UCSF’s 15-Minute Public Hearing – Sept 2014
UCSF held a meeting for public comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) on its Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) on Sept 22, 2014. About 15-20 neighbors showed up. No one (including me) had any comments ready. The meeting started at 7p.m. and adjourned at 7.15 p.m.
I picked up a copy of the DEIR; it’s roughly 2 inches thick. The electronic version on UCSF’s website is HERE.
UCSF are accepting written comments until October 14th.
It was surprising that no one commented. It was such a contrast with a similar meeting last year for DEIR comments about cutting down trees in Sutro Forest. There, 250 people showed up, 50 spoke (with over 70% opposed), and it ran to 9.15 p.m.
WHAT’S HAPPENING ABOUT SUTRO FOREST?
This EIR was for the Long Range Development Plan, which is mainly about construction and changes in usage in Parnassus as well as UCSF’s other campuses. They have said that Sutro Forest is specifically excluded, since it will have its own Plan and will presumably have another EIR.
(As of now, we understand that UCSF has a new plan for Sutro Forest that focuses on fire hazard and commits to not using herbicides. We actually think the plan will increase, not decrease, the fire hazard by drying out the forest and making it windier. Anyway, the only information we have about the plan came from a Powerpoint presentation. There’s no EIR yet, but UCSF has said the new plan would need a new EIR when they can devote resources to it.)
Meanwhile, what UCSF has been doing is cutting down trees first for “fire safety” and then for “hazard reduction. More trees are expected to be felled before year end. This is considered routine maintenance and doesn’t require an EIR.
As far as we can gauge right now, the LRDP still affects the Forest in three ways:
- A new trail is to be built from the Inner Sunset side, which is good; but it is likely to cost trees, which is bad.
- They are removing Aldea Student Housing from the space ceiling, with the immediate effect of preserving some buildings scheduled to be knocked down, and a long term impact of – who knows?
- They plan to knock down two small office buildings in the forest – just off the parking lots. It’s a Space Ceiling issue.
HOW IS FOREST KNOLLS IMPACTED?
We will possibly be impacted by UCSF removing Aldea Student Housing from the Space Ceiling. The immediate effect is that they will keep three buildings they had planned to knock down.
In the longer term, it could mean expansion at Aldea, which would of course impact our neighborhood, since the only thing between the student housing area and Forest Knolls is a strip of trees – which was thinned last August, so the housing is now clearly visible from Christopher.
At present, UCSF has said the LRDP includes no plans to expand in Aldea.
If I figure out any other impacts, I’ll post about it here.