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					County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                                                                          Introduction



TABLE OF CONTENTS

Section 1: Introduction ....................................................................................................... 5
      1.1 - Purpose ............................................................................................................. 5
      1.2 - Project Location ................................................................................................. 5
      1.3 - Project Description........................................................................................... 11
      1.4 - Intended Uses of this Document ...................................................................... 14
      1.5 - Environmental Setting...................................................................................... 14

Section 2: Environmental Determination ......................................................................... 15

Section 3: Discussion of Environmental Evaluation ...................................................... 16
          1.      Aesthetics ....................................................................................................... 16
          2.      Agricultural Resources .................................................................................... 19
          3.      Air Quality ....................................................................................................... 22
          4.      Biological Resources....................................................................................... 37
          5.      Cultural Resources ......................................................................................... 41
          6.      Geology and Soils ........................................................................................... 44
          7.      Hazards and Hazardous Materials .................................................................. 51
          8.      Hydrology and Water Quality .......................................................................... 59
          9.      Land Use and Planning ................................................................................... 67
          11.     Noise .............................................................................................................. 71
          12.     Population and Housing .................................................................................. 78
          13.     Public Services ............................................................................................... 81
          14.     Recreation ...................................................................................................... 85
          15.     Transportation/Traffic ...................................................................................... 87
          16.     Utilities and Service Systems .......................................................................... 95
          17.     Mandatory Findings of Significance............................................................... 100

Section 4: Mitigation Measures ...................................................................................... 103

Section 5: References ..................................................................................................... 107




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County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                                                                      Introduction




LIST OF TABLES

Table 1: Existing Land Use ................................................................................................... 9
Table 2: Land Use ............................................................................................................... 10
Table 3: Building and Job Generation ................................................................................. 30
Table 4: Hazardous Materials Sites ..................................................................................... 55
Table 5: General Plan Noise Thresholds ............................................................................. 74
Table 6: Growth Projections ................................................................................................ 79
Table 7: General Plan Level of Service Thresholds, Intersections ....................................... 90
Table 8: General Plan Level of Service Thresholds, Road Segments .................................. 90

LIST OF EXHIBITS

Exhibit 1: Location Map ......................................................................................................... 6
Exhibit 2: Existing Land Use Diagram ................................................................................... 7
Exhibit 3: Land Use Diagram ................................................................................................. 8
Exhibit 4: 1/4 Quarter Mile Pedestrian Sheds...…………………………………......................31
Exhibit 5: Hazardous Materials Sites ................................................................................... 53
Exhibit 6: Fire Severity Zones.............................................................................................. 54
Exhibit 7: Circulation Plan ................................................................................................... 89




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County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                                    Introduction




SECTION 1:
INTRODUCTION
1.1 - PURPOSE
The purpose of this Initial Study and Proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) is
to identify the potential environmental impacts and proposed mitigation measures
associated with the proposed Fairmead Specific Plan, which includes a General Plan
Amendment and Rezoning applicable to approximately 6 square miles adjacent to the
intersection of State Highways 99 and 152, in Madera County. Pursuant to Section 15367
of the CEQA Guidelines, the County is the Lead Agency in the preparation of this IS/MND,
and any additional environmental documentation required for the project. The County has
responsibility for approval or denial of the project application. The intended use of this
document is to provide information to support conclusions regarding the potential
environmental impacts of the project. The IS/MND provides the basis for input from public
agencies, organizations, and interested members of the public.

The remainder of this section provides a brief description of the project location and the
characteristics of the project. Section 3 includes an environmental checklist giving an
overview of the potential impacts that may result from project implementation. Section 4
elaborates on the information contained in the environmental checklist, along with
justification for the responses provided in the environmental checklist.


1.2 - PROJECT LOCATION
The planning area is located along State Highway 99, just south of the intersection of State
Highway 99 and State Highway 152. The entire planning area consists of 3,876 acres
(approximately 6 square miles) straddling both sides of State Highway 99, focused on the
existing community of Fairmead. The City of Chowchilla is located approximately 3 miles to
the northwest along Highway 99, and the City of Madera is located approximately 8 miles to
the southeast along Highway 99. (Exhibit 1)




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County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                     Introduction




                                           Exhibit 1: Location Map




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County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                        Introduction


                                 Exhibit 2: Existing Land Use Diagram




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County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                     Introduction


                                       Exhibit 3: Land Use Diagram




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County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                                          Introduction



                                                   Table 1

        Fairmead Specific Plan - Existing Land Use
                                                                                 Number
                                                                                 of
                                                                                 Dwellings
                                                        Area      Avg.Density    at Build
        Land Use                           Zone         acres     dwellings/acre Out
        Residential
            Low Density                    RUS          194.8     5 DU          973.80
        Commercial
            Community
        Commercial                         PCD, CUM     1.5
            Highway Serving
        Commercial                         CRH          2.3
        Open Space
            Park                           POS, OS      3.6
        Public Institutional
            Education                      IA           15.2
            Public Facilities              IA           149.3
        Agricultural
            Agricultural
        Exclusive                          ARE-40       1,538.2                 85.5
                                           AR-5, ARE-
            Agricultural Rural             20           1,915.7                 212.9
        Right-of-way, MID &
        CID Canals                                      140.7

                                           Total                Total
                                           Acreage      3,961.2 Dwellings       1,272.1
        Total Population                                4,089




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County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                                            Introduction




                                                   Table 2

         Fairmead Specific Plan - Proposed Land Use
                                                                                    Number
                                                                                    of
                                                                                    Dwellings
                                                             Area    Avg.Density at Build
         Land Use                                  Zone      acres   dwellings/acre Out
         Residential
                 Low Density                       RUS     226.2     5 DU         1130.90
                                                   RX, RT,
                Medium Density                     VCO     117.0     10 DU        1053.00
         Mixed Use
                Mixed Use Core                     MCM,
                                                   MCN,
                                                   VCO       16.1    20 DU        322.60
         Commercial
               Neighborhood                        CUM,
            Commercial                             PSC       10.7
                                                   CUR,
                  Professional Office              PIP       20.9    20 DU*       417*
                  Highway Serving
             Commercial                            CRH       115.0
         Industrial
                  Light Industrial                 IL        244.4
         Open Space
                                                   POS,
                  Park                             OS        18.8
                  Retention/Recreation             POS       62.9
                  Landfill                         POS       149.0
         Public Institutional
                  Education                        IA        19.3
                  Public Facilities                IA        25.0
         Agricultural
                  Agricultural Exclusive           ARE-40 878.0                   48.8
                                                   AR-5,
                Agricultural Rural                 ARE-20 595.0                   66.1
         Urban Reserve
                                                             516.7
         Right-of-way, MID & CID Canals
                                                      946.3
                                            Total           Total
                                            Acreage 3,961.2 Dwellings             3,038.4
         Total Population                             9,765
         *Note: Units only allowed with discretionary
         approval

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County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                                    Introduction




1.3 - PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Project Overview
The Fairmead Specific Plan intends to refine the vision, goals, policies, and actions of the
County’s General Plan by establishing area-specific goals and policies to guide land use
patterns in the Specific Plan Area. Area-specific design standards and zoning districts are
proposed that further prepare the area for development. Conceptual/preliminary
infrastructure plans are included in the Plan that will guide subsequent studies and
infrastructure improvements throughout the area.

The Specific Plan intends to provide a roadmap for significant upgrades to occur throughout
the long-time neglected and low-income community. The land use plan proposes a
relatively dense mixed use village surrounded by higher density residential small single
family, townhomes, and rowhouses. Surrounding the higher densities areas, low density
residential is designated, allowing for single family residential development. An urban
reserve area is designated on the eastern fringe of the Plan Area to allow an outlet for
growth following the build-out of the areas proposed for growth. Park space and
recreational path connections are incorporated throughout the planning area to promote a
healthy, active community. The west side of Highway 99 is designated for light industrial
use along the highway, and agricultural uses dominate further to the west and south.

Conceptual infrastructure plans guiding circulation, sewer, and drainage are included in the
Plan to accommodate the growth identified. All infrastructure plans are preliminary and will
require further comprehensive studies for complete implementation.

There are no physical improvements or construction activities proposed by the project itself
at this time. Subsequent development in the Plan Area, including all Subdivisions, Site Plan
Reviews, Planned Development Review, and Conditional Use Permits will be subject to
environmental review on a project-by-project basis. Since specific development outcomes
and impacts cannot be accurately assessed at this time, this document will discuss the
general impacts imposed by land use standards proposed. The Specific Plan also serves
as an implementing arm of the Madera County General Plan; therefore, the General Plan
EIR has assessed many project related impacts.




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County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                                   Introduction




Project Area and Surrounding Area Characteristics

The General Plan designated the majority of the existing community as Low Density
Residential. Three lots are zoned Community Commercial in the middle of the community,
along Avenue 22 ½. Fairmead Elementary and Galilee Missionary Baptist Church are both
designated as Public Institutional. Approximately three acres of land abutting the east side
of the community is designated for Open Space. The remaining tracts of land surrounding
the community are designated as Agricultural, Rural.

The immediate community of Fairmead consists of a collection of small and narrow lots.
One hundred of these lots are vacant buildable lots and the remaining lots have
approximately 122 housing units. The housing stock is slightly more aged than the rest of
the housing in Madera County, with nearly 39% of the housing stock built before 1960.
Large vacant lots surround the developed community, lots which are covered with seasonal
grasses. Beyond the existing community is an established agricultural area, mostly
consisting of orchards and other similar agricultural uses.

The zoning in the area is largely consistent with the 1995 General Plan designations. The
township itself is zoned as “RUS” (Residential Urban Single Family). This zoning allows
single family homes to be developed on many of the smaller, more urban scale parcels
found in the area. A small collection of lots along Ave. 22 ½ are zoned “PCD” (Planned
Commercial District) and “CUM” (Commercial Urban Median). The large collection of vacant
lots and agricultural areas farther outside of the township are zoned “AR-5” (Agricultural
Rural – 5 acre minimum), “ARE-20” (Agricultural Rural Exclusive – 20 acre minimum), or
“ARE-40” (Agricultural Rural Exclusive – 40 acre minimum). Across Highway 99, some land
adjacent to the highway is zoned “CRH” (Commercial Rural Highway”) and “RRS”
(Residential Rural Single Family). The County Landfill is zoned “POS” (Planned Open
Space).

The entire planning area is surrounded by developed agricultural uses, primarily almond, fig,
and stone fruit orchards situated on large 20+ acre parcels. To the north, parcels sizes
decrease in size, where some rural residential uses exist. Some industrial uses exist to the
northwest on the west side of Highway 99, including a large glass plant immediately north of
Highway 152. The City of Chowchilla plans to annex this industrial area, which is
designated primarily for heavy industrial uses. The State Women’s Prison is located above
the northeast corner of the Plan area and is part of the City of Chowchilla. The Prison is a
major job center for the entire area and houses thousands of prisoners. The Plan Area lies
at the boundary of the Chowchilla Irrigation District and the Madera Irrigation District. The


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County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                                    Introduction


northern section of the Plan area contains Chowchilla Irrigation District canals, whereas the
southern section contains Madera Irrigation District canals.




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County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                                     Introduction


1.4 - INTENDED USES OF THIS DOCUMENT
This IS/MND has been prepared to determine the appropriate scope and level of detail
required in completing the environmental analysis for the proposed project. The Lead
Agency is the County of Madera. This document will also serve as a basis for soliciting
comments and input from members of the public and public agencies regarding the
proposed project. The Draft IS/MND will be circulated for 30 days during which period
comments concerning the analysis contained in the IS/MND should be sent to:


                         Scott Harmstead, Planner III
                         Planning Department
                         County of Madera
                         2037 W. Cleveland Ave.
                         Madera, CA 93637
                         559.675-7821 ext.217
                         Email: scott.harmstead@madera-county.com



1.5 - ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING
The Fairmead Specific Plan area is roughly rectangular in shape, and is generally bounded
by Avenue 21 and Avenue 23/Highway 152, Highway 99, Road 21, and Road 17 1/2. The
project site is located in the San Joaquin Valley, in between the City of Chowchilla to the
north and the City of Madera to the south. The old core of the Fairmead community is
developed and is largely surrounded by agricultural uses. The elevation of the project site
ranges from 235 to 275 feet above mean sea level.

The project site is largely bounded by agricultural uses and agricultural residences on all
four sides. The California Woman’s Prison abuts the project area to the northeast. The
subject area and its vicinity contain no surface waters or natural wildlife habitat. The County
of Madera Landfill is situated in the southwestern portion of the project area. Otherwise, the
project area is dominated by residential development and agricultural uses.




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                                Environmental Determination



SECTION 2: ENVIRONMENTAL DETERMINATION
 Environmental Factors Potentially Affected
 The environmental factors checked below would be potentially affected by this project.
 However, mitigation measures for each factor as indicated by narrative within the
 checklist on the following pages will result in a less than significant impact as indicated by
 the checklist on the following pages.
       Aesthetics                                  Agriculture Resources         Air Quality
       Biological Resources                        Cultural Resources            Geology/Soils
       Hazards & Hazardous                         Hydrology/Water
                                                                                 Land Use/Planning
       Materials                                   Quality
       Mineral Resources                           Noise                         Population/Housing
                                                                                 Transportation/Traff
       Public Services                             Recreation
                                                                                 ic
       Utilities/Services Systems                  Mandatory Findings of Significance

Environmental Determination
On the basis of this initial evaluation:
        I find that the proposed project could not have a significant effect on the environment, and a
         Negative Declaration will be prepared.
         I find that although the proposed project could have a significant effect on the environment,
         there will not be a significant effect in this case because revisions in the project have been
         made by or agreed to by the project proponent. A Mitigated Negative Declaration will be
         prepared.
         I find that the proposed project MAY have a significant effect on the environment, and an
         Environmental Impact Report is required.
         I find that the proposed project MAY have a “potentially significant impact” or “potentially
         significant unless mitigated” impact on the environment, but at least one effect 1) has been
         adequately analyzed in an earlier document pursuant to applicable legal standards, and 2)
         has been addressed by mitigation measure based on the earlier analysis as described on
         attached sheets. An Environmental Impact Report is required, but it must analyze only the
         effects that remain to be addressed.
         I find that although the proposed project could have a significant effect on the environment,
         because all potentially significant effects (a) have been analyzed adequately in an earlier EIR
         or Negative Declaration pursuant to applicable standards, and (b) have been avoided or
         mitigated pursuant to that earlier EIR or Negative Declaration, including revisions or
         mitigation measures that are imposed upon the proposed project, nothing further is required.




Signed                                                     Date

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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                               Environmental Determination



SECTION 3:
DISCUSSION OF ENVIRONMENTAL EVALUATION
1.   AESTHETICS
                                                                 Less Than
                                                   Potentially   Significant    Less Than
                                                   Significant   With           Significant     No
  Environmental Issues                             Impact        Mitigation     Impact          Impact
  Aesthetics
  Would the project:
      a) Have a substantial adverse
          effect on a scenic vista?
      b) Substantially damage scenic
         resources, including, but not
         limited to, trees, rock
         outcroppings, and historic
         building within a state scenic
         highway?
      c) Substantially degrade the
         existing visual character or
         quality of the site and its
         surroundings?
      d) Create a new source of
         substantial light or glare which
         would adversely affect day or
         nighttime views in the area?


Would the project:
       a)     Have a substantial adverse effect on a scenic vista?

                   Less than Significant. The General Plan identifies no scenic vistas existing
                   in the project area and none exist on the properties immediately adjacent to
                   the project area. The central portion of the project area consists of low
                   density single family development. Proposed land uses involve residential,
                   commercial, and industrial development that significantly exceeds existing
                   building heights in the project area. Existing Zoning Code provisions regulate
                   building height, in addition to proposed sign standards contained in the



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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                            Environmental Determination


                   Specific Plan. The proposed sign standards and zoning standards will serve
                   to lessen the potential impact to less than significant.

         b)        Substantially damage scenic resources, including, but not limited to, trees,
                   rock outcroppings, and historic buildings within a state scenic highway?

                   No Impact. No state scenic highways are located within the project area and
                   none of the local roads within the project area have been designated as
                   scenic (State Routes 152 and 99 are not designated as scenic within or
                   abutting the project area). Therefore, no impact would result associated with
                   scenic resources visible from a designated scenic highway.

         c)        Substantially degrade the existing visual character or quality of the site and
                   its surroundings?

                   Less than Significant with Mitigation. The project includes proposed land
                   uses and zoning that ultimately allows for 2,237.2 acres of various types of
                   development. Such a substantial increase in growth beyond the existing
                   community of just over one hundred homes has the potential to significantly
                   impact the existing visual character and quality of the project area and its
                   surroundings.

                   Mitigation Measure:

                   1. The Land Use and Design section of the proposed Specific Plan
                      proposes detailed design standards that will mitigate any negative
                      impacts. Such standards include the control of building materials and
                      colors to create individual districts with strong and consistent architectural
                      character. The Plan outlines standards that require new development to
                      create a “sense of place”, in other words, development unique to
                      Fairmead.

         d)        Create a new source of substantial light or glare that would adversely affect
                   day or nighttime views in the area?

