Today the City of Redwood City released the Public Draft of the Inner Harbor Specific Plan (IHSP) and the Draft Environmental Impact Report and Alternatives. There will be many opportunities for both the public and decision makers to comment.
These documents are all accessible via the Inner Harbor page on www.redwoodcity.org/innerharbor.
The Inner Harbor is a 100-acre area north of Highway 101 bounded by Redwood Creek and Seaport Boulevard. The Specific Plan purpose is to provide guidance for future development in the area.
The foundation for the IHSP was created by the Inner Harbor Task Force. The Task Force included a broad group of stakeholders who met through a series of meetings in 2013 and 2014. In addition to engaging in a thoughtful discussion on a wide-range of issues, the Task Force created a set of Guiding Principles. The Guiding Principles can be found in Chapter 3 of the IHSP, and provide a roadmap for the creation of the plan.
The Plan envisions a destination harbor center, with areas for homes, employment, and recreation.
The IHSP and associated EIR are very detailed. The documents cover the following topics: baseline conditions, vision framework, land use and zoning, design guidelines and standards, circulation and parking, utilities, community benefits, and implementation.
The Draft EIR includes a comprehensive impact analysis as required by the California Environmental Quality Act. The EIR also includes several alternatives for public consideration. The environmental impacts of each alternative are also analyzed, to help the public, Planning Commission and City Council better understand the impacts of certain land use decisions.
While the documents do include a thorough analysis, they are still very much draft documents, and are intended to inform and engage the public and decision-makers. There are dozens of key policy decisions that require public input, as well as Planning Commission and City Council review. This process is somewhat unique in that Draft Plan, Draft EIR and alternatives are being released at the same time. Although this may not be the typical process, it has the distinct advantage of providing the public and decisions makers with all the information prior to the adoption process.
The Draft EIR is being released for a 90-day review period beginning today. The public is encouraged to send in written questions and comments about the EIR during this 90-day period.
The Planning Commission will hold a public meeting on December 1st at 7:00pm at City Hall to receive comments and questions. No decision will be made at that meeting. Ultimately, all oral comments received at the hearing and written comments received during the 90-day period will be included and responded to in the Final EIR.
In addition to the December Planning Commission hearing, there will be a number of other venues for public input of the IHSP. These meetings will be held in early 2016 and may include community workshops, online polls Planning Commission and City Council study sessions, as well as the formal public hearings at Planning Commission and City Council meetings. A community input process and timeline will be finalized in the coming months.