Using a Constraints Analysis to Develop Project Alternativesby Deborah Fleischer, Environmental Science Associates, San Francisco, United States,
Abstract: Santa Barbara County is in the process of preparing an EIR on a large piece of coastal property known as the Ellwood Beach - Santa Barbara Shores Specific Plan area. The Santa Barbara County Local Coastal Plan (LCP) recognizes the area as one of the few remaining large tracts of vacant oceanfront land within the urbanized South Coast area. The County's LCP calls for comprehensive planning of the Specific Plan area to ensure that its scenic, recreational and open space values are respected by future development. A Specific Plan to develop 299 single-family homes on the Specific Plan area has been submitted to the County. The site contains numerous sensitive resources, including monarch butterfly habitat and vernal pools. Santa Barbara County and its consultant, Environmental Science Associates (ESA) conducted an opportunities and constraints analysis to develop feasible project alternatives that minimize environmental impacts. The information provided was then utilized to develop project alternatives to be analyzed in the EIR. This paper outlines the process ESA went through to identify the high constraints of the site and to refine project alternatives in order to minimize impacts and to comply with both the County's LCP and CEQA.
Subject Headings: Coastal processes | Environmental issues | Beaches | Seas and oceans | Land use
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