                   Less than Significant with Mitigation. The proposed project would include
                   the development of street lighting and lighting for commercial and industrial
                   development. Both forms of outdoor lighting are controlled through existing



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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                          Environmental Determination


                   County Code and the proposed Plan. Outdoor commercial and industrial
                   lighting is required through the Zoning Code to be directed down and
                   shielded away from adjacent properties (Title 18.102.120.J).

                   Mitigation Measure:

                   1. While all street lighting must comply with the aforementioned code
                      provision, lighting would also be required to be scaled to the surrounding
                      uses. A mitigation measure is included in Section 5, Public Facilities
                      within the Specific Plan to ensure lighting is properly scaled to the
                      surrounding uses.




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                               Environmental Determination


2.       AGRICULTURAL RESOURCES
                                                                 Less Than      Less
                                                   Potentially   Significant    Than
                                                   Significant   With           Significa      No
  Environmental Issue                              Impact        Mitigation     nt Impact      Impact
  Agriculture Resources
  In determining whether impacts to agricultural resources are significant
  environmental effects, lead agencies may refer to the California Agricultural Land
  Evaluation and Site Assessment Model (1997) prepared by the California
  Department of Conservation as an optional model to use in assessing impacts on
  agriculture and farmland.
  Would the project:
      a) Convert Prime Farmland,
         Unique Farmland, or Farmland
         of Statewide Importance
          (Farmland), as shown on the
          maps prepared pursuant to the
          Farmland Mapping and
          Monitoring Program of the
          California Resources Agency,
          to non-agricultural use?
      b) Conflict with existing zoning for
         agricultural use, or a
         Williamson Act contract?
      c) Involve other changes in the
         existing environment which,
          due to their location or nature,
          could result in conversion of
          Farmland, to non-agricultural
          use?




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                            Environmental Determination


Would the project:
          a) Convert Prime Farmland, Unique Farmland, or Farmland of Statewide
              Importance (Farmland), as shown on the maps prepared pursuant to the
              Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program of the California Resources
              Agency, to non-agricultural use?

                   Less than Significant. The California Farmland and Monitoring Program
                   and the Program’s Important Farmland Map was utilized in conjunction with
                   Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysis to assess the proposed
                   project’s impacts to farmland. Approximately 1,956 acres of land, or 51% of
                   the project area is already “urban or built up land” or is planned for growth by
                   the proposed project. The remaining 49% of the project area is designated
                   for agricultural uses. Of the 1,956 acres not designated in the project for
                   agricultural use, 2% (47 acres) would be converted from Prime Farmland,
                   18% (361 acres) converted from Farmland of Local Importance, and 41%
                   (811 acres) converted from Unique Farmland. The remaining 38% is either
                   already developed, or is designated as “other land” or “grazing land”.

                   The General Plan EIR identified the designation of 18,500 acres of farmland
                   and 55,000 acres of grazing land for non-agricultural uses County-wide as a
                   significant and unavoidable impact. The EIR identifies one possible
                   mitigation of the impact imposed by the General Plan: “The County shall
                   consider the feasibility of increased densities in specific areas as part of its
                   area plan updates in an effort to reduce the amount of agricultural land
                   conversion.”

                   The proposed project is a response to this mitigation program as an effort to
                   provide compact development that ensures the preservation of agricultural
                   land far beyond the horizon of the General Plan. The land use design of the
                   community focuses development on a high density, mixed use village core,
                   surrounded by medium density residential and low density residential. The
                   Specific Plan takes an unconventional approach to land use design as
                   opposed to the low density, sprawling communities so common to Madera
                   County for the past decades.




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                            Environmental Determination


              b) Conflict with existing zoning for agricultural use, or a Williamson Act contract?

                   Less than Significant Impact with Mitigation. 17 parcels and 1,046 acres
                   currently subject to the Williamson Act are designated for non-agricultural
                   uses in the proposed project. The adoption of the Specific Plan will
                   automatically create inconsistency between the existing contracts and the
                   General Plan.

                   Mitigation Measure:

                   1. In order to establish consistency with the Williamson Act, the uses and
                      zones as identified in the Specific Plan will not become effective until the
                      subject parcels have fully come out of the Williamson Act program.
                      Subject parcels must have either filed for nonrenewal (and let the contract
                      run out) or have had their contract(s) canceled in compliance with
                      Williamson Act provisions.

         c)        Involve other changes in the existing environment, which, due to their location
                   or nature, could result in conversion of Farmland, to non-agricultural use?

                   Less than Significant. Full development of the proposed project would
                   result in residentially zoned areas abutting agriculture. The potential conflict
                   between residential and agricultural areas has been minimized through
                   measures incorporated into the project. Design measures are incorporated,
                   including natural buffers utilized in the land use plan to separate and
                   distinguish agricultural areas apart from non-agricultural areas. Such buffers
                   include Madera Irrigation District (MID) and Chowchilla Water District (CWD)
                   canals and major roads. “Green Paths” as promoted in Chapter 4,
                   Circulation, of the Plan include recreational paths with heavily landscaped
                   edges when abutting agriculture to provide a greenbelt buffer for not only the
                   paths, but for the community as a whole.

                   The Specific Plan was formulated partly as a response to unmanaged and
                   unplanned growth occurring throughout Madera County, leaving agricultural
                   interests unable to anticipate where future growth will occur. The proposed
                   project provides a logical, phased plan for non-agricultural development that
                   allows agricultural interests to anticipate where future growth will occur and
                   be assured of areas where agriculture will be protected.



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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                               Environmental Determination




3.       AIR QUALITY
                                                                 Less Than
                                                   Potentially   Significant   Less Than
                                                   Significant   With          Significant     No
  Environmental Issues                             Impact        Mitigation    Impact          Impact
  Air Quality
  Where available, the significance criteria established by the applicable air quality
  management or air pollution control district may be relied upon to make the
  following determinations.
  Would the project:


      a) Conflict with or obstruct
         implementation of the
         applicable air quality plan?
      b) Violate any air quality
         standard or contribute
         substantially to an existing or
         projected air quality violation?
      c) Result in a cumulatively
          considerable net increase of
          any criteria pollutant for which
          the project region is non-
          attainment under an
          applicable federal or state
          ambient air quality standard
          (including releasing
          emissions, which exceed
          quantitative thresholds for
          ozone precursors)?
      d) Expose sensitive receptors to
         substantial pollutant
         concentrations?
      e) Create objectionable odors
         affecting a substantial number
         of people?




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                            Environmental Determination




Would the project:
       a)     Conflict with or obstruct implementation of the applicable air quality plan?

                   Less than Significant with Mitigation. Air quality plans or attainment plans
                   are used to bring the applicable air basin into attainment with all state and
                   federal ambient air quality standards designed to protect the health and
                   safety of residents within that air basin.

                   Attainment status: The San Joaquin Valley is designated non-attainment of
                   state and federal health based air quality standards for ozone and irrespirable
                   particulate matter (PM). Under the federal classification scheme, the San
                   Joaquin Valley is classified serious non-attainment for both the PM10
                   (particulate matter less than 10 micrometers in diameter) standard and the 8-
                   hour ozone standard. To meet federal Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements, the
                   District has adopted an Extreme Ozone Attainment Demonstration Plan
                   (2004) and a PM10 attainment demonstration plan (2003 PM10 Plan). Both
                   plans have 2010 attainment dates; however, the District recently submitted a
                   request to be designated attainment for the federal PM10 standard. EPA
                   finalized the determination that the San Joaquin Valley has attained the
                   PM10 standards on October 30, 2006. The District will remain designated
                   Serious Non-attainment for PM10 until the District submits and EPA approves
                   a maintenance plan for the air basin and the District completes other CAA
                   requirements. In addition, the federal one-hour ozone standard has been
                   revoked by EPA and replaced with an 8-hour standard. The planning
                   requirements for the one-hour plan remain in effect until replaced by a federal
                   8-hour ozone attainment plan that is due to EPA by June 15, 2007. The San
                   Joaquin Valley Air Basin is also designated non-attainment for the new
                   federal PM2.5 (particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter)
                   annual standard. The District’s federal PM2.5 attainment plan is due April 5,
                   2008. Measures contained in the 2003 PM10 Plan will also help reduce
                   PM2.5 levels and will provide progress toward attainment until new measures
                   are implemented for the PM2.5 Plan, if needed. State ozone standards do
                   not have an attainment deadline but require implementation of all feasible
                   measures to achieve attainment at the earliest date possible. State PM10
                   standards have no attainment planning requirements, but air districts not
                   meeting this standard must demonstrate that all measures feasible for the
                   area have been adopted. A PM10 Plan revision using new modeling data



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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                           Environmental Determination


                   was submitted to EPA in 2006 that maintained the existing control strategy
                   and projected attainment date.

                   Health effects: Populations at general risk for suffering adverse health effects
                   from exposures to particulate matter include children, people of all ages with
                   asthma, and the elderly with illnesses like bronchitis, emphysema and
                   pneumonia. Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, such as
                   emphysema and bronchitis, are also potentially susceptible to mortality
                   because of their vulnerability to physical and chemical stimuli and the
                   absence of an adequate ventilatory reserve.

                   PM10 can be inhaled through the upper respiratory airways, and deposited in
                   the lungs causing serious health problems and the increased likelihood of
                   death from other causes. Some of the particles that measure less than 10
                   microns can penetrate and deposit deeply in the lungs without an ability to be
                   exhaled. This smaller fraction, commonly referred to as PM2.5, is of special
                   concern to health. These particles are based on the fraction of PM10 that
                   measures at less than 2.5 microns in diameter. These finer particles are
                   easily inhaled deeply into the lungs where they can be absorbed into the
                   bloodstream or remain embedded for long periods of time. Finer particles
                   may be aerosol carriers of toxic and biological materials, which can be
                   absorbed by the blood in the gas exchange tissues of the lungs and carried to
                   other parts of the body.

                   The fine particles that are linked to serious health effects are also a major
                   cause of visibility impairment (regional haze). The term regional haze means
                   haze that impairs visibility in all directions over a large area. Regional haze
                   consists of sufficient smoke, dust, moisture, and vapor suspended in air to
                   impair visibility. Particulate matter that is formed when gaseous pollutants
                   react in the atmosphere also causes regional haze. These particles often
                   grow in size as humidity increases, further impairing visibility. Sources
                   hundreds or even thousands of miles away can contribute to visibility
                   problems at remote locations. In the west, the visual range has been
                   reduced to over 60 percent. Haze currently reduces visibility from
                   approximately 140 miles to between 33 and 90 miles.

                   Ozone can adversely affect human health, damage vegetation, and degrade
                   materials. Ozone can inflame and irritate the respiratory tract, causing



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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                            Environmental Determination


                   breathing difficulty, coughing, and throat irritation. Exposure to ozone can
                   also increase the lungs’ susceptibility to infections, allergens, and other air
                   pollutants. The greatest threat is to those spending time outdoors during
                   periods of high ozone levels. High levels of ozone also reduce crop and
                   timber yields, damage native plants, and damage materials such as rubber,
                   plastic, paint and fabrics.

                   Significance determination: The District’s threshold for significant impact for
                   ROG and NOx is 10 tons/year of each. The District does not recommend a
                   quantitative threshold for PM10 emissions from construction activities since it
                   considers compliance with Regulation VIII – Fugitive Dust Prohibitions to
                   reduce this impact to less than significant. However, a threshold of 15
                   tons/year for operational PM10 is often used as a comparable threshold value
                   for this pollutant.

                   Rule 9510 – Indirect Source Review requires projects constructing over 50
                   dwellings to reduce construction emissions by 20 percent for NOx and 45
                   percent for PM10 and operational emissions by 33% for NOx and 50 percent
                   for PM10.

                   Current fleet mix percentages must be modified to account for a more urban
                   demographic and the projected increase in light autos as a result of
                   increasing energy costs. As all development in Madera County is required to
                   have a 1:1 jobs/housing balance, the Fairmead Specific Plan is no different.

                   Compliance with Air Quality Plans

                   The project includes retail and office uses near existing and planned
                   residential uses, which would promote a reduction in vehicle trips by
                   providing a linkage between jobs and housing. The project will provide a
                   diverse range of uses (employment centers, residential, recreation, and
                   institutional) within a high-quality, pedestrian-oriented community, which
                   would serve to reduce vehicle miles traveled and eliminate many vehicle trips
                   for future residences.

                   Extensive air quality mitigations have been incorporated into the project,
                   including the following mitigation measures as recommended by the San




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                          Environmental Determination


                   Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s Guide for Assessing and
                   Mitigating Air Quality Impacts (GAMAQI).

                   Vehicle Trip Reduction

                   A complete elimination of some potential project trips has been achieved
                   through higher density residential development located adjacent to and mixed
                   with commercial uses. A mixed use village core is designated for the central
                   portion of the community (eastern side of Highway 99). Higher residential
                   densities are designated around the core to facilitate enhanced access for
                   both pedestrians and cyclists. A smaller neighborhood commercial node is
                   located near the northern terminus of the Road 20 and Highway 99
                   interchange. This node will serve as a second community focal point, apart
                   from the village core designated in the central part of the community.

                   Additionally, block sizes have been significantly reduced to encourage
                   enhanced pedestrian access to commercial, recreational, and institutional
                   uses. Block sizes range from 300 by 400 feet to 600 by 750 feet, as opposed
                   to block sizes up to 2640 feet by 2640 in regional cities such as Clovis or
                   Fresno.

                   Pedestrian sheds are shown in Exhibit 4, representing areas accessible by
                   pedestrians from (3) identified community focal points. Pedestrian sheds
                   represent a commonly accepted and comfortable walking distance of ¼ mile.
                   Focal points utilized include park space designated within the village core,
                   public facilities (community center and fire station) designated within the
                   village core, and the neighborhood commercial node designated off the
                   Highway 99 and Road 20 interchange at Road 20 and Ave. 22 1/4.

                   Approximately 415 acres of the community east of Highway 99 is covered by
                   pedestrian sheds, amounting to approximately 66% of the community east of
                   Highway 99 (where all residential uses are located). Therefore, the majority
                   of the community of the eastern half of Highway 99 is considered accessible
                   for pedestrians. The compact grid system will enhance the accessibility.

                   Regarding trips outside of the planning area to regional communities such as
                   Madera or Chowchilla, regional bus transit and park and ride opportunities
                   will be made available. Two bus stops are located within both major



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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                             Environmental Determination


                   community nodes, including the village core and the neighborhood
                   commercial center at Road 20 and Avenue 22 ¼. Existing bus service is
                   proved by Madera County Connection. Park and ride facilities have further
                   been provided at the key regional interchanges within the planning area,
                   including Highway 99 and Road 20 and future Highway 152 and Road 21.
                   These facilities will encourage carpooling for those who shop or work outside
                   of the planning area.

                   Reduction in Vehicle Miles Traveled

                   The length of vehicle trips associated with the project is also controlled by the
                   land use design. The planned uses are designed in such a manner as to 1)
                   establish a 1:1 jobs to housing balance within the planning area and 2)
                   ensure that no job (industrial or commercial) is located more than two miles
                   from any residential area. Where vehicle trip reduction has not been fully
                   achieved through the proximity of uses creating effective walkability (see
                   Exhibit 4 for pedestrian sheds), all vehicle trips within the planning area
                   extend no more than two miles (one way). Short vehicle trips will also
                   promote bicycle use. Bicycle facilities provided include class I (multi-use
                   path), class II (bike lane), and class III (onstreet) facilities within the planned
                   community portion of the planning area.

                   Improve Traffic Flows/reduce Congestion

                   The utilization of a grid system throughout the community east of Highway 99
                   improves traffic flows by promoting the dispersion of traffic across the
                   circulation system, as opposed to funneling trips onto the main arterials and
                   collectors. When driving within the community the compact grid will allow for
                   multiple alternative routes not normally provided in a conventional suburban
                   community.

                   Roundabouts are promoted by the plan to allow for smooth and efficient
                   traffic flow, effectively reducing the amount of starts and stops created by
                   traffic signals and stop signs. At the local street or residential street level,
                   traffic circles are encouraged in the place of stop signs to reduce starts and
                   stops and improve pedestrian safety.




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                            Environmental Determination


                   Transit Infrastructure-Based Measures

                   The project promotes the use and expansion of the existing transit bus
                   connections to Fairmead. Two bus stops within ½ mile of approximately 80%
                   of all residential uses are planned within the village core and neighborhood
                   center at Road 20 and Avenue 22 ¼. Densities around the bus stops are
                   “scaled up” in nodes wherein medium density residential and mixed use is
                   provided adjacent to the bus stops, with low density residential located further
                   away. The village core bus stop is adjacent to mixed use, wherein high
                   density residential is provided (up to 30 residential units per acre) along with
                   retail and service commercial. The Specific Plan requires bus shelters and a
                   bus pullout at each bus stop.

