Staff Report statements are completely contradictory

Dear Mayor Anderson, Vice Mayor Candell, and Members of the City Council,


Thank you for sticking with the public comments until the very end of your August 10, 2020 meeting and for allowing them to be done “in person.”

I appreciated the questions you asked to the hired experts especially regarding fire safety and traffic.  Mr. Kinzel, the TJKM consultant stated that “we are not aware that either school has an evacuation plan.” (Marker 3:11:00, As I said in my public comments that evening, that is not correct.

I have included the link to handbooks for both Acalanes High School and Springhill Elementary School.  I have pulled some excerpts from their plans below.

Acalanes Student Handbook, Pg. 17

“A School District Disaster Preparedness Plan has been prepared, with individual school site plans. School personnel and students have been trained to respond properly to foreseeable emergencies such as fire, earthquake, or chemical accident.

In a major crisis the parent or guardian will report to the school to check out and pick up their students.”

Springhill Parent Handbook, Pg. 7

“If it is safe to do so, you are urged to come to school to pick up your child”

“If it is determined that the school would need to be evacuated to a different location, a safe exit would be the responsibility of the emergency service providers.  A plan to evacuate the schools was developed by the Lafayette Police Department and schools would be a priority if an evacuation was necessary.”

I sent the above information to the Planning Commission after their May 18th meeting because I, like you, questioned where TJKM came up with their suggested mitigation of 27 buses.  Having lived very close to both of these schools for over 14 years and having been through an evacuation last fall, I cannot comprehend how 27 buses would be able to get from a facility in Concord to the schools in a timely manner during an evacuation. Even if one could put the impact of traffic aside, I question how quickly you could mobilize 27 busses and 27 bus drivers.

I respectfully request you get input from the school districts as well as clarification from Chief Aldritt.  As I stated in my public comments, I would also like to know why TJKM did not factor in the two area preschools (Happy Days Learning Center and Diablo Montessori) in their evacuation plan.

Additionally, I request that you get input from the 4 nearby schools about what the impact of noise and air quality may have on the students.  For example, how will the noise from 45 dump trucks an hour for 9 months work with high school students daily learning and test taking?  How poor will the air quality be for kids playing on play structures or participating in sports outside?  If the project is built, how safe is the air quality for the tenants inside the buildings and outside such as at the proposed pool?

Lastly, if you have not already done so, please read the 2013 Design Review Resolution of Denial as well as the 2013 General Plan Consistency Analysis and compare it to the 2020 City Council Draft Resolution of Approval. I have attached a copy of both.

You will find that they are very different and I would ask that you please question our city staff why such drastic changes in their findings?

For example, look at the following regarding Land Use Permit.

  • 6-215 Findings Required For a Land Use Permit. A land use permit may be granted only when the proposed land use:
  1. Is not detrimental to the health, safety, and general welfare of the city; 

2013 Staff Report:

The proposed Project is not in the best interest of the public health, safety and general welfare. 

2020 Staff Report:

The Project will not be detrimental to the health and safety of the city. 

2013 Staff Report:

The EIR finds that the Project will result in 13 significant and unavoidable environmental impacts in the areas of aesthetics, air quality, biological resources, land use, and traffic. The Project does not comply with goals and policies of the General Plan…”

2020 Staff Report:

An EIR has been certified and an Addendum has been prepared and this analysis does not find any significant and unavoidable health and safety impacts on the environment or the community.”

  1. Is consistent with the general plan and each element of it and will not adversely affect the policies and goals set forth in the general plan;

2013 Staff Report

The Project is not consistent with many goals and policies of the General Plan.

2020 Staff Report:

The Project is consistent with many goals and policies of the General Plan…”

The statements are completely contradictory.  Same project.  Same Staff.  HAA was in existence in 2013.  The change in reports does not make sense and I urge you to ask our city staff why.


I truly thank all of you for the time you give to our wonderful community.


Jenifer Paul

Lafayette, CA