Creekside draft EIR was dead on arrival, will school board care?
Today is November 1st, the beginning of Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead celebration of the return to earth of departed souls in transition to eternal rest. It is also the day after the close of the comment period on the draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for an ill-conceived proposal to build a large new middle school at the constrained, smallish site of the former Creekside Elementary School.
Several reviewers of the DEIR said, essentially, that the proposal was DOA, dead on arrival. They said the report was soulless and highly lacking as to evidence of need, data on critical factors like pedestrian and vehicular access and safety, presentation of alternatives, and mitigation of environmental damage. Other than that, did they think it was OK? No, not really. And you, dear reader, might be inclined to agree that the DEIR deserves eternal rest - if you had had the time and energy to wade through over 300 pages of mostly irrelevant, boring text the school district used to camouflage and justify its disastrous proposal.
What happens next? The school district is already trying to dodge a lawsuit for the flaky financing arrangement it is using to pay for its pre-determined solution that was locked in before the required disclosure of environmental impacts began. That's a clear violation of state law. But it's only one such abuse of the process. In other words, the school district might be getting in more trouble with the law. But, hey, they're just trying to get it done before the current 5-member at-large school board morphs into a 7-member by-district board in 8 days (to be sworn in a few weeks later). That's why, apparently, the school board has scheduled a "workshop" about the Creekside project on Nov. 15th. Will they certify a final EIR then, so they can get on with building an expensive new white elephant with your tax money? Or will they give the DEIR a decent burial and honor its passage to the underworld? Time will tell...