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January 14, 2014, Council Meeting, Item #F-4: Rail Policy Statement

From: domainremoved <herb>
Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2014 20:01:24 +0000

Herb Borock

P. O. Box 632

Palo Alto, CA 94302

 

January 14, 2014

 

Menlo Park City Council

701 Laurel Street

Menlo Park, CA 94025

 

 

JANUARY 14, 2014, CITY COUNCIL MEETING, AGENDA ITEM #F-4

PROPOSED MODIFICATIONS TO CITY'S RAIL POLICY STATEMENT

 

 

Dear City Council:

 

I urge you to reject staff's proposal to modify the City's Rail Position Statement to allow for potential future consideration of a third, at-grade passing track through the City, because an amendment to the City's Rail Position Statement modifies an adopted land use policy and is, therefore, a project subject to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) that would create an unmitigated Potentially Significant Impact and, therefore, would require the certification of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) before adopting the proposed modifications.

 

The staff proposal also violates the CEQA process for the City's role as a Responsible Agency that has the role of reviewing the Revised Draft Project Level EIR for the San Francisco to San Jose project currently being prepared by the California High Speed Rail Authority.

 

Further, the staff proposal conflates (a) the fact that the Rail Authority has studied the impact of various three-track rail alternatives for its blended rail system with (b) the assumption that the Authority will choose a three-track alternative and that the chosen three-track alternative will include Menlo Park.

 

For all of the above reasons, amending the City's Rail Position at this time would be a prejudicial abuse of discretion and a violation of CEQA.

 

As the City's Rail Position says, "The City opposes any elimination of any part of CEQA for the High Speed Rail Project environmental process."

 

Thank you for your consideration of these comments.

 

Sincerely,

 

Herb Borock
                                               
Received on Tue Jan 14 2014 - 11:59:34 PST

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