                   VMT Infrastructure-Based Mitigation Measures

                   Park and ride facilities as noted above will serve to reduce the number of long
                   commutes from the planning area to other regional communities. However, a
                   key element of the project is to reduce long distance commuting all together
                   by establishing a 1:1 jobs to housing balance (one home to every job
                   provided). Table 3 shows housing and employment generation.

                   Pedestrian Infrastructure-Based Mitigation Measures

                   The project is designed to promote pedestrian access throughout the urban
                   portions of the planning area. All street standards include sidewalks on both
                   sides of the street at least 5 feet wide. Sidewalks on the “village street” within
                   the village core are required to be 15 feet in width to create a high-use
                   pedestrian environment. Street trees are incorporated into the street
                   standards, including the requirement to provide street trees in residential
                   areas at 30 to 40 feet apart. A multi-use pedestrian and bicycle path is
                   provided through the center of the planning area from the northeastern corner
                   to a retention basin on the southern end of the community. Traffic-calming
                   devices will serve to increase pedestrian safety and create a more inviting
                   pedestrian environment. Traffic circles, bulbouts, chokers, textured
                   pavements, raised crosswalks, and raised intersections are all promoted.




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                          Environmental Determination


                   Bicycle Infrastructure-Based Mitigation Measures

                   The compact design of the urban portion of the planning area allows for no
                   more than a two mile bicycle commute from a residential area to either
                   industrial or commercial businesses. The community as planned provides for
                   Class I, II, and III facilities at build out.

                   Project-Specific Air Quality Mitigation Measures

                   In addition to the project-wide mitigation measures described above, project-
                   specific air quality impacts will evaluated and mitigated as follows:

                   1. Subdivision Maps, Parcel Maps, Conditional Use Permits, Site Plan
                      Review, and Planned Development Review projects must be evaluated to
                      ensure compliance with air quality standards, including construction, area
                      source, and operational emissions.

                   2. Develop residential neighborhoods without fireplaces or with the use of
                      U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certified, low emission natural gas
                      fireplaces.

                   3. All multi-family residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional
                      projects shall comply with the following: (1) bicycle rack able to
                      accommodate at least (1) bike shall be provided per 0.5 parking stalls as
                      required per County Code 18.102.040.

                   4. Bicycle Racks shall be provided within parking lot areas or on sidewalks
                      along the Village Street as designated within the Village Core. Special
                      circumstances where neither location is feasible may be subject to
                      exemption by the Zoning Administrator.




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       County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
      Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                              Environmental Determination


                                                          Table 3


                               Fairmead Specific Plan - Building and Job Generation
                                                                       Number of
                                                                       Dwellings                            Total
                                          Area       Avg.Density       at Build    Jobs per 1,000           Number
Land Use                        Zone      acres      dwellings/acre    Out         Square Feet              of Jobs
Residential
    Low Density                   RUS           226.2     5 DU           1130.90
                                  RX, RT,
    Medium Density                VCO           117.0     10 DU          1053.00
Mixed Use
    Mixed Use Core                MCM,
                                  MCN,
                                  VCO           16.1      20 DU          322.60               0.6              421
Commercial
    Neighborhood                  CUM,
Commercial                        PSC           10.7                                          0.6              111
    Professional Office           CUR, PIP      20.9      20 DU*         417*                 0.5              181
   Highway Serving
Commercial                        CRH           115.0                                         0.6             1,202
Industrial
    Light Industrial              IL            244.4                                         0.2              851
Open Space
    Park                          POS, OS       18.8
    Retention/Recreation          POS           62.9
    Landfill                      POS           149.0                                        N/A               66
Public Institutional
    Education                     IA            19.3                                          0.4              148
    Public Facilities             IA            25.0                                          0.4              174
Agricultural
    Agricultural Exclusive        ARE-40        878.0                    48.8                  *                  *
                                  AR-5,
    Agricultural Rural            ARE-20        595.0                    66.1                  *                  *
Urban Reserve
                                                516.7
Right-of-way, MID & CID
Canals
                                                946.3
                                  Total                   Total
                                  Acreage       3,961.2   Dwellings      3,038.4       Total Jobs             3,154
                                                                                       Jobs-Housing
Total Population                                9,765                                  Ratio                   1.0
*Note: Units only allowed with discretionary approval. Jobs not estimated for agricultural uses do to the
unpredictable seasonal employment fluctuation (temporary nature of employment)




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration          Environmental Determination




                                                   Exhibit 4- ¼ Mile Pedestrian Sheds

                                                                                  31
 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                            Environmental Determination




         b)        Violate any air quality standard or contribute substantially to an existing or
                   projected air quality violation?

                   Less than Significant with Mitigation. As aforementioned in item (a), the
                   proposed project will not violate any air quality standard or contribute
                   substantially to an existing or projected air quality violation. Therefore, this
                   impact is considered less than significant with the mitigations incorporated in
                   item (a).

         c)        Result in a cumulatively considerable net increase of any criteria pollutant for
                   which the project region is non-attainment under an applicable federal or
                   state ambient air quality standard (including releasing emissions which
                   exceed quantitative thresholds for ozone precursors)?

                   Less than Significant with Mitigation. The project will not significantly
                   increase the production of any criteria pollutant as described in section a),
                   therefore, it is appropriate to conclude that the project’s incremental
                   contribution to criteria pollutant emissions is not cumulatively considerable.

                   Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions. The potential effect of greenhouse
                   gas emissions on global climate change is an emerging issue that warrants
                   discussion under CEQA. Unlike the pollutants discussed previously that may
                   have regional and local effects, greenhouse gases have the potential to
                   cause global changes in the environment. In addition, greenhouse gas
                   emissions do not directly produce a localized impact, but may cause an
                   indirect impact if the local climate is adversely changed by its cumulative
                   contribution to a change in global climate. Individual development projects
                   contribute relatively small amounts of greenhouse gases that when added to
                   all other greenhouse gas producing activities around the world result in
                   increases in these emissions that have led many to conclude is changing the
                   global climate. However, no threshold has been established for what would
                   constitute a cumulatively considerable increase in greenhouse gases for
                   individual development projects.

                   The State of California has taken several actions that help to address
                   potential global climate change impacts. Although not originally intended to
                   reduce greenhouse gas emissions, California Code of Regulations Title 24



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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                          Environmental Determination


                   Part 6: California’s Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential and
                   Nonresidential Buildings, was first established in 1978 in response to a
                   legislative mandate to reduce California's energy consumption. The
                   standards are updated periodically to allow consideration and possible
                   incorporation of new energy efficiency technologies and methods. The latest
                   amendments were made in October 2005 and currently require new homes to
                   use half the energy they used only a decade ago. Since electricity produced
                   by fossil fuel power plants results in the production of greenhouse gases,
                   reductions in electricity use through energy efficient buildings results in
                   decreased greenhouse gas emissions.

                   California Assembly Bill (AB) 1493 (Pavley) enacted on July 22, 2002,
                   required CARB to develop and adopt regulations that reduce GHG emitted by
                   passenger vehicles and light duty trucks. Regulations adopted by CARB will
                   apply to 2009 and later model year vehicles. CARB estimates that the
                   regulation will reduce climate change emissions from light duty passenger
                   vehicle fleet by an estimated 18 percent in 2020 and by 27 percent in 2030
                   (CARB 2004a).

                   California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced on June 1, 2005,
                   through Executive Order S 3-05, the following GHG emission reduction
                   targets: by 2010, reduce GHG emissions to 2000 levels; by 2020, reduce
                   GHG emissions to 1990 levels; by 2050, reduce GHG emissions to 80
                   percent below 1990 levels (CA 2005). The California Climate Action Team’s
                   (CAT) Report to the Governor contains recommendations and strategies to
                   help ensure the targets in Executive Order S-3-05 are met (CAT 2006).
                   In 2006, the California State Legislature adopted AB 32, the California Global
                   Warming Solutions Act of 2006. AB 32 describes how global climate change
                   will impact the environment in California. The impacts described in AB 32
                   include changing sea levels, changes in snow pack and availability of potable
                   water, changes in storm flows and flood inundation zones, and other impacts.
                   The list of impacts included in AB 32 may be considered substantial evidence
                   of environmental impacts requiring analysis in CEQA documents. AB 32
                   focuses on reducing GHG in California. The GHG emissions reductions
                   found in AB 32 and Executive Order S-3-05 are consistent with the climate
                   stabilization models produced by the International Panel on Climate Change
                   (IPCC). These climate stabilization models show that if GHG emissions are
                   reduced to the levels shown in Executive Order S-3-05, the climate will



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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                           Environmental Determination


                   stabilize at approximately a 2 degree Celsius rise averting the worst impacts
                   associates with global climate change. GHG as defined under AB 32 include:
                   carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons,
                   perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. AB 32 requires the CARB, the
                   State agency charged with regulating statewide air quality, to adopt rules and
                   regulations that would achieve greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to
                   statewide levels in 1990 by 2020. On or before June 30, 2007, CARB is
                   required to publish a list of discrete early action greenhouse gas emission
                   reduction measures that can be implemented by 2010.

                   AB 32 requires that by January 1, 2008, CARB shall determine what the
                   statewide greenhouse gas emissions level was in 1990, and approve a
                   statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit that is equivalent to that level, to
                   be achieved by 2020. While the level of 1990 GHG emissions has not yet
                   been approved, reported emissions vary from 425 to 468 Tg CO2 Eq. (CEC
                   2006). In 2004, the emissions were estimated at 492 Tg CO2 Eq. (CEC
                   2006).

                   The actions described above provide a framework for reducing greenhouse
                   gas emissions in California. The project must comply with Title 24 energy
                   efficiency standards. Vehicles purchased by residents will produce fewer
                   GHG emissions than those produced today with implementation of AB1493.
                   Regulations stemming from AB 32 will result in reductions in emissions from
                   major sources such as electrical power generation and cement production. It
                   remains uncertain if these actions will be sufficient to counteract California’s
                   contribution to global climate change. However, additional analysis for this
                   project will not increase the certainty of any impact determination. Although
                   quantification methods are available to calculate the project’s contribution,
                   due to the size of this project and lack of a numeric threshold no
                   quantification is provided.

                   A number of standards and policies have been incorporated into the project
                   that will serve to mitigate the project’s overall contribution to greenhouse gas
                   emissions. Chapter 3, Land Use incorporates “Green Design” policies that
                   seek to increase the energy efficiency of development. The Circulation goals
                   provided in the Plan promote increased pedestrian and multi-modal access,
                   serving reduced auto use and thus a reduction in greenhouse gases emitted.




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                             Environmental Determination


                   Mitigation Measures:

                   1. The County shall ensure that recycling is available to properties within the
                      Planning Area as funding allows. Recycling reduces greenhouse gas
                      emissions associated with the extraction and transport of raw natural
                      resources.
                   2. All construction waste associated with implementation of the proposed
                      Plan shall be recycled to the extent feasible. Recycling reduces
                      greenhouse gas emissions associated with the extraction and transport of
                      raw natural resources.
                   3. Light-colored roofs, paints, and driveway materials shall be encouraged.
                   4. All commercial dock and delivery areas that accept diesel trucks shall
                      include:
                      a. Signage advising truck drivers to turn off engines when not in use.
                      b. Signage advising truck drivers of State law prohibiting diesel idling for
                           more than five minutes.
                      c. Auxiliary 110 volt and 220 volt power units so trucks can power
                           refrigeration units or other equipment without idling.

                   Global warming and resulting climate change may also have impacts upon
                   the proposed Plan. Some of the most dramatic effects of climate change will
                   include an increased frequency and severity of extreme events, such as heat
                   waves, wildfires, flooding, and conditions conducive to air pollution formation.
                   Other more gradual effects include increasing ambient temperature, reduction
                   in water supply and snowpack, and increasing electricity demand, among
                   other factors. Concerning the Planning Area, wildfire risk will only increase
                   into the future as climate change continues to affect changes. Section 7
                   addresses the threat from wildfires posed by global warming.

                   The stated mitigation measures and mitigation measures from items a and b
                   will all contribute to a less than significant impact in regards to global climate
                   change.

         d)        Expose sensitive receptors to substantial pollutant concentrations?

                   Less than Significant with Mitigation. The project proposes extensive light
                   industrial areas along the west side of Highway 99, as a logical extension of
                   the heavy industrial area along the west side of Highway 99 within the City of



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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                            Environmental Determination


                   Chowchilla’s sphere of influence. Any pollutants associated with industry will
                   be maintained to the west of Highway 99, away from proposed residential
                   areas designated to the east of Highway 99.

                   Currently these areas are actively utilized for agricultural production. The
                   west side of Highway 99 is additionally home to the County Landfill and
                   extensive agricultural use. Agricultural use is also designated in the
                   southeastern portion of the Planning Area. Agricultural use in particular is a
                   significant contributor to particulate matter. By relegating agricultural uses to
                   the south and west of areas proposed for growth, the significant areas of
                   habitation will be minimally effected by agricultural pollutant such as dust and
                   pesticide. The common northerly wind patterns effectively aide to blow
                   agricultural pollutants away from the central portion of the project area.

                   Potential problem areas exist where residential development abuts
                   agricultural uses. Such conflicts would occur on the eastern portions of the
                   planning area, where low density residential abuts agriculture.

                   Mitigation Measure:

                   1. The entire eastern portion of the community is designated to be bordered
                      by a “green path” system, including a heavily vegetated multiuse path.
                      Vegetative buffers help to minimize agriculture impacts to communities,
                      including pesticide drift and drifting dust.

         e)        Create objectionable odors affecting a substantial number of people?

                   Less than Significant. The most significant odor producers within the
                   project area include agricultural uses and the County Landfill. No diaries
                   exist within the project area. Agricultural uses in general are located
                   downwind from the community or west of Highway 99.

                   An Environmental Impact Report was adopted in 2003 for the expansion of
                   the County Landfill. The EIR discloses all particular issues associated with
                   the Landfill and it’s impacts on existing adjacent uses. Due to the prevailing
                   northerly winds, odors associated with the Landfill will be blown to the south
                   and away from areas proposed for non-agricultural development.




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
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4.       BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES
                                                                 Less Than
                                                   Potentially   Significant   Less Than
                                                   Significant   With          Significant     No
  Environmental Issues                             Impact        Mitigation    Impact          Impact
  Biological Resources
  Would the project:
      a) Have a substantial adverse
         effect, either directly or
         through habitat modifications,
         on any species identified as a
         candidate, sensitive, or
         special status species in local
         or regional plans, policies, or
          regulations, or by the
          California Department of Fish
          and Game or U.S. Fish and
          Wildlife Service?
      b) Have a substantial adverse
         effect on any riparian habitat
         or other sensitive natural
         community identified in local
         or regional plans, policies,
         and regulations or by the
         California Department of Fish
         and Game or U.S. Fish and
         Wildlife Service?
      c) Have a substantial adverse
          effect on federally protected
          wetlands as defined by
          Section 404 of the Clean
          Water Act (including, but not
          limited to, marsh, vernal pool,
          coastal, etc.) through direct
          removal, filling, hydrological
          interruption, or other means?



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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
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      d) Interfere substantially with
          the movement of any native
          resident or migratory fish or
          wildlife species or with
          established native resident or
          migratory wildlife corridors, or
          impede the use of wildlife
          nursery sites?
      e) Conflict with any local
         policies or ordinances
         protecting biological
         resources, such as a tree
         preservation policy or
         ordinance?
      f) Conflict with the provisions of
         an adopted Habitat
         Conservation Plan, Natural
         Community Conservation
         Plan, or other approved local,
         regional, or state habitat
         conservation plan?


Would the project:
       a)     Have a substantial adverse effect, either directly or through habitat
              modifications, on any species identified as a candidate, sensitive, or special
              status species in local or regional plans, policies, or regulations, or by the
              California Department of Fish and Game or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service?

                    Less than Significant. The majority of the Fairmead Area has historically
                    been developed for agricultural purposes. The town center has also been
                    developed for a long period of time (since 1912). Soil reports from the
                    Madera California State Prison (Women’s Facility) adjacent to the Area
                    indicates the historic presence of both the grassland and vernal pool
                    habitats. The entire project area has historically been disturbed, therefore
                    the presence of sensitive species in unlikely. All urban uses as proposed in
                    the Plan are designated in area currently developed, historically developed,
                    and/or actively utilized for agricultural purposes. The Department of Fish




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                            Environmental Determination


                    and Game (DFG) Natural Diversity Data Base (NDDB) identifies sensitive
                    species and habitats via U.S. Geological Survey quadrangle maps. The 7.5
                    minute Berenda quadrangle contains the entire project area. Sensitive
                    species within the area include:
                   Plants
                         heartscale (Atriplex cordulata)
                         lesser saltscale (Atriplex minuscula)
                         succulent owl’s-clover (Castilleja campestris ssp. succulenta)
                   Animals
                         Vernal pool fairy shrimp (Branchinecta lynchi)

         b)        Have a substantial adverse effect on any riparian habitat or other sensitive
                   natural community identified in local or regional plans, policies, regulations or
                   by the California Department of Fish and Game or US Fish and Wildlife
                   Service?

