Documents
Resources
Learning Center
Upload
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out

Environmental Analyses (Acrobat Format)

VIEWS: 11 PAGES: 74

									3.0 ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSES
This Section of the EIR presents the environmental analysis for the issue areas with potentially significant effects: land use and planning, traffic and circulation, air quality, noise, public services, and public utilities. For each issue, the following information is presented: • • •

Existing Conditions. The Existing Conditions section describes existing baseline conditions for each environmental issue. Impact Assessment. The Impact Assessment section evaluates how the proposed project would affect baseline conditions. Mitigation Measures. The Mitigation Measures identify ways to eliminate or reduce impacts that are considered significant and adverse.

Classification of Impacts
To provide a clear classification of impacts, this EIR may define four types of impacts, including: •

Significant Impact. A significant impact includes effects that exceed established or defined thresholds. For example, traffic volumes that exceed local intersection level-of-service standards would be considered a significant adverse impact.

•

Potentially Significant Impact. A potentially significant impact includes effects that may be significant but there is insufficient information to verify the magnitude of the effect. For

example, to determine vehicular noise impacts for a new residential development from a nearby roadway requires information on topography, building location and orientation, construction material, window types and treatment, and height and mass of any structure between the residents and the vehicles. Lack of information on these details precludes a definitive statement as to whether interior noise levels meet or exceed local or state standards. • Less Than Significant. Less than significant impacts means effects that are noticeable but do not exceed established or defined thresholds. For example, changes in the development intensity of a site would be perceptible but would not necessarily represent a significant change in land use compatibility, especially if the proposed project conforms to local development standards. Similarly, if the demand for utilities from new development regulations could be handled by existing supply, the effect would not be considered significant.

3.0-1

3.0 Environmental Analysis

•

Beneficial Impacts. Beneficial impacts include noticeable effects that either reduce existing deficiencies or improve upon an existing adverse condition. For example, a proposal to

reconfigure a site to reduce the number of driveways and curb cuts that can interfere with traffic flows would be considered a beneficial effect of the proposal.

Thresholds, of significance criteria, are defined for each environmental issue. These thresholds are intended to explain to the reader the basis for characterizing the significance of an impact.

For each impact identified as being significantly adverse, the EIR suggests mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate the negative effect. If the mitigation measures would successfully reduce the impact to less than significant, this is stated in the EIR. If, however, the mitigation measures would not successfully minimize these effects to a less than significant level, the EIR classifies these impacts as “unavoidable significant effects.”

3.0-2

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.1 Land Use and Planning
3.1.1 Introduction
This section of the EIR describes exiting and proposed land uses in and around the Project Area and the potential impacts of the Project on these conditions. In addition, this section provides plan analysis with other relevant plans, including the General Plan, the Zoning Ordinance, and San Mateo County Comprehensive Airport Land Use Plan.

The Initial Study concluded that the proposed project would not physically divide an established community or physically disrupt the surrounding land uses. Furthermore, the Initial Study determined that the proposed project would not conflict with any adopted City plan or policy or other relevant plans, such as, the San Carlos General Plan, Zoning Ordinance, Habitat Conservation Plan, Natural Community Conservation Plan, or other approved local, regional, or state habitat conservation plan in the Project Area and its vicinity. Therefore, these topics will not be discussed in the EIR.

3.1.2 Environmental Setting
Project Location and Surrounding Uses
The Project Area is located on the west-side of the San Francisco Bay in the mid-San Francisco Peninsula, with Belmont to the north, and Redwood City to the northeast and south (see Figure 2.0-2, Regional Location). Regional access to the Project Area is directly available from Bayshore Highway (US 101), within the Project Area and from the Joint Powers Board (JPB) rail line, along the western edge of the Project Area.

Adjacent Uses
Several jurisdictions or dedicated pieces of open space surround the City of San Carlos. The City of Belmont and San Mateo County bound the northern1 border; the City of Redwood City and Bair Island Refuge (part of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge) bound its eastern border; the City of Redwood City and San Mateo County bound the southern border; and San Mateo County;

1

The true direction of north is northwest and the true direction of south is southeast. However, for the purpose of this EIR northwest is north and southeast is south. 3.1-1

3.1 Land Use and Planning

Pulgas Ridge Open Space, the City and County of San Francisco, and San Francisco Peninsula Watershed bound the western project border.

The Project Area is surrounded by mixed commercial, industrial, office and residential developments (in Redwood City) to the north, south, and west. A portion of the Harbor Industrial Area (HIA) is north of the Project Area. This area is designated “Light Industrial” by the County of San Mateo and is comprised of various industrial land uses including manufacturing and warehousing.

Redwood Shores, located in the City of Redwood City, is located northeast of the Project Area, between the Belmont and Steinberger Sloughs. Foster City is located further northeast from Redwood Shores. Developed originally in 1966, Redwood Shores is a mixed development of commercial and residential uses. East of the Project Area is Bair Island and some unnamed islands, and an undeveloped part of Redwood City. The Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge is located along the bay side of Bair Island. The Port of Redwood City is located across Redwood Creek from Bair Island. The land uses immediately south of the Project Area are predominately Redwood City residents. Lastly, the western portion of the City of San Carlos is west of the JPB railroad tracks (western project boundary) and is comprised of a mixed development, including commercial and residential.

Site Land Uses
The approximately 600-acre Project Area is currently comprised of various land uses including regional retail, industrial, industrial parks, commercial, mixed use and residential. Residential homes are located along both side of Holly Street and in dense pockets between Old County Road and Industrial Road. The industrial parks are generally located along the east side of Industrial Road between Bransten Road and Bing Street and along Brittan Avenue between Old County Road and Industrial Road and with some minor pockets on the west side of Industrial Road, as well. The San Carlos Airport dominates the Project Area east of US 101. The remainder of the Project Area is mainly comprised of light industrial, commercial and mixed uses.

3.1.3

Other Plans and Policies Related to the Proposed Project

The San Mateo County Comprehensive Airport Land Use Plan (CLUP) is a noteworthy planning document relevant to the Project Area. Although this document is not regulated by the City, consistency with the Plan will influence the City’s decisions and reviews of future development plans in the Project

3.1-2

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.1 Land Use and Planning

Area. Thus, even though CEQA requires that lead agencies consider a project’s consistency only with adopted plans and policies, information relevant to this planning document is listed below.

San Mateo County Comprehensive Airport Land Use Plan (December 1996)
The San Mateo County Comprehensive Airport Land Use Plan (CLUP) is the key to implementation of Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC) policies related to proposed land development in the areas surrounding each airport in San Mateo County. It provides the standards, criteria, and policies on which the compatibility of proposed local agency land use policy actions are determined. It also establishes the planning boundaries around each airport that define height/airspace protection, noise, and safety areas for policy implementation.

The CLUP applies to the geographic areas in various cities and unincorporated county areas in San Mateo County that are impacted by aircraft noise, height limitations/airspace protection, and safety criteria. The San Carlos Airport falls under this jurisdiction. The major concerns of the CLUP fall into the following three categories: • • •

Aircraft Noise Impact Reduction: Reduce the exposure of people to noise impacts from airport and aircraft operations. Safety of Persons on the Ground and in Aircraft in Flight: Minimize the number of people exposed to hazards related to aircraft operations and accidents. Height Restrictions/Airspace Protection: Protect the navigable airspace around airports for the safe and efficient operation of aircraft in flight.

The CLUP provides a basis for determining the compatibility of proposed land use actions with relevant land use compatibility provisions found in the Plan. While the CLUP provides a guide to achieve compatible land uses near the San Carlos Airport, some development already exists that may be inconsistent with the compatibility policies and guidelines found in the Plan. The CLUP is directed at preventing future incompatible land uses from developing in the project vicinity of the San Carlos Airport, not at removing existing incompatible uses.

The ALUC implements a State statute to further airport and land-use compatibility in the San Carlos Airport environs. The Commission delegated this responsibility to its advisory body, the C/CAG

(City/County Area Government) ALUC.

3.1-3

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.1 Land Use and Planning

Among other things, the ALUC reviews proposed buildings or building improvements in the City of San Carlos that could affect air traffic. The ALUC reviews various elements of planned improvements, including hot-air vents, rooftop antenna or other superstructures, outside lighting fixtures, building functions that emit smoke, reflective exterior materials and water features that could attract waterfowl or other birds.

In particular and importantly, the ALUC compares proposed building heights to permitted horizontal surface elevations in the airspace surrounding the airport (the FAA calls these horizontal surface elevations “imaginary surfaces”). For most of the properties in East San Carlos, buildings must be less than 152 feet above mean sea level to insure safe air flights. It is important to note that the datum for these surface elevations is sea level, not existing or proposed grade levels. For example, a 140 foot tall building built on land that is 10 feet above sea level (the average elevation of the Specific Plan Area is between 10 and 14 feet) would be 150 feet above mean sea level.

The imaginary surfaces (that limit proposed building heights) fall below 152 feet above mean sea level along the eastern section of the properties between the US 101 and Industrial Road, approximately between Holly Street and Brittan Avenue, and along Shoreway, between the northern City limits and the Holly Street northbound on-ramp to the US 101. In each of these areas, the solid angle of the imaginary surface descends from the 152 foot elevation toward the San Carlos runway at a 7 to 1 slope (1 foot vertical drop every 7 horizontal feet).

3.1.4 Impact Assessment
Significance Criteria
CEQA defines a significant impact as one which would result in significant land use impacts of the proposed uses and would substantially alter the type of intensity of land use on the Project Area, or that may cause it to be incompatible with surrounding land uses or the overall character of the surrounding neighborhood.

Environmental Analysis
1. The proposed project would not conflict with surrounding land uses in the Project Area and

its vicinity. Therefore, impacts would be less than significant.

3.1-4

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.1 Land Use and Planning

Temporary impacts associated with construction activities include site grading, excavation, and building erection. These activities involve the movement of heavy construction equipment, truck traffic, and construction noise, and air emissions. Construction impacts specifically related to traffic, air quality, and noise, are addressed in Sections 3.2, 3.3, and 3.4, respectively. Cumulatively, businesses and residents located within the Project Area and its surroundings would temporarily experience these effects to varying degrees throughout the construction period. These combined effects of construction activities could potentially create a nuisance to these receptors. Construction noise is identified as a temporary, significant adverse impact. The construction period would extend over a 20 year period, depending on market conditions. However, project construction would occur sporadically and only certain land uses would be individually affected during each phase. To minimize construction-related impacts to

surrounding receptors, various mitigation measures would be required to reduce the impacts of noise, traffic, and air emissions as discussed in these other technical sections of the EIR. construction-related impacts would be a temporary nuisance for surrounding land uses. Overall,

The land uses proposed in the 2003 Specific Plan are generally consistent with existing land uses in the Project Area, and with previously designated land uses in the 1991 Specific Plan. Existing residents in the Project Area, including the residents located on the Project Area’s southern border, are currently located adjacent to industrial and commercial type of businesses. Implementation of the proposed project would not introduce substantially new land uses to the Project Area, but instead would intensify the uses by adding additional square footage. Individual projects would be required to undergo review by

appropriate City Departments and would be required to meet General Plan and Municipal Code regulations, including noise limitations (as listed in the General Plan) and performance standards outlined in the Title 18, Zoning of the Municipal Codes, and other relevant regulations.

In addition, the 2003 Specific Plan includes the following land use and noise policies that would help maintain land use compatibility within and surrounding the Project Area:

Land Use Policies • •

Industrial uses located in the inner core of the Specific Plan Area shall be maintained and strengthened. Subdivision of large, existing industrial parcels shall be strongly discouraged. New uses that manufacture hazardous materials are prohibited throughout the Specific Plan Project Area. Chapter 6.95, Section 25501 (j-l) of the Health and Safety Code defines hazardous materials. This prohibition applies to the manufacturing of hazardous substances, not to the
3.1-5 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.1 Land Use and Planning

storage or use of such materials by industrial or business uses permitted in the Specific Plan Area. • The City shall consider adoption of a lighting ordinance that restricts the type, wattage and placement of outdoor lighting fixtures in new developments in East San Carlos. New lighting should illumine properties and help keep them safe, but should not cause glare or spillover into surrounding neighborhoods. • Multi-family developments and mixed-use developments that include housing should be compatible with the buildings in the surrounding neighborhoods and reflect the character of those buildings. They may, for example, include pedestrian-scale massing elements along the street façade. Landscaping materials may be used to soften or screen multi-family developments. Multi-family or mixed-use developments that abut single-family residential neighborhoods shall be subject to four conditions: a. b. Development shall be no more than 30 feet in height. Development shall be set back 15 feet properties. c. d. Outdoor lighting should not obtrude upon adjoining single-family residential properties. Exceptions to height or density limits shall require a Conditional Use Permit. In addition to findings required for approval of a Conditional Use Permit, the body that grants this Use Permit shall determine that a given project exhibits exceptional architectural design. • Multi-Family developments along the south side of East San Carlos Avenue, between the Laureola Oaks development and the properties abutting Old County Road should not exceed a developed density of 30 units per acre. Land assemblage resulting in a comprehensive versus piecemeal approach to the transition of this area from industrial to multi-family residential is strongly encouraged. • • The City shall explore applying landscape or pedestrian design elements in the Railroad Development Plan to the northeast and southeast corners of Holly Street and Old County Road. City review and approval of telecommunication networks, transmitting and receiving antennae, transmitter equipment and equipment sheds, and other components of interstate or intrastate telecommunications services, shall comply with the 1996 Telecommunications Act. • New industrial or technical businesses that produce toxic or noxious by-products, generate persistent and high levels of noise, use substantial amounts of hazardous chemicals or substances, require high levels of outside illumination or conduct operations around the clock or well into the night, should be located in industrial areas, at safe and reasonable distances from residential neighborhoods.
3.1-6 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

from adjoining single-family residential

3.1 Land Use and Planning

•

New development (new buildings) in the industrial area shall incorporate building materials or electric-powered systems that help conserve natural resources. “Skin-dominated” buildings (residences) should incorporate materials that conserve natural materials and resources. “Internal-load” dominated buildings (e.g. office buildings) should incorporate energy efficient equipment and lighting fixtures.

