Campus: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -- September 05, 2001

Draft Environmental Impact Report for Cal Poly's Proposed Faculty and Staff 'For-Sale' Housing Available for Review

A Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for Cal Poly's proposed "for sale" housing for faculty and staff members is now available for public review.

The Draft EIR addresses the development of a maximum of 165 attached and detached single-family dwellings proposed on 24 acres of university-owned land in San Luis Obispo County just outside city limits, north of the California Department of Forestry installation on Highway 1.

The latest Draft EIR is being made available for public review to provide people an opportunity to comment. Cal Poly will hold a meeting to discuss the Draft EIR from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 19 at Bishop's Peak Elementary School.

"This is the second of two faculty and staff housing developments proposed in Cal Poly's new master plan," said Linda Dalton, vice provost for institutional planning. "The cost of housing in the San Luis Obispo area makes it challenging to recruit and retain the high-quality faculty we need to continue to provide state-of-the-art education in the university's academic programs."

An earlier Draft EIR that was prepared for faculty and staff rental housing on the corner of Highland Drive and Highway 1 is also available for review.

Last spring, Cal Poly enlisted the help of neighbors and city and county officials to identify issues that the environmental analysis of the proposed housing should address. The Draft EIRs looked at several areas that could have potentially significant impact, including aesthetics, light and glare, air quality, biological resources, noise, public services, and traffic and circulation.

"The Draft EIRs found that impact on these areas would be less than significant or can be mitigated to a level of insignificance," Dalton said.

"The California Environmental Quality Act sets professional scientific standards for determining whether a project has a significant impact," explained environmental consultant Chris Clark. "Community members are often concerned about existing and future issues that do not meet these thresholds.

"For example, traffic and circulation issues were studied in depth, with the finding that the development would not result in a significant change to the 'level of service' for the area," Clark said. "The Draft EIRs also found that the proposed housing projects would be compatible with the surrounding neighborhood and consistent with the city of San Luis Obispo's land-use policies."

Written comments on the draft EIR must be submitted by Oct. 25, 2001, to Robert Kitamura, Facilities Planning, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407.

Copies of the draft reports (and documents referenced in the reports) are available at Cal Poly at the Facilities Planning office and Kennedy Library, in San Luis Obispo at the City-County Library, and on the Web at Copies can also be purchased at Cal Poly's Facilities Planning office.

The two faculty and staff housing projects are in addition to the on-campus student housing complex that is now under construction. That facility will house approximately 800 students.

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