                   No Impact. The Berenda Slough is located 2.5 miles north of the site and is
                   the nearest riparian habitat, while Chowchilla Irrigation District Canals and
                   agricultural land lies between the slough the and the project area. There are
                   no sensitive natural communities identified in local or regional plan, policies,
                   or regulations. No impacts in this regard would occur.

         c)        Have a substantial adverse effect on federally protected wetlands as defined
                   by Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (including, but not limited to, marsh,
                   vernal pool, coastal, etc.) through direct removal, filling, hydrological
                   interruption, or other means?

                   Less than Significant with Mitigation. Preliminary site surveys have not
                   evidenced the presence of potential wetlands within the planning area.
                   However, further development of the Plan’s drainage system will require
                   review to ensure consistency with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The
                   development of the Drainage Master Plan will include necessary studies and
                   environmental review to determine whether or not Section 404 permitting will
                   be necessary. The following mitigation measures apply:




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                             Environmental Determination


                   Mitigation Measures

                   1. The master drainage plan must incorporate discussion and evaluation
                      regarding consistency with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.

                   2. The master drainage plan must include a wetland delineation.
                      Consultation is required with a qualified biologist.

         d)        Interfere substantially with the movement of any native resident or migratory
                   fish or wildlife species or with established native resident or migratory wildlife
                   corridors, or impede the use of native wildlife nursery sites?

                    No Impact. The site is not located within any wildlife movement corridors
                    and does not function as a wildlife nursery site. No impacts in this regard
                    would occur.

         e)        Conflict with any local applicable policies or ordinances protecting biological
                   resources, such as a tree preservation policy or ordinance?

                   No Impact. Since the project site is within an actively farmed area, the
                   project will not conflict with any local policies or ordinances protecting
                   biological resources. No impacts in this regard would occur.

         f)        Conflict with the provisions of an adopted Habitat Conservation Plan, Natural
                   Community Conservation Plan, Natural Community Conservation Plan, or
                   other approved local, regional, or state habitat conservation plan?

                   No Impact. There is no Natural Community Conservation Plan (NCCP) or
                   Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP) underway in the region where this project
                   is located. No impacts in this regard would occur.




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                               Environmental Determination


5.       CULTURAL RESOURCES
                                                                 Less Than
                                                   Potentially   Significant   Less Than
  Environmental Issue
                                                   Significant   With          Significant     No
                                                   Impact        Mitigation    Impact          Impact
  Cultural Resources
  Would the project:
      a) Cause a substantial adverse
         change in the significance of
         a historical resource as
         defined in §15064.5?
      b) Cause a substantial adverse
         change in the significance of
         an archaeological resource
         pursuant to §15064.5?
      c) Directly or indirectly destroy
         a unique paleontological
         resource or site or unique
         geologic feature?
      d) Disturb any human remains,
          including those interred
          outside of formal
          cemeteries?


Would the project:
       a)     Cause a substantial adverse change in the significance of a historical
                   resource as defined in §15064.5?

                   Less than Significant. While the community of Fairmead is a historical
                   community within Madera County, few identified resources remain in
                   existence. The Giant Orange Hamburger Stand was formerly located within
                   the existing community, on the east side of Highway 99 and to the north of
                   Avenue 22 ½. The Highway 99 Conversion and Interchange Project
                   Environmental Assessment identified three properties that would be eligible
                   to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These properties
                   included Laterals 32.2 and 32.2-9.9 of the Madera Canal and the Mammoth
                   Orange Hamburger Stand. The canal laterals have already been directly



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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                            Environmental Determination


                   effected by the Caltrans project. The project does not propose to directly
                   effect the laterals.

                   Other possible historical resources located within the project area may
                   include the wide streets with landscaped medians (Maple St. and Sinclair
                   Drive) and older homes throughout the community. In order to more
                   effectively identify historical resources, developments must identify resources
                   unidentified through this document on a project-by-project basis.

         b)        Cause a substantial adverse change in the significance of an archaeological
                   resource pursuant to §15064.5?

                   Less than Significant with Mitigation. No significant features such as
                   watercourses, ponds, springs, or elevated ground such as ridges and knolls
                   are located within the project area that could be considered archaeologically
                   or historically sensitive. However, the existing town may contain numerous
                   areas with historical resources do to its history dating back to 1912. Although
                   areas other than the existing town are not in a location that is expected to
                   contain historical resources there always remains the possibility that
                   resources may be uncovered during grading operations.

                   Mitigation Measure:

                   1.        If during the grading or trenching work archaeological evidence is
                            found, all work is to stop and the Planning Department is to be notified
                            within 24 hours, or on the first workday following for weekends and
                            holidays.

         c)        Directly or indirectly destroy a unique paleontological resource or site or
                   unique geologic feature?

                   Less than Significant with Mitigation. The Fairmead Landfill site is one of
                   the richest finds of Mid-Pleistocene (500,000 to 1.6 million years ago) fauna.
                   In May 1993, fossils were discovered during excavation of a new expansion
                   cell at the Landfill. The University of California Museum of Paleontology is
                   currently involved in exaction at the site. Since there are few known sites
                   from the Mid-Pleistocene time period, the Fairmead fossils are highly
                   significant. Plans are currently moving forward on a “Fossil Discovery



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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                            Environmental Determination


                   Museum” to be located immediately to the south of the Landfill. The project is
                   a partnership between the County, State of California, and various local
                   institutions. The Museum will continue to highlight the area’s rich
                   paleontological resources. Do to the presence of paleontological resources
                   with the planning area, the possibility remains for resources to be unveiled
                   during grading operations.

                   Mitigation Measure:

                   1.       If during the grading or trenching work paleontological evidence is
                            found, all work is to stop and the Planning Department is to be notified
                            within 24 hours, or on the first workday following for weekends and
                            holidays.

         d)        Disturb any human remains, including those interred outside of formal
                   cemeteries?

                   Less than Significant. Human remains are not known to exist at the subject
                   site. Standard protocol in compliance with existing regulations would require
                   such a discovery to be immediately reported to the Madera County Coroner.
                   If the remains are determined to be Native American in origin, both the Native
                   American Heritage Commission and any identified descendants shall be
                   notified by the coroner and recommendations for treatment solicited (CEQA
                   Section 15064.5; Health and Safety Code Section 7050.5; Public Resources
                   Code Section 5097.98). Compliance with these regulations allow for this
                   impact to be considered less than significant.




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                               Environmental Determination




6.       GEOLOGY AND SOILS
                                                                 Less Than
                                                   Potentially   Significant   Less Than
                                                   Significant   With          Significant     No
  Environmental Issue                              Impact        Mitigation    Impact          Impact
  Geology and Soils
  Would the project:
      a) Expose people or structures
         to potential substantial
         adverse effects, including the
         risk of loss, injury or death
         involving:
          i)    Rupture of a known
                earthquake fault, as
                delineated on the most
                recent Alquist-Priolo
                Earthquake Fault Zoning
                Map issued by the State
                Geologist for the area or
                based on other
                substantial evidence of a
                known fault? Refer to
                Division of Mines and
                Geology Special
                Publication 42.
          ii)   Strong seismic ground
                shaking?
          iii) Seismic-related ground
               failure, including
               liquefaction?
          iv) Landslides?
      b) Result in substantial soil
         erosion or the loss of topsoil?




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
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      c) Be located on a geologic unit
          or soil that is unstable, or that
          would become unstable as a
          result of the project and
          potentially result in on- or off-
          site landslide, lateral
          spreading, subsidence,
          liquefaction or collapse?
      d) Be located on expansive soil,
         as defined in Table 18-1-B of
         the Uniform Building Code
         (1994), creating substantial
         risks to life or property?
      e) Have soils incapable of
         adequately supporting the use
         of septic tanks or alternative
         wastewater disposal systems
         where sewers are not
         available for the disposal of
         wastewater?


Setting

Madera County is divided into two major physiographic and geologic provinces: the Sierra
Nevada Range and the Central Valley. The Planning Area is located on the valley floor, in
the Central Valley province. This region covers the central and western parts of the county
which are underlain by marine and non-marine sedimentary rocks.

The Central valley is an area of relatively low tectonic activity bordered by mountain ranges
on either side. The Sierra Nevadas are the result of movement of tectonic plates, which
resulted in the creation of the mountain range. The Coast Ranges on the west side of the
Central Valley are also a result of these forces, and continued movement of the Pacific and
North American tectonic plates continues to elevate the ranges. Most of the seismic
hazards in Madera County result from movement along faults associated with the creation of
these ranges.




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                        Environmental Determination


There are no active or potentially active faults of major historic significance within the
Planning Area. The County does not lie within any Alquist Priolo Special Studies Zone for
surface faulting or fault creep.

However, there are two significant faults within the larger region that have been and will
continue to be, the principle sources of potential seismic activity within Madera County.

San Andreas Fault : The San Andreas Fault lies approximately 45 miles west of the county
line. The fault has a long history of activity and is thus a concern in determining activity in
the area.

Owens Valley Fault Group: The Owens Valley Fault Group is a complex system containing
both active and potentially active faults on the eastern base of the Sierra Nevada Range.
This group is located approximately 80 miles east of the County line in Inyo County. This
system has historically been the source of seismic activity within the County.

The Draft Environmental Impact Report for the state prison project near Fairmead identified
faults within a 100 mile radius of the project site. Because of the close proximity, the state
prison project information provides a good indicator of the potential seismic activity which
might be felt within the Planning Area. Fifteen active faults (including the San Andreas and
Owens Valley Fault Group) were identified in the Preliminary Geotechnical Investigation.
Four of the faults lie along the eastern portion of the Sierra Nevada Range, approximately
75 miles to the northeast of Fairmead. These are the Parker Lake, Hartley Springs, Hilton
Creek and Mono Valley Faults. The Remaining faults are in the western portion of the San
Joaquin Valley, as well as within the Coast Range, approximately 47 miles west of
Fairmead. Most of the remaining 11 faults are associated with the San Andreas, Calaveras,
Hayward and Rinconada Fault Systems, which collectively form the tectonic plate boundary
of the Central Valley.

In addition, the Clovis Fault, although not having any historic evidence of activity, is
considered active within quaternary time (within the past two million years), is considered
potentially active. This fault line lies approximately six miles south of the Madera County
line in Fresno County. Activity along this fault could potentially generate more seismic
activity in Madera County than the San Andreas or Owens Valley fault systems. However,
because of the lack of historic activity along the Clovis Fault, there is inadequate evidence
for assessing maximum earthquake impacts.




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                         Environmental Determination


According to the Madera County General Plan Background Report, groundshaking is the
primary seismic hazard in the Planning Area and the rest of Madera County. The valley
portion of Madera County is located on alluvium deposits, which tend to experience greater
groundshaking intensities than areas located on hard rock. Therefore, structures in the
valley will tend to suffer greater damage from groundshaking than those located in the
foothill and mountain areas.

Liquefaction is a process whereby soil is temporarily transformed to a fluid form during
intense and prolonged ground shaking. Areas most prone to liquefaction are those which
are water-saturated (specifically where the water table is less than 30 feet below the
surface), and consist of relatively uniform sands that are loose to medium density. The
Madera County General Plan Background Report recognizes that although there are areas
in Madera County, and within the Planning Area, where the water table is at 30 feet or less
below the surface, soil types in these areas are not conducive to liquefaction because they
are either too coarse in texture or too high in clay content; the soil types mitigate against the
potential for liquefaction.

The General Plan Background Report (Chapter 7) identifies landslide risk by geographic
areas in Madera County, and then classifies them further by “risk categories.” There is no
risk of large landslides in the valley area of the county, since it is essentially flat and
topographically featureless. The entire Planning Area is categorized as a “no risk” area,
typical of flatlands, valley bottoms, and “areas of minimal topographical relief.”

The project proposes to provide a community sewage system which treats to at least a
tertiary degree, eliminating the need of septic systems and leech fields. The installation of a
community sewer system will eliminate the need for septic systems within the planning area.

Environmental Impacts and Mitigation Measures

Would the project:
       a)     Expose people or structures to potential substantial adverse effects, including
              the risk of loss, injury, or death involving:
              i)      Rupture of a known earthquake fault, as delineated on the most
                      recent Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zoning Map issued by the
                      State Geologist for the area or based on other substantial evidence of
                      a known fault? Refer to Division of Mines and Geology Special
                      Publication 42.




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                             Environmental Determination


                            No Impact. The nearest faults to the project site are the Ortigalita
                            Fault Zone and the San Andreas (Creep) Fault Zone, approximately
                            forty-seven miles southwest and sixty-seven miles southwest of the
                            project site, respectively. No faults are mapped within the planning
                            area. This condition precludes the possibility of exposure to fault
                            rupture on the project site. No impacts in this regard would occur.

                   ii)      Strong seismic ground shaking?

                            Less Than Significant. There is no record of any seismic activity
                            originating in Madera County other than tremors on the west side of
                            the San Joaquin Valley, close to the Ortigalita Fault. All of California,
                            including the planning area, is subject to earthquake risks. According
                            to the California Geological Survey, the maximum expectable
                            earthquake intensity in the project’s vicinity is considered minimal as
                            ground motions are predicted to have a 10%-20% probability of being
                            exceeded in 50 years. Compliance with California seismic design
                            requirements would ensure that the project site would not expose
                            persons or property to strong seismic ground shaking hazards.
                            Impacts in this regard would be less than significant.

                   iii)     Seismic-related ground failure, including liquefaction?

                            Less Than Significant. The potential for liquefaction is recognized
                            throughout the San Joaquin Valley where unconsolidated sediments
                            and a high water table coincide. As discussed previously under the
                            “Setting”, site conditions, including soil types throughout the planning
                            area, reduce the potential for liquefaction. This condition does not
                            preclude development of the planning area. Section 5-12 of the
                            Madera County Integrated Solid Waste Management Project EIR
                            notes the potential impact from liquefaction is less than significant.
                            Compliance with California seismic design requirements would ensure
                            the project site would not expose persons or property to liquefaction
                            hazards. Impacts in this regard would be less than significant.

                   iv)      Landslides?




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                               Environmental Determination


                            No Impact. The planning area is an “area of minimal topographical
                            relief,” which precludes the possibility of landslides. Elevation ranges
                            from 235 ft to 265 ft throughout the Fairmead area, including slopes
                            less than 1%. No impacts in this regard would occur.

        b)        Result in substantial soil erosion or the loss of topsoil?

                   Less than Significant. Implementation of the proposed Plan would result in
                   erosion impacts resulting from construction of nonagricultural development
                   and related infrastructure improvements. Further impacts will result from
                   increased impervious surfaces in areas designated for future development.
                   Average grade in the Planning Area is .2%, therefore erosion impacts will be
                   less than significant. Site specific erosion issues are regulated via the
                   County Grading Ordinance.

         c)        Be located on a geologic unit or soil that is unstable, or that would become
                   unstable as a result of the project, and potentially result in on- or off-site
                   landslide, lateral spreading, subsidence, liquefaction or collapse?

                   Less than Significant. As discussed previously in “Setting,” the planning
                   area is essentially flat and topographically featureless, presenting very little
                   risk of landslide or later spreading subsidence. Soil conditions and a very low
                   water table decrease the risk of liquefaction. Furthermore, adherence to the
                   CBC requirements and the County’s Grading Ordinance would ensure that
                   the potential for landslide, lateral spreading, subsidence, liquefaction, or
                   collapse would be less than significant.

         d)        Be located on expansive soil, as defined in Table 18-1-B of the Uniform
                   Building Code (1994), creating substantial risks to life or property?

                   No Impact. The planning area contains Alamo and San Joaquin soils with
                   poor shrink-swell ratings, both indicating the greatest potential limitation
                   (USDA- NRCS Soil Survey). The project will adhere to the grading and
                   foundation requirements of the California Buildings Standards Code (CBSC).
                   These requirements set forth standards for soil engineering that ensure
                   building foundations are adequately supported. Adherence to CBSC
                   standards would ensure that persons and structures are not exposed to




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                             Environmental Determination


                   hazards from shrinking and swelling of soils. There will not be any
                   substantial risk to life or property.

        e)         Have soils incapable of adequately supporting the use of septic tanks or
                   alternative wastewater disposal systems where sewers are not available for
                   the disposal of wastewater?

                   Less than Significant. The Plan proposes to provide a wastewater disposal
                   system to the planning area, therefore it is anticipated that there will be no
                   need for an in-ground septic tank system. The proposed community sewer
                   system will provide treatment to at least a tertiary degree; therefore, no leech
                   fields are required. If it is determined that there is the need for a septic tank,
                   percolation tests and soil analysis must be preformed prior to the issuance of
                   grading or building permits.




