City invites comments on flawed Well #8 environmental document.

The City has posted online an Initial Study of potential environmental impacts and a finding that any potential impacts will be mitigated by changing the project.  The Initial Study is flawed mainly because Crestview did not disclose critical facts to the City.  This post discusses three flaws.  The public may file written comments with the City until 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 27, 2023.

Wastewater.  Crestview has been open with engaged shareholders that it will be necessary to dispose of more than 11 million gallons of “development water” into the nearby barranca.  However, Crestview never disclosed this to the City and argued that none of the water to be released would be “wastewater.”  As a result, the Initial Study falsely states (page 106) the project “would not generate wastewater.”  The barranca runs between Dominica Corte and Ashdale Court and between Sereno Place and La Marina Drive.  A map of the barranca and adjacent properties is here, and a copy of Crestview’s detailed development water quantity estimate is here.

Septic System Impacts.  Although the City is well aware of the serious adverse effects Well #8 would have on up to 19 homeowners within 600 feet, there is no discussion of that in the Initial Study.  Because of a 2018 change in State law, septic system owners within 600 feet of a public water well can no longer get from the City routine permits to replace their seepage pits when they fail or when a new one is needed for a home addition.  Instead, they will have to go to the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board for a permit that will take at least 6 months and pay permit fees of $1,727 to $3,554 every year.  If the Water Board requires installation of an “advanced treatment unit,” that would cost about $75,000 additional upfront, and the homeowner would have to pay a professional about $3,500 annually to maintain the “ATU” and analyze samples.

Noise. The Initial Study finds that there would be significant environmental noise impacts during construction and exceedances of the City’s noise limit during nighttime operations of the pump.  The proposed mitigation of construction noise may be inadequate according to one of two noise engineers, and both agree this pump house (rendering below) proposed by Crestview and accepted by Planning would not meet the City’s nighttime noise standard.

Crestview’s engineer’s report includes the following picture to illustrate what it recommends.

There is no plan to have the aesthetically pleasing pump house be acoustically-rated or to have the acoustically-rate pump house be aesthetically pleasing.  It may not be possible to do either.

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