Noise Policies •

Land uses that are sensitive to industrial or other noises, that are also proposed in areas that have an outdoor CNEL of 60 or more, as described in the General Plan Noise Element, shall require acoustical analysis and sound attenuation or mitigation measures to bring indoor and outdoor noise levels within the limits prescribed by the General Plan, to the maximum extent feasible.

• •

Collector roads serving residential neighborhoods should include landscape buffers or insulating walls to mitigate traffic noise. New development that introduces or adds a disparate use into an industrial or commercial area (e.g. a proposal to add housing next to an industrial or office use) shall place a buffer between new and existing uses. A buffer mitigates the impact one use might otherwise have on other uses. Buffering elements include another, less sensitive use, lush landscape materials and decorative architectural structures and large amounts of space between different land uses. Buffering elements shall effectively reduce noise levels.

•

To minimize traffic noise, vehicles in the Specific Plan Area shall travel at no more than 35 mph. (Speed limits vary in the Specific Plan Area, but are never more than 35 mph. For example, the speed limit for local streets—largely east-west streets that are not arterial streets—is 25 mph).

As mentioned above, the proposed project would not result in the introduction of substantially new land uses. The Project Area is already fully developed and characteristic of mixed development including industrial, commercial, and residential uses. Implementation of the proposed project would intensify existing land uses and could add some regional retail and hotel uses. However land use compatibility with sensitive receptors located within the Project Area and its vicinity, would be ensured through the planning process of individual projects and through implementation of the 2003 Specific Plan policies.

2.

The Proposed Project would not conflict with CLUP. Therefore, the project would have less than

significant impacts associated with CLUP consistency.
3.1-7 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.1 Land Use and Planning

The ALUC reviews proposed changes to the General and Specific Plans, and Zoning Ordinances or Zoning Maps that would affect land uses within the San Carlos Airport environs. After review, the ALUC makes recommendations to C/CAG. C/CAG makes a final determination on the consistency of the proposed land use, based on the ALUC recommendation.

The Lead Agency (City of San Carlos) will submit a letter of referral to the ALUC requesting an official review for plan consistency determination prior to the adoption of the Final EIR and 2003 Specific Plan.

3.1-8

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.2 Traffic and Circulation
3.2.1 Introduction
This section of the EIR analyzes transportation impacts resulting from the implementation of the proposed project. The information is based on current traffic movements and computer models prepared for the proposed project by Hexagon Transportation Consultants. Potential impacts to local

intersections, designated Congestion Management Plan (CMP) roadways, and parking were evaluated.

The Initial Study concluded that the proposed project would provide beneficial impacts to the circulation in the Project Area. The proposed project would include policies intended to increase and improve circulation (specifically for pedestrians) in the Project Area, as well as between East and West San Carlos. The Initial Study also determined that the project would not increase hazards or impact emergency access. Therefore, these topics will not be discussed in the EIR.

3.2.2 Environmental Setting
Street System
The approximately 600-acre Project Area encompasses the entire eastern portion of San Carlos from Old County Road to the west and the City limits to the north, south, and east. The major arterial streets1 in the Project Area include Brittan Avenue, Holly Street, Howard Avenue, Industrial Road, Old County Road, Shoreway Road, and Skway Road. These streets link residential, commercial and industrial districts to freeway access and provide convenient access to different parts of the Project Area. In addition, these streets also act as the major service and evacuation routes for emergency situations.

Transportation Facilities
Transportation facilities provide for the movement of goods and people generally along fixed routes on a fixed schedule in contrast to the circulation system of roads for private automobiles and trucks that permit random movement. Three modes of transportation are readily available to San Carlos: rail, road, and air.

1

Arterial streets comprise the major network of streets within the community. 3.2-1

3.2 Traffic and Circulation

Rail Facilities Rail service to San Carlos consists of the Joint Powers Board (JPB) railroad line from San Jose to San Francisco. The railroad provides both customer and freight services through the City. A significant portion of San Carlos residents work ourside of San Carlos. Significant energy savings results by those who use the commuter trains rather than driving private automobiles.

Public Bus The San Mateo Transit District provides inter-county bus services to all of the cities of San Mateo County. Local service is available to most parts of San Carlos and commuter service is available via express routes along US 101.

Air The San Mateo County Airport at San Carlos is a general aviation facility located in the eastern portion of the City. The airport is primarily oriented for private planes used for business and pleasure. For international flights, San Carlos residents must rely on the San Francisco International Airport and the Oakland Airport. San Francisco International Airport can be reached by San Carlos residents in three ways; 1) by private vehicle; 2) by SamTrans bus; and 3) by train/Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) connections.

Existing Conditions
In 2000, Hexagon Transportation Consultants conducted a city-wide analysis (San Carlos Major Intersection Study Result) of the effects that future projects would have on City intersections and to identify traffic impacts associated with proposed new development. The existing traffic volumes for the proposed project were taken from traffic counts conducted for this study. In order to ensure accuracy of the existing traffic volumes, Hexagon performed an analysis to measure and compare existing traffic in the eastern portion of San Carlos to traffic volumes from the year 2000. This involved taking new traffic counts on Industrial Road and on Holly Street. The new counts were essentially identical to the year 2000 counts. Given this, the EIR assumes that basing the project’s traffic analyses on the 2000 study is valid.

Baseline Conditions
Baseline volumes were estimated taking existing traffic and adding traffic generated by proposed developments, both approved and potential. The magnitude of traffic generated by the baseline projects was estimated by applying the applicable trip generation rates published in the Institute of Transportation

3.2-2

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.2 Traffic and Circulation

Engineers (ITE) manual entitled Trip Generation, sixth edition, 1997 to the size of the developments. Since some of the project sites are currently occupied, credit was taken for traffic associated with existing land uses. The trip generation of the baseline developments was then reduced by the traffic generated by the existing uses. Trip generation estimates for both existing and baseline land uses are described in Table 7 of the San Carlos Major Intersection Study Result available for viewing at City Hall, 600 Elm Street, San Carlos.

Since different land uses would generate different travel patterns, the proposed new developments were categorized as either residential or non-residential developments in order to simplify the analysis. The trip distribution used for the residential developments was estimated based on the home based work trip distribution used in the San Mateo County travel demand forecast (TDF) model. The trip distribution used for the non-residential developments was estimated based on the employment trip distribution used in the San Mateo County TDF model. The trip distribution patterns for the residential and the nonresidential developments are shown graphically below in Figure 3.2-1, Home Based Work Trip Distribution and Figure 3.2-2, Employment Trip Distribution.

Methodology
The intersection analysis is based on level of service. See Table 3.2-1, Intersection of Level of Service Definitions Based on Volume-to-Capacity Ratio and Table 3.2-2, Level of Service Criteria for Unsignalized Intersections. As shown in the tables, six levels are defined from LOS A, as the best operating conditions, to LOS F, as the worst operating conditions. LOS E represents “at capacity” operations. When volumes exceed capacity, stop-and-go conditions result and operations are designated as LOS F.

The San Mateo County Congestion Management Program (CMP) requires that the 1994 Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) method to be used to analyze both signalized and unsignalized intersections in San Mateo County. The LOS software used for this analysis is TRAFFIX, which is based on the 1994 HCM method for signalized and unsignalized intersections. TRAFFIX evaluates intersection operations on the basis of average delay for all vehicles and volume-to-capacity (V/C) for critical movement at the intersection. For this analysis, intersection operations were checked using both average delay and V/C ratio: signalized intersection levels of service were calculated based on V/C ratio and unsignalized intersections levels of service were calculated based on average delay.

3.2-3

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.2 Traffic and Circulation

According to the 2000 city-wide intersection study, existing peak-hour traffic volumes were obtained from manual turning-movement counts performed in June and September of 2000 and February of 2001. For the signalized intersections, with the exception of adjacent intersections on El Camino Real and Old County Road, the existing signal timing and phasing were obtained from the City of San Carlos and used as an input when calculating intersection LOS. The signal timing used in the El Camino Real and Ralston Avenue Signal Coordination Project – Draft Timing Report by Kimley-Horn & Associates, dated February 16, 2001, was used for intersections on El Camino Real and Old County Road. Adjacent intersections were analyzed as one intersection with the volume/capacity (V/C) ratio calculated manually. Intersection lane configurations were obtained from field observations.

Although 29 intersections were analyzed in the 2001 traffic report, the following 18 intersections (located with the Project Area and its vicinity) are considered for this analysis. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Industrial Road and Harbor Boulevard Industrial Road and Holly Street Old County Road and Holly Street2 El Camino Real and Holly Street3 El Camino Real and San Carlos Avenue Laurel Street and San Carlos Avenue Elm Street and San Carlos Avenue Laurel Street and Brittan Avenue El Camino Real and Brittan Avenue4 Old County Road and Brittan Avenue5 El Camino Real and Howard Avenue6 Old County Road and Howard Avenue7 Industrial Road and Brittan Avenue Industrial Road and Howard Avenue El Camino Real and St. Francis Way Alameda De Las Pulgas and Brittan Avenue Alameda De Las Pulgas and San Carlos Avenue

Adjacent intersections on El Camino Real and Old County Road were analyzed as one intersection, with level of service based on V/C ratio. All other intersections were analyzed on average delay, as calculated by TRAFFIX. 3 Ibid. 4 Ibid. 5 Ibid. 6 Ibid. 7 Ibid. 3.2-4 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

2

3.2 Traffic and Circulation

This Page Intentionally Left Blank

3.2-6

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.2 Traffic and Circulation

This Page Intentionally Left Blank

3.2-8

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.2 Traffic and Circulation

Table 3.2-1 Intersection Level of Service Definitions Based on Volume-to-Capacity Ratio

Level of Service A B C D

Interpretation
Uncongested operations; all queues clear in a single signal cycle. Very light congestion; an occasional approach phase is fully utilized. Light congestion; occasional backups on critical approaches. Significant congestion on critical approaches, but intersection functional. Cars required to wait through more than one cycle during short peaks. No longstanding queues formed Severe congestion with some long-standing queues on critical approaches. Blockage of intersection may occur if traffic signal does not provide for protected turning movements. Traffic queue may block nearby intersections(s) upstream of critical approach(es). Total breakdown, stop-and-go operation

V/C Ratio
Less than 0.6000 0.600-0.699 0.700-0.799 0.800-0.899

E

0.900-0.999

F

1.000 and Greater

Source: San Carlos Major Intersection Study Results

Table 3.2-2 Level of Service Criteria for Unsignalized Intersections A B C D E F
Source: San Carlos Major Intersection Study Results Less than 5.0 5.1 to 10 10.1 to 20 20.1 to 30 30.1 to 45 Greater than 45

The LOS results analysis under existing conditions show that the study intersections listed above operate at an acceptable LOS D or better during both the AM and the PM peak hours.

3.2-9

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.2 Traffic and Circulation

Planned Improvements
Road improvements are currently being implemented in the Project Area. The road improvements involve a section of Industrial Road, beginning just south of East San Carlos Avenue and continuing southward to Cordilleras Creek. Improvements include rebuilding traffic lanes, placing utilities

underground, adding bike lands, expanding sidewalks, and beautifying the public rights-of-way. This project should be completed by early 2004. Other improvements that would improve circulation in the Project Area are Caltrans improvements to its rolling stock and rail system. Implementation of this project would decrease travel time from San Carlos to San Francisco and increase passengers at the San Carlos train station.

Applicable Plans and Regulations
This Section of the EIR discusses agencies with jurisdiction over transportation facilities and services in the City of San Carlos, and plans and policies that could affect the project.

Agencies with Jurisdiction in San Carlos

The City of San Carlos has jurisdiction over all city-street and city-operated traffic signals. Several regional agencies, including the City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County (C/CAG), the congestion management agency in San Mateo County, and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) coordinate and establish funding priorities for intra-regional transportation improvement programs. Freeways in San Carlos (US 101 and Interstate (I)-280), freeway ramps, and designated State Routes 82 (El Camino Real) are under the jurisdiction of the State of California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). These agencies, their responsibilities, and funding sources are more specifically described below.

City of San Carlos. The City of San Carlos is responsible for planning, constructing, and maintaining local public transportation facilities, including all city streets, city-operated traffic signals, sidewalks, and bicycle facilities. These local services are funded primarily by gas-tax revenue and developer fees.

San Mateo C/CAG. C/CAG is the Congestion Management Agency (CMA) that sets State and Federal funding priorities for improvements affecting the San Mateo County Congestion Management Program (CMP) roadway system. C/CAG has adopted guidelines for the land use component of the CMP. The purpose of the guidelines is to reduce the impact of the traffic created as a result of new development.
3.2-10 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.2 Traffic and Circulation

The guidelines must be followed for all projects that generate 100 or more new peak period trips on the CMP network and are subject to CEQA review. C/CAG-designated CMP roadway system components in San Carlos include El Camino Real, US 101 and I-280. C/CAG-designated CMP intersections in or near San Carlos include El Camino Real and Holly Street. If a project meets the above-mentioned criteria, the sponsor should determine if a combination of acceptable options/measures will fully reduce the net number of trips that the project is anticipated to generate on the CMP roadway network (including the first 100 trips).

Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). The regional transportation planning agency for the Bay Area is the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). MTC is the clearinghouse for State and Federal funds for transportation improvements. Each county’s CMA, including C/CAG, forwards a capital improvement project list to MTC. MTC reviews the lists submitted by all nine Bay Area counties and submits a regional priority list to the California Transportation Commission (CTC) and/or the Federal Highway Authority Administration (FHWA) for selection of projects to receive funding. Funded projecta are included in the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) prepared by MTC.

California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). Caltrans has authority over the State highway system including mainline facilities, interchanges, and arterial state routes. Caltrans approves the

planning and design of improvements for all state-controlled facilities. The facilities in San Carlos include US 101 and El Camino Real.

Plans and Policies

There are several plans and policies, imposed by agencies, that would affect transportation related with the proposed project. These plans and policies are described below.

City of San Carlos General Plan. The San Carlos General Plan Circulation and Scenic Highway Element contain the following relevant objectives and policies.

Objectives: •

Adequate access to public transportation facilities should be convenient and designed to encourage use of public transit.