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                               Environmental Determination


7.       HAZARDS AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
                                                                 Less Than
                                                   Potentially   Significant   Less Than
                                                   Significant   With          Significant     No
  Environmental Issues                             Impact        Mitigation    Impact          Impact
  Hazards and Hazardous Materials
  Would the project:
      a) Create a significant hazard to
         the public or the environment
         through the routine transport,
         use, or disposal of hazardous
         materials?
      b) Create a significant hazard to
         the public or the environment
         through reasonably
         foreseeable upset and
         accident conditions involving
         the likely release of
         hazardous materials into the
         environment?
      c) Emit hazardous emissions or
         handle hazardous or acutely
         hazardous materials,
         substances, or waste within
         one-quarter mile of an existing
         or proposed school?
      d) Be located on a site which is
         included on a list of
         hazardous materials sites
         compiled pursuant to
         Government Code Section
         65962.5 and, as a result,
          would it create a significant
          hazard to the public or the
          environment?




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration   Environmental Determination


      e) For a project located within an
          airport land use plan or,
          where such a plan has not
          been adopted, within two
          miles of a public airport or
          public use airport, would the
          project result in a safety
          hazard for people residing or
          working the project area?
      f) For a project within the vicinity
          of a private airstrip, would the
          project result in a safety
          hazard for people residing or
          working in the project area?
      g) Impair implementation of or
         physically interfere with an
         adopted emergency response
         plan or emergency evacuation
         plan?
      h) Expose people or structures
         to a significant risk of loss,
         injury or death involving
         wildland fires, including where
         wildlands are adjacent to
         urbanized areas or where
         residences are intermixed
         with wildlands?




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration               Environmental Determination


                                                   Exhibit 5




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                     Environmental Determination


                                                   Exhibit 6




Setting

There are relatively few identified and mapped hazardous material locations with the
Planning Area. All hazardous material locations and materials are detailed in Table 4.




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                             Environmental Determination




                                                   Table 4

Hazardous Materials Sites
Facility Name                     Address            Materials                            Parcel #
VERIZON WIRELESS –                22858 ROAD         Diesel Fuel, Excide (wet cell        027-091-
FAIRMEAD                          18 1/2             batteries)                           015
                                                     Acetylene Gas, Chevron Ultra
                                                     Duty Grease EP NLGI 2,
                                                     Unleaded Gasoline, Drive Train
MADERA DISPOSAL                   21739 ROAD         Oil, Diesel, Hydraulic Oil,          027-192-
SYSTEM, INC                       19                 Chevron Solvent 51 L, Chevron        031
                                                     Ultra Duty grease EP NLGL I,
                                                     Oxygen, Anti-Freeze, Propane,
                                                     Gear Oil
                                                     Gastoxin (57% Aluminum
DUREY LIBBY EDIBLE                21721 ROAD                                              027-202-
                                                     Phosphide, 43% Hydrogen
NUTS, INC                         20                                                      024
                                                     Phos)
WHITAKERS 4X4                     1500 N                                                  027-202-
                                                     Waste Oil
HEAVEN                            GATEWAY DR                                              024
                                  47
                                                                                          027-202-
MCDONELL BROS                     ROBERTSON          Oxygen
                                                                                          024
                                  BLVD



The Landfill located within the planning area is the only permitted solid waste disposal
facility in Madera County. In the year 2000, 90,531 tons of waste were generated in the
County and, based on State Department of Finance population projections, this is expected
to increase to over 217,000 tons in the year 2030. Section 13-23 of the Madera County
Integrated Solid Waste Management Project EIR notes that the municipal solid waste
stream contains small quantities of hazardous wastes that result from disposal of household
waste and waste from small-quantity generators such as auto repair, auto dealers, and gas
stations. If not correctly managed and controlled, these wastes could potentially lead to
negative impacts on human health and the environment.

According to the General Plan Background Report, the Fairmead site is located within the
Insurance Services Office (ISO) fire insurance classification 9 (1 is the best fire protection,
10 is the worst), as is much of the unincorporated area of the County. Factors included in




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                          Environmental Determination


this classification include fire department location, equipment, and staffing; water supply;
and communication abilities. The planning area is within the jurisdictional authority of the
County Fire Department. The County operates and equips 16 fire stations, the closest fire
station to Fairmead is Volunteer Station No. 2 located in Chowchilla, approximately three
miles north from planning area boundaries.

Wildland fire hazards exist in varying degree over approximately two-thirds of Madera
County, to the north and east of the Madera Canal. Vegetation in the foothills and mountain
areas is generally more dense and fire-prone than in urban areas. The planning area is
located on the valley floor and is southwest of the Madera Canal. Wildland fires are not a
significant concern within the planning area.

Would the project:
       a)     Create a significant hazard to the public or the environment through the
              routine transport, use, or disposal of hazardous materials?
       b)     Create a significant hazard to the public or the environment through
              reasonably foreseeable upset and accident conditions involving the release of
              hazardous materials into the environment?

                   a-b) Less than Significant: Existing and future uses in the planning area
                   require the limited use of hazardous materials (most commonly involving
                   propane and gasoline). Existing federal, state, and local laws provide
                   protections from these hazards. Consistency with these laws and policies
                   would limit hazards to the public from the use of these materials. While
                   operations within the planning area would involve the use, storage, and sale
                   of hazardous materials, compliance with local, state, and federal regulations
                   would ensure that the proposed Plan would result in a less than significant
                   impact.

                   Highway 99 is used for the regional and statewide transportation of
                   hazardous materials, and runs directly through the planning area. The
                   likelihood of hazardous material transportation within the planning area will
                   increase with buildout of the area and regional traffic increases. However,
                   the safety of such transportation will improve along with planned
                   improvements the planning area’s circulation system. Transportation of
                   hazardous materials is regulated by the California Highway Patrol (CHP),
                   Caltrans, U.S. Department of Transportation, and other regulatory agencies
                   that provide standards to avoid release.



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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
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         c)        Emit hazardous emissions or handle hazardous or acutely hazardous
                   materials, substances, or waste within one-quarter mile of an existing or
                   proposed school?

                   Less Than Significant. Continued and increased use of the Landfill located
                   within the planning area is the most likely source of hazardous emissions.
                   According to the Madera County Integrated Solid Waste Management Project
                   EIR section 13-1, landfill gas (LFG) consists mostly of methane and carbon
                   dioxide. Potential safety issues associated with LFG are fire hazard, site
                   security, employee and user safety, and hazardous waste. To ensure safety
                   the County Environmental Health Department, California Integrated Waste
                   Management Board (CIWMB), and California Code regulate LFG production,
                   containment, and control, including all aspects of Landfill operations.
                   Additionally, no existing or proposed school is within a quarter-mile of the
                   Landfill. Less than significant impacts in this regard would occur.

                   Three “floating” school sites are proposed in the planning area—all of which
                   are located in and around proposed residentially designated areas. Any
                   future development on properties adjacent to either the existing Fairmead
                   Elementary or proposed school sites will have to comply with all applicable
                   local, State, and federal regulations regarding hazardous material storage,
                   transport, and use. Less than significant impacts in this regard would occur.

         d)        Be located on a site which is included on a list of hazardous materials lists
                   compiled pursuant to Government Code Section 65962.5 and, as a result,
                   would it create a significant hazard to the public or the environment?

                   Less than Significant: Table 4 identifies sites within the planning area
                   known to contain hazardous materials. These sites include a solid waste
                   landfill, underground storage sites, fuel storage, and other small sites.
                   Potential impacts resulting from hazardous material release is addressed in
                   the discussion of accidental release (see item (c) above). Future
                   development as designated by the proposed Plan may result in the discovery
                   of additional hazardous material sites. Compliance with all local, State, and
                   federal regulations relating to hazardous material sites and the mitigation of
                   environmental hazards ensures a less than significant impact.




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
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         e)        For a project located within an airport land use plan or, where such a plan
                   has not been adopted, within two miles of a public airport or public use
                   airport, would the project result in a safety hazard for people residing or
                   working in the project area?

                   No Impact: No airports are located within or adjacent to the planning area.
                   As a result, no impact will be experienced as no applicable airport land use
                   plans exist.

         f)        For a project within the vicinity of a private airstrip, would the project result in
                   a safety hazard for people residing or working the project area?

                   No Impact. No private airstrip is located in the vicinity of the planning area.
                   Therefore, no impact will result from private airstrips and conflicting land
                   uses.

         g)        Impair implementation of or physically interfere with an adopted emergency
                   response plan or emergency evacuation plan?

                   Less Than Significant. The proposed Plan does not involve any uses or
                   policies that may conflict with Madera County’s emergency response plans.
                   County roads provide ample evacuation routes, as well as access to regional
                   routes such as Highway 152 and Highway 99. The provisions provided in the
                   proposed Plan ensure a less than significant impact to the County’s
                   emergency response plans.

         h)        Expose people or structures to a significant risk of loss, injury or death
                   involving wildland fires, including where wildlands are adjacent to urbanized
                   areas or where residences are intermixed with wildlands?

                   Less than Significant. The California Department of Forestry and Fire
                   Protection provides information on fire severity zones within the Planning
                   Area. Exhibit 6 identifies fire severity zones in the planning area. The
                   planning area is made up of Non-Wildland/Non-Urban zones,
                   Urban/Unzoned, and Moderate Risk zones. There are no High or Very High
                   fire severity zones within the planning area. There is a less than significant
                   risk of loss, injury or death involving wildland fires within the planning area,
                   and therefore, a less than significant impact.



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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
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8.       HYDROLOGY AND WATER QUALITY
                                                                 Less Than
                                                   Potentially   Significant   Less Than
                                                   Significant   With          Significant     No
  Environmental Issues                             Impact        Mitigation    Impact          Impact
  Hydrology and Water Quality
  Would the project:
      a) Violate any water quality
         standards or waste discharge
         requirements?
      b) Substantially deplete
         groundwater supplies or
         interfere substantially with
         groundwater recharge such
         that there would be a net
         deficit in aquifer volume or a
         lowering of the local
         groundwater table level (e.g.,
         the production rate of pre-
         existing nearby wells would
         drop to a level which would
         not support existing land uses
         or planned uses for which
         permits have been granted?
      c) Substantially alter the existing
         drainage pattern of area,
          including through the
          alteration of the course of a
          stream or river, in a manner
          which would result in
          substantial erosion or siltation
          on- or off-site?




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration   Environmental Determination


      d) Substantially alter the existing
          drainage pattern of the site or
          area, including through the
          alteration of the course of a
          stream or river, or
          substantially increase the rate
          or amount of surface runoff in
          a manner, which would result
          in flooding on- or off-site?
      e) Create or contribute runoff
          water which would exceed the
          capacity of existing or planned
          stormwater drainage systems
          or provide substantial
          additional sources of polluted
          runoff?
      f) Otherwise substantially
         degrade water quality?
      g) Place housing within a 100-
          year flood hazard area as
          mapped on a federal Flood
          Hazard Boundary or Flood
          Insurance Rate Map or other
          flood hazard delineation map?
      h) Place within a 100-year flood
         hazard area structures, which
         would impede or redirect flood
         flows?
      i) Expose people or structures
         to a significant risk of loss,
         injury or death involving
         flooding, including flooding as
         a result of the failure of a
         levee or dam?
      j) Inundation by seiche,
          tsunami, or mudflow?




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                           Environmental Determination


Would the project:
       a)     Violate any water quality standards or waste discharge requirements?

                   Less than Significant with Mitigation. Implementation of the proposed
                   Project would increase impermeable surface area, and site runoff, potentially
                   contributing typical roadway pollutants to the environment. All storm water
                   pollutants will be contained by the proposed community-wide drainage
                   system.

                   Mitigation Measure:

                   1. The County Engineering Department shall develop a Master Drainage
                      Plan to account for the full build-out of the Fairmead Specific Plan. In
                      order to adequately handle potential storm water runoff flows from
                      planned uses, the drainage system must also be designed to handle
                      potential flood waters.

         b)        Substantially deplete groundwater supplies or interfere substantially with
                   groundwater recharge such that there would be a net deficit in aquifer volume
                   or a lowering of the local groundwater table level (e.g., the production rate of
                   pre-existing nearby wells would drop to a level which would not support
                   existing land uses or planned uses for which permits have been granted)?

                   Less than Significant with Mitigation. The planning area will continue to
                   rely on a community water system. The current Fairmead community water
                   system, Maintenance District 33, serves 166 homes, Fairmead Elementary
                   School, and 71 vacant parcels. Two wells provide supply, producing
                   approximately 200 gallons per minute combined. One well is located on the
                   grounds of Fairmead Elementary, and the other is located near the junction of
                   Maple Street and Yates Street. The existing threat to the water system is the
                   dramatic drop in overall well production—dropping from 500 gpm to as little
                   as 150 gpm. Through a grant from the State of California, the County is
                   currently making substantial upgrades to the water system. Improvements
                   will greatly increase water storage and well production.

                   The Specific Plan outlines the expansion and augmentation of MD 33 to
                   ultimately serve the entire planning area as development takes place.




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                   Policies outlined in the Specific Plan (Chapter 5, Public Facilities and
                   Services) guide the expansion of the water system.

                   The groundwater aquifer in the San Joaquin Valley continues to be depleted
                   through overdraft. The Madera County Integrated Regional Water
                   Management Plan (IRWMP) identifies the planning area as encompassing
                   both the Chowchilla and Madera Subbasins. The report identifies an
                   estimated annual overdraft of 30 acre feet per year (AFY), along with an
                   average 5 foot annual drawdown in the aquifer within the project vicinity.

                   Groundwater depletion issues identified by the IRWMP indicate that any new
                   development project utilizing groundwater in the planning area or vicinity may
                   have a significant cumulative impact upon groundwater conditions.

                   Mitigation Measures:

                   1. New development is required to have water-conserving design and
                      landscaping, including drought resistant landscaping, low-water use
                      irrigation, and low water use fixtures.

                   2. Following the installation of a sewer treatment facility, all landscaping
                      within County right-of-way must utilize reclaimed water. All new
                      developments are encouraged to utilize reclaimed water for landscaping
                      purposes.

                   3. Reclaimed water should be available for agricultural use in the planning
                      area. The County shall coordinate with the Madera Irrigation District and
                      the Chowchilla Irrigation District regarding water reuse for agricultural
                      purposes.

                   4. To further address Valley aquifer overdraft, each development will be
                      required to establish a one-to-one water balance. In other words, for
                      every gallon of groundwater utilized by the subject development, one
                      gallon is required to be recharged back into the aquifer.

                   5. Project applicants shall coordinate with the Chowchilla Water District and
                      Madera Irrigation District for potential use of surface water supplies.




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
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         c)        Substantially alter the existing drainage pattern of the site or area, including
                   through the alteration of the course of a stream or river, in a manner which
                   would result in substantial erosion or siltation on- or off-site?

                   Less than Significant. The entire planning area is generally flat. However,
                   two slightly lower, depressed areas exist that have been mapped as flood
                   zones. While these areas have not been evidenced to receive perennial or
                   even seasonal flows, they have been documented to experience periodic
                   flooding episodes. Since these areas act as local drainages during flood
                   events, they have been established in the Specific Plan as “Fairmead Creek”
                   and “Little Fairmead Creek”. The Plan intends to preserve these naturally
                   low-lying areas for utilization within the overall drainage system. The
                   drainages will be left unchannelized to allow for groundwater recharge and
                   adjacent recreational use. The Drainage Standards for the planning area are
                   contained within Chapter 6 of the Specific Plan.

         d)        Substantially alter the existing drainage pattern of the site or area, including
                   through the alteration of the course of a stream or river, or substantially
                   increase the rate or amount of surface runoff in a manner, which would result
                   in flooding on- or off-site?

                   Less than Significant. See c) above.

         e)        Create or contribute runoff water, which would exceed the capacity of existing
                   or planned storm water drainage systems or provide substantial additional
                   sources of polluted runoff?

                   Less than Significant. The planning area currently does not have a
                   drainage system to control runoff derived from impervious surfaces. The
                   Specific Plan intends to provide a drainage system to 1) account for the flood
                   zone that can potentially inundate the southeastern portions of the community
                   and 2) handle all runoff within the planning area derived from impervious
                   surfaces. The drainage system will be designed to specifically handle the
                   planned build-out of the Specific Plan.




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
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         f)        Otherwise substantially degrade water quality?

                   Less than Significant with Mitigation. The project as proposed will
                   dramatically improve existing water quality and include measures to ensure
                   new development’s impacts to water quality are mitigated. The inclusion of a
                   sewer system will involve the destruction of hundreds of existing individual
                   septic systems, many of which are failing and threatening existing water
                   quality in the community.

                   The new community sewer system will handle all effluent generated by new
                   development and deliver it to a centralized sewer treatment facility. All
                   effluent will be treated to a tertiary level. All storm water runoff generated will
                   be contained in a drainage system, included retention basins which will
                   allows for groundwater percolation.


                   Mitigation Measure:

                   1.       All existing individual septic system must be destroyed and removed
                            upon construction of a new community sewer system.

         g)        Place housing within a 100-year flood hazard area as mapped on a federal
                   Flood Hazard Boundary or Flood Insurance Rate Map or other flood hazard
                   delineation map?

