Sonoma County Planning Commission
C/O PRMD
2550 Ventura Ave
Santa Rosa, Ca.

Aug 19th, 2008

Re: Dutra Haystack Landing Asphalt Plant

Dear Sonoma County Planning Commissioners;

This letter regards the adequacy of the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) and the merits of the project. It is slated for possible recommendation of acceptance to the Board of Supervisors despite significant impacts on air quality, noise, land use, aesthetics, traffic, and noise. These impacts need not be as unavoidable, as the FEIR claims. Comments and recommendations made by David Keller (B13) myself (C1-5) pertaining to the Draft EIR were not taken seriously and for the most part dismissed as “too costly” in reference to enclosing the operations in buildings, or “not available at the time” in the Case of the Pomeroy Property.

In considering of the Pomeroy property, just upstream, it was noted that the site does meet many of the criteria for the proposed project. It was also noted that this alternative site would reduce or eliminate many of the projects significant impacts. Why then wasn’t there at least an investigation of the site’s current availability? It has been vacant & unused  for several years. It was also stated the Pomeroy site falls within the Central Petaluma Specific Plan (CPSP). As Mr. Keller points out the property is zoned for River dependant industry and as such may not be subject to the CPSP SMARTcode; which does not permit concrete, gypsum, and plaster product manufacturing. The Pomeroy Company, the property’s previous owner, was involved primarily in the manufacturing of concrete products and was active when the CPSP plan was passed. The City had no objection then. A move to this site could save the Dutra Co. substantial construction costs and reduce or eliminate the significant impacts on nearby residents, wildlife, and wetlands.

Are the costs for enclosing the facility really “too high”?  No substantiating figures are given.
Large metal structures are readily available for aircraft hangers, solid waste transfer facilities, etc. and could most likely be adapted for an asphalt production plant. Concrete tilt-up structures for warehouses and manufacturing plants are also in common use and could be adapted.

Why must we suffer significant impacts of noise, air quality, and aesthetics (especially adjacent to a park) when they can be contained or eliminated with a little extra effort or money? Please don’t recommend the Dutra Haystack project until the all available options are fully considered.

Sincerely,
David Yearsley – Executive Director
Friends of the Petaluma River