CEQA FINDINGS: SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS AND MITIGATION MEASURES for Ursula Sherman (partial)

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CEQA FINDINGS: SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS AND MITIGATION MEASURES July 24, 2003

Exhibit 1

I.          SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS AND MITIGATION MEASURES

A.  Impact 4.1-3 Air Quality
           
Significant Impact:  Future shelter occupants at the project site could be exposed to elevated concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5.  Exposure to levels greater than either the annual or 24-hour standards may result in adverse health problems for sensitive receptors.

Partial Mitigation Measures:
 Disclose Site Health Hazard.  The applicant shall disclose the site health hazard to potential shelter occupants during occupant intake/interview selection process.  The disclosure shall include notification of air quality conditions at the site (exceedance of state and federal PM2.5 standards and state PM10 standards) and associated potential medical effects from exposure to air quality conditions. The disclosure shall indicate that PM10 concentrations generally are greatest Monday through Saturday, between 7am and 3pm (as adjusted for most accurate transfer station operating hours).

Direct Future Occupants with Respiratory Problems to Other Locations
.  The applicant will screen future shelter occupants and direct those with preexisting illnesses (e.g. asthma) who may be adversely affected by air quality problems to BOSS' other transitional houses.

Provide HVAC or Air Filtration System for All New Buildings
.  The applicant shall equip all new buildings with an HVAC system or a dedicated and filtered outside air system to properly ventilate indoor air.  The system shall be designed to treat outdoor air supply prior to being circulated indoors.  The treatment shall include the removal of particulate matter with diameter equal to or greater than 0.5 microns; the removal efficiency shall be at least 90 percent.  The system shall be designed and constructed in accordance with applicable building design codes (i.e., Uniform Building Code) and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards.  The system shall be maintained and operated in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local requirements.  The system shall be operated in a manner that would not worsen indoor air quality conditions.

Notify Occupants of Importance of Effectively Using Air Filtration System.
  The applicant shall notify future shelter occupants during intake that maintaining closed windows and doors during the air filtration system operation would yield optimum indoor air quality, specifically during hours of operation at the transfer station or other hours if air quality is determined to be below standards.  This notification shall also be posted throughout the project site.

           
            Finding:  Installation and use of an HVAC or air filtration system will improve indoor air quality, however the impact remains significant because outdoor air will not be treated.  Directing occupants with health problems to other sites will lessen the impact for individual persons. The mitigation measures will provide significant improvement to the quality of indoor air; however, there is not feasible way to guarantee that residents will not open doors or windows, or to treat outdoor air.

            Rationale:  The project will provide new transitional housing for up to 18 families and 8 single adults that would not otherwise be provided. Provision of transitional housing is a goal for the City. The applicant would lose a $500,000 state grant if the project were delayed by relocation to another site, and alternative funding is not available.  The Draft EIR identified environmentally superior sites, however, they would not meet project objectives and are not economically feasible.

II.        IMPACTS WHICH ARE NOT SIGNIFICANT

The City considered the potential impacts and determined in an Initial Study that the only potential environmental impacts would be impacts on air quality, hazardous materials, hydrology, and noise.  No comments received on the Initial Study asserted or provided any evidence to the contrary.  Accordingly, potential impacts on the resources in the following categories were determined to be less than significant.

  • Aesthetics
  • Agricultural Resources
  • Biological Resources
  • Cultural Resources
  • Geology and Seismicity
  • Land Us
  • Mineral Resources
  • Population/Housing
  • Public Services
  • Recreation
  • Transportation
  • Utilities/Service Systems
  • Water Quality

III.       POTENTIALLY SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS THAT ARE FOUND NOT SIGNIFICANT

The EIR considered the following potential impacts and concluded that they would not be significant:

A.  Potential Impacts – Air Quality

  1. Impact 4.1-1:  Construction activities would result in short-term PM10 emissions.

Reference:  DEIR, p. 4.1-16

  1. Impact 4.1-2:  Construction activities during development would result in short-term exhaust emissions from construction equipment.

Reference:  DEIR, p. 4.1-17

  1. Impact 4.1-4:  Future shelter occupants could be exposed to elevated concentrations of hazardous air pollutant emissions.