3.2-11

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.2 Traffic and Circulation

• •

Continue to support operation of adequate public bus service throughout San Carlos by the San Mateo County Transit District. Provide for adequate pedestrian and bicycle facilities as viable transportation alternatives in San Carlos.

Policies: • • • • • Streets within the San Carlos multi-family area shall be of sufficient width to accommodate future traffic volumes. Public sidewalks and walkways shall be designed to accommodate the handicapped and be kept clear of obstruction. Provisions shall be made for bicycle transportation on specific streets within the City as designated on the San Carlos plan for bicycle routes. Bicycle storage areas shall be required as a condition of approval for all multi-family residential development projects. Intersection service levels should be maintained at level D or above.

City of San Carlos East San Carlos Specific Plan (1991). The East San Carlos Specific Plan contains the following circulation goal and policies.

Circulation Goal •

To improve the capacity and efficiency of East San Carlos’ circulation network in order to facilitate improved access to expanded commercial activities located in the area.

Circulation Policies • • Adequate bikeways, pedestrian walkways and crosswalks shall be provided along high image roadways and heavily traveled streets. Employers of more than ten (10) workers shall be encouraged to formulate Transportation Systems Management Plan for reducing vehicle trips to and from work.

Parking
Parking is available for the existing land uses in the Project Area. The San Carlos Municipal Code, Chapter 18.140 provides parking requirements for various land uses within the City. According to City
3.2-12 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.2 Traffic and Circulation

parking requirements, the land use that requires the greatest number of parking spaces is office, with the exception of restaurant uses. Office uses require one parking space for every 300 square feet of office space. Assuming worst-case scenario a parcel with a .50 floor area ratio (FAR) single-story structure would be at its maximum surface parking capacity because the space occupied by the office worker approximates the space required for a single-parking space.

The majority of developed properties in the Project Area (specifically along Industrial Road) include single-story buildings with an average FAR of between 0.3 and 0.5. Most of the properties include surface parking. Given this, it appears that the Project Area has adequate parking for existing land uses (single-story industrial development); however substantial development would most likely require additional spaces and parking structures.

Mitigation Strategies
Nelson/Nygaard Consulting Associates prepared a Traffic Impacts and Mitigation Strategies Final Report for the City of San Carlos in February 2003. The purpose of the report was to develop mitigation strategies that would reduce existing and future traffic trips at a local and regional level. The report includes trip reduction measures and provides reduction estimates estimated to cumulatively reduce AM peak vehicle trips by 20 percent.

The Traffic Impacts and Mitigation Strategies Final Report represents the recommendations as accepted by City Council on December 9, 2002. At this hearing, the Council agreed to explore the following traffic mitigation strategies: • • • • • • • • •

Transit passes for city employees. Local Guaranteed Ride Home Program for employees. Model city policy for Transportation Demand Management (TDM). TDM Ordinance applicable to all new development. Transportation Impact Fee. Residential Permit Parking Programs. City School Bus Program. A Shuttle Program to meet the needs of future development in the Industrial Road Corridor. Car sharing for employees.
3.2-13 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.2 Traffic and Circulation

• • •

Set parking maximums, reduce parking minimums, and/or require shared parking arrangements for East Side development. Parking fees in downtown off-street lots. Bicycle Efforts

The following mitigation strategies will be considered by City in the near term: • •

A City Policy that would require new development to mitigate trip generation through a Transportation Demand (or Systems) Management (TDM/TSM) Program Fees to support TDM/TSM measures. The fee would be based on a development’s impact on existing vehicle traffic conditions. The revenue collected from the fee would be used to support a variety of alternative transportation projects that could mitigate the development’s traffic impact. These

projects could include a San Carlos shuttle system, improved bicycle network, improved pedestrian environment, and/or improved transit services. An impact fee would be used to maintain the existing standard of service (e.g., LOS B), but not to make improvements to existing conditions. However, the City expects that in conjunction with City efforts, mitigation strategies associated with new development will have a potential positive impact on baseline conditions over time. • Parking management measures including: setting parking maximums, reducing parking minimums, and/or requiring shared parking arrangements for East Side development; establishing parking fees for downtown parking lots; and establishing residential permit parking programs to allay concerns that parking charges would cause workers to clog on-street parking. • • • • A Shuttle Program to meet the needs of future development in the Industrial Road corridor. (This is currently in progress). Funding Caltrain and Samtrans bus passes and carsharing to City employees. A Model City policy for City Projects requiring Transportation Demand Measures (TDM). A school bus program.

3.2.3 Impact Assessment
Significance Criteria
For the purposes of determining traffic impacts in this EIR, the level of service standard for a signalized intersection is D. When a project causes the level of service of background (existing + approved) conditions operating at level of service D or better to worsen to level of service E or F, the change is considered a significant impact.
3.2-14 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.2 Traffic and Circulation

Methodology for Project Impacts
The impacts of the proposed project were evaluated following the standards and methodologies set forth by the San Mateo County Congestion Management Program (CMP) and the City of San Carlos. Traffic conditions at the intersections were analyzed for the weekday AM and PM peak hours of traffic, which are generally between 7:00 and 9:00 AM and 4:00 and 6:00 PM, respectively.

It is important to note that the baseline use for this analysis includes approved and potential (foreseeable) projects, thus providing a cumulative scenario. Given this, the analysis presented below is a cumulative analysis that encompasses impacts from the proposed project as well as approved and potential projects.

Environmental Analysis
1. The proposed project would result in a net increase in the number of vehicle trips

generated at the Project Area. However, impacts to local intersection would be less than significant.

Traffic impacts associated with the proposed project were evaluated assuming a 20 percent trip reduction in new traffic trips by incorporating new development mitigation strategies. The proposed project could generate a total net increase 1,812 vehicle trips during the AM peak hour and 1,944 during the PM peak hour (assuming a 20 percent trip generation reduction) on an average weekday basis. Table 3.2-3, Total Vehicle (existing + proposed) Trip Generation, (assuming 20 percent trip generation reduction) summarizes the total expected vehicle traffic generation. Project trip distribution would be similar to the conditions shown in Figures 3.2-1 and 3.2-2 above. Based on the distribution of trips in the Project Area, the levels of service were calculated for the 18 intersections listed above, for Existing + Approved and Potential Projects + Project Traffic Conditions. Table 3.2-4, Intersection Level of Service Summary, provides both baseline and project condition LOS levels for the study intersections. As shown in the table, implementation of the proposed project would not result in LOS levels below D. In fact, the majority of the intersections would remain at the same LOS upon project implementation. As part of the project, new development would incorporate the mitigation strategies listed below, taken from the Traffic Impacts and Mitigation Strategies report to reduce new development traffic trips by 20 percent.
3.2-15 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.2 Traffic and Circulation

Table 3.2-3 Total Vehicle (existing + proposed) Trip Generation (assuming 20 percent trip generation reduction)
Land Use Size Office Manufacturing Warehousing Research and 2343,740 sf 0 0 722,769 sf In 2,227 0 0 510 AM Peak Hours Out 334 0 0 104 Total 2,571 0 0 614 In 398 0 0 83 PM Peak Hours Out 2,014 0 0 470 Total 2,412 0 0 553

Development Multi-Family Hotel Restaurant Retail Total 160 DU 140 Rooms 7,500 sf 143,390 sf 11 30 29 0 2,807 58 20 27 0 543 69 50 56 0 3,360 66 29 39 128 743 33 25 26 170 2,738 99 54 65 298 3,481

Source: Hexagon Transportation Consultants, memorandum to City of San Carlos dated May 8, 2003. Sf = square feet DU = dwelling units

Mitigation Strategies for New Development Mitigation Strategy 1: New development consistent with projected growth in the East San Carlos Specific Plan 2003 shall mitigate its trip generation through Transportation Demand (or Systems) Management (TDM/TSM) Programs.

Mitigation Strategy 2:Individual projects shall reduce project generated vehicle trips during the peak hours by 20 percent below existing trip generation rates in San Carlos.8 Trip reduction measures may include shuttles, transportation allowances, parking pricing, alternative work hours and telecommuting. Mitigation Strategy 3: Individual development shall implement strategies such as bicycle parking provisions, free transit passes for first three years of occupancy, and shuttle to meet the requirements.

8

This would not be a net decrease in vehicle trips, but would be a decrease from what would be expected under typical development conditions. 3.2-16 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.2 Traffic and Circulation

_____________________________________________________________________________________
Table 3.2-4 Intersection Level of Service Summary, Baseline + Project Baseline Peak Hour Intersection Industrial/Harbor Ave. Delay LOS Ave. Delay/ V/C Project LOS Total

**

AM 8 B 8 B PM 16 C 15 B Industrial/Holly AM 17 C 19 C PM 19 C 18 C Old County/Holly** AM 0.658 B 0.711 C PM 0.811 D 0.876 D El Camino Real/Holly** AM 0.658 B 0.711 C PM 0.811 D 0.876 D El Camino Real/San Carlos AM 15 B 15 B PM 15 B 15 B Laurel/San Carlos AM 5 A 5 A PM 6 B 6 B Elm/San Carlos AM 5 B 5 B PM 6 B 6 B El Camino Real/Arroyo AM 6 B 6 B PM 7 B 7 B Laurel/Brittan** AM 10 B 11 B PM 13 B 14 B El Camino Real/Brittan** AM 0.676 B 0.739 C PM 0.771 C 0.866 D Old County/Brittan** AM 0.676 B 0.739 C PM 0.771 C 0.866 D El Camino Real/Howard** AM 0.486 A 0.526 A PM 0.648 B 0.691 B Old County/Howard** AM 0.486 A 0.526 A PM 0.648 B 0.691 B Industrial/Brittan AM 21 C 38 D PM 21 C 37 D Industrial/Howard AM 14 B 13 B PM 14 B 15 C El Camino/St. Francis AM 6 B 6 B PM 11 B 16 C Alameda de las Pulgas/Brittan AM 22 C 26 D PM 19 C 21 C Alameda de las Pulgas/San Carlos AM 14 B 14 B PM 10 B 10 B Adjacent intersections on El Camino Real and Old County Road were analyzed as one intersection, with level of service based on V/C ratio. All other intersections were analyzed based on an average delay, as calculated by TRAFFIX. Source: Hexagon Transportation Consultants, memorandum to City of San Carlos dated May 8, 2003

3.2-17

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.2 Traffic and Circulation

In addition, the proposed project includes measures (circulation policies) to reduce traffic trips generated by new development. The proposed circulation policies include the following: •

The City shall encourage adequate bikeways, pedestrian walkways and crosswalks along highimage roadways and heavily traveled streets.

•

The City shall encourage employers to form Transportation Demand Management System Plans to reduce the number of vehicle trips to and from work.

•

The City shall consider and promote pedestrian or other links between East and West San Carlos and between East San Carlos and the possible residential development along the railroad corridor. These improvements may include additional pedestrian tunnels through the grade separation (raised railroad tracks) and bicycle routes linking these two parts of the City. Developers shall coordinate the aesthetic treatments of such connections, where such coordination is logical and appropriate, including finish materials, landscaping or other elements.

•

The City shall consider strategies to reduce vehicular traffic trips throughout East San Carlos. Strategies include integrating East San Carlos residential neighborhoods with the Caltrain Station, improving pedestrian conditions along Old County Road, designating east-west pedestrian corridors connecting the Caltrain Station to Industrial Road and other measures included in the 2003 Nelson\Nygaard Traffic Impacts and Mitigation Strategies.

•

The City shall explore additional pedestrian or vehicular tunnels through a possible grade separation project the City may complete in coordination with the City of Redwood City. Consideration shall be given to forming logical, efficient links between East San Carlos and bus or shuttle service stops along the El Camino Real.

•

New, substantial development along the east side of Industrial Road, between East San Carlos Avenue and Brittan Avenue, and the south side of East San Carlos Avenue, between Old County Road and Industrial Road, should incorporate elements or measures that promote pedestrian access to buildings. For example, developments might include “build-to” lines (bringing

buildings toward the sidewalk), minimum setback lines for parking areas (setting parking areas away from the street), thematic tree planting to create a linear streetscape or widened sidewalks.
3.2-18 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.2 Traffic and Circulation

As shown above, with incorporation of the mitigation strategies, the proposed project would not result in levels of service below D in the Project Area and its vicinity. In addition, the proposed project includes circulation policies that could substantially reduce new development traffic trips. Therefore, the proposed project would have less than significant impacts to local intersections.

2.

Although the Proposed Project would increase a demand in parking spaces in the Project Area,

compliance with local parking requirements would reduce potential impacts to a less than significant level.

Substantial development in the Project Area will create a parking demand. The proposed project would add approximately 1.7 million-square feet of industrial and commercial uses, 140 hotel rooms and 160 dwelling units to the Project Area. Existing parking spaces appear to be at maximum capacity and therefore, substantial new developments would need to create parking conditions that would accommodate the parking demand and that would meet parking requirements as outlined in Chapter 18.140 of the San Carlos Municipal Code. In addition, the proposed project would incorporate the following development standards for parking: •

Commercial and industrial uses may incorporate shared-parking facilities, in which a single parking area serves different uses that generate peak-parking demand at different hours of the day.

•

Parking facilities should not be grouped together to form massive parking structures or group of parking structures. Instead, to the greatest extent feasible, they should be scattered or organized in small clusters.

•

The City shall discourage high-rise parking structures along major roadways or require such structures to include design features that mitigate their height or bulk.

With implementation of the above development standards, mitigation strategies (listed above), and compliance with local off-street parking regulations, it can be concluded that the parking impacts associated with the proposed project would be less than significant.

3.2.4 Other Environmental Analysis
Compliance with C/CAG Guidelines for the Implementation of the Land Use Component of the 1999 Congestion Management Program (CMP).
3.2-19 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.2 Traffic and Circulation

US 101 According to the 2001 CMP Monitoring Report, US 101 operates at LOS E (acceptable) north of Whipple Avenue and LOS F south of Whipple Avenue. Based on analysis conducted by Hexagon Transportation, implementation of the proposed project would cumulatively add 250 new trips to the freeway segment south of Whipple Avenue. US 101 south of Whipple Avenue is a four-lane freeway. The addition of the project’s trips would add to more than one percent of the freeway capacity (more than a 100 trips) to the CMP roadway.