                   Less than Significant with Mitigation. As mentioned in f) above, the
                   southeastern portion of the existing community lies within a flood zone. The
                   flood zone is designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency
                   (FEMA) as flood zone “A”. Zone A includes those areas with a 1% annual
                   chance of flooding and a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year
                   mortgage. Flood elevations within flood zone “A” are unidentified. The
                   drainage systems as detailed in the Specific Plan will be designed to account
                   for potential flood waters and additional storm water runoff from the
                   community.




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                              Environmental Determination


                   Mitigation Measure:

                   2.       The County Engineering Department will conduct a Letter of Map
                            Revision (LOMAR) through the Federal Emergency Management
                            Agency (FEMA) to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
                            The end result of the effort will be to establish potential flood
                            elevations and flows throughout the flood zone.

                   The completion of a LOMAR will enable the County Engineering Department
                   to engage in a Master Drainage Plan that will effectively remove numerous
                   properties and existing residences from the flood zone. It will also eliminate
                   the corresponding requirement for flood insurance. Furthermore, the
                   containment of the flood zone is required for the buildout of the planning area.

         h)        Place within a 100-year flood hazard area structures, which would impede or
                   redirect flood flows?

                   Less than Significant with Mitigation. See item (g) above.

         i)        Expose people or structures to a significant risk of loss, injury or death
                   involving flooding, including flooding as a result of the failure of a levee or
                   dam?

                   Less Than Significant: According to the Madera County General Plan
                   Background Report, the northern fringe of the Planning Area is within the
                   inundation area for the Buchanan Dam. The Office of Emergency Services
                   (OES) is the County’s centralized emergency response agency responsible
                   for organizing and directing emergency services and disaster programs. The
                   OES is responsible for identifying evacuation routes based on updated dam
                   inundation information from the State Office of Emergency Services. Due to
                   the distance to nearest dam and the low probability of dam failure, impacts
                   are considered less than significant (Buchanan Dam is located over 13 miles
                   from the project site).

         j)        Inundation by seiche, tsunami, or mudflow?

                   Less than Significant. The project site is approximately 78 miles inland
                   from the Pacific Ocean and no large hills are located in the vicinity of the



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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                           Environmental Determination


                   project. Consequently, inundation by tsunami or mudflow is unlikely to occur
                   and should not pose a significant hazard to the site. While the potential
                   exists for major earthquakes to trigger seiches at several large lakes located
                   in Madera County; the distance from these water bodies to the project site,
                   lessens the potential impact to less than significant.




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
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9.       LAND USE AND PLANNING
                                                                 Less Than
                                                   Potentially   Significant   Less Than
                                                   Significant   With          Significant     No
  Environmental Issues                             Impact        Mitigation    Impact          Impact
  Land Use and Planning
  Would the project:
      a) Physically divide an
         established community?
      b) Conflict with any applicable
         land use plan, policy, or
         regulation of an agency with
         jurisdiction over the project
         (including, but not limited to
         the general plan, specific
         plan, local coastal program, or
         zoning ordinance) adopted for
         the purpose of avoiding or
         mitigating an environmental
         effect?
      c) Conflict with any applicable
         habitat conservation plan or
         natural communities
         conservation plan?


Setting

Due to its small and cohesive nature, relatively few physical barriers exist in the core
community of Fairmead, the planning area’s most significant community. The most
significant barriers in the planning area includes Highway 99 and the Union Pacific railway
running through the middle of the panning area, which creates an impediment to access for
those attempting to cross to either the east or west side of the highway.

The General Plan is the only policy document relevant to the planning area. The proposed
Plan, per state law, cannot in anyway conflict with the goals and policies of the General
Plan. The proposal is intended to provide a more detailed, area-specific approach catered



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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                             Environmental Determination


to the planning area. No habitat conservation plans or natural community conservation
plans currently exist for the planning area.

Would the project:
       a)     Physically divide an established community?

                   Less than Significant Impact. The proposed Plan incorporates the existing
                   barrier, Highway 99, by enhancing the existing location of the community of
                   Fairmead to the east of the highway, and increasing use and development
                   consistent with the highway. The Plan proposes land uses which will improve
                   existing residential and commercial conditions, increasing the presence of a
                   town center. Land use to the west of the highway will allow for commercial
                   and industrial uses catering to highway transit and regional agricultural uses,
                   however, the majority of this area will remain agriculturally zoned, consistent
                   with the General Plan. The proposed Plan will not cause the physical
                   separation or division of any community, it will instead enhance the existing
                   community and allow for uses along the highway in providing an economic
                   benefit to the planning area.

         b)        Conflict with any applicable land use plan, policy, or regulation of an agency
                   with jurisdiction over the project (including, but not limited to the general plan,
                   specific plan, local coastal program, or zoning ordinance) adopted for the
                   purpose of avoiding or mitigating an environmental effect?

                   Less than Significant Impact. The proposed Plan was crafted to be
                   consistent with the General Plan, as required by state law. All goals and
                   policies are extensions of the General Plan, acting as an implementing arm of
                   the General Plan. Chapter 10 of the proposed Plan details specific areas of
                   consistency with the General Plan.

                   The proposed Plan is also in compliance with the policies set forth in the
                   Countywide Integrated Waste Management Plan and Hazardous Waste
                   Management Plan (CIWMP), both related to the Landfill located within the
                   planning area. The proposed Plan ensures consistency with the CIWMP by
                   improving environmental and public safety to the Fairmead Landfill. Avenue
                   21 ½ adjacent to the Landfill will be improved to a rural arterial with direct
                   access to the Fairmead/Highway 99 interchange. Designated uses around
                   the Landfill permit the expansion of public and quasi-public uses, such as the



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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                          Environmental Determination


                   Landfill. No impacts are considered to occur in relation to the County’s land
                   use plans, policies or regulations.

         c)        Conflict with any applicable habitat conservation plan or natural community
                   conservation plan?

                   No Impact. Currently no Habitat Conservation Plans or Natural Community
                   Conservation Plans exist for Planning Area. No impacts in this regard would
                   occur.




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                               Environmental Determination


10.                MINERAL RESOURCES
                                                                 Less Than
                                                   Potentially   Significant   Less Than
                                                   Significant   With          Significant     No
  Environmental Issues                             Impact        Mitigation    Impact          Impact
  Mineral Resources
  Would the project:
      a) Result in the loss of
         availability of a known mineral
         resource that would be of
         value to the region and the
         residents of the state?
      b) Result in the loss of
         availability of a locally-
         important mineral resource
         recovery site delineated on a
         local general plan, specific
         plan or other land use plan?


Would the project:
       a)     Result in the loss of availability of a known mineral resource that would be of
              value to the region and the residents of the state?

                   No Impact. No known mineral resources have been identified within the
                   planning area. The EIRs for Madera California State Prison (Women’s
                   Facility) and the Fairmead Landfill both do not identify the existence of any
                   know mineral resources in the planning area or vicinity. No impacts in this
                   regard would occur.

         b)        Result in the loss of availability of a locally-important mineral resource
                   recovery site delineated on a local general plan, specific plan or other land
                   use plan?

                   No Impact. No mineral extraction activities exist in the planning area. The
                   Plan does not include any areas designated as locally important mineral
                   resource recovery sites. No impacts in this regard would occur.




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                               Environmental Determination


11.      NOISE
                                                                 Less Than
                                                   Potentially   Significant   Less Than
                                                   Significant   With          Significant    No
  Environmental Issues                             Impact        Mitigation    Impact         Impact
  Noise
  Would the project result in:
      a) Exposure of persons to or
         generation of noise levels in
         excess of standards
         established in the local
         general plan or noise
         ordinance, or applicable
         standards of other agencies?
      b) Exposure of persons to or
         generation of excessive
         groundborne vibration or
         groundborne noise levels?
      c) A substantial permanent
         increase in ambient noise
         levels in the project vicinity
         above levels existing without
         the project?
      d) A substantial temporary or
         periodic increase in ambient
         noise levels in the project
         vicinity above levels existing
         without the project?




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
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      e) For a project located within
          an airport land use plan or,
          where such a plan has not
          been adopted, within two
          miles of a public airport or
          public use airport, would the
          project expose people
          residing or working in the
          project area to excessive
          noise levels?
      f) For a project within the
         vicinity of a private airstrip,
         would the project expose
         people residing or working in
         the project area to excessive
         noise levels?


Setting

Construction noise typically occurs intermittently and varies depending upon the nature or
phase of construction (e.g. demolition/land clearing, grading and excavation, erection). The
United States Environmental Protection Agency has found that the average noise levels
associated with construction activities typically range from approximately 76 dBA to 84 dBA
Leq, with intermittent individual equipment noise levels ranging from approximately 75 dBA
to more than 88 dBA for brief periods.

Short Term Noise

Noise from localized point sources (such as construction sites) typically decreases by
approximately 6 dBA with each doubling of distance from source to receptor. Given the
noise attenuation rate and assuming no noise shielding from either natural or human-made
features (e.g. trees, buildings, and fences); outdoor receptors within approximately 400 feet
of construction site could experience maximum noise levels of greater than 70 dBA when
onsite construction-related noise levels exceed approximately 89 dBA at the project site
boundary. Construction activities that occur during the more noise-sensitive eighteen hours
could result in increased levels of annoyance and sleep disruption for occupants of nearby
existing residential dwellings. As a result, noise-generating construction activities would be




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                     Environmental Determination


considered to have a potentially significant short-term impact. However, with
implementation of mitigation measures, this impact would be considered less than
significant.

Long Term Noise

Mechanical building equipment (e.g. heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, and
boilers), associated with the proposed structures, could generate noise levels of
approximately 90 dBA at 3 feet from the source. However, such mechanical equipment
systems are typically shielded from direct public exposure and usually housed on rooftops,
within equipment rooms, or within exterior enclosures.

Landscape maintenance equipment, such as leaf blowers and gasoline-powered mowers,
associated with the proposed operations could result in intermittent noise levels that range
from approximately 80 to 100 dBA at 3 feet, respectively. Based on an equipment noise
level of 100 dBA, landscape maintenance equipment (assuming a noise attenuation rate of
6 dBA per doubling of distance from the source) may result in exterior noise levels of
approximately 75 dBA at 50 feet. The General Plan has identified the noise levels in table 5
as standards for all County projects.




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                       Environmental Determination


                                                   Table 5

                          MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE NOISE EXPOSURE FOR
                           NON-TRANSPORTATION NOISE SOURCES*

                            Residential               Industrial
                                              Commercial         Industrial Agricultural
                                                         (L)        (H)
 Residential AM            50              60            55         60           60
               PM          45              55            50         55           55
Commercial AM              60              60            60         65           60
               PM          55              55            55         60           55
  Industrial   AM          55              60            60         65           60
     (L)       PM          50              55            55         60           55
  Industrial   AM          60              65            65         70           65
     (H)       PM          55              60            60         65           60
 Agricultural AM           60              60            60         65           60
               PM          55              55            55         60           55
*As determined at the property line of the receiving land use. When determining the
effectiveness of noise mitigation measures, the standards may be applied on the
receptor side of noise barriers at the property line.

AM = 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM
PM = 10:00 PM to 7:00 AM
L = Light
H = Heavy

Note: Each of the noise levels specified above shall be lowered by 5 dB for pure tone
noises, noises consisting primarily of speech or music, or for recurring impulsive noises.
These noise level standards do not apply to residential units established in conjunction
with industrial or commercial uses (e.g. caretaker dwellings).

A community noise survey taken beside Fairmead Elementary school is documented in the
General Plan Background Report. Noise levels in Fairmead were documented as well
within General Plan noise limits, with the loudest noise source coming from trucks traveling
on State Route 99. No major stationary noise sources are located with the planning area.
Major noise generators within the planning area include traffic on State Route 99 and train
traffic on the Union Pacific railway.

Would the project result in:
       a)     Exposure of persons to or generation of noise levels in excess of standards
              established in any applicable plan or noise ordinance, or applicable standards
              of other agencies?




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
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                   Less than Significant with Mitigation. Noise levels associated with
                   construction activities would be higher than the ambient noise levels in the
                   existing project site; however, noise levels would not be substantial and
                   would subside once construction of the proposed project is completed.
                   Short-term impacts would result from heavy equipment performing earthwork
                   for grading, delivery of construction materials, and development of the
                   commercial type project. Standard construction activities such as grading,
                   excavation, site preparation, and development of the construction project are
                   not expected to generate significant ground borne vibrations or ground borne
                   noise levels.

                   While no major sources of stationary noise exist within the planning area, the
                   railway and state highway remain significant noise generators within the
                   planning area. The Land Use section of the Plan focuses, or concentrates
                   growth around the existing community of Fairmead. Common uses include
                   medium density residential and mixed uses. Proposed areas of residential
                   development immediately west of State Route 99 will potentially be impacted
                   by not only highway noise, but railway noise.

                   Mitigation Measure:

                   1. Sound walls must be incorporated as development and other
                      improvements occur within the highway corridors. In particular, Fairmead
                      Boulevard will feature a sound wall along the western boundary of the
                      street, from the northern boundary to the Avenue 21 ½ interchange in the
                      south.

                   This standard will ensure compliance with General Plan maximum noise
                   levels, even for development abutting Fairmead Boulevard.

         b)        Exposure of persons to, or generation of, excessive ground borne vibration or
                   ground borne noise levels?

                   Less than Significant. Groundbourne noise and vibration impacts will result
                   from construction activities as a result of implementation of the proposed
                   Plan. Excessive groundbourne vibration or noise levels are not anticipated
                   during either construction or operations. What vibrations that may occur




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
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                   would be temporary (duration of construction). Impacts resulting from
                   construction will result in a less than significant impact.’

         c)        A substantial permanent increase in ambient noise levels in the project
                   vicinity above levels existing without the project?

                   Less than Significant. Implementation of the proposed Plan would result in
                   an increase in ambient noise levels beyond the low levels currently
                   experienced in the planning area, other than State Route 99 and the Union
                   Pacific railway. Build-out of the proposed Plan will include retail, restaurant,
                   office, and light industrial. Residential units would also increase if the
                   proposed designations experienced full build-out. However, permanent
                   increases in ambient noise levels would be no greater than levels as
                   identified in the General Plan. Therefore, permanent increases in ambient
                   noise levels resulting from the proposed Plan are considered less than
                   significant.

         d)        A substantial temporary or periodic increase in ambient noise levels in the
                   project vicinity above levels existing without the project?

                   Less than Significant. See b) above. Construction noise impacts resulting
                   from future projects with the planning area are expected to be minor and
                   short in duration. Impacts resulting from temporary and periodic increases in
                   noise levels will be less than significant.

         e)        For a project located within an airport land use plan or, where such a plan
                   has not been adopted, within two miles of a public airport or public use
                   airport, would the project expose people residing or working in the project
                   area to excessive noise levels?

                   No impact. No airport land use plan exists for the planning area. Therefore,
                   no impact will result from excessive noise levels in connection with airport
                   use.

         f)        For a project within the vicinity of a private airstrip, would the project expose
                   people residing or working in the project area to excessive noise levels?




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                           Environmental Determination


                   No Impact. There are no private airstrip located within the planning area.
                   Noise levels from the private airstrip are anticipated to have no impact.




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
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12.      POPULATION AND HOUSING
                                                                 Less Than
                                                   Potentially   Significant   Less Than
                                                   Significant   With          Significant     No
  Environmental Issues                             Impact        Mitigation    Impact          Impact
  Population and Housing
  Would the project:
      a) Induce substantial population
         growth in an area, either
         directly (e.g., by proposing
         new homes and businesses)
         or indirectly (e.g., through
         extension of roads or other
         infrastructure)?
      b) Displace substantial numbers
         of existing housing,
         necessitating the construction
         of replacement housing
         elsewhere?
      c) Displace substantial numbers
         of people necessitating the
         construction of replacement
         housing elsewhere?


Setting

According to the Federal Census, the population for the southeastern portion of the City of
Chowchilla and the outlying County areas, including Fairmead, in the year 2000 was
approximately 1,217. 1990 Census data for the exact planning area was unavailable. The
smallest unit of 1990 Census data available (Census Tract 2 Block Group 4) includes much
more land than the actual planning area, including areas outside the city of Chowchilla
which has a much higher growth rate than the planning area. Calculating a growth rate for
this Census block would be highly unrepresentative of population growth within the planning
area. Population data for the existing Fairmead community is shown through data collected
for Maintenance District 33.




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                          Environmental Determination


The jobs-to-housing balance is defined as a measure of an area’s total employment to total
housing units. When the jobs-to-housing ratio exceeds 1.0, the area is considered to have
an excess of jobs, and when the ratio is below 1.0, the area is considered to have a job
deficit. In 2006, the total number of occupations in Madera County based on U.S. Census
estimates was 50,752, and the total number of housing units was approximately 47,671;
thus, the jobs-to-housing ratio in the County in 2006 was estimated at 1.1, indicating a fairly
balanced community (U.S. Census Bureau 2007b).

