September 30, 2009

Scoping

Things sure went from fun and festive to business as usual in a hurry.

Since the Second and PCH community/scoping meeting on Oct 7 at Rogers Middle School is soonest, I suppose it's probably best to start there.

An application has been submitted to build the aptly named Second and PCH project. Submittal of said application triggers CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act).

CEQA is an environmental law which enables public agencies to make informed decisions. It also facilitates public participation. CEQA compels public agencies to examine and disclose the potential significant adverse environmental consequences of their actions, including the approval of private development projects (Planning and Conservation League, 2007).

With regards to Second and PCH, given the potential for significant effects under CEQA, an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is going to be prepared.

When a Lead Agency (the City of Long Beach in this case) decides to prepare an EIR, scoping is necessary. Scoping is essentially an early public consultation process. Scoping is helpful to agencies as it assists them in identifying the range of actions, alternatives, mitigation measures, and significant effects to be analyzed in depth in an EIR and in eliminating from detailed study issues found not to be important (CEQA 15083(a)).

So what's the gist?

Basically, you show up to the scoping meeting, state your general concerns and/or what you like about the project, suggest any alternatives and/or mitigation measures you believe are feasible, and also identify what you would hope to see analyzed in the EIR and why (if you can).

For instance, if you don't think that cutting a road through the wetlands is appropriate traffic mitigation given the inevitability of wetlands habitat destruction, you should show up and say that.

Alternatively, if you think the current place is a neopolitan ice cream looking eyesore and needs to go, say that too and also add what you would like to see there instead.

So that's it. Scoping.

Now show up and participate on October 7, 6:30 at Rogers Middle School (365 Monrovia Ave.).