Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Citizen recommendations for Seacliff Drive traffic rejected in Quarry EIR final draft

   RICHMOND - Three citizen suggestions to improve traffic safety on Seacliff Drive - presented at the Nov. 16 city planning commission meeting discussing the proposed 200-unit Quarry Residential project - should not be implemented, a traffic consultant to the city has recommended.
     Instead, the consulting firm of W-Trans of Oakland says the recommendations included in the draft EIR "should sufficiently improve safety on Seacliff Drive..."
     Those recommendations include narrowing Seacliff Drive to 11-foot travel lanes and installing speed limit and other signs. The development will add 1,400 vehicle trips per day to the road, according to the original traffic study.
      W-Trans drew its conclusions by doing a 'peer review' of the data provided from the original traffic study presented Nov. 16.
Left-turn lane recommendation 
     The W-Trans recommendations are  included in the final EIR slated for a public hearing Thursday, Feb. 1 at the Richmond Planning Commission meeting.
     The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. and will be held the city council chambers, 440 Civic Center Plaza.
     The presentation of the final EIR comes two months after the planning commission's public hearing on the draft EIR.
     At that meeting, members of the public strongly urged the planning commission to consider three alternatives: a left-turn lane, a small 'roundabout' at the entrance - or requiring the developer New West of Las Vegas to create a driveway entrance off Canal Boulevard to avoid Seacliff Drive entirely for ingress and egress.
     In rejecting the public-generated suggestions, W-Trans said:
     • A left-turn pocket into the subdivision is not needed because few project trips are expected to turn left into the project driveway.
     • A single lane mini-roundabout is not recommended as there are concerns due to speed, topography and required right of way.
Mini-roundabout recommendation 
     • Relocation of the project driveway may be feasible but would need approval from the city and the East Bay Regional Park District as it is adjacent to the Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline Park. Additionally, the project site plan would need to be altered. Issues such as speeding and safety on Seacliff Drive would not change with the relocated driveway.
     Planning commissioners at the Nov. 16 meeting also voiced concerns about potential traffic safety issues on Seacliff Drive if the project is approved.
    "I think we're all cognizant this is a serious issue and one that neighbors really want to get right," planning commissioner Andrew Butt said. "And I personally want to get it right as well."
     Proponents of the three alternatives to improve traffic safety at the entrance of the development are expected to urge the planning commission to require the developer - New West of Las Vegas - to implement one of the three traffic measures, despite the W-Trans' peer review of data.
     The full EIR - including a transcript of comments made by the planning commission regarding the need for more study of traffic safety on Seacliff Drive - can be found here:

Quarry project access from Canal Drive recommendation

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Richmond Design Review Board resets Terminal One project hearing to Feb. 14

   RICHMOND - The Richmond Design Review Board has reset its until Feb. 14 its deliberations on the 316-unit Terminal One project proposed for a 14-acre bayside site on Dornan Drive.
     The Terminal One project had been scheduled to come up for DRB discussion Jan. 24.
     The DRB at its Dec. 13 meeting had two-hours of back-and-forth dialog about a variety of issues, most centered around discrepancies between colors on drawings provided by Terminal One to the DRB and samples of building materials.
     "The renderings and labelings are out of sync," DRB member Michael Hannah said at that meeting. "This is causing more confusion than necessary."
     The design presented at that meeting for Shoreline Drive indicates there will be no public parking across the street from the single family homes, the site of a proposed public park and public pier. (See photo below.)
     DRB members also questioned Terminal One developers and their architect about the durability of various products, including proposed paint as well as exterior lights.
     Prior to the DRB December hearing several area residents offered comments about the project's design.
     Brian Lewis of Brickyard Cove told board members area residents had met Nov. 4 at the Richmond Yacht Club to outline concerns about Terminal One, including the need for more environmental cleanup as well as the lack of public parking on Shoreline Drive.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Pt. Molate & medical marijuana facility on Richmond planners' agenda for Thursday

   RICHMOND - A study session on Point Molate land uses - and a public hearing on a conditional use permit for a medical marijuana manufacturing facility - are scheduled for the Richmond Planning Commission Thursday.
     The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Richmond City Council Chambers, 440 Civic Center Plaza.
     The Pt. Molate study session will be at the end of a six-item agenda.
     The medical marijuana manufacturing public hearing will be to take testimony about a proposal for a building at 953 Hensley Street.
     The Pt. Molate study session "is to provide and receive comments on the preparation of a budget and proposals for receiving stakeholder and community input..."
     Here is a link to the full agenda: Richmond Planners.
     Below is the agenda item for Pt. Molate.

Point Molate

Thursday, January 4, 2018

WriterCoach Connection seeks volunteers

   RICHMOND - The WriterCoach Connection - a program that helps develop critical writing skills for students to succeed in school and beyond - is looking for volunteers.
     Volunteers work with middle and high school students at Lovonya DeJean Middle School and Richmond and Kennedy High Schools. WCC officials says help is also needed in neighboring El Sobrante's Crespi Middle School.
     Volunteers commit to helping 2 to 4 times per month with 1-2 hours of helping during the school day, meeting with students.
     "Our volunteer coaches show middle and high school age youth with whom they work that they care," says WriterCoach Connection Site Coordinatior Rita Dhesi. "After students write draft essays, for example, coaches help students understand how to improve those essays."
     Orientations are set for Jan. 12 in Berkeley and Jan. 16 in Richmond. To register - or for more information about becoming a coach, call 510-858-7108 or check out the WriterCoach Connection website: WRITERCOACH CONNECTION.