Reference:  DEIR, p. 4.1-24

  1. Impact 4.1-5:  Vehicle traffic generated by the project could result in a minimal increase in carbon monoxide levels at nearby intersections.

Reference:  DEIR p. 4.1-25

  1. Impact 4.1-6:  Additional vehicle trips generated by the project could cause a regional, long-term increase in air pollutant emissions.

Reference:  DEIR p. 4.1-27

B.  Potential Impacts – Hazardous Materials

  1. Impact 4.2-1:  Development of the project could expose construction workers and/or the public to hazardous materials from existing soil and groundwater contamination during construction activities.

Reference:  DEIR, p. 4.2-11

  1. Impact 4.2-2:  Historic releases from underground petroleum storage tanks at the project site, if they have occurred, could potentially affect human health and the environment.

Reference:  DEIR, p. 4.2-12

  1. Impact 4.2-3:  Improper use or transport of hazardous materials during construction activities could result in releases affecting construction workers and the general public.

Reference:  DEIR, p. 4.2-13

  1. Impact 4.2-4:  Demolition or renovation of buildings potentially containing lead-based paint and asbestos-containing building materials could release airborne lead and asbestos particles, which may affect construction workers and the public.

Reference:  DEIR, p. 4.2-13

  1. Impact 4.2-5:  Maintenance workers, future shelter occupants, and the public could be exposed to contaminants in soil and groundwater following development of the project site.

Reference:  DEIR, p. 4.2-14

C.  Potential Impacts – Hydrology and Storm Drainage

1.   Impact 4.3-1:  The project site is susceptible to occasional flooding
Reference:  DEIR, p. 4.3-4

D.  Potential Impacts – Noise

  1. Impact 4.4-1:  Construction noise

Reference:  DEIR, p. 4.4-10

  1. Impact 4.4-2: Vehicular noise from additional project-generated traffic

Reference:  DEIR, p. 4.4-11

  1. Impact 7.4:  Exposure of site occupants to existing noise sources

Reference:  DEIR, p. 4.4-11

IV.       ALTERNATIVES

As required by CEQA, discussion of possible alternatives to the Project, including a No Action Alternative, was contained in the Draft EIR.  With the adoption of the Project, the City of Berkeley makes the following findings regarding the rejection of the other alternatives in favor of the Project.

A.   Off-Site Location Alternatives

Description:  Several off-site locations within the City are potential alternatives to the proposed project.  The alternative locations have been chosen as potentially feasible for construction of new transitional housing and/or relocation of support services from the project site at Harrison Street to other locations.  The Off-site Alternative locations are:  U.S. Post Office (6th and Harrison Streets), City Corporation Yard (2208 Acton Street), Flamingo Motel (1761 University Avenue), 926 Murray Street, and Scattered-site, Transit-access Housing (1719-25 University and/or 2612 San Pablo Avenue.  The size of the sites vary and some could only partially accommodate the proposed project and programs.

Findings:  The environmental conditions at the off-site alternatives are better than at the project site; however, all of the alternative sites would be considered infeasible if control of the properties was not funded by the applicant or the City.  The applicant does not have additional funding to purchase or lease properties not owned by the City, and would lose a $500,000 state grant if the project were delayed by relocation.  The City does not have funding to replace this grant or to purchase an alternative site for the project. One of the alternative sites is owned by the City; however, there are no plans or funding to move the City’s Corporation Yard.  The majority of the sites (Flamingo Motel, 926 Murray Street, 1719-25 University, and 2612 San Pablo) would not meet the basic objectives of the project because they are too small to accommodate a “village-type” project.  The U.S. Post Office site was considered the environmentally superior alternative; however, funding is not available to purchase or lease the property.

B.  CEQA-Mandated No Project Alternative

            Description:  Under the No Project Alternative the site would remain as it is today.  The existing Use Permit would allow up to 100 residents; however, no significant amount of construction would take place.  The facility would remain an emergency homeless shelter and programs would continue to operate as they do today.  Transitional housing would not be provided.

