Protect Coyote Hills


Patterson Ranch development concerns
By Mary Biggs - Letter to the Editor
Tri-City Voice, December 16, 2009
[Edited letter to Scott Ruhland, City of Fremont Planning Division]

I am asking three questions directly related to the [Patterson Ranch] DEIR.

Question #1 - Soil contamination cleanup

If Council approves the Plan as is, will FFD or City of Fremont notify North Fremont residents of the exact dates of the "proposed" contaminated soils cleanup in the project area?

DEIR states FFD will approve 'a Site-Specific Health and Safety Plan for construction workers who will face 'potential exposure to toxic materials.'(DEIR 4.8-12) Will FFD approve any construction phase safety plans for the general public residing immediately adjacent to the planned development?

Could particles of dieldrin and toxaphene become airborne during the soil cleanup phase?

DEIR 4.8-11 & 12 mention the 'treatment and / or removal' of toxic and contaminated soils. DEIR 4.8-11 vaguely describes the 'offsite disposal' of contaminated soils to a 'nearby development parcel' and also mentions 'excavation and placement' of contaminated soils in 'open space areas with a vegetative cover or soil cap.'

What soils will be 'treated;' what soils will be 'removed;' and where is this 'open space' or 'nearby development parcel' where contaminated soils will be placed?

Question #2 - State Law Requirements Regarding City Park Acreage

What are the exact city park acreage requirements specified by CA State Law? Is the exact wording of the law a 'total park acreage per total' city square miles? Or does the wording of the law specify a certain park acreage requirement per population density per each city square mile?

Question #3 - Swap Current City Park Space for Proposed School Space at Site 4:

Is the following a feasible alternative to building an elementary school on the 10 acres at Site 4? (DEIR 3-6, Table 3-1)

If Council votes to approve the Patterson Ranch Plan as is, instead of using developer monies (DEIR 4.15-3) to build one elementary school at Site 4, FUSD could use developer monies to expand existing North Fremont schools?

Use the 10 school acres at Site 4 as additional City Park lands, to make up for existing City Park lands that the City would give to FUSD for North Fremont school expansions. Specifically, City of Fremont would give FUSD reasonable and appropriate portions of existing City Park lands currently adjacent to Ardenwood Elementary on Deep Creek Rd., to Forest Park Elementary on Maybird Circle, and American High & Brookvale Elementary on Alder and Nicolet (Los Cerritos Park).

Basically let's create an even swap of current North Fremont City Park acreage for the designated 10 school acres at Site 4.

CA Dept. of Education, Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Article 2. Standards for School Site Selection, Item I, states that "all school districts shall select school sites that provide safety and support learning. The following standard(s) shall apply: Item I: The site is not subject to moderate to high liquefaction or landslides."

The DEIR only includes descriptions of Modified Mercalli Intensity Ratings of VII and VIII; it should also include the detailed descriptions of Modified Mercalli Intensity Ratings of IX and X,

The discussed $ 9 million in developer monies is inadequate for all North Fremont school expansion costs, but at least it's partial funding. It is also an inadequate amount to build one elementary school specially engineered for liquefaction soil and significant seismic activity.

If expanding current North Fremont schools to accommodate new students from the proposed development is not a viable alternative, then I implore you to work with City Staff and FUSD to come up with other alternatives than building an elementary school at Site 4.

I strongly oppose the building of an elementary school at Site 4. Please encourage the City Council and Planning Commission to make safety their top priority.

Mary Biggs

Warwick Elementary School Safety Committee

Fremont Fire Dept. CERT volunteer, since 1996 



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