Analysis and Opinion: Balboa Reservoir Development

The following is analysis and opinion by Jennifer Heggie, the current chair of SNA’s Balboa Reservoir Committee, and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association.

BALBOA RESERVOIR DEVELOPMENT

By Jennifer Heggie, Chair, SNA Balboa Reservoir Committee

The Draft Subsequent Environmental Impact Report identifies a number of areas in which the proposed development will create a significant adverse impact to the surroundings even after possible mitigation is implemented. These relate to Air Quality, Noise, and Transportation and Circulation. Neighborhood comments suggest that even with these identified harmful results, some of the tests used to draft the DSEIR were inadequate.

Transportation and Circulation 

There are three areas of significant impact to transportation and circulation due to the construction and/or operations of the Balboa Reservoir that would  result in Significant and Unavoidable adverse impacts with no feasible Mitigation or Significant and Unavoidable adverse impacts with Mitigation. 

Significant and Unavoidable adverse impacts with no feasible Mitigation:

TR-6b: Operation of the proposed project, including proposed street network changes, would impact existing passenger and freight loading zones along Lee Avenue between Ocean Avenue and the project site, and may create potentially hazardous conditions for people bicycling and may substantially delay public transit.

Reduced density and or opening San Ramon Way to Passenger Vehicle access will reduce, but not eliminate the significant adverse impacts, and no mitigation is feasible.

C-TR-6b: Operation of the proposed project, including proposed street network changes, in combination with reasonably foreseeable future projects, would impact existing passenger and freight loading zones along Lee Avenue between Ocean Avenue and the project site, and may create potentially hazardous conditions for people bicycling and may substantially delay public transit.

Reduced density and or opening San Ramon Way to Passenger Vehicle access will reduce, but not eliminate the significant adverse impacts, and no mitigation is feasible.

Significant and Unavoidable adverse impacts with Mitigation:

C-TR-4: The proposed project, in combination with reasonably foreseeable future projects, may result in a potentially significant cumulative impact related to public transit delay and the project could contribute considerably.

Reduced density and or opening San Ramon Way to Passenger Vehicle access will reduce, but not eliminate the significant adverse impacts that are unavoidable with mitigation.

There is inadequate study of the impact of Transportation and Circulation to the Sunnyside neighborhood.

Noise

There are two areas of significant impact to noise due to the construction and/or operation of the Balboa Reservoir that would result in Significant and Unavoidable adverse impacts with Mitigation and two other areas that will result in Less than Significant adverse impacts with Mitigation.

Significant and Unavoidable adverse impacts with Mitigation:

NO-1: Project construction would cause a substantial temporary or periodic increase in ambient noise levels at noise-sensitive receptors above levels existing without the project.

Reduced density will reduce, but not eliminate the significant adverse impacts that are unavoidable even with mitigation.

C-NO-1: Cumulative construction of the proposed project, in combination with construction of reasonably foreseeable future projects, could cause a substantial temporary or periodic increase in ambient noise levels.

Reduced density will reduce, but not eliminate the significant adverse impacts that are unavoidable even with mitigation.

Adverse Impacts that are Less than Significant with Mitigation:

NO-3: Operation of the fixed mechanical equipment on the project site could result in a substantial permanent increase in ambient noise levels in the immediate project vicinity, and permanently expose noise-sensitive receptors to noise levels in excess of standards in the San Francisco Noise Ordinance.

Density, road access, and construction schedule will not make a difference to the adverse impacts.

C-NO-3: Cumulative mechanical equipment noise of the proposed project, in combination with reasonably foreseeable future projects, could cause a substantial permanent increase in ambient noise levels in the project vicinity, but the proposed project would not contribute considerably.

Density, road access, and construction schedule will not make a difference to the adverse impacts.

Noise is not expected to have a significantly adverse impact on Sunnyside, but will have a significant adverse impact during construction on the schools, several daycare centers and neighborhoods that are closer to the Balboa Reservoir site. Riordan High School, adjacent to the site, was only tested for noise for less than half an hour before 9:30am.

Air Quality

There are four areas of significant impact to air quality due to the construction and/or operation of the Balboa Reservoir that would each result in

Significant and Unavoidable adverse impacts with Mitigation:

AQ-2a: During construction, the proposed project would generate criteria air pollutants which would violate an air quality standard, contribute substantially to an existing or projected air quality violation, or result in a cumulatively considerable net increase in criteria air pollutants.

Reduced density will reduce, but not eliminate the significant adverse impacts that are unavoidable even with mitigation. The longer six-year schedule will reduce the significance of adverse impacts to a level Less than Significant with Mitigation.

AQ-4: Construction and operation of the proposed project would generate toxic air contaminants, including DPM, which could expose sensitive receptors to substantial pollutant concentrations.

Reduced density will reduce, but not eliminate the significant adverse impacts that are unavoidable even with mitigation. The longer six-year schedule will reduce the significance of adverse impacts to a level Less than Significant with Mitigation.

C-AQ-1: The proposed project, in combination with reasonably foreseeable future projects, would contribute to cumulative regional air quality impacts.

Reduced density will reduce, but not eliminate the significant adverse impacts that are unavoidable even with mitigation. The longer six-year schedule will reduce the significance of adverse impacts to a level Less than Significant with Mitigation. 

C-AQ-2: The proposed project, in combination with reasonably foreseeable future projects, could contribute to cumulative health risk impacts on sensitive receptors.

The longer six-year schedule will reduce the significance of adverse impacts to a level Less than Significant with Mitigation.

There are two areas of  impact to air quality due to the construction and/or operation of the Balboa Reservoir that would each result in Less than Significant adverse impacts with Mitigation. One can be further improved with additional measures.

AQ-2b: During construction phases that overlap with project operations, the proposed project would generate criteria air pollutants that would violate an air quality standard, contribute substantially to an existing or projected air quality violation, or result in a cumulatively considerable net increase in criteria air pollutants.

Reduced density and the longer six-year schedule will reduce the less than significant adverse impacts. 

AQ-5 indicates that the rating of Less than Significant with Mitigation is provided in the case the proposed project could conflict with implementation of the Bay Area 2017 Clean Air Plan.

There may be inadequate study of the impact on Air Quality to the Sunnyside neighborhood.

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