            Findings:  The No Project Alternative would not result any new adverse environmental consequences.  Maintaining the facility for shorter-term emergency housing would create fewer impacts on future residents than longer-term transitional housing.  However, this alternative meets none of the Project objectives, and does not provide additional needed transitional housing and programs.

V.   STATEMENT OF OVERRIDING CONSIDERATIONS

The Ursula Sherman Village proposes many benefits to homeless families and individuals.  In addition to providing transitional housing, support services including counseling, meeting space, a laundry, case management offices, adult and teen education, a village supplies store, and childcare program will be provided.  Homeless families and single adults are among the most discriminated-against populations in our society.  The City’s General Plan recognizes that the housing shortage is particularly acute at the lowest levels of affordability.  The Housing Element calls for provision of emergency shelter and transitional housing and for coordination of housing with supportive services for people with special needs.  The Berkeley Homeless Continuum of Care Plan states that, “there is a significant shortage of transitional housing, especially for families”.

The only significant impact identified is that future shelter occupants at the project site could be exposed to elevated concentrations of PM10 and PM 2.5 and that this may result in adverse health problems for people with respiratory problems.  Mitigation measures will minimize, but not eliminate this potential impact.  The City finds that the benefits of the project, as outlined above, are a significant public contribution and that these benefits outweigh the potential adverse impacts.

Exhibit 2

FINDINGS FOR PERMIT APPROVAL

General Non-Detriment Finding
  • Pursuant to and in compliance with BMC Section 23B.32.040, the Zoning Adjustments Board finds that the expansion of the BOSS Homeless Shelter, located at 711 Harrison Street, to add 10 – 12 transitional housing units and support services, and to expand the existing homeless shelter under the circumstances of this particular case, existing at the time at which the application is granted, will not be detrimental to the health, safety, peace, morals, comfort, or general welfare of persons residing or working in the area or neighborhood of such proposed use, or be detrimental or injurious to property and improvements of the adjacent properties, the surrounding area or neighborhood, or to the general welfare of the City, for the following reasons:
  • The project is consistent with Section 23E.80.30A of the Zoning Ordinance, which explicitly allows the expansion of the homeless facility on the subject property.  The City’s General Plan recognizes that the housing shortage is particularly acute at the lowest levels of affordability.  The Housing Element calls for provision of emergency shelter and transitional housing and for coordination of housing with supportive services for people with special needs.  While West Berkeley is primarily an industrial area and the West Berkeley Plan was written to protect such use, the General Plan and West Berkeley Plan also recognize the need for housing and services and, given the specificity of the zoning that was adopted to implement the West Berkeley Plan, the project is consistent with the West Berkeley Plan and General Plan.

  • The project will not be detrimental to the welfare of the neighborhood, of the persons working or residing therein, or of the City as a whole in that the proposed project is an expansion of an existing use about which there have not been problems; the project will meet an important need to provide additional homeless facilities as is recognized in the General Plan and the Berkeley Homeless Continuum of Care Plan, which states that, “there is a significant shortage of transitional housing, especially for families”; the height and scale of the project are below the maximum allowed by the Zoning Ordinance and will not have any impact on surrounding buildings or uses; traffic and parking demand are lower than would be created by a commercial project and will not adversely affect existing conditions; the project will not create any adverse environmental impacts that would affect surrounding uses; with the exception of air quality, all potentially significant environmental impacts are mitigated to a level of insignificance; and mitigations will minimize the impact of existing air quality on future residents by filtering indoor air and by diverting people with respiratory problems to other facilities.

  • Pursuant to and in compliance with BMC Section 23B.32.040, the Zoning Adjustments Board finds that utilization of shared parking with the Harrison Street Park facilities will not, under the circumstances of this particular case, existing at the time at which the application is granted, be detrimental to the health, safety, peace, morals, comfort, or general welfare of persons residing or working in the area or neighborhood of such proposed use, or be detrimental or injurious to property and improvements of the adjacent properties, the surrounding area or neighborhood, or to the general welfare of the City, for the following reasons:

  • The project meets the criteria for joint use of off-street parking spaces pursuant to BMC Section 23E.28.060 because both facilities need parking at off-peak hours and the shared parking spaces are located within 800 feet of each other.  When the soccer fields were developed, shared parking was planned for the homeless facility and the park.  The parking spaces serve different uses that will not be subject to substantial conflict in demand for the spaces.  Peak time for the soccer field is on Saturdays.  This is not a peak time for the project because single adults are required to leave the facility during the day (although families can stay on site).  6 1/2 months of the year, both the shelter and the soccer fields are active in the evening, however, the parking spaces should not be subject to substantial conflict because users tend to park closer to their destination and generally use adjacent on-street parking, especially when businesses are closed, rather than the parking lots adjacent to each use.