El Camino and Holly Street Intersection Implementation of the proposed project would add approximately 320 and 380 new project trips to El Camino north of Holly Street during the AM and PM peak hours, respectively. The project would also add approximately 200 and 280 trips during the AM and PM peak hours, respectively, south of Holly Street.

The plan included in Appendix 3.2 of this Draft EIR will be reviewed by C/CAG staff. Implementation of the plan would reduce traffic trips to an acceptable level. However, individual projects that generate 100 new project trips or more would be required to comply with C/CAG requirements and under CEQA review.

3.2-20

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.3 Air Quality
3.3.1 Introduction
The section summarizes pertinent air quality baseline information, including a descriptionn of the climate in the Project Area; Federal, State, and regional air quality standards; and existing air quality conditions in the San Francisco Bay Area for both “criteria air pollutants” (pollutants for which State and Federal ambient standards exist) and “toxic air contaminants” (TACs) (pollutants that pose human health risks). Air quality effects caused by stationary and mobile sources related to the proposed 2003 Specific Plan are also discussed. A determination between the 2003 Specific Plan and the 2000 Clean Air Plan (CAP) was conducted. Based on the analysis conducted (see below), the 2003 Specific Plan would be consistent with the 2000 CAP.

3.3.2 Environmental Setting
Ambient air quality is influenced by climatological conditions, topography, and the quantity and type of pollutants released in an area. The major determinants of transport and dilution of a given pollutant are wind, atmospheric stability, terrain, and sunshine for photochecmical pollutants. Motor vehicle emissions in this section are calculated using air emission modeling based on information from the traffic study prepared for the proposed project.

Regional Climate and Topography
The climate of the Bay Area is characterized by meterological conditions associated with the semi-permanent high-pressure area in the eastern Pacific Ocean which lead to mild, rainy winter weather from November through March, and warm, dry weather from June to September. The months of April, May, and October are usually characterized by mild weather conditions. The climate combined with the complex regional topography of the San Francisco Bay Area air basin make it an area for potential smog, a blend of combustion emissions and gaseous emission such as reactive organic gases (ROG) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), that undergo photochemical reactions in sunlight to form ozone. Region-wide temperature inversions, caused by warm air positioned above the cool daytime surface air, prohibit vertical mixing of air. Air pollution potential in the region is highest when inversions are strong and winds are light. This condition occurs because pollutants are emitted into an air mass that has a
3.3-1

3.3 Air Quality

limited capacity to disperse the contaminants. Inversions most commonly occur during calm cool winter weather or still weather in the summer.

The City of San Carlos has a Mediterranean type of climate, characterized by dry and relatively cool summers and wet, mild winters. Data from the nearest weather station in Redwood City is representative of the weather in San Carlos. The annual mean temperature is 58.91 degrees Fahrenheit (F). January is typically the coldest month with an average temperature of 48.41 degrees F. July is typically the warmest month with an average temperature of 68.2 degrees F. The average annual precipitation at Redwood City is 19.70 inches with most of it falling from October through April. Winds are generally from the west and northwest, but southeasterly winds are not uncommon during the passage of storm systems in the winter. A high pressure system (the Pacific High) is located over the eastern Pacific Ocean during the summer months. As the air in this system descends, it is compressed and becomes warmer. The height at which this warm layer of air overlays cooler air is called the inversion height. Other inversions are formed by the rapid cooling of the layers of air near the earth’s surface and so are located nearer to the ground.

Air Quality Conditions
Regional Air Quality

With the assistance of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), the California Air Resources Board (CARB) complies inventories of carbon monoxide (CO), reactive organic gases (ROG), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and particulate matter (less than 10 microns in size) (PM10) emissions for the Bay Area. ROG is included in the inventories because it is a precursor to ozone foundation.

San Mateo County lies within the San Francisco Bay Area Air Basin. This Air Basin has a history of recorded violations of Federal and State ambient air quality standards for ozone, CO, and PM10. Since the early 1970s, substantial progress has been made toward controlling these pollutants. As a result, the Bay Area is in attainment for all State and Federal standards except those for ozone and PM10. For ozone, the Bay Area does not meet either the State or Federal standard. For PM10, the Bay Area does not meet the State standard but does meet the Federal standard.

3.3-2

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.3 Air Quality

Local Air Quality
As previously mentioned, the nearest operating air quality monitoring station in the project vicinity is located at 897 Barron Avenue in Redwood City, southeast of San Carlos. The air pollutants monitored at this station includes ozone, carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and PM10. During the period of 1998 and 2001 for Redwood City, the State 1-hour ozone standard was only exceeded one day total in a year, and the Federal 1-hour and 8-hour standards were not exceeded at this station. During the period of 1998 through 2001 at the Redwood City station, the measured State 24-hour PM10 standard was exceeded for no more than 4 days per year, the Federal 24-hour standard was not exceeded at all, and the State and Federal annual standards were not exceeded at all.

The regional and local air quality data show that while the region has made considerable progress to meet the State and Federal standards, violations of particulate matter and ozone standards still occasionally occur. The violations that typically occur in the San Mateo County area are caused by a combination of locally generated emissions and pollutants transported into the area from upwind sites. In this respect, the air quality conditions in the Project Area will continue to benefit from local and region-wide efforts to control emissions.

At locations throughout the Bay Area, BAAQMD measures ambient levels of approximately 15 of the most commonly occurring TACs. The monitoring station for TACs that is nearest to the Project Area is on Chapel Way in Fremont. The TACs monitored at this station in the highest concentrations are benzene, toluene, and meta/para-xylenes. Each of these compounds is commonly associated with

automobile emissions. These data represent the combined impacts of TACs emitted from various sources, including stationary (e.g., industry) and mobile sources.

Local Source Inventory

Emissions from mobile sources are responsible for the overwhelming majority of emissions in the Project Area. Vehicles traveling the roadway in the eastern portion of San Carlos and its vicinity contribute to the local emissions base. The industrial and commercial uses in the Project Area also contribute to emissions through operation of machinery, and manufacturing, fabrication, among other activities. In addition, residential uses contribute minor emissions to the local emission base through heating and cooling equipment and operation of sources such as landscaping equipment, water heaters, and fireplaces.

3.3-3

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.3 Air Quality

3.3.3 Existing Environment
The Project Area is fully developed with and comprised of various land uses including regional retail, industrial, industrial parks, commercial, mixed use and residential.

Applicable Plans and Regulations
Federal, State, and local laws and regulations are the basis for controlling air pollution. The major control efforts focus on the six “criteria” air pollutants and the precursors compounds that react to form those pollutants. The six criteria pollutants include ozone, CO, NO2, SO2, PM10, and lead. The Federal Clean Air Act (CAA), as amended, and the California Clean Air Act (CCAA) are the primary drivers for attaining and maintaining the ambient air standards. These laws also provide the basis for the

implementing agencies to develop mobile and stationary source measures. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for enforcing the 1990 amendments to the federal CAA and the national ambient air quality standards (federal standards) that it establishes.

CARB oversees air quality planning and control throughout California. It is primarily responsible for ensuring implementation of the 1989 amendments to the CCAA, responding to the federal CAA requirements, and for regulating emissions from motor vehicles and consumer products within the State. CARB has established emission standards for vehicles sold in California and for various types of equipment available commercially. It also sets fuel specifications to further reduce vehicular emissions.

Like EPA, CARB has established ambient air quality standards for the State (State standards). These standards apply to the same six criteria pollutants as the federal CAA, and also include sulfate, visibility, hydrogen sulfide, and vinyl chloride. They are also more stringent than the Federal standards in the case of PM10 and SO2. The amendments to the CCAA require air pollution control districts to achieve the State standards by the earliest practicable date.

Ambient Air Quality Standards.

Based on the authority of the Federal CAA, as amended, and the CCAA, Federal and State regulatory agencies set upper limits on airborne concentrations of ozone, CO, NO2, SO2, particulate matter, and lead. Particulate matter is regulated as inhalable particulate matter less than ten microns in diameter (PM10) and fine particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5). ROG are regulated as precursors to

3.3-4

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.3 Air Quality

ozone. Control of these pollutants includes reducing emissions from motor vehicles, industrial processes, and area-wide sources such as use of consumer products.

Table 3.3-1, Ambient Air Quality Standards shows Federal and State standards for these pollutants. “Ambient air quality standards” (AAQS) are designed to protect all segments of the population including those most susceptible to the pollutants’ adverse effects (e.g., the very young, the elderly, people weak from illness or disease, or persons doing heavy work or exercise). Pollution potential is high in the Project Area and its vicinity because of the sheltering effects of the Santa Cruz Mountains and upwind emissions generated by the San Francisco Bay and other north Peninsula cities.

TACs, which may have the potential to cause cancer or may pose a present or potential hazard to human health, are also regulated through Federal, State, and local programs. Unlike criteria pollutants, there are no ambient standards for TACs; this is primarily due to the localized nature of the adverse health impacts caused by TAC emissions. Stationary sources of TAC are regulated through emission standards and risk reduction strategies implemented at the sources of emissions. Mobile sources are not directly regulated as sources of TACs, except for lead. Improvements to fuel efficiency standards and reformulation of fuels provides indirect control of lead and other TACs from mobile sources.

Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP)

The Federal CAA, as amended, and the CCAA provide the legal framework for attaining and maintaining ambient air quality standards. Both the Federal and State acts require that CARB designate as

“nonattainment areas” portions of the State where Federal or State ambient air quality standards are not met. Where a pollutant exceeds standards, air quality management plans must be formulated that

demonstrate how the standards will be achieved.

BAAQMD is primarily responsible for planning, implementing, and enforcing the Federal and State ambient standards in the Bay Area. EPA approval of the 1982 Bay Area Air Quality Plan (referred to as the 1982 Plan), which indicates how BAAQMD will implement Federal air quality requirements, resulted in the 1982 Plan being incorporated into the State Implementation Plan (SIP). The region’s SIP is a compilation of plan components and air pollution control regulations that when taken together are designed to enable the region to attain and maintain Federal standards. Along with the BAAQMD, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) also contribute to the SIP. BAAQMD updated the 1982 Plan and adopted the Bay Area ’91 Clean Air
3.3-5 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.3 Air Quality

Plan to implement the requirements of the 1988 CCAA. As required by the CCAA and subsequent 1992 amendments, BAAQMD also prepared the 1994 Clean Air Plan Update, the Bay Area ’97 Clean Air Plan, and the Bay Area 2000 Clean Air Plan. The State ozone standard and the State PM10 standard are exceeded in the region. To meet the State ozone standard, BAAQMD adopted the 2000 Clean Air Plan on December 20, 2000 and submitted it to CARB as required by the CCAA. The 2000 Clean Air Plan includes a control strategy review to ensure that the plan continues to include “all feasible measures” to reduce ozone. No State plan is required to meet State PM10 measures. In 1998, the Bay Area was re-designated as nonattainment for the Federal ozone standards. Under EPA direction, BAAQMD prepared and submitted the Bay Area Ozone Attainment Plan in June 1999 as a revision to the SIP. This attainment plan was partially rejected by EPA. The parts of the 1999 Plan that were disapproved include ozone attainment assessment, consistency of regional transportation plans and programs with air quality attainment plans, and the Reasonably Available Control Measure (RACM) demonstration. In response to EPA’s disapproval of the 1999 Plan, a Bay Area 2001 Ozone Attainment Plan (Final Plan) was prepared in June 2001 by BAAQMD, MTC, and ABAG. This 2001 Plan was initially rejected by CARB prior to its submittal to EPA. Addenda to this plan were presented to CARB on November 1, 2001, approved and submitted to EPA. On February 14, 2002, EPA determined that the motor vehicle emission budgets in the Bay Area’s 2001 Ozone Attainment Plan are adequate for conformity purposes.

The SIP measures for reducing emissions of reactive organic compounds and nitrogen oxides affect all source categories. Emissions limitations are imposed upon sources of air pollutants by rules and

regulations promulgated by the Federal, State, or local agencies. Mobile sources of air pollutants are largely controlled by Federal and State agencies through emission performance standards and fuel formulation requirements. BAAQMD regulates stationary sources through its permitting and compliance programs. BAAQMD is responsible for implementation of stationary source performance standards and other requirements of Federal and State laws.

City of San Carlos General Plan. The San Carlos General Plan Open Space and Conservation Element contain the following relevant policy: •

The City shall work with Bay Area Quality Management District in attempting to reach and maintain air quality attainment standards, and shall cooperate with both public and private sector agencies to conserve energy. By making planning decisions which encourage efficient forms of
3.3-6 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.3 Air Quality

Table 3.3-1 Ambient Air Quality Standards Pollutant Ozone Averaging Time 1-hour 8-hour Carbon Monoxide 1-hour 8-hour Nitrogen Dioxide 1-hour Annual Average Sulfur Dioxide 1-hour 3-hour 24-hour Annual Average Particulate Matter (PM10) 24-hour Annual Geometric Mean Annual Arithmetic Mean 24-hour California Standarda 0.09 ppm _ 20.00 ppm 9.00 ppm 0.25 ppm _ 0.25 ppm _ 0.04 ppm _ 50 µg/m3 20 µg/m3 _ _ Federal Standardb 0.12 ppm 0.08 ppm 35.00 ppm 9.00 ppm _ 0.053 ppm _ 0.5 ppm 0.14 ppm 0.03 ppm 150 µg/m3 _ 50 µg/m3 65 µg/m3 15 µg/m3

Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5)

Lead (Pb)

Annual Arithmetric 12 µg/m3 Mean 30-day average 1.5 µg/m3

_ Calendar Quarter _ 1.5 µg/m3

Source: Summarized by Neal Martin and Associate, 2003 Notes: ppm = parts per million by volume µg/m3 = micrograms per cubic meter _ = no standard exists for this category a. California standard for ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particular matter (PM10) are values that are not to be exceeded. b. The form of the Federal standards (i.e., how the standard is applied) varies from pollutant to pollutant. For further information, 40 CFR Part 50 includes the relevant form for each federal standard. The Federal 8-hour ozone standard and the PM2.5 standards were remanded by appeals court in 1999. Implementation if the standards may be abandoned or delayed.

