Proposed Final EIR
The Council gave direction on August 10, 2010, and staff proceeded to prepare the Final EIR and the draft final policy documents. This document was then released for public review on September 16, 2010, and is the subject of the Planning Commission’s final review, Final EIR certification, and final policy recommendations to Council for adoption.
The EIR recognizes that additional growth occurring incrementally citywide over the next two decades has the cumulative potential for significant impacts by 2030. In many instances, existing City policies and programs, and proposed General Plan Update policy amendments would reduce these potential environmental effects as individual projects and impacts occur over time.
The EIR identifies significant impacts associated with traffic and greenhouse gas production even with identified mitigation for a more extensive expansion of TDM measures. Potentially significant impacts that can be mitigated to less than significant levels are identified in the areas of air quality, biological resources, geological conditions, hazardous materials, hydrology/flooding, and solid waste management. Exhibit B provides a summary of Plan Santa Barbara Project impacts and mitigation measures.
The EIR identified the lowest potential traffic impact for the Additional Housing Alternative (although still significant), a lower climate change impact, and substantially better jobs/housing balance than for the Plan Santa Barbara scenario. Potentially significant impacts on resources, hazards, and services could be greater than for Plan Santa Barbara, but could also be mitigable to less than significant levels.
An additional Hybrid Alternative analysis chapter was added to the FEIR (Volume IV) to evaluate the mix of policy refinements under consideration by City Council based on public input, Planning Commission recommendations, and Council discussions. These policy refinements may be characterized as a “hybrid alternative” in that they retain many components of the original Plan Santa Barbara Draft General Plan Update, but incorporate some modifications and elements from the EIR Lower Growth and Additional Housing Alternatives, to address Plan objectives and/or reduce environmental effects.