San Carlos Community Development Director Al Savay presented a detailed report to the Planning Commission during its last meeting to discuss the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process in general, and how it might relate to the Transit Village Project.
The Planning Commission is expected to examine the final environmental impact report (EIR) regarding Transit Village at its July 30 meeting. Public meetings on the matter are expected to be held in September.
"If you approve the EIR it does not mean you will approve the project," Savay said. "The point here is to certify, not approve."
Transit Village, in the planning stages since late 2006, is being considered by the City of San Carlos to add retail space, high-end residential rental units, affordable housing units and additional parking on the land around the historic San Carlos train station.
Legacy Partners, on behalf of Sam Trans, who own the land, is the lead developer for this concept. Plans call for 280 apartments, a percentage dedicated to affordable housing, upscale retail on street level and office space on the upper two floors.
The Cal Train station (not the building) would be relocated to the south end of the property and will have 226 parking spaces, the same number which currently exists, available. This will also mean a new signal at Cherry and El Camino, which must be approved by Cal Trans.
"You are required to analyze it on the facts," Savay told the planning commission. "You may not be in agreement with it, but is it adequate based on what you know about the CEQA process?"
Neighborhood advocacy groups such as Greater East San Carlos have expressed concerns over the impact of the project in the past and have been keeping an eye on developments.
Savay acknowledged that business groups want a simpler process while environmental groups wanted stricter protections.
The final draft on Transit Village's EIR report has not been completed, though city officials are hoping to have the materials two weeks prior to July 30's study session.
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