3.3-7

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.3 Air Quality

transportation, improve circulation, and encourage use of solar energy, both of these policies can be forwarded.

In addition the following transportation objectives and policies form the Circulation and Scenic Highway Element are also considered relevant, since implementation of the policies would reduce traffic trips.

Transportation and Circulation Objectives: • • • •

The major road system should be designed to carry traffic around rather than through residential areas. Adequate access should be provided to the commercial and industrial areas of the City. Access to public transportation facilities should be convenient and designed to encourage use of public transit. Continue to recognize, protect and support the San Carlos Airport as a regionally important general aviation facility. Plan for the expansion of the airport in accordance with the adopted Airport Land Use Committee Plan. facility. Provide adequate surface transportation access to that

• • •

Support the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board efforts to upgrade and expand the Peninsula rail service. Work with that agency in implementing its plans for local facility improvements. Continue to support operation of adequate public bus service throughout San Carlos by the San Mateo County Transit District. Provide for adequate pedestrian and bicycle facilities as viable transportation alternatives in San Carlos.

Transportation and Circulation Policies: • • • •

Provisions shall be made for bicycle transportation on specified streets within the City as designated on the San Carlos plan for bicycle routes. Intersection service levels should be maintained at level D or above. The City shall support the continued operation and upgrading of the railroad commuter service between San Jose and San Francisco. The City shall support the California Department of Transportation improvement of the railroad station and adjacent parking facilities. In general, the station should act as a major transportation terminal for the City providing facilities for bus, auto parking and bicycle storage.
3.3-8 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.3 Air Quality

•

The City supports dedication and preservation of right- of-way for future transit service along the rail corridor.

City of San Carlos East San Carlos Specific Plan (1991). The East San Carlos Specific Plan contains the following circulation goal and policies that would contribute to improved air quality in the City.

Circulation Goal: •

To improve the capacity and efficiency of east San Carlos’ circulation network in order to facilitate improved access to expanded commercial activities located in the area.

Circulation Policies: •

Adequate bikeways, pedestrian walkways and crosswalks shall be provided along high image roadways and heavily traveled streets.

3.3.4 Impact Assessment
Significance Criteria
According to Appendix G of the CEQA Guidelines (Environmental Checklist Form) a project would have a significant air quality effect if it would: (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 air pollutant for which the region is in 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; and (e) Create objectionable odors affecting a substantial number of people. •

For operational impacts, an increase in combined stationary and mobile source emissions of more than 80 pounds/day of ROG, NOx, or inhalable particulates (PM10) over existing conditions would be considered significant.

3.3-9

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.3 Air Quality

•

A project contributing to CO concentrations above the State ambient air quality standard would be considered to have a significant impact. (State ambient air quality standards for CO are shown in Table 3.3-1).

Direct emissions sources are found on a site and include stationary sources and on-site mobile equipment. Examples of land uses and activities that generate direct emissions are industrial operations and sources subject to an operating permit by BAAQMD. Indirect emissions come from mobile sources that access an area but generally emit off-site.

CO emissions are considered significant if they will contribute to a violation of the State standards for CO (9 ppm averaged over 8 hours and 20 ppm for one hour). CO emissions are localized, and typically analyzed in terms of their impacts to specific roadway segments or intersections. The BAAQMD requires CO modeling if the project would add trips to intersections currently operating at LOS D, E, or F, or cause a decline to LOS D, E, or F.

Environmental Analysis
1. Project construction would generate dust that could cause violations of particulate standards.

Construction activities are temporary in duration and emissions can vary considerably depending on the size of the project, type of activities, intensity, and site conditions. For these reasons it is difficult to quantify construction air pollutant emissions. Rather than quantify the emissions, sensitive receptors that may be affected by these activities were identified and effective control measures were identified to reduce the impacts to a level of insignificance.

Construction-related emissions come from a variety of activities including grading, excavation, new or replaced roadways and other earthmoving activities; travel by construction equipment; exhaust from construction equipment; and demolition of buildings. In addition, remediation of petroleum-contaminated soil may also have air quality ramifications. Construction activities associated with the Proposed Project could include many of the above-mentioned activities and would therefore produce temporary PM10 emissions (mainly fugitive dust). Dust generated at construction sites could be transported by winds blowing off of the bay. The amount of dust generated could be considered substantial. It would be dependent on the size of the construction areas, amount of activity, soil conditions (e.g., wet or dry), and

3.3-10

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.3 Air Quality

meteorological conditions. Dust emissions have the tendency to be highest during late spring through early fall, when soil conditions are driest and winds tend to be strongest.

Dust emission could result in both nuisance and health affects to nearby residents. Residences between Holly Street, Industrial Road and Old County Road would be located near construction areas planned for the east side of Industrial Road and San Carlos Avenue . These residents would be exposed to potential air quality nuisance and health impacts from construction activities. Construction in other areas, although separated from existing residential areas, would pose an impact to regional PM10 air quality. Nuisance affects would include dust fall on nearby properties. Fine particulate matter (i.e., PM10) is the air pollutant of greatest concern associated with construction dust. If uncontrolled, PM10 concentrations attributable to construction activities can exceed air quality standards that are designed to protect human health. This is potentially significant adverse effect.

Dust emissions from construction-related activities can be greatly reduced by implementing control measures. The BAAQMD has developed feasible control measures for construction emissions of PM10. Implementation of these measures (listed below as mitigation) are expected to reduce impacts to a less than significant level.

Mitigation Measures

Air Quality – 1:

Basic Control Measures. The following controls should be implemented at all construction sites: • • • • Water all active construction areas at least twice daily. Cover all trucks hauling soil, sand, and other loose materials or require all trucks to maintain at least two feet of freeboard. Pave, apply water three times daily, or apply (non-toxic) soil stabilizers on all unpaved access roads, parking areas and staging areas at construction sites. Sweep street daily (with water sweepers) if visible soil material is carried onto adjacent public streets.

Enhanced Control Measures. The following measures should be implemented at construction sites greater than four acres. • All “basic” control measures listed above.
3.3-11 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.3 Air Quality

• • • • •

Hydroseed or apply (non-toxic) soil stabilizers to inactive construction areas (previously graded areas inactive for ten days or more). Enclose, cover, water twice daily or apply (non-toxic) soil binders to exposed stockpiles (dirt, sand, etc.) Limit traffic speeds on unpaved roads to 15 miles per hour (mph). Install sandbags or other erosion control measures to prevent silt runoff to public roadways. Replant vegetation in disturbed areas as quickly as possible.

Optional Control Measures. The following control measures are strongly encouraged at construction sites that are large in area, located near sensitive receptors or which for any other reason may warrant additional emissions reductions. • • • • 2. Install wheel washers for all exiting trucks, or wash off the tires or tracks of all trucks and equipment leaving the site. Install wind breaks, or plant trees/vegetative wind breaks at windward side(s) of construction areas. Suspend excavation and grading activity when winds (instantaneous gusts) exceed 25 mph. Limit the area subject to excavation, grading and other construction activity at any one time. The 2003 Specific Plan would be consistent with the 2000 Clean Air Plan. Therefore, impacts

to air quality would be considered less than significant. For a local plan to be consistent with the regional air quality plan it must be consistent with the most recently CAP, which is currently the 2000 CAP. In order to determine consistency with CAP, plans must show that a) population growth for the jurisdiction will not exceed the values included in the current CAP and b) the rate of increase in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) for the jurisdiction is equal to or lower than the rate of increase in population.

Population Growth For the 2000 CAP, Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG’s) projections are the appropriate set of population projections. According to ABAG projections, the total population projected for the City of San Carlos (including Sphere of Influence) in 2025 is 33,300. The 2003 Specific Plan includes 160 dwelling units. Assuming 2.77 individuals per dwelling unit (ABAGs number of household for 2025), implementation of the proposed project could increase the population by 443. The current population is

3.3-12

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.3 Air Quality

approximately 27,7181 and therefore at project buildout, population associated with the project would be well below ABAG’s forecast for 2025. Therefore, population growth in the 2003 Specific Plan is consistent with population growth in the 2000 Clean Air Plan.

Rate of Increase in VMTs According to the BAAQMD Guidelines, a significant impact to air quality could exist if the projects VMTs growth rate exceeds the population growth rate. Calculating VMTs is typically beyond the level of analysis historically conducted in assessing Specific Plan impacts. VMTs were not calculated for the proposed project. However, the proposed project is generally consistent with ABAGs population and employment forecast. In addition, the City is currently considering the implementation of Transportation Demand Measures (see below) that could be considered equivalent to the Transportation Control Measures (TCMs) shown in the 2000 CAP.

Clean Air Plan Transportation Control Measures Another aspect of plan consistency is determining whether the 2003 Specific Plan is consistent with the Clean Air Plan TCMs. Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates prepared a Traffic Impacts and Mitigation Strategies Final Report for the City of San Carlos in February 2003. The purpose of the report was to develop mitigation strategies that would reduce existing and future traffic trips at a local and regional level. The report includes trip reduction measures and provides reduction estimates estimated to

cumulatively reduce AM peak vehicle trips by 20 percent.

The Traffic Impacts and Mitigation Strategies Final Report represents the recommendations as accepted by City Council on December 9, 2002. At this hearing, the Council agreed to explore the following traffic mitigation strategies: • • • • • • •

Transit passes for city employees. Local Guaranteed Ride Home Program for employees. Model city policy for Transportation Demand Management (TDMs). TDM Ordinance applicable to all new development. Transportation Impact Fee. Residential Permit Parking Programs. City School Bus Program.

1

2000 US Census. 3.3-13 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.3 Air Quality

• • • • •

Shuttle Program to meet the needs of future development in the Industrial Road Corridor. Car sharing for City employees. Set parking maximums, reduce parking minimums, and/or require shared parking arrangements for East Side development. Parking fees in downtown off-street lots. Bicycle Efforts

The following mitigation strategies will be considered by City in the near term: • •

A City Policy that would require new development to mitigate trip generation through a Transportation Demand (or Systems) Management (TDM/TSM) Program; Fees to support TDM/TSM measures. The fee would be based on a development’s impact on existing vehicle traffic conditions. The revenue collected from the fee would be used to support a variety of alternative transportation projects that could mitigate the development’s traffic impact. These projects could include a San Carlos shuttle system, improved bicycle network, improved pedestrian environment, and/or improved transit services. An impact fee would be used to maintain the existing standard of service (e.g., LOS B), but not to make improvements to existing conditions. However, the City expects that in conjunction with City efforts,

mitigation strategies associated with new development will have a potential positive impact on baseline conditions overtime. • Parking management measures including: setting parking maximums, reducing parking

minimums, and/or requiring shared parking arrangements for East Side development; establishing parking fees for downtown parking lots; and establishing residential permit parking programs to allay concerns that parking charges would cause workers to clog on-street parking. • • • • A Shuttle Program to meet the needs of future development in the Industrial Road corridor. (This is currently in progress) Funding Caltrain and Samtrans bus passes, and car sharing to City employees. A Model City policy for City Projects requiring Transportation Demand Measures (TDM). A school bus program.

Odors and Toxics The 2003 Specific Plan includes the following policies that would restrict the manufacturing of hazardous materials within in the Project Area, as well as requiring new generators of toxic by-products to be a safe

3.3-14

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.3 Air Quality

and reasonable distance from residential neighborhoods. In addition, the 2003 Specific Plan would require buffers between industrial type of business and residential business. The specific policies to be included as part of the Plan are listed below: •

New uses that manufacture hazardous materials are prohibited throughout the Specific Plan Project Area. Chapter 6.95, Section 25502 (j-l) of the Health and Safety Code defines hazardous materials. The Planning Department has a copy of this section of the Health and Safety Code.

•

New industrial or technical businesses that produce toxic or noxious by-products, generate persistent and high levels of noise, use substantial amounts of hazardous chemicals or substances, require high levels of outside illumination or conduct operations around the clock or well into the night, should be located in industrial areas, at safe and reasonable distances from residential neighborhoods.

•

New development that introduces or adds a disparate use into an industrial or commercial area (e.g., a proposal to add housing next to an industrial or office use) shall place a buffer between new and existing uses. A buffer mitigates the impact one use might otherwise have on other uses. Buffering elements include another, less sensitive use, lush landscape materials and decorative architectural structures and large amounts of space between different land uses.

Implementation of the above policies would provide a buffer zone to avoid odor and toxic impacts that could be associated with future projects. Therefore, the proposed project is consistent with 2000 Clean Air Plan.

3.3-15

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.3 Air Quality

This Page Intentionally Left Blank

3.3-16

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.4 NOISE
3.4.1 Introduction
This section of this EIR describes the existing noise environment and potential impacts associated with the 2003 Specific Plan. Increases in noise levels in the project vicinity can be expected from additional traffic, expansion of various mechanical systems, and construction activities. In addition, the noise generated by the JPB rail tracks was evaluated against new residential development. Increased noise was evaluated against the City of San Carlos noise standards as outlined on page N-4 of the General Plan and noise restrictions outlined in the San Carlos Municipal Code.

3.4.2 Environmental Setting
Definition of Noise
Noise can sometimes be defined as unwanted sound. Noise is usually objectionable because it is disturbing or annoying. The objectionable nature of sound could be caused by its pitch or loudness. Pitch is the height or depth of a tone or sound, depending on the relative rapidity (frequency) of the vibrations by which it is produced. Higher pitched signals sound louder to humans than sounds with a lower pitch. Loudness is intensity of sound waves combined with the reception characteristics of the ear. Intensity may be compared with the height of an ocean wave in that it is a measure of the amplitude of sound wave.

In addition to the concepts of pitch and loudness, there are several noise measurement scales which are used to describe noise in a particular location. A decibel (dB) is a unit of measurement which indicates the relative amplitude of a sound. The zero on the decibel scale is based on the lowest sound level that the healthy, unimpaired human ear can detect. Sound levels in decibels are calculated on a logarithmic basis. An increase of ten decibels represents a ten-fold increase in acoustic energy, which 20 decibels is 100 times more intense, 30 decibels is 1,000 times more intense, etc. There is a relationship between the subjective noisiness or loudness of a sound and its intensity. Each 10-decibel increase in sound level is perceived as approximately a doubling of loudness over a fairly wide range of intensities.

