(We wrote the letter below on the draft environmental review for the San Jose General Plan. CGF Intern Kelsey Grousbeck did great work co-authoring this letter. -Brian)
- Policy ER-3.2 should be written with stricter language. Instead of calling a 100-ft setback “a standard to be achieved” it should be a required standard, unless it can be proven there is no feasible alternative. In the case where there is no feasible alternative, the farthest distance possible should be proposed as the setback and the City must review and approve the proposal, which should include measures to mitigate the project’s impact on the riparian corridor. This minimizes impacts to the riparian corridors and waterways in a more tangible way than the recommendations from San Jose’s Riparian Corridor Policy Study.
- With Policy ER-4.4, instead of “avoiding new development”, changing the language to “prohibiting new development” will guarantee the mitigation is successful. In sensitive areas such as baylands and wetlands, all detrimental development should be prohibited, especially in specific regions where endangered species are known to breed or nest. Failure to adopt stricter policies on development in these areas will cause significant, irreversible damage to San Jose and the surrounding regions’ wildlife populations.