                                                   Table 6

 Growth Projections for the Existing Fairmead Community (County Maintenance
 District 33)
                     1%               2%           3%        4%         5%              6%
 Forecast
                     Growth           Growth       Growth    Growth     Growth          Growth
 Year
                     Rate             Rate         Rate      Rate       Rate            Rate
 2018                751              829          914       1,007      1,108           1,218
 2028                830              1,010        1,228     1,490      1,804           2,181
 2038                917              1,232        1,651     2,206      2,939           3,906
 2048                1,012            1,501        2,218     3,265      4,787           6,994
 2058                1,118            1,830        2,981     4,833      7,798           12,526


Would the project:
       a)     Induce substantial population growth in an area, either directly (for example,
              by proposing new homes and businesses) or indirectly (for example, through
              extension of roads or other infrastructure)?

                   Less than Significant. The Plan is designed to promote guided smart
                   growth patterns for the Fairmead community. Zoning policies for the planning
                   area dictate new use of the land and development with careful attention to
                   existing neighborhoods. Proposed zoning includes low and medium density
                   housing, a mixed use urban core, and commercial uses drawing economic
                   development to the community. While future growth within the planning area
                   could be substantial, all development will have to adhere to policies as
                   proposed in the Specific Plan. Compliance will ensure that future projects do
                   not have impacts that are significant. Major infrastructure upgrades, including
                   a sewer system, improved water system, and improved roads are vital
                   components needed to realize full build-out.




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 County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                            Environmental Determination


                   The proposed project will foster substantial population growth within the
                   planning area. The estimated population for the build-out of the Planning
                   Area is 9,250, based from 2008 Department of Finance estimates of 3.21
                   persons per household for the County average. However, the General Plan
                   has already designated the Fairmead area as a growth area, wherein the
                   possible impacts of population growth have been analyzed in the General
                   Plan EIR. Since the County General Plan and EIR already consider the
                   impacts of substantial population growth in the Fairmead area, the impacts
                   are considered less than significant.

         b)        Displace substantial numbers of existing housing, necessitating the
                   construction of replacement housing elsewhere?

                   Less than Significant. Infrastructure improvements as identified and
                   necessitated by the proposed Plan will result in the displacement of people
                   and housing. These impacts more specifically will result from the
                   construction of a possible surface water supply, wastewater treatment
                   facilities, and drainage facilities. Consistency with State and federal laws
                   relating to the displacement of existing residents and housing would ensure
                   that impacts of the proposed Plan would be less than significant.

                   One of the new land use proposals for the town center includes Mixed Use
                   Core. The mixed-use designation will allow for future opportunities to
                   increase residential dwellings in the town center. Should future projects in
                   the town center displace housing and/or residents, it is anticipated that overall
                   housing and population increase attributable to the mixed-use designation
                   and increased residential densities would make it unnecessary to require
                   additional housing within the planning area. The proposed Plan allows for
                   additional housing at higher densities. By allowing for increased housing, the
                   proposed Plan would result in a less than significant impact to existing
                   housing or population in the planning area.

         c)        Displace substantial numbers of people, necessitating the construction of
                   replacement housing elsewhere?

                   Less than Significant. See discussion b) above.




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13.      PUBLIC SERVICES
                                                                 Less Than
                                                   Potentially   Significant   Less Than
                                                   Significant   With          Significant     No
  Environmental Issues                             Impact        Mitigation    Impact          Impact
  Public Services
  Would the project result in substantial adverse physical impacts associated with the
  provision of new or physically altered governmental facilities, need for new or physically
  altered governmental facilities, the construction of which could cause significant
  environmental impacts, in order to maintain acceptable service ratios, response times or
  other performance objectives for any of the public services:
      a) Fire Protection?
      b) Police Protection?
      c) Schools?
      d) Parks?
      e) Other public facilities?


Setting

Because the planning area is located in a rural environment, it is not served by some of the
service and utility companies normally associated with developed areas. For example,
sanitary sewer services do not extend to the planning area, such needs are met through use
of individual septic tank and leach field systems.

Fairmead is within the jurisdictional authority of the County Fire Department. The California
Department of Forestry provides contractual fire protection services for the County. The
closest fire station is Volunteer Station No. 2 in Chowchilla.

Law enforcement for the unincorporated area of the County is provided by the County
Sheriff’s Department. According to the General Plan Background Report, the most pressing
problem confronting the Sheriff’s Department is understaffing.

The closest medical facilities to the planning area are the Molina Medical Center and
Madera Community Hospital, both located in Madera, and the Saint Agnes Medial Center in
Fresno.




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Would the project result in substantial adverse physical impacts associated with the
provision of new or physically altered governmental facilities, need for new or physically
altered governmental facilities, the construction of which could cause significant
environmental impacts, in order to maintain acceptable service ratios, response times or
other performance objectives for any of the public services:
        a)     Fire Protection?

                   Less than Significant. The Madera County Fire Department Planning Study
                   was adopted September 18, 2008. The Plan identified the project area as
                   within the 10 and 14 minute travel time for County fire stations. In 2008, a
                   total of 89 responses were conducted in the project area. The Planning
                   Study examines new growth areas and population density thresholds to
                   determine the threshold for a new fire station. The Study recommends that
                   the County adopts fire unit deployment measures based on population
                   density. At build-out, the project would exceed 1,000 people per square mile.
                   For such densities, the Study recommends a 7 minute response time to treat
                   medical patients and confine small fires to the room of origin.

                   The closest fire station to the planning area is approximately three miles
                   away in neighboring Chowchilla. Since other nearby communities such as
                   Chowchilla will also experience population growth at a similar rate to
                   Fairmead, it is reasonable to assume existing stations in nearby communities
                   will be less likely to relied upon for fire response in the future.

                   Therefore, at build-out, the community will need a new fire station able to
                   house twelve people, in order to serve a township with a population from
                   8,000 to 10,000 as projected by the Plan. The proposed site for a future fire
                   station is located at Rd 19 ½ and Yates Ave and is within the village core for
                   optimum access to the rest of the planning area. Development of the
                   additional fire station in accordance with the Plan will ensure impacts are
                   mitigated to less than significant.

         b)        Police Protection?

                   Less than Significant. Drug problems have been identified by the
                   community as a critical problem. As the community’s population grows, the
                   need for the sheriff’s services will only increase. The County will work with the
                   Sheriff’s department to enhance law enforcement services in the planning



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                   area and develop long term provisions for service. In addition, community law
                   enforcement empowerment programs, such as Citizens on Patrol, will help to
                   alleviate demand on law enforcement services. Future expansion of law
                   enforcement services and community involvement will mitigate impacts
                   concerning police protection to less than significant.

         c)        Schools?

                   Less than Significant. Similar to fire and police protection, population
                   growth and development place a higher demand on schools. To
                   accommodate for the increase in demand, the Plan proposes three
                   alternative school sites, in addition to the existing Fairmead Elementary
                   school site. To accommodate the project population, both the Chowchilla
                   Elementary School District and Chowchilla Union High School District
                   indicate the need for a middle school and high school. Fairmead elementary
                   would eventually transition from the current two grades to all six grades. All
                   sites are located adjacent to the village core to ensure easy pedestrian and
                   bicycle access. Development of the additional schools in accordance with the
                   Plan will ensure impacts are mitigated to less than significant.

         d)        Parks?

                   Less than Significant. New development within the planning area must
                   provide park space or fees in lieu of park space, per the Quimby Act. Park
                   space will be developed as identified via in the Land Use Plan, in addition to
                   common areas within individual developments. Park space maintenance will
                   be funded through a Community Service Area that encompasses the entire
                   planning area. New school development should consider joint-use
                   opportunities with green path easements and park space. Impacts on
                   community parks and open space will be less than significant.

         e)        Other public facilities?

                   Less than Significant with Mitigation. New sewer treatment facilities must
                   be equipped with tertiary treatment. Through tertiary treatment, the use of
                   reclaimed water is required for landscaping of public right of way and new
                   development landscaping. Reclaimed water will also be made available for
                   agricultural re-use.



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                   A Preliminary Drainage Master Plan has been developed that accounts for
                   drainage within the entire planning area. Developers must make
                   improvements in relation to the percentage of planning area developed.
                   Retention basins and both Fairmead Creeks handle drainage and provide
                   recreational opportunities for residents.

                   The Plan identifies and plans for sewer, water, and drainage system designs
                   based on planning area build out. All of these systems must be improved as
                   new development occurs within the planning area. The Plan accounts for
                   improvement of these systems as growth occurs.

                   Mitigation Measure:

                       1. Water, sewer, and drainage system designs shall be tailored and
                          phased to handle existing development and project build-out.
                       .




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14.      RECREATION
                                                                 Less Than
                                                   Potentially   Significant   Less Than
                                                   Significant   With          Significant     No
  Environmental Issues                             Impact        Mitigation    Impact          Impact
  Recreation
      a) Would the project increase
         the use of existing
         neighborhood and regional
         parks or other recreational
         facilities such that substantial
         physical deterioration of the
         facility would occur or be
         accelerated?
      b) Does the project include
         recreational facilities or
         require the construction or
         expansion of recreational
         facilities, which might have an
         adverse physical effect on the
         environment?


                    Would the project:
         a)        Increase the use of existing neighborhood and regional parks or other
                   recreational facilities such that substantial physical deterioration of the facility
                   would occur or be accelerated?

                   Less than Significant. The community is currently in need of improved
                   parks and open space areas. The Plan will provide for additional parks by
                   requiring new development within the planning area to provide park space or
                   fees in lieu of park space, per the Quimby Act (County code section 15.03).
                   Future park space is identified in or around neighborhood centers, along
                   greenpaths and main streets, or adjacent to schools to ensure accessibility.
                   Park space maintenance will be funded through a Community Service Area
                   that encompasses the entire planning area. Impacts on the use of
                   neighborhood and regional parks are less than significant.




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         b)        Does the project include recreational facilities or require the construction or
                   expansion of recreational facilities which might have an adverse physical
                   effect on the environment?

                    Less than Significant. Proposed growth will increase demand for additional
                    parks and recreational facilities. The Plan requires new development to
                    create or fund new park spaces in accordance with the Land Use Map.
                    Proposed park spaces are found in residential zones close to the town
                    center, abutting greenpaths, bicycle routes, and various transportation
                    corridors. Parks and recreational facilities will be easily accessible by all
                    residents throughout the community, mitigating further impacts on the
                    environment to less than significant.




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15.      TRANSPORTATION/TRAFFIC

                                                                 Less Than
                                                   Potentially   Significant   Less Than
                                                   Significant   With          Significant     No
  Environmental Issues                             Impact        Mitigation    Impact          Impact
  Transportation/Traffic
  Would the project:
      a) Cause an increase in traffic,
         which is substantial in relation
         to the existing traffic load and
         capacity of the street system
         (i.e., result in a substantial
         increase in either the number
         of vehicle trips, the volume to
         capacity ratio on roads, or
         congestion at intersections)?
      b) Exceed, either individually or
         cumulatively, a level of
         service standard established
         by the county congestion
         management agency for
         designated roads or
         highways?
      c) Result in a change in air traffic
         patterns, including either an
         increase in traffic levels or a
         change in location that results
         in substantial safety risks?
      d) Substantially increase
         hazards due to a design
         feature (e.g., sharp curves or
         dangerous intersections) or
         incompatible uses (e.g., farm
         equipment)?
      e) Result in inadequate
         emergency access?




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      f) Result in inadequate parking
          capacity?
      g) Conflict with adopted policies,
         plans or programs supporting
         alternative transportation (e.g.
         bus turnouts, bicycle racks)?




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                                                   Exhibit 7




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                      Table 7 – Level of Service, Unsignalized Intersections

Level of Service                           Description                       Average Control Delay
                                                                             (sec./car)
A                                          Little or no delay                0 – 10
B                                          Short traffic delay               >10 – 15
C                                          Medium traffic delay              > 15 – 25
D                                          Long traffic delay                > 25 – 35
E                                          Very long traffic delay           > 35 – 50
F                                          Excessive traffic delay           > 50
Unsignalized intersections.

                              Table 8 – Level of Service, Road Segments

Level of          Freeways           Two-lane        Multi-lane      Expressway     Arterial      Collector
service                              rural           rural
                                     highway         highway
A                 700                120             470             720            450           300
B                 1,100              240             945             840            525           350
C                 1,550              395             1,285           960            600           400
D                 1,850              675             1,585           1,080          675           450
E                 2,000              1,145           1,800           1,200          750           500
Capacity per hour per lane for various highway facilities

Within the existing community of Fairmead, a number of transportation modes, including
walking, biking, and driving are all utilized. However, on a regional scale (outside of the
existing community of Fairmead), access primarily relies upon the automobile.

Along with the proposals contained within the Plan to increase residential, commercial, and
industrial uses comes the need to provide a transportation system adequate to handle the
potential traffic created by not only the automobile, but by pedestrians and bicyclists.

The completion of the Highway 99 and Ave. 21 ½ / Rd. 20 interchange will dramatically alter
the primary means of access to Fairmead. Access will be shifted to the south and east,
utilizing Road 20 as the new entrance to the community. The Plan recognizes this change
in the circulation system and designates Road 20 as a main north/south arterial. Avenue 22
½ currently serves as the major east/west thoroughfare and will continue to serve this




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function under the Plan, given the Avenue’s central geographical location in the area.
Within the existing and planned community, blocks are planned to be short (from 300 x 400
feet to 600 x750 feet) and the grid system is to be utilized to increase overall access.

The Specific Plan also incorporates regional transportation policies and plans. In May of
2008, the County General Plan was amended to incorporate policy language for a “Foothill
Freeway”, or Highway 65 to extend along the base of the Sierra foothills east of the project
area. State Route 152 is planned to head east from the existing interchange with State
Route 99 and tie into the future Highway 65. Therefore, the Plan has incorporated the
extension of State Route 152 across the northern boundary of the planning area, with
interchanges located at Road 20 and Road 21.

Would the project:
       a-b) Cause an increase in traffic which is substantial in relation to the existing
              traffic load and capacity of the street system (i.e., result in a substantial
              increase in either the number of vehicle trips, the volume to capacity ratio on
              roads, or congestion at intersections)?
              Exceed, either individually or cumulatively, a level of service standard
              established by the county congestion management agency for designated
              roads or highways?

                   Less Than Significant with Mitigation. The full buildout of the planning
                   area will involve cumulative increases to the local and surrounding circulation
                   system. The land uses incorporated into the Specific Plan will contribute a
                   significant amount of traffic to the planning area’s circulation system.
                   However, the Circulation section of the Plan details significant improvements
                   throughout the planning area that will increase capacity and increase mobility
                   for new development. The project’s location adjacent to major state routes
                   minimizes cumulative traffic increases to County roads. The Plan’s traffic
                   impacts will be centralized within the community, where a mix of industrial,
                   commercial, and residential uses promote shorter trips and increased
                   multimodal transportation. The grid network within the project will encourage
                   the dissipation of cumulative traffic increases in the area.

                   Highway 99 through the project area operated at level of service C before the
                   widening (completion in 2009) and interchange project began. It is expected
                   to provide a significant level of service improvement above existing




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                   conditions. Highway 152 through the project area currently operates at an
                   acceptable level of service.

                   Mitigation Measures:

                   1. More specific project impacts will be analyzed in proportion to each
                      project’s impacts to the planning area’s circulation system and impacts to
                      the state highway system. Project specific mitigations will then be
                      incorporated as appropriate.

                   2. Project specific impacts relating to adjacent state facilities will be
                      assessed and must comply with all necessary mitigation measures as
                      addressed by the Department of Transportation.

                   3. Project specific impacts relating to the County road system will be
                      assessed and must comply with all necessary mitigation measures as
                      addressed by the County Road Department. All mitigations must be in
                      compliance with Specific Plan Circulation standards.

         c)        Result in change in air traffic patterns, including either an increase in air
                   traffic levels or a change in location that results in substantial safety risks?

                   No Impact. Air traffic patterns will not be affected by the by the development
                   of the project. The planning area is not included in any local airport land use
                   plan. No impacts in this regard would occur.

         d)        Substantially increase hazards due to a design feature (e.g. sharp curves or
                   dangerous intersections) or incompatible uses (e.g. farm equipment)?

                   Less Than Significant with Mitigation. No hazardous design features will
                   be included in the project with implementation of the circulation standards.
                   Existing hazardous design features include irregular intersections that meet
                   at less than 90 degree angles, including Sinclair Ave. and Ave. 22 ½ and
                   Maple Street and Fairmead Blvd. To correct this potential hazard,
                   roundabouts are to be utilized that allow for sharp-angle intersections and
                   safe turning movements. The creation of the more traditional, small-block
                   grid system has the potential to create an excessive number of intersections




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                   on arterials and primary collectors. The following measures address potential
                   intersection conflicts:

                   Mitigation Measures:

                   1. Only right-in, right-out movements are permitted at the intersection of the
                      following:
                            i. Town arterial and all local streets and alleys.
                           ii. Primary collectors and all local streets and alleys.

                   2. Utilize landscaped medians to facilitate right-in and right-out traffic
                      movements from local streest and alleys onto town aterials and primary
                      collectors.