There are several methods of characterizing sound. The most common in California is the A weighted sound level or dBA. This scale gives greater weight to the frequencies of sound to which the human ear is

3.4-1

3.4 Noise

most sensitive. Representative outdoor and indoor noise levels in units of dBA are shown in Table 3.4-1, Typical Sound Levels Measured in the Environment and Industry.

Table 3.4-1 Typical Sound Levels Measured in the Environment and Industry At a Given Distance Form Noise Source Civil Defense Siren (100’) Jet Takeoff (200’) Pile Driver (50’) Ambulance Siren (100’) Freight Cars (50’) Pneumatic Drill (50’) Freeway (100’) Vacuum Cleaner (10’) Light Traffic (100’) Large Transformer (200’) Soft Whisper (5’) 70 60 50 Moderately Loud Data Processing Center Department Store Private Business Office A-Weighted Sound Level in Decibels 140 130 120 110 100 90 80 Plain Threshold Rock Music Concert Very Loud Boiler Room Printing Press Plant In Kitchen with Garbage Disposal Running Noise Environments Subjective Impression

40 30 20 10 0

Quiet Quiet Bedroom Recording Studio Threshold of Hearing

Since the sensitivity of noise increases during the evening and at night 24-hour descriptors have been developed that incorporate artificial noise penalties added to quiet-time noise events. The Community Noise Equivalent Level, CNEL, is a measure of the cumulative noise exposure in a community, with a five dB penalty added to evening (7:00 PM through 10:00 PM) and a ten dB addition to nocturnal (10:00 PM through 7:00 AM) noise levels. The Day-Night Average Sound level, Ldn, is essentially the same as CNEL, with the exception that the evening time period is dropped and all occurrences during this threehour period are grouped into the day-time period.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a noise exposure standard which is set at the noise threshold where hearing loss may occur from long-term exposures. The maximum allowable

3.4-2

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.4 Noise

level is 90 dBA averaged over eight hours. If the noise is about 90 dBA the allowable exposure time is correspondingly shorter.

The thresholds for speech interference indoors are about 45 dBA if the noise is steady and about 55 dBA if the noise is fluctuating. Outdoors the thresholds are about 15 dBA higher. Steady noise of sufficient intensity (above 35 dBA) and fluctuating noise levels above 45 dBA have been shown to affect sleep. Interior residential standards for multi-family dwellings are set by the State of California at 45 dBA Ldn. Typically, the highest steady traffic noise level during the daytime is about equal to the Ldn and nightime levels are 10 dBA lower. The standard is designed for sleep and speech protection and most jurisdictions apply the same criterion for all residential uses. Typical structural attenuation is 12-17 dBA with open windows. With closed windows in good condition, the noise attenuation factor is around 20 dBA for an older structure and 25 dBA for a newer dwelling. Sleep and speech interference is therefore possible when exterior noise levels are about 57-62 dBA Ldn with open windows and 65-70 dBA Ldn if the windows are closed. Levels of 55-60 dBA are common along collector streets and secondary arterials, while 65-70 dBA is a typical value for a primary/major arterial. Levels of 75-80 dBA are normal noise levels at the first row of development outside a freeway right-of-way. In order to achieve an acceptable interior noise environment, bedrooms facing secondary roadways need to be able to have their windows closed, those facing major roadways and freeways typically need special noise control windows.

3.4.3 Regulatory Background
Noise levels generated in the Project Area would be regulated by City policies and regulations, including the land use compatibility recommendations in the Noise Element of the General Plan and the noise restrictions outlined in the San Carlos Municipal Code.

City of San Carlos Zoning Ordinance
Section 18.72.050 of the San Carlos Zoning Ordinance (Title 18 of the San Carlos Municipal Code) sets allowable noise limits for different types of receiving land uses in the Planned Manufacturing (PM-1 and PM-2) Zoning District. The majority of the area providing growth opportunities through 2003 Specific Plan implementation is zoned PM-1 or PM-2. 18.72.050: The following conditions are set forth in Section

3.4-3

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.4 Noise

1. At the lot or property line, the noise generated by any use or operation (other than transportation facilities or temporary construction work) shall not exceed: a) The noise standard for that land use as specified in Table 18.72.050 for a cumulative period of more than thirty minutes in any hour; b) The noise standard, plus five dB for cumulative period of more than fifteen minutes in any hour; c) The noise standard, plus ten dB for a cumulative period of more than five minutes in any hour; d) The noise standard, plus fifteen dB for cumulative period of more than one minute in any hour; and e) The noise standard, plus twenty dB or the maximum measured ambient level, for any period of time. 2. The noise measurements shall be performed using a sound level meter which meets or exceeds the requirements for type S2A meters in American National Standards Institute specifications for sound level meters, SI.4-1971, or the most recent version thereof. 3. If the measured ambient level differs from that permissible within any of the first four noise-limit categories above, the allowable noise exposure standard shall be adjusted in five-dB increments in each category as appropriate to encompass or reflect the ambient noise level. 4. In the event the ambient noise level exceeds the fifth noise-limit category, the maximum allowable noise level under this category shall be increased to reflect the maximum, ambient noise level. 5. If possible, the ambient noise shall be measured at the same location along the property line with the alleged offending noise source operative. If for any reason the alleged offending noise source cannot be shut down, the ambient noise must be estimated by performing a measurement in the same general area of the source but at a sufficient distance such that the noise from the source is at least ten dB below the ambient in order that only the ambient level be measured. 6. In the event the alleged offensive noise contains a steady, audible tone such as whine, screech or hum, or is a repetitive noise such as hammering or riveting, or contains music or speech conveying information content, the standard limits set forth in Table 18.72.050 shall be reduced by five dB.

City of San Carlos General Plan Noise Element
The Noise Element contains noise and land use compatibility recommendations for evaluating the compatibility of new uses with the on-site noise environment. Exterior residential noise levels are considered acceptable between 55 and 60 dBA CNEL. Exterior noise generated above 60 dBA CNEL in a residential community requires measures that would reduce noise to the acceptable level.
3.4-4

For

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.4 Noise

commercial land uses, which characterize the majority of the Project Area, ambient noise levels are considered satisfactory if they are less than 70 dBA CNEL, while noise environments between 70 dBA and 80 dBA CNEL are considered conditionally acceptable. Under these conditions, new development should be undertaken only after a detailed analysis of noise reduction requirements is made and needed noise insulation features are included in the project design. New construction or development should not be undertaken in noise environments exceeding 80 dBA CNEL containing commercial land uses.

Receiving Category One- and two-family residential Multiple dwelling residential Limited commercial Some multiple dwellings Commercial Light Industrial Heavy Industrial

Table 18.72.050 Exterior Noise Limits (Levels not to be exceeded more than 30 minutes in any hour) Land Use Time Period Noise Level (dBA) 10:00 PM through 7:00 AM 7:00 AM through 10:00 PM 10:00 PM through 7:00 AM 7:00 AM through 10:00 PM 10:00 PM through 7:00 AM 7:00 AM through 10:00 PM 10:00 PM through 7:00 AM 7:00 AM through 10:00 PM 10:00 PM through 7:00 AM 7:00 AM through 10:00 PM 45 55 50 55 55 60 60 65 70 75

The following policies identified in the City’s Noise Element would apply to the proposed project. •

Land use decisions shall be based on the Noise Compatibility Chart located in the Noise Element of the General Plan and acoustic reports required for all developments in locations where noise levels exceed the “normally acceptable” range for specified land use types. If recommended in the report, mitigation measures shall be required of project approval.

•

A detailed acoustic report shall be required in all cases where hotels, motels and multi-family dwellings are proposed in areas exposed to exterior 60 CNEL or greater. If recommended in the report, mitigation measures shall be required as conditions of project approval.

•

Consideration shall be given to establishing noise reduction programs for high impact noise areas that are already developed.

•

If complaints about noise increase in the future, procedures for dealing with complaints in the community will be established.
3.4-5 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.4 Noise

•

Noise generated at San Carlos Airport shall be monitored and any significant increase in noise level shall be evaluated for its effect on nearby land uses. Should noise levels exceed the CNEL standards established herein, mitigation measures shall be required at the source to reduce the levels to acceptable range.

•

A noise analysis, including recommended mitigation measures, shall be required for new residential uses located with the 55 to 60 CNEL impact area of the San Carlos Airport.

3.4.4 Existing Conditions
Existing noise in the Project Area varies according to many factors, including topography, weather (especially in response to wind speed and direction), and distance from major noise sources (e.g., airports, railroads, streets and highways, and commercial and industrial facilities).

Traffic noise is the major noise source in the Project Area. Traffic along US 101 and El Camino Real contribute most of the vehicular noise, followed by the arterial streets (Brittan Avenue, Holly Street, Howard Avenue, Industrial Road, Old County Road, Shoreway Road, and Skyway Road). Stationary sources of noise such as commercial and industrial activities are also dispersed throughout the Project Area. Other noise sources include air and transport traffic at the San Carlos Airport, passenger and freight rail traffic along JPB tracks, and various industrial activities or operations.

The noise-sensitive receptors in the Project Area are residences located along both sides of Holly Street and in dense pockets between Old County Road and Industrial Road. No other noise-sensitive receptors are located within the Project Area.

Existing conditions have not substantially changed since the adoption of the 1992 City of San Carlos General Plan. In fact, the General Plan assumed a population of 31,140 by 1995, and the current population is approximately 27,718, which is approximately 3,422 less than General Plan forecasted in 1992. Figure N-12, Future Noise Levels at Buildout, of the Noise Element in the City’s General Plan was used to represent existing noise levels in the Project Area, and its vicinity (a copy of this figure is available at City Hall, 600 Elm Street, San Carlos). Figure N-12 shows that the loudest source of noise in the Project Area is between 70 and 77 CNEL and is generated from US 101 and El Camino Real. The second loudest source is noise generated by the San Carlos Airport. The airport generates noise between 65-69 CNEL in the areas just east and west of US 101 and in and around the airport. The industrial and commercial area generates between 60 and 64 CNEL and the residential areas are within 55 and 59
3.4-6 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.4 Noise

CNEL. It is important to note that the General Plan does indicate that residents west of US 101 have experienced noise levels between 65 and 70 CNEL, which is conditionally acceptable.

3.4.5 Impact Assessment
Significance Criteria
The CEQA Guidelines state that a noise impact would normally be considered to be significant if noise levels generated by the project would conflict with a City goal or plan, or if noise level increases would be significant. For the purpose of this EIR, a noise or vibration impact will be considered significant if: • • •

Noise levels conflict with the policies in the Noise Element of the General Plan; Noise levels would exceed the noise standards set forth in the “Land Use Compatibility for Community Noise Environment” table found on page N-4 of the General Plan. Noise levels would violate the noise restrictions of the San Carlos Municipal Code.

Environmental Analysis
1. Project–related construction noise may create unacceptable peak noise levels for surrounding

land uses. However, implementation of mitigation measures would reduce impacts to a less than significant level.

Construction activities in the Project Area could occur in close proximity to the existing residential neighborhood. Although limited in duration, it is likely that noise levels associated with the construction would substantially exceed 60 dBA. Implementation of the following mitigation measures would reduce impacts to a less than significant level.

Noise – 1: Construction hours shall be limited to 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM weekdays and 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM weekends, in accordance with the City’s Noise Control Ordinance (Chapter 9.30 of the Municipal Code). Noise - 2: Use of construction equipment and haul trucks with noise reduction devices, such as mufflers, that are in good condition and operating within manufacturers’ specifications. Noise – 3: Selection of quieter equipment (e.g., gas or electric equipment rather than diesel-powered equipment), proper maintenance in accordance with manufacturers’ specifications, and fitting of noisegenerating equipment with muffles or engine enclosed panels, as appropriate.

3.4-7

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.4 Noise

Noise – 4: Prohibition of vehicles and other gas or diesel-powered equipment from unnecessary warming up, idling, and engine revving when equipment is not in use and encouragement of good maintenance practices and lubrication procedures to reduce noise. Noise – 5: Construction of temporary plywood barriers around particularly noisy equipment or activities. Noise – 6: Sitting of stationary sources, when feasible, away from residential areas and performance of functions such as concrete mixing and equipment repair offsite.

2. Operational–related noise may increase existing ambient noise levels to significant amounts. However, all land uses and structures in the Specific Plan Area shall meet standards included in the General Plan Noise Element, Zoning Ordinance, and Uniform Building Code (as it applies to noise reduction). In addition, implementation of mitigation measures listed below, along with the policies and “Noise Reduction Techniques” that are part of the 2003 Specific Plan would reduce impacts to a-less-than significant level.

Project implementation could result in increased ambient noise levels as a result of increased traffic and new stationary noise sources (e.g., roof-mounted equipment, load docks, etc.). Although traffic would increase in the Project Area as a result of project implementation, a significant increase in ambient conditions is not expected since the traffic mitigation strategies (see Section 4.2, Traffic and Circulation) included as part of the project would reduce the growth-rate of traffic volume, as well as traffic-related noise.

Noise levels that could be generated in the industrial research park and other proposed land uses cannot specifically be estimated because the noise levels would depend upon the specific user. The potential for noise impacts depends upon the proximity to existing sensitive receptors. In the Project Area,

commercial uses and industrial and park research uses are proposed close to existing residences in the Project Area. In addition, the 2003 Specific Plan includes a multi-family overlay district with an existing commercial/industrial designated area. Since it appears that project noise sources may be closer than 100 feet from residences, noise exposure to the nearest residents could exceed the 60 dBA maximum level for residences specified in the Noise Element of the General Plan and expose sensitive receptors to potentially significant noise effects.

