FROM:           CITY OF SALINAS COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT

SUBJECT:   NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY OF THE WEST AREA SPECIFIC PLAN DRAFT  ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT AND THE DRAFT SPECIFIC PLAN – REQUEST FOR COMMENTS

The City of Salinas has received applications for adoption of the Draft West Area Specific Plan and related entitlements, for an approximately 797- acre area located in the northern portion of the City. The project site is bounded by San Juan Grade Road on the west, East Boronda Road on the south, Natividad Road on the east, and Rogge Road and the future extension of Russell Road on the north. This Notice of Availability has been prepared to solicit comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) and the Draft Specific Plan prepared for the project. The proposed project is described in more detail below, as is direction for providing comments on the DEIR and the Draft Specific Plan.

Notice is hereby given that the City of Salinas has prepared a Draft Program EIR pursuant to the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), for the Draft West Area Specific Plan project. Based on the findings of the Draft Program EIR, this proposed project will have a range of significant environmental impacts. Please see the Project Description section below for more information about the proposed project.

Public Comment Requested and Public Comment Period: The City is soliciting comments on the content of the Draft EIR from interested persons and organizations concerned with the project in accordance with State CEQA Guidelines Section 15087. The City of Salinas requests that you review the project materials and provide any comments related to your or your agency’s area of responsibility or interest. The 45-day public comment review period will commence on February 27, 2019 and end on April 15, 2019 at 5 p.m. If you wish to submit comments, they must be received by the City no later than 5:00 PM on Monday, April 15, 2019. All written public and agency comments should be directed to: Jill Miller, Senior Planner, City of Salinas Community Development Department, 65 West Alisal Street, Salinas, California 93901. Comments may also be provided by email to: jill.miller@ci.salinas.ca.us. Please include the name of a contact person for your agency, if applicable. If we do not receive a response from your agency or organization, we will presume that your agency or organization has no response to make.

The City is also soliciting comments on the content of the Draft Specific Plan from interested persons and organizations concerned with the project in accordance with Government Code Section 65453. The City of Salinas requests that you review the project materials and provide any comments related to your or your agency’s area of responsibility or interest. The 45-day public comment review period will commence on February 27, 2019 and end on April 15, 2019 at 5 p.m. If you wish to submit comments, they must be received by the City no later than 5:00 PM on Monday, April 15, 2019. All written public and agency comments should be directed to: Jill Miller, Senior Planner, City of Salinas Community Development Department, 65 West Alisal Street, Salinas, California 93901. Comments may also be provided by email to: jill.miller@ci.salinas.ca.us.  Please include the name of a contact person for your agency, if applicable. If we do not receive a response from your agency or organization, we will presume that your agency or organization has no response to make.

Availability of the Draft EIR and Draft Specific Plan: The Draft EIR and Draft Specific Plan are available for review at the City of Salinas Community Development Department located at 65 W. Alisal Street; at two Salinas libraries including the Steinbeck Library located at 350 Lincoln Avenue and the Cesar Chavez Library located at 615 Williams Road; and on-line on the City’s website at: https://www.cityofsalinas.org/our-city-services/community-development/documents-public-review (see attached documents below). The applications and related materials are on-file at the City of Salinas Community Development Department located at 65 W. Alisal Street.

The City of Salinas Planning Commission and the City of Salinas City Council will conduct public hearings at which the draft program EIR and the proposed project will be considered. The public hearing dates will be duly noticed once they are determined. The public hearings will be held at the Salinas City Council Chambers located at 200 Lincoln Avenue, Salinas, CA. Once they are noticed, information on the public hearings may be obtained from Jill Miller, Senior Planner at: 831-758-7206 or by email at jill.miller@ci.salinas.ca.us.

Project Location: The approximately 797-acre Specific Plan Area is located within the incorporated boundary of the City of Salinas and the City’s North of Boronda Future Growth Area (FGA). As previously noted, the project site is bounded by San Juan Grade Road on the west, East Boronda Road (also referred to as “Boronda Road”) on the south, Natividad Road on the east, and Rogge Road and the future extension of Russell Road on the north.

Project Description: The proposed project includes applications for a Specific Plan, Rezoning, and Development Agreement at this time. The project site consists of 13 parcels. The Draft West Area Specific Plan establishes the land use planning and regulatory guidance, including the land use and zoning designations and policies, development regulations, and design standards, for the approximately 797-acre Specific Plan Area. The Specific Plan will serve as a bridge between the Salinas General Plan and individual development applications in the Specific Plan Area, applying—and adding greater specificity to—the goals, policies and concepts of the General Plan for that area.

The Specific Plan has been crafted to be consistent with overall community goals as expressed in the City of Salinas General Plan, as well as more specific policies and implementation measures contained in other documents. The City of Salinas Zoning Code requirements will apply to development applications and property within the Specific Plan Area unless specifically superseded by the development regulations or design standards contained in the Specific Plan. The underlying purpose of the proposed project is the approval and subsequent implementation of the Draft West Area Specific Plan (including the Specific Plan’s goals) and related entitlements. Proposed land uses in the approximate 797-acre Specific Plan Area include residential, mixed use commercial, community park, neighborhood parks, small parks, schools and open space (including supplemental storm water detention/retention basins). The quantifiable objectives of the proposed project include the development of up to 4,340 residential dwelling units (with a minimum of 3,553 required under the General Plan), up to 571,500 square feet of commercial/mixed use building area, and up to 177 acres of public facilities (including three elementary schools, a high school, a middle school, open space areas (including supplemental storm water detention/retention basins) and 11 parks. It is anticipated that the Specific Plan Area will house up to 15,928 residents at project build-out.

The Specific Plan Area will be rezoned from the New Urbanism Interim (NI) with a Specific Plan Overlay District to the following districts: Neighborhood Edge/Low Density Residential (NE), Neighborhood General 1/Medium Density Residential (NG-1), Neighborhood General 2/High Density Residential (NG-2), Village Center (VC), Public and Semipublic (PS), Parks (P), and Open Space (OS) with a Specific Plan Overlay.

Significant Environmental Effects: The Draft EIR has identified the following environmental issue areas as having significant and unavoidable environmental impacts from implementation of the project: Air Quality, Biological Resources, Greenhouse Gases, Noise, Public Services, Transportation and Circulation, and Cumulative Impacts. All other environmental issues were determined to have no impact, less than significant impacts, or less than significant impacts with mitigation measures incorporated into the project.

Cortese-Listed Sites: Section 15087(c)(6) of the State CEQA Guidelines requires that this notice disclose whether the project site is listed on any of the lists enumerated under Government Code Section 65962.5 (Cortese List). As noted in the Draft EIR, four facilities within the project site are listed in various databases. More information on these sites can be found in Appendix E of the Draft EIR.