                   3. Roundabouts must be individually designed given the number of
                      intersecting streets, street widths, and intersection angle.


                   4. Roundabouts may not be designed for over two lanes (capable of
                      accommodating four lane streets).


                   5. Splitter islands must be utilized to facilitate safe turning movements and
                      pedestrian safety.

         e)        Result in inadequate emergency access?

                   Less Than Significant. Streets will be designed per the standards as
                   outlined in the Specific Plan, Appendix D. The proposed standards allow for
                   the minimum County standards for lane width. Where standards are not
                   provided by the Specific Plan (including intersections), existing County
                   standards shall be utilized. Access for emergency vehicles will not be
                   impeded resulting in a less than significant impact.

         f)        Result in inadequate parking capacity?

                   Less Than Significant. Parking will meet County zoning ordinance
                   requirements and will be adequate for residential, commercial, and industrial
                   development. Impacts in this regard will be less than significant. Shared
                   parking agreements are promoted within the mixed use core and commercial
                   neighborhood areas. Shared parking will allow for the efficient use of parking
                   lots and minimization of parking stalls needed. The amount of entrance/exit




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                   drives for parking areas will also be reduced through the use of shared
                   parking. The use of on-street to encourage the reduction of off-street parking
                   is also promoted.

         g)        Conflict with adopted policies, plans, or programs supporting alternative
                   transportation (e.g. bus turnouts, bicycle racks)?

                   No Impact. As an implementing arm of the General Plan, the Specific Plan
                   expands on policies in support of alternative modes of transportation by
                   outlining bus pullout locations, walkable neighborhoods, and other design
                   elements.




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16.      UTILITIES AND SERVICE SYSTEMS

                                                                 Less Than
                                                   Potentially   Significant   Less Than
                                                   Significant   With          Significant     No
  Environmental Issues                             Impact        Mitigation    Impact          Impact
  Utilities and Service Systems
  Would the project:
      a) Exceed wastewater treatment
         requirements of the applicable
         Regional Water Quality
         Control Board?
      b) Require or result in the
         construction of new water or
         wastewater treatment facilities
         or expansion of existing
         facilities, the construction of
         which could cause significant
         environmental effects?
      c) Require or result in the
         construction of new storm
         water drainage facilities or
         expansion of existing facilities,
         the construction of which
         could cause significant
         environmental effects?
      d) Have sufficient water supplies
         available to serve the project
         from existing entitlements and
         resources, or are new or
         expanded entitlements
         needed?




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      e) Result in a determination by
          the wastewater treatment
          provider, which serves or may
          serve the project that it has
          adequate capacity to serve
          the project’s projected
          demand in addition to the
          provider’s existing
          commitments?
      f) Be served by a landfill with
          sufficient permitted capacity to
          accommodate the project’s
          solid waste disposal needs?
      g) Comply with federal, state,
         and local statutes and
         regulations related to solid
         waste?



                   Would the project:
         a)        Exceed wastewater treatment requirements of the applicable Regional Water
                   Quality Control Board?

                   Less Than Significant with Mitigation. The Plan details improvements to
                   be made for sewer collection, based off the land use plan as proposed. The
                   community currently relies upon individual septic systems. In order to
                   introduce urban uses and densities into the planning area, a community
                   sewer system will have to be installed. Chapter 5 (Public Facilities and
                   Services) outline policy direction for the development of a community sewer
                   system. Appendix A within the Plan contains preliminary calculations for
                   sewer system development, based off the land use proposals with the
                   Specific Plan.




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                   Mitigation Measure:

                   1. The development of a community sewer system serves as adequate
                      mitigation to fulfill the wastewater treatment requirements as required per
                      the Water Quality Control Board. The sewer system will be designed for
                      tertiary treatment and will comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

         b)        Require or result in the construction of new water or wastewater treatment
                   facilities or expansion of existing facilities, the construction of which could
                   cause significant environmental effects?

                   Less than Significant. Both water and wastewater treatment systems will
                   be greatly expanded as a result of the proposed Specific Plan. The existing
                   MD-33 water system will be expanded from its current capacity to handle
                   additional development as growth occurs. The environmental effects that will
                   result from the water system’s expansion will be evaluated pursuant to the
                   environmental review conducted for the development responsible for the
                   water system’s expansion/augmentation.

                   The Specific Plan additionally outlines the creation of a sewer system to
                   handle the proposed land use plan. The sewer treatment facility is planned to
                   be situated adjacent to the Fairmead Landfill. Environmental review pursuant
                   to the development of the treatment plant will be conducted once project
                   design has been completed and the project is ready for implementation. At
                   this point, it is impossible to assess the impacts of a sewer treatment plant,
                   since the system design work has not been completed, nor has the design
                   been completed for the treatment plant itself.

         c)        Require or result in the construction of new storm water drainage facilities or
                   expansion of existing facilities, the construction of which could cause
                   significant environmental impacts?

                   Less Than Significant. As stated in section 8 c-f, a drainage system must
                   be designed and constructed to handle storm water drainage associated with
                   the land use plan. Development of the system will include above and below
                   ground drainage and drainage basins to capture the projected flows.
                   Preliminary drainage calculations are contained in Appendix B of the Specific
                   Plan. A drainage master plan must be designed before system development.



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                   The environmental impacts associated with the development of the drainage
                   system will be evaluated once the drainage system design work is completed.
                   Only when the design is completed can the environmental impacts of the
                   drainage system be accurately assessed. Therefore, impacts from the
                   proposed plan are considered less than significant.

         d)        Have sufficient water supplies available to serve the project from existing
                   entitlements and resources, or are new or expanded entitlements needed?

                   Less Than Significant with Mitigation. The existing Fairmead community,
                   Maintenance District 33 receives its water supply from both the Chowchilla
                   and Madera groundwater basins. The community will continue to rely on
                   existing groundwater supplies until surface water supplies can be made
                   available via Chowchilla Water District and/or Madera Irrigation District.

                   The majority of the planning area is currently not subject to a water district or
                   company. The western portions of the planning area are within the
                   Chowchilla Water District. The Madera Irrigation District is located to the east
                   and south of the project area. Due to declining groundwater levels in the
                   area, the need for supplemental surface water supplies in the future will
                   increase for use and recharge. Therefore, it is vital that to ensure a
                   sustainable, long-term water supply is provided to the community.

                   Mitigation Measure:

                   1. The County is required to coordinate with both the Madera Irrigation
                      District and Chowchilla Water District for additional surface water
                      supplies.

         e)        Result in a determination by the wastewater treatment provider which serves
                   or may serve the project that it has adequate capacity to serve?

                   Less Than Significant. As detailed in part b), the wastewater treatment
                   system will be designed to handle the ultimate buildout of the Specific Plan.

         f)        Be served by a landfill with sufficient permitted capacity to accommodate the
                   project’s solid waste disposal needs?




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                   Less Than Significant. Service is provided by Madera Disposal Systems,
                   which utilizes the Fairmead Landfill located within the planning area. Madera
                   Disposal Systems will serve the solid waste disposal needs for the planning
                   area. This impact is considered less than significant.

         g)        Comply with applicable federal, state, and local statutes and regulations
                   related to solid waste?

                   Less Than Significant. Solid waste must be disposed of following the
                   requirements of the contracted waste hauler, which follows federal, state, and
                   local statutes and regulations related to the collection of solid waste. Since
                   the solid waste stream will be typical for commercial, residential, and
                   industrial development, it is not likely that statutes or regulations would be
                   violated. This impact is considered less than significant.




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17.      MANDATORY FINDINGS OF SIGNIFICANCE
           Mandatory Findings of Significance
                                                                 Less Than
                                                   Potentially   Significant   Less Than
                                                   Significant   With          Significant     No
  Environmental Issues                             Impact        Mitigation    Impact          Impact
      a) Does the project have the
         potential to degrade the
         quality of the environment,
         substantially reduce the
         habitat of a fish or wildlife
         species, cause a fish or
         wildlife population to drop
         below self-sustaining levels,
         threaten to eliminate a plant
         or animal community, reduce
         the number or restrict the
         range of a rare or endangered
         plant or animal, or eliminate
         important examples of the
         major periods of California
         history or prehistory?
      b) Does the project have impacts
         that are individually limited,
         but cumulatively
         considerable? (“Cumulatively
         considerable” means that the
         incremental effects of a
         project are considerable when
         viewed in connection with the
         effects of past projects, the
         effects of other current
         projects, and the effects of
         probable future projects.)




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      c) Does the project have
          environmental effects, which
          will cause substantial adverse
          effects on human beings,
          either directly or indirectly?


         a)        Does the project have the potential to degrade the quality of the environment,
                   substantially reduce the habitat of a fish or wildlife species, cause a fish or
                   wildlife population to drop below self-sustaining levels, threaten to eliminate a
                   plant or animal community, reduce the number or restrict the range of a rare
                   or endangered plant or animal or eliminate important examples of the major
                   periods of California history or prehistory?

                   Less than Significant with Mitigation. As demonstrated in sections one
                   through sixteen above, the proposed Plan is not expected to result in any
                   significant impacts related to biological or cultural resources. Furthermore,
                   adherence to County policies and the mitigation measures as presented
                   above would ensure that the proposed Plan’s impacts are less than
                   significant.

         b)        Does the project have impacts that are individually limited, but cumulatively
                   considerable? (“Cumulatively considerable” means that the incremental
                   effects of a project are considerable when viewed in connection with the
                   effects of past projects, the effects of other current projects, and the effects of
                   probable future projects)?

                   Less than Significant with Mitigation. Cumulative impacts that will result
                   from the implementation of the proposed Plan include potential impacts to
                   water quality, air quality, traffic, and service systems. While development
                   densities and intensities will be increased within the planning area, the
                   increased impact will be offset via mitigation measures as provided through
                   proposed policies in the Specific Plan.

         c)        Does the project have environmental effects which will cause substantial
                   adverse effects on human beings, either directly or indirectly?




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                   Less than Significant with Mitigation. No direct adverse effects on human
                   beings have been identified for the project. However, indirect effects may
                   result from noise impacts, lack of services, and other environmental impacts.
                   All environmental impacts that may have indirect adverse effects on human
                   beings have been addressed in sections one through seventeen. All potential
                   impacts have been mitigated to ensure a less than significant impact.




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SECTION 4:
MITIGATION MEASURES

1.       Listed below is a summary of the proposed mitigation measures and conditions of
         approval for the annexation project that reduce potentially significant impacts. In
         some cases the conditions of approval are required by regulation, but are provided
         for individual projects to increase awareness of the requirement and enhance
         compliance.

2.       The Land Use and Design section of the proposed Specific Plan proposes detailed
         design standards that will mitigate any negative impacts. Such standards include the
         control of building materials and colors to create individual districts with strong and
         consistent architectural character. The Plan outlines standards that require new
         development to create a “sense of place”, in other words, development unique to
         Fairmead.

3.       While all street lighting must comply with the aforementioned code provision, lighting
         would also be required to be scaled to the surrounding uses. A mitigation measure
         is included in Section 5, Public Facilities within the Specific Plan to ensure lighting is
         properly scaled to the surrounding uses.

4.       In order to establish consistency with the Williamson Act, the uses and zones as
         identified in the Specific Plan will not become effective until the subject parcels have
         fully come out of the Williamson Act program. Subject parcels must have either filed
         for nonrenewal (and let the contract run out) or have had their contract(s) canceled
         in compliance with Williamson Act provisions.

5.       The County shall ensure that recycling is available to properties within the Planning
         Area as funding allows.

6.       All construction waste associated with implementation of the proposed Plan shall be
         recycled to the extent feasible.

7.       Light-colored roofs, paints, and driveway materials shall be encouraged.

8.       All commercial dock and delivery areas that accept diesel trucks shall include:




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County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                          Environmental Determination



              a. Signage advising truck drivers to turn off engines when not in use.
              b. Signage advising truck drivers of State law prohibiting diesel idling for more
                 than five minutes.
              c. Auxiliary 110 volt and 220 volt power units so trucks can power refrigeration
                 units or other equipment without idling.

9.       The entire eastern portion of the community is designated to be bordered by a “green
         path” system, including a heavily vegetated multiuse path. Vegetative buffers help to
         minimize agriculture impacts to communities, including pesticide drift and drifting
         dust.

10.      The master drainage plan must incorporate discussion and evaluation regarding
         consistency with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.

11.      The master drainage plan must include a wetland delineation. Consultation is
         required with a qualified biologist.

12.      The County Engineering Department shall develop a Master Drainage Plan to
         account for the full build-out of the Fairmead Specific Plan. In order to adequately
         handle potential storm water runoff flows from planned uses, the drainage system
         must also be designed to handle potential flood waters.

13.      If during the grading or trenching work archaeological evidence is found, all work is
         to stop and the Planning Department is to be notified within 24 hours, or on the first
         workday following for weekends and holidays.

14.      If during the grading or trenching work paleontological evidence is found, all work is
         to stop and the Planning Department is to be notified within 24 hours, or on the first
         workday following for weekends and holidays.

15.      New development is required to have water-conserving design and landscaping,
         including drought resistant landscaping, low-water use irrigation, and low water use
         fixtures.

16.      Following the installation of a sewer treatment facility, all landscaping within County
         right-of-way must utilize reclaimed water. All new developments are encouraged to
         utilize reclaimed water for landscaping purposes.




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County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                         Environmental Determination



17.      Reclaimed water should be available for agricultural use in the planning area. The
         County shall coordinate with the Madera Irrigation District and the Chowchilla
         Irrigation District regarding water reuse for agricultural purposes.

18.      To further address Valley aquifer overdraft, each development will be required to
         establish a one-to-one water balance. In other words, for every gallon of
         groundwater utilized by the subject development, one gallon is required to be
         recharged back into the aquifer.

19.      Project applicants shall coordinate with the Chowchilla Water District and Madera
         Irrigation District for potential use of surface water supplies.

20.      The County Engineering Department will conduct a Letter of Map Revision (LOMAR)
         through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to the National Flood
         Insurance Program (NFIP). The end result of the effort will be to establish potential
         flood elevations and flows throughout the flood zone.

21.      All existing individual septic system must be destroyed and removed upon
         construction of a new community sewer system.

22.      Sound walls must be incorporated as development and other improvements occur
         within the highway corridors. In particular, Fairmead Boulevard will feature a sound
         wall along the western boundary of the street, from the northern boundary to the
         Avenue 21 ½ interchange in the south.

23.      More specific project impacts will be analyzed in proportion to each project’s impacts
         to the planning area’s circulation system and impacts to the state highway system.

24.      Project specific impacts relating to adjacent state facilities will be assessed and must
         comply with all necessary mitigation measures as addressed by the Department of
         Transportation.

25.      Project specific impacts relating to the County road system will be assessed and
         must comply with all necessary mitigation measures as addressed by the County
         Road Department. All mitigations must be in compliance with Specific Plan
         Circulation standards.

26.      Only right-in, right-out movements are permitted at the intersection of the following:



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County of Madera – Fairmead Specific Plan
Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration                             Environmental Determination



                   a. Town arterial and all local streets and alleys.
                   b. Primary collectors and all local streets and alleys.

27.      Utilize landscaped medians to facilitate right-in and right-out traffic movements from
         local streets and alleys onto town arterials and primary collectors.

28.      Roundabouts must be individually designed given the number of intersecting streets,
         street widths, and intersection angle.

29.      Roundabouts may not be designed for over two lanes (capable of accommodating
         four lane streets).

30.      Splitter islands must be utilized to facilitate safe turning movements and pedestrian
         safety.

31.      In order to pursue the development of a sewer system, a preliminary infrastructure
         study must be completed for the community that includes drainage, sewer, and water
         systems, including engineered design and construction costs. The development of a
         community sewer system serves as adequate mitigation to fulfill the wastewater
         treatment requirements as required per the Water Quality Control Board. The sewer
         system will be designed for tertiary treatment and will comply with all applicable laws
         and regulations.




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SECTION 5:
REFERENCES
 General Plan and Environmental Impact Report Madera County, October 1995.
 Madera County Integrated Regional Water Management Plan, April 2008.
 California Department of Finance 2008 Population Projections, April 2008.
 Department of Conservation. 2007. Department of Geological Survey. Alquist-Priolo
         Earthquake Fault Zone Mapping. Website http://www.consrv.ca.gov/cgs/
 Federal Emergency Management Agency. National Flood Insurance Program Flood
       Insurance Rate Map # 06039C0900E September 26, 2008.
 San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District. 2003 PM10 Plan. June 19, 2003.


 San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District. Extreme Ozone Attainment
       Demonstration Plan. October 8, 2004


 San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District. Guide for Assessing and Mitigating
        Air Quality Impacts. January 10, 2002.
 State of California. 2007. California Integrated Waste Management Board. Solid Waste
        Information System Website http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/SWIS/
 United States Department of Agriculture. 2007. Natural Resource Conservation Service.
        Soil Web Survey Website
        http://websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov/app/WebSoilSurvey.aspx
 U.S. Census Bureau. 2000. United States Census 2000. Website http://www.census.gov/




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