The following mitigation measures would reduce potential noise impacts to a less-than-significant level:

3.4-8

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.4 Noise

Noise – 7: Individual projects located within 100 feet of a sensitive receptor and who could have the potential to generate ambient noise levels above City noise standards, would be required to retain an Acoustical Engineer who will review the mechanical equipment, as well as other noise generators, to make sure that the limits of San Carlos’s noise requirements are met, prior to issuance of a building permit. In addition, mechanical equipment (i.e., HVAC, etc.) shall be shielded to muffle noise. If shielding alone will not sufficiently reduce noise to acceptable levels, the equipment shall be sited on the rooftops of new buildings so that the equipment is located farthest from sensitive receptors. The

following is a list of techniques that may be recommended by the Acoustical Engineer to sufficiently reduce mechanical noise emissions: • • • •

Purchasing low-level noise-producing equipment. Placing a solid architectural screen about the mechanical equipment and design per the Acoustical Engineer’s recommendation for a project. Enclosing the HVAC system with architectural screens and using the housing to help block the noise. Supplying the air handlers of the HVAC system with a noise control package.

Noise – 8: When individual projects propose loading docks and trash collection facilities within 100 feet of a sensitive receptor implementation of the following mitigation measures should occur prior to receiving a building permit: •

Adequate buffers shall be provided for loading docks, trash compaction, and storage facilities and compressors. These noise abatement features shall be shown on drawing submitted for the project’s building permits.

•

Auxiliary power sources shall be included and used at each loading dock so that there is no needless engine idling of delivery trucks with refrigerator units. These sources shall be shown on drawings submitted for the project’s building permits.

In addition, to the above-mentioned mitigation measures, the following policies would be implemented as part of the project: •

Land uses that are sensitive to industrial or other noises, that are also proposed in areas that have an outdoor CNEL of 60 dBA or more, as described in the General Plan Noise Element, shall require acoustical analysis and sound attenuation or mitigation measures to bring indoor and
3.4-9 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.4 Noise

outdoor noise levels within the limits prescribed by the General Plan, to the maximum extent feasible. • • • Collector roads serving residential neighborhoods should include landscape buffers or insulating walls to mitigate traffic noise. Include another, less sensitive use, and large amounts of space between different land uses. To minimize traffic noise, vehicles in the Specific Plan Area shall travel at no more than 35 mph. (Speed limits vary in the Specific Plan Area, but are never more than 35 mph. For example, the speed limit for local streets—largely east-west streets that are not arterial streets—is 25 mph).

The 2003 Specific Plan also includes the following “Noise Reduction Techniques:”

Exterior Noise • Motor and tire noises are the primary components of roadway noise. Proper enforcement of vehicle laws mitigates these noises (e.g., enforcing the law that requires functioning mufflers). Tire noise increases with vehicle speed or on roads in poor repair. Police or patrol services monitor vehicle conditions and speeds; the Department of Public Works monitors and conditions the roadways in the Specific Plan Area (excluding the US 101). • Site design can and should orient buildings away from a noise source, or increase the distance between noise source and receiver. This may mean placing a non-sensitive land use (e.g., a parking lot or utility structure) between the sound source and receiver. • A solid barrier should be placed between sound source and receiver. To be effective a solid barrier must interrupt the line of sight between sound source and receiver (sound and light waves have similar properties of direction and reflection). The General Plan lists properties of effective sound barriers.

Interior Noise • • Appropriate project orientation, distance between sound source and receiver, solid barriers and other methods that reduce interior and exterior sound levels should be implemented. Projects should incorporate sound absorbing elements in the exterior shell of the building. Sound absorbing elements include weather-stripping around windows, insulated (double-pane) glazing and thermal or sound-attenuation insulation in exterior walls and roofs. 3. Residential uses could be exposed to noise levels from the JPB railroad tracks. This impact is considered less than significant with mitigation.
3.4-10 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.4 Noise

The JPB rail line runs along the western edge of the Project Area. Just east of the JPB tracks, across Old County Road, are commercial lots, with the Laureola neighborhood further east. The proposed project includes a multi-family overlay district on East San Carlos Avenue, between Old County Road and Industrial Road and it includes the extension of the “Commercial/Residential” land use designation one lot east along Old County Road, between a point north of McCue Avenue and a point south of Hall Street.

A noise study was conducted by Wilson, Ihrig & Associates in 1992 and an EIR was prepared, as part of the Holly Street Grade Separation project. Based on the EIR, noise impacts as a result of the grade separation to existing neighboring residents were determined to be insignificant. A subsequent noise study was prepared in 1999, to measure post-construction noise. Measurements were taken at the following eight locations: Hall Street near Old County Road; Riverton Drive near Old County Road; Laurel Street near Holly Street; Holly Street east of Old County Road; Spring Street west of El Camino Real; McCue Avenue between Old County Road and Industrial Road; Montgomery Street near Industrial Road; and Inverness Drive near Fairfield. Based on these noise studies, the noise from CalTrain train passbys is between 57 dBA (at McCue Avenue) and 85 dBA (at Riverton Drive). Based on the noise studies, it appears that the noise from single events along this rail line does have the potential to exceed the single event noise criteria typically used to minimize speech and sleep disturbance (50 dBA in the bedrooms and 55 dBA in other rooms). Therefore, the impact from noise from trains on the proposed multi-family development would be potentially significant. Mitigation with the following measure would reduce impacts to a less than significant level.

Mitigation Measures Noise – 9: A detailed noise analysis shall be prepared during the design phase for the houses which identifies the noise control treatments necessary to achieve an Ldn of 45 dBA1 or less inside the new houses. Further require that the analysis shall demonstrate how single-event noise levels from individual railroad trains will be controlled so as not to exceed a maximum instantaneous noise level (Lmax) of 50 dBA in bedrooms and 55 dBA in other noise sensitive rooms, such as living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, etc. Noise control treatments, such as sound rated windows, doors, wall constructions, and forced air ventilation (so, windows may be closed), if properly specific, would be able to achieve these noise limits.

1

A level of standard set by the State of California for interior noise. 3.4-11 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.4 Noise

This Page Intentionally Left Blank

3.4-12

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.5 Public Services
3.5.1 Introduction
This section addresses the potential environmental effect of the proposed project on police and fire protection, schools, recreational services and facilities, and solid waste collection services. Public service impacts are assessed in the context of the 1995 appellate court decision Goleta Union School District v. The Regents of the University of California. This decision holds that an increase in demand for public service could lead to potentially significant environmental impacts only if constructing or expanding a new facility was required, and the construction or operation of the facility might adversely affect the air, water, noise or other aspects of the physical environment. Further, the court held that the agency responsible for service provision would be responsible for selecting the method of responding to increased demand, for constructing the facility if that were the chosen method, and for implementing any needed environmental impact mitigation measures associated with constructing or operating a new facility.

The public services section in an EIR typically examines the project’s potential impacts on acceptable service delivery (e.g., response times or other performance objectives of the public services) for fire protection, police protection, schools and parks.

3.5.2 Environmental Setting
Police Protection Service
The City of San Carlos has its own Police Department that is responsible for all areas within City limits. The San Carlos Police Department has its headquarters at the Civic Center Building located at 600 Elm Street in San Carlos. The primary agency for police service in the unincorporated areas of San Mateo County is the San Mateo County Sheriffs Office with headquarters in Redwood City. The San Carlos Police Department currently staffs 38 sworn positions and 17 professional positions.1 The Police Department emergency response time goal is five minutes for life threatening calls and ten minutes for non-life threatening calls. No future staff growth is anticipated at this time.

1

Email to Audrey M. Darnell at Neal Martin & Associates from Jim Granucci, Police Chief at the City of San Carlos, dated May 22, 2003. 3.5-1

3.5 Public Services

The Police Department shares the responsibility for providing first aid and rescue services with the Fire Department. Positing of speed limit signs, stop signs and other traffic safety devices is coordinated with the Public Works, Street Division. Input from Police for new development is requested from the Building and Planning Offices to ensure adequate emergency access for properties in the City.

Fire Protection Service
San Carlos fire protection is provided by South County Fire Protection Authority (Authority), a joint powers authority responsible for fire protection in the cities of San Carlos and Belmont and the unincorporated community of Harbor Industrial Area (HIA). The Authority is rated by the Insurance Services Organization (ISO) as a Protection Class 3 (1 is the highest rating and 10 is lowest rating). The Authority serves an area of approximately 8.83 square miles, with a resident population of approximately 53,353. Current staffing is comprised of 55 personnel, including 1 Fire Chief, 3 Battalion Chiefs, 46 Fire Suppression/Rescue personnel, 1 Fire Marshal, 2 Fire Inspectors, and 3 Administrative Service staff.2 The Authority operates two fire stations in San Carlos and two fire stations in Belmont. The two stations in San Carlos are located as follows: • •

Station #13: 525 Laurel Street south of Holly Street (station closest to Project Area); and Station #16: 1280 Alameda de las Pulgas south of Howard Street.

The Authority is comprised of three specific divisions: the Management and Policy Division; the Suppression and Rescue (which also includes paramedic service and the Hazardous Materials Response Team) Division; and the Prevention and Education Division. The Suppression and Rescue Division is comprised of four paramedic-staffed engine companies and one ladder truck company. A hazardous materials response vehicle and one brush patrol vehicle are crossed-staffed by front-line fire companies and are available on an as-needed basis. Minimum daily staffing for a 24-hour shift is 15 firefighters and 1 Battalion Chief. The four-paramedic engine companies and one ladder truck company servicing the City of San Carlos, have a maximum response time of six minutes, fifty-nine seconds for emergency calls.3

The Authority is currently a member of another joint powers authority providing dispatching and emergency communications services with Redwood City Fire Department, Woodside Fire Protection District, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection/San Mateo County Fire, Menlo Park Fire
2 3

Email to Audrey M. Darnell at Neal Martin and Associates from Jim Palisi, Fire Marshal dated July 22, 2003. Ibid. 3.5-2 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.5 Public Services

Protection District, and the Half Moon Bay Fire Protection District. A single countywide dispatching and emergency communication center, located in Redwood City, serves the Authority, as well as the 17 remaining fire departments in San Mateo County. The Authority currently has a boundary drop emergency response agreement with all other 17 San Mateo County Fire Agencies.4

Schools
The Project Area is within the service boundaries of the San Carlos School District (kindergarten through 8th grade) and Sequoia Union High School District (9th through 12th grade). There are four elementary schools and two junior high schools in San Carlos.

Sequoia High School would service the Project Area. The current capacity at the high school is 1,534 students. However, the high school is currently undergoing expansion, including track and field facilities, modernization of all classrooms and buildings, and would result in a capacity of 2,000 by 2005. According to Staff at Sequoia Union High School District, the high school is expected to grow to 1,676 over the next three years.5

Parks
The City of San Carlos provides a variety of outdoor recreation facilities for use by its citizens in the form of neighborhood and community parks. Laureola Park, an approximately 2.6-acre neighborhood park, is located within the Project Area. The primary users of the park are the Parks and Recreational Special Needs program, San Carlos Little League, San Carlos AYSO Soccer, Laureola Park neighbors, including the Laureola Neighborhood Association, workers from local businesses on weekdays and picnic users on the weekends. Other recreational facilities that are primarily used by individuals in the Project Area include the Youth Center, Senior Center, Kiwanis Building, City Hall Park, Laurel Street Park and bicycles paths. The Kiwanis Building is currently at capacity serving classes and rentals.

The City has 14 parks and open space, totaling 144 acres. Developed neighborhood or community parks constitute 60 acres. The remaining 84 acres are open space or undeveloped. Park development has traditionally been based on a planning standard of providing four acres of recreational land per thousand

4 5

Ibid. Email to Audrey M. Darnell at Neal Martin and Associated from Susan Berghouse, Director of Public Information & Communication, Sequoia Union High School District, dated July 14, 2003. 3.5-3 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.5 Public Services

population. San Carlos currently has a population of 27,718, thus requiring 110 acres of recreational land. Given the above, there is a deficit of 40 acres of park lands in the City.6

Solid Waste
Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI) and its successors have served the Project Area for the past 60 years. BFI serves the residential portion of the Project Area with weekly garbage collection, and bi-weekly recycling, including yard waste. BFI also collects waste from the industrial and commercial business within the Area. Once waste is collected, it is delivered to the South Bayside Waste Management Authority’s Transfer Station and Recyclery. The Transfer Station and Recyclery is currently permitted to process 3,000 tons per day by the California Integrated Waste Management Board. The daily average over the past five years has been 1,700 tons per day at the Transfer Station and over 200 tons daily at the Recyclery.7

The Corinda Los Trancos Canyon at Ox Mountain is the landfill that receives solid waste from the Transfer Station. The landfill’s remaining capacity is 35 million cubic yards, which projects to a 20-year lifeline through 2023. Ox Mountain is permitted by the California Integrated Waste Management Board to receive 3,598 tons per day, or 1.3 million tons per year. For the last six years, BFI has processed significantly less than the permitted volume. To illustrate: • • • • • •

808,810 tons in 1997; 869,832 tons in 1998; 836,371 tons in 1999; 906,325 tons in 2000; 880,930 tons in 2001; and 807,890 tons in 2002.

BFI and San Carlos are making steady progress in reaching the Assembly Bill (AB) 939 solid waste reduction goal of 50 percent. The diversion rates for San Carlos as approved by the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) are as follows:

6

7

Memorandum to Audrey M. Darnell at Neal Martin & Associates from Barry Weiss, Parks and Recreational Director at City of San Carlos, dated June 18, 2003. Letter to Audrey M. Darnell at Neal Martin & Associates from Chris Valbusa, General Manager, at BFI, dated June 26, 2003. 3.5-4 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.5 Public Services

• • • • • • •

2001 at 44 percent; 2000 at 42 percent; 1999 art 39 percent; 1998 at 34 percent; 1997 at 39 percent; 1996 at 38 percent; and 1995 at 34 percent.

The diversion rates are based on San Carlos’ 1991 base year waste of 58,492 tons, as cited by the CIWMB.