  • The proposed shared parking will not be detrimental to the welfare of the neighborhood, of the persons working or residing therein, or of the City as a whole in that environmental analysis shows adequate parking availability in the area, and the demand for parking for the homeless facility and transitional housing is anticipated to be low, based on comparisons with similar facilities.

Exhibit 3

CONDITIONS OF APPROVAL FOR USE PERMIT #02-1000017

Air Quality:  The following mitigation measures are required to minimize the impact of existing air quality on future residents:

  • Direct Future Occupants with Respiratory Problems to Other LocationsThe applicant shall screen future shelter occupants and direct those with preexisting illnesses (e.g.. asthma) who may be adversely affected by air quality problems to BOSS' other transitional houses.

  • Disclose Site Health Hazard.  The applicant shall disclose the site health hazard to potential shelter occupants during occupant intake/interview selection process.  The disclosure shall include notification of air quality conditions at the site (exceedance of state and federal PM2.5 standards and state PM10 standards) and associated potential medical effects from exposure to air quality conditions.  The disclosure shall indicate thatPM10 concentrations generally are greatest Monday through Saturday, between 7am and 3pm (as adjusted for most accurate transfer station operating hours)
    .
  • Provide HVAC or Air Filtration System for All New BuildingsThe applicant shall equip all new buildings with an HVAC system or a dedicated and filtered outside air system to properly ventilate indoor air.  The system shall be designed to treat outdoor air supply prior to being circulated indoors.  The treatment shall include the removal of particulate matter with diameter equal to or greater than 0.5 microns; the removal efficiency shall be at least 90 percent.  The system shall be designed and constructed in accordance with applicable building design codes (i.e., Uniform Building Code) and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards.  The system shall be maintained and operated in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local requirements.  The system shall be operated in a manner that would not worsen indoor air quality conditions.

  • Notify Occupants of Importance of Effectively Using Air Filtration System.  The applicant shall notify future shelter occupants during intake that maintaining closed windows and doors during the air filtration system operation would yield optimum indoor air quality, specifically during hours of operation at the transfer station or other hours if air quality is determined to be below standards.  This notification shall also be posted throughout the project site.

  • Construction-related air quality impacts:  The applicant shall comply with the dust control measures recommended by BAAQMD to the satisfaction of the City’s Engineering Inspector.  The basic and optional recommendations are summarized in the EIR and the Mitigation Monitoring Program.

  • Hazardous Materials:  The following mitigation measures are required to address hazardous materials impacts:
    • The applicant shall prepare a Site Specific Safety and Health Plan (SSHP) prior to the issuance of a building permit.  The plan shall be prepared in conjunction with a Soil and Groundwater Management Plan (see Mitigation Measure 4.2-3).  This plan, along with the building permit plans, shall be subject to review and approval by the Berkeley TMD.  This plan shall address worker and community safety during the process of remediation, demolition, renovation, or disposal of any hazardous materials.  The Safety and Health Officer, as identified in the SSHP, shall also respond to community queries regarding odors and other health concerns.  This will include any perimeter air testing if necessary to protect public health.

    • Excavations for foundations or utilities at the project site may encounter contaminated groundwater.  To minimize the potential for negative impacts, the SSHP shall include provisions for legal and safe de-watering, discharge, and disposal processes.  The applicant must obtain relevant construction permits from the City of Berkeley, and approvals from the TMD and either the Regional Water Quality Control Board or East Bay Municipal Utility District.

