the Report for public review over the Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kwanza holiday and ending the comment period on December 28, 2009 deliberately undermines public review. Call Mayor Newsom today: 554 6141.
Dear Mr. Mayor,
•Releasing a six volume, 4,400 page document a week and a half before Thanksgiving and restricting public comment to just 45 days forces the public and community based organizations choose between civic duty, prearranged vacation time, and obligations to family and faith.
•The holidays consume a minimum of ten days reducing the time most people might reasonably devote to DEIR review to 35 days — assuming work through the weekends.
•Holding public hearings in a little over a month from the document’s release shortens even that prep time to just 25 days!
•Furthermore the public comment period ends December 28th, just 3 days after Christmas.
•By releasing the EIR over the holiday period, the City has hobbled even an extension of the review period to 60 days because the New Year’s holiday falls within that time compromising 4-5 days out of the added two weeks.
We are not opposed to the project, Lennar, or your administration. We are not against expeditious development. We are however pro public engagement and transparency
in government. A forty-five day public review period for a document as complex and lengthy as the DEIR is simply inadequate. We recognize that some in the community, Lennar, and members of your staff are of the opinion that far too much time has already been spent discussing this issue. But why is it that the City of Santa Clara, whose recent DEIR evaluated the impacts of just a stadium project, was able to provide a longer public review period without the complication of the holidays?
The DEIR is completely different.
•No prior discussion or committee action since the Phase 1 agreement in 2003, not even Prop G, carried with it the force of law of this Phase 2 DEIR.
•An Environmental Impact Report is an administrative decision document.
•This DEIR is the part of the official process where ideas become concrete plans to be approved in a lawful process.
•The Shipyard Candlestick Project cannot be approved without an EIR. No prior discussion required City or Agency staff to present pros and cons or fully report the project’s impacts.
•All of the conceptual conversations, presentations, and meetings conducted by the City and Agency to this point do not equal the importance of giving the public adequate time to evaluate whether the DEIR fully and fairly reports and assesses the impacts of this project and proposes responsible mitigations.
Transparency in government is not just a matter of letting the public see information. The capacity to act upon what one sees is critical to transparency. The Shipyard Candlestick project will nearly double the population of Bayview Hunters Point. The EIR was nearly two years in the making. The City’s project staff reasonably took the time to provide what in their opinion is an adequate review of the project. The public similarly deserves twelve weeks to examine and comment on your work. The City has just granted Lennar a six month delay in the timetable for Phase 1 housing construction to allow time for the market to improve and prices to rise. With Phase 1 delayed, construction for Phase 2 not expected to start until 2015, and project completion not expected before 2035, you have the time to provide the citizens of our City with a responsible period to review this once in a lifetime DEIR.
Bayview Hunters Point and San Francisco need and deserve ninety days to review
–Signed by: Sierra Club, India Basin Neighborhood Association, Golden Gate Audubon Society, Literacy for Environmental Justice, Potrero Hill Democratic Club, Urban Strategies Council, Neighborhood Parks Council, Arc Ecology, California Native Plant Society