BFI expects to launch a commercial food waste-recycling program in 2003. According to the CIWMB, San Carlos businesses and commercial sites (such as schools) generate 3,372 tons of food waste per year, which is 11 percent of the total commercial waste stream for San Carlos. BFI is planning an aggressive marketing and promotion program to involve a substantial number of commercial food waste generators to participate in the program. Participation in this new program by San Carlos businesses and institutions will help San Carlos reach the AB 939 50 percent diversion goal.8

3.5.3 Impact Assessment
Significance Criteria
This significance criteria used in analyzing impacts to public services is based upon the State CEQA Guidelines. According to CEQA, a proposed project would result in significant public services impacts if the proposed project would: •

Substantially result in adverse physical impacts associated with the provision of new or physically altered governmental facilities, the construction of which could cause significant environmental impacts, in order to maintain performance objectives for fire and police protection service, schools, parks and solid waste.

8

Ibid. 3.5-5 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.5 Public Services

Environmental Analysis
1. The San Carlos Police Department would be able to continue to provide adequate

service to the Project Area upon project implementation. Impacts are considered Less than Significant.

Implementation of the proposed project could increase the number of residents and work-force staff in the eastern portion of San Carlos. However, population and employment growth are generally consistent and with Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG’s) projections and thus, additional staffing may be required with or without the project. In addition, implementation of the proposed project would not change or significantly modify the roadways in the Project Area, thus, not directly affecting police response times. According to the Police Chief of San Carlos, Police staff would be able to accommodate the proposed project while maintaining the targeted emergency response time of five minutes and ten minutes for life-threatening and non life-threatening calls, respectively. Therefore, impacts to police services are considered to be less than significant. 2. Increased population in both permanent residents and workers in the eastern

portion of the City would have potentially significant impacts to the services provided by South County Fire Authority. However, implementation of mitigation measures reduces impacts to a less than significant level.

Population and employment growth in the eastern portion of the City would have potentially significant impacts to the services provided by South County Fire Authority. Additional staffing would be required to continue to provide service, while maintaining the emergency response time. It is in the opinion of South County Fire Authority staff, that the Authority might not be able to provide additional staffing and equipment to facilitate buildout conditions of the project. However, implementation of the following mitigation measures would minimize the impacts and reduce them to a less than significant level.

Mitigation Measures

Public Services – 1: All new projects associated with the 2003 Specific Plan shall be required to comply with State and local laws and regulations, including the current local fire ordinance (#2003-01). This ordinance requires built in automatic fire suppression systems, and alarm notification for all structures greater than 2,500 square feet or more than one-story tall.
3.5-6 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.5 Public Services

Public Services – 2: Upon determination by South County Fire Protection Authority, new developments may be required to pay development fees for additional fire rescue and prevention staffing and for vehicle replacement funding. 3. The proposed project would have less than significant impacts on schools that serve

the Project Area.

The proposed project could create up to 160 multi-family dwelling units and thus would have the potential to add students to the schools that service the Project Area. Assuming a 0.10 generator factor for high school students9, the project would add approximately 16 high school students to the high school serving the Project Area. The Sequoia High School would have the capacity to serve the students generated by implementation of the proposed project. According to the San Carlos School District, some of the elementary schools are at full capacity, while others have a surplus of space. Future elementary students would attend schools where surplus exists. Therefore, cumulatively, the San Carlos School District has adequate capacity to facilitate the project.10 In addition, developer fees would help mitigate any potential impacts the project would have on school systems. Given the above, impacts to schools that serve the Project Area would be less than significant. 4. The proposed project would have potentially significant impacts to parks in the

Project Area. However, incorporation of mitigation measures would reduce impacts to a less than significant level.

The proposed project could add up to approximately 443 permanent residents to the eastern portion of San Carlos and approximately 6,791 total jobs. The additional residents and workers to the City would contribute to the existing park and recreational deficit (assuming 4 acres of parkland for every 1000 population). Indoor community, program and rental space within the City are at or beyond its capacity. Local parks, including Laureola Park is also at its capacity. Overpopulated parks and recreational facilities could result in substantial wear and tear on athletic fields with the potential of causing irreparable damage; wear and tear on buildings, facilities, maintenance equipment, playground equipment and damage to landscaping as well as a lack of appropriate community amenities.

9 10

Generation factor was provided by Sequoia Union High School District. Phone conversation with Martin Fuentes, San Carlos School District, May 21, 2003. 3.5-7 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.5 Public Services

Given that the City is currently facing a deficit of approximately 40 acres in parkland, and although the proposed project would add a minimal amount of new permanent residents to City, the proposed project would have potentially significant impacts to parks in area.

Implementation of the mitigation measures listed below would reduce significant impacts to a less than significant level.

Mitigation Measures

Public Services – 3: Individual projects shall comply with Chapter 3.34, Park Facility Development Fees, and Section 17.32.040, Park and Recreation Land Dedications or In-Lieu Fees of the San Carlos Municipal Code.

Public Service – 4: Larger individual projects, which have the potential to impact parks may be required to pay additional fees and/or incorporate recreational amenities (e.g., park benches, pedestrian pathways/trails or similar recreational facilities, etc.) and make such recreational amenities available to the public.

In addition, the 2003 Specific Plan intends to create a greenbelt surrounding Pulgas Creek, which would help minimize impact, through implementation of the following proposed policy: •

The City shall encourage property owners who own property that includes or abuts Pulgas Creek, between Old County Road and the US 101, to raise the creek banks to a point somewhat above the 100-year flood elevation, as determined by the Civil Engineer. Raised banks should taper or return to existing grade on either side of the existing creek banks. Owners should construct these banks and berms according to a master improvement plan that shall include planting along the banks or other elements intended to stablize and beautify the creek and its banks.

5.

The proposed project would substantially increase the amount of solid waste However, with mitigation, impacts would be less than

generated within the eastern portion of the City and has the potential to impact collection service in the Project Area. significant.

3.5-8

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.5 Public Services

The proposed project could add approximately 1.7 million square feet of additional industrial and commercial land uses, 160 dwelling units, and 140 hotel rooms. Additional square footage to the eastern portion of the City would generate a substantial amount of solid waste. The Ox Mountain Landfill has a surplus capacity of 35 million cubic years, which project to a 20 year lifeline. Although the Ox Mountain Landfill has sufficient capacity to accommodate solid waste generated by the project, the project has the potential to impact solid waste collection services provided by BFI. The following mitigation measures would reduce impacts to a less than significant level.

Mitigation Measures

Public Service – 5: Individual projects shall provide adequate solid waste, recycling and organic collection containers and place them in a location where they are accessible to solid waste and recycling vehicles.

Public Service – 6: New businesses shall implement a recycling and waste reduction plan.

Public Service – 7: All new construction and tenant improvement shall comply with construction and demolition debris recycling requirements pursuant to Chapter 8.05 of the San Carlos Municipal Code.

3.5-9

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.5 Public Services

This Page Intentionally Left Blank

3.5-10

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.6 Public Utilities
3.6.1 Introduction
The utilities section assess potential impacts of the proposed 2003 Specific Plan on water supply and distribution, wastewater collection and treatment, and electricity and gas. Public utilities impacts are assessed in the context of the 1995 appellate court decision Goleta Union School District v. The Regents of the University of California. This decision holds that an increase in demand for public utilities could lead to potentially significant environmental impacts only if constructing or expanding a new facility as a result of the increased impact was required, and the construction or operation of the facility might adversely affect the air, water, noise or other aspects of the physical environment. Further, the court held that the agency responsible for service provision would be responsible for selecting the method of responding to increased demand, for constructing the facility if that were the chosen method, and for implementing any needed environmental impact mitigation measures associated with constructing or operating a new facility.

3.6.2 Environmental Setting
Water Supply
Water is supplied to the majority of the Project Area by the California Water Service Company (CalWater), Mid-Peninsula District. (A small portion of the HIA area is supplied by Mid-Peninsula Water Company.) CalWater’s Mid-Peninsula District is located in San Mateo County approximately 15 to 20 miles southeast of the City of San Francisco. The Mid-Peninsula District serves the communities of San Carlos and San Mateo and adjacent unincorporated portions of San Mateo County including The Highlands and Palomar Park. CalWater purchases its water from the San Francisco Water Department (SFWD) whose sources come from the Hetch Hetchy system. The Mid-Peninsula District has purchased an average of 17,110 acre feet (AF) per year during the last ten years.

Pursuant to the California Public Utilities Commissions’ Decision 02-09-84, the CalWater, Mid-Peninsula District has prepared an Urban Water Management Plan (2000). The Plan contains existing water supply and water quality information, as well as conservation measures and future forecasts (through the year 2020). According to the Urban Water Management Plan, the Mid-Peninsula District projects that the average water requirements in the year 2020 will be 18,700 AF per year. All of this demand will be satisfied by the purchased supply from SFWD. The existing 25-year contract with SFWD will end in the
3.6-1

3.6 Public Utilities

year 2009. The supply from SFWD is expected to be adequate and reliable through at least through the horizon year (2020). Based on the an county-wide study, the “Comprehensive Water Resources

Management Plan,” SFWD will be the sole source of water to the Mid-Peninsula District.

Sewer Service
The City of San Carlos Public Works Department provides wastewater collection for San Carlos. The sewer collection system primarily consists of gravity flow collectors and trunks. The main pipelines that carry the flow from Old County Road to Industrial Road are located at American Street, Brittan Avenue, Commercial Street and Cherry Street. These major pipelines range from 8-inches to 21-inches in

diameter and convey wastewater flow to Industrial Road. The Industrial Road system consists of major trunk pipelines ranging from 10-inches to 27-inches in diameter. The system then discharges into a 36-inch diameter reinforced concrete pipe that carries the total flow to a pump station located on City property, east of US 101. The pump station pumps the flow for disposal to the South Bayside System Authority (SBSA) Wastewater Treatment Plant located in the eastern portion of Redwood Peninsula in Redwood City.

The SBSA treatment plant was opened in 1981 and replaced four older facilities located along Bayshore Freeway. The authority provides services to four major sanitary jurisdictions: Belmont, San Carlos, Redwood City and West Bay Sanitary District. The City of San Carlos purchases capacity rights every two years from the SBSA treatment plant. The City of San Carlos currently has 3.7 million gallon per day capacity rights at the SBSA treatment plant. The actual average total flow is approximately 3.2 million gallons per day.

3.6.3 Impact Assessment
Significance Criteria
Impacts on utilities from the proposed project would be considered significant under the following conditions: • •

If there are insufficient water supplies available to serve the project; If serving the proposed project would result in a determination by the water supply provider that serves or may serve the project that its storage, transmission, and distribution systems are inadequate to serve the project’s projected demand without significant system modifications and upgrades;
3.6-2 2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.6 Public Utilities

•

If serving the proposed project would result in a determination by the wastewater service and treatment provider that serves or may serve the project that its collection, transmission, and treatment systems are inadequate to serve the project’s projected demand without significant modifications and upgrades;

•

If serving the proposed project would result in a determination by the storm drain service provider that serves or may serve the project that its collection and transmission systems are inadequate to serve the project’s projected demand without significant system modifications and upgrades.

Environmental Analysis
1. The 2003 Specific Plan would increase water supply demand. However, this

increased demand is included in the CalWater’s Mid-Peninsula District 2000 Urban Water Management Plan and thus impacts are considered less than significant.

Buildout of the 2003 Specific Plan could result in land uses that typically require less water usage then reflected in historical water usage for the eastern portion of the City. The 2003 Specific Plan includes a substantial increase in office use (approximately 873,096 million square feet) and a reduction in warehouse and manufacturing type uses (approximately 424,377 and 424,645, respectively). Office use generally consumes less water than other commercial and industrial type of uses. In addition, according to the distribution patterns of water usage outlined in the Urban Water Management Plan, the primary water consumer is single-family residential homes; the proposed project does not propose any singlefamily residential homes.

The Urban Water Management Plan predicts water demand up to the year 2020 (and beyond). The projected demand was based on historical trends and demand per service. Implementation of the

proposed project would vary slightly from historical land use trends, by proposing less intense water consumers (i.e., office). In addition, the Project Area is already developed and a water infrastructure is already established. Because new development would mainly consist of redevelopment or additions, the existing water infrastructure would facilitate the project. Given the above, buildout conditions of the 2003 Specific Plan would not likely impact water service and supply to the Project Area.

The 2003 Specific Plan includes the following public safety and public facilities policies:

3.6-3

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.6 Public Utilities

• •

Improvements to public facilities and services shall coincide with a demand for such facilities and services that may follow implementation of the Specific Plan. Service and facility improvements shall be designed to accommodate the Specific Plan Area at buildout of the proposed land-uses.

2.

Increased population in both permanent residents and workers in the eastern

portion of the City would have potentially significant impacts to the wastewater collection and treatment services. However, implementation of mitigation measures reduces impacts to a less than significant level.

For the purpose of determining project impacts, the Public Works Department estimated the total wastewater flow under buildout conditions of the 2003 Specific Plan and added this to the entire system for analysis. The results showed that under project conditions the wastewater collection system would function at approximately 50 percent capacity during the dry weather non-peak hours and would operate at an estimated 80 percent of capacity during dry weather peak hours. During a peak wet weather flow, some section of the system (less than 10 percent) would be surcharged without any overflow. Therefore, the existing wastewater collection system would be able to accommodate buildout conditions and therefore, the proposed project would have less-than-significant impacts on the wastewater collection system in the Project Area and its vicinity.

The City of San Carlos has 3.7 million gallon per day capacity rights at the SBSA treatment plant. The actual average total flow is approximately 3.2 million gallons per day. Given that the daily capacity rights are close to their maximum, future development could have a significant impact on capacity rights at the SBSA treatment plant. Incorporation of the following mitigation measures would reduce impacts to a less-than-significant level.

Mitigation Measures

Public Utilities – 1: Individual projects shall pay a sewer capacity fee pursuant to San Carlos Municipal Code, Section 13.04. The funds would go toward purchasing capacity and for improvements to the collection system.

In addition, the 2003 Specific Plan includes the following public safety and public facilities policies:

3.6-4

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.6 Public Utilities

• •

Improvements to public facilities and services shall coincide with a demand for such facilities and services that may follow implementation of the Specific Plan. Service and facility improvements shall be designed to accommodate the Specific Plan Area at buildout of the proposed land-uses.

3.6-5

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR

3.6 Public Utilities

This Page Intentionally Left Blank

3.6-6

2003 East San Carlos Specific Plan Draft EIR


								
To top