    • If polluted soil or water is encountered, the contractor shall adequately contain it and properly remove it from the site as soon as possible.  The SSHP (see Mitigation Measure 4.2-1a) should establish soil and groundwater mitigation and control specifications for grading and construction activities, including health and safety provisions for monitoring exposure to construction workers, procedures to be undertaken in the event that previously unreported contamination is discovered, and emergency procedures and responsible personnel.

    • A Site Safety Plan/Soil and Groundwater Management Plan shall be prepared, which will address emergency procedures and the management and disposal of contaminated soils and groundwater (see Mitigation Measures 4.2-1a through 4.2-1c).  Use and transport of hazardous materials during construction activities shall be performed in accordance with existing state and federal hazardous materials regulations.

    • Prior to any demolition or issuance of a building permit for a structure known or suspected to have been constructed prior to 1985, an asbestos and lead-based paint survey shall be provided.  If asbestos-containing materials were determined to be present, the materials should be abated by a certified asbestos abatement contractor in accordance with the regulations and notification requirements of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.  If lead-based paint were identified, then federal and state construction worker health and safety regulations should be followed during renovation or demolition activities.  If loose or peeling lead-based paint were identified, it should be removed by a qualified lead abatement contractor and disposed of in accordance with existing hazardous waste regulations.

    • Prior to issuance of an occupancy permit for the structure currently located at 1345 Sixth Street, documentation that lead abatement has occurred shall be submitted to the City.

    • Any use of groundwater at the site is prohibited.  A site-specific health and safety plan is required for any excavation exceeding three feet at the site, and prohibit any cultivation of edible plants except in raised beds with imported clean soil.

    • Flooding:  All structures on the project site shall be built so that potential injuries to project occupants and property damage are minimized in the event of a flood to the satisfaction of the City Engineer and Zoning Officer.  The standards and requirements are summarized in the EIR and the Mitigation Monitoring Program.  The Zoning Officer may approve additional building height or site changes to comply with this condition.

  • Noise:  The following mitigation measures are required to address noise impacts:

    • Noise-generating construction activities shall be limited to the hours of 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.  No construction shall occur on Sunday or national holidays at the project site.

    • The applicant shall use the minimum noise-generating equipment during construction.  All internal engine-driven equipment, vehicles, and pneumatic tools shall be required to use effective intake and exhaust mufflers; all construction equipment shall be fitted with mufflers in accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards; all construction equipment shall be maintained in good operating condition.  Stationary equipment used for long-term operations shall be equipped with noise reducing controls (i.e., mufflers).

    • Portable construction equipment shall be located as far as possible from the adjacent Gabe Catalfo Fields.

    • Prior to the start of construction, the applicant shall provide written notification to all nearby neighbors within 500 feet of the property.  The notification shall indicate the estimated completion date of construction, construction hours and necessary contact information (i.e., name, telephone number, address of party responsible for construction).  The notification shall also be posted at the work site.  The applicant shall indicate in the notice that noise complaints resulting from construction work can be sent to the contact person identified in the notice.  Applicant shall provide a copy of the written notification and distribution list to the Zoning Officer.
    • Construction phasing shall be conducted in a manner that would reduce noise to the extent possible. Noise levels shall be measured periodically by the applicant as required by the City.

    • The applicant shall provide a detailed analysis of the exterior noise reduction requirements and identify noise insulation features to the City of Berkeley for review and approval.  In accordance with HUD’s regulation, special approval and special attention to building construction are required.  At a minimum, a 10 dB additional attenuation of exterior noise levels shall be implemented at the project site to protect occupants.

    • Subject to approval by the Zoning Officer, the applicant shall also incorporate design features into the site architecture to reduce exterior noise.  These features shall include exterior fencing on the west side of the site.  Double paned windows shall be installed in all buildings at the project site.  UBC construction practices shall be used to reduce interior noise exposure to less than 45 dBA.

    • The applicant is responsible for complying with all the above conditions.  Failure to comply with any condition could result in construction work being stopped, issuance of citation, as well as further review by the Board, which may modify or impose additional conditions, or revoke the use permit approval.

    • The applicant shall be responsible for ensuring that all the conditions contained in this Use Permit are printed on the plans submitted for building permits.
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