Caltrans I-5 EIR ‘ambiguous and unstable,’ according to Solana Beach findings

By Marlena Chavira-Medford
Staff Writer

Caltrans has proposed expanding Interstate-5 from La Jolla to Oceanside, and earlier this year it released a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that outlines the potential impacts of that project. After hiring a team of consultants, the City of Solana Beach has found that report to be “ambiguous and unstable,” according to a 12-page executive summary that will be submitted to Caltrans this week.

Some of the concerns with that EIR were shared during a special council meeting Nov. 18.
“[The EIR] is particularly egregious for a project of this scope,” said Mike Hogan, who serves as special counsel for the city and compiled the executive summary.

One of the main issues, he said, is that the design plans for this project, which proposes adding four to six traffic lanes, are only about 10 percent complete, so “we just don’t know what [Caltrans] wants to do, and we can’t know the impact until the design is more complete.”

He also said that there were “simply no standards” when it came to determining what classified as a “significant versus not significant” environmental impact. The EIR also does not address the impacts of project’s construction, which is projected to take 38 years, nor are mitigations for those effects addressed.

“[The EIR] only identifies four alternatives and all of them involve building more freeway lanes. There is no mention of mass transit options, and [the California Environmental Quality Act] requires them to explore those other alternatives,” he said.

“To say this document is inadequate is too polite,” said Solana Beach councilmember Mike Nichols of the EIR. “We need to look beyond building a freeway to solve these problems.”

The consultants hired by Solana Beach are recommending that the EIR be totally recalled, rewritten and then re-circulated to the public. Solana Beach councilmember David Roberts suggested that the city “should get our money back from Caltrans” for having to expend $80,000 to prepare this report.

“We need to figure out a strategy to make sure a state agency can’t do this to us again,” he added.

After considering public input, Caltrans and the Federal Highway Administration are expected to decide sometime next year whether or not to go through with the project and, if so, which expansion option to choose.

Related posts:

  1. City of Solana Beach: Fair proposal invalid
  2. Solana Beach prepares for massive fairgrounds expansion
  3. Solana Beach seeks greater role in fairgrounds
  4. Caltrans releases freeway-widening environmental impact report
  5. Del Mar seeks Solana Beach’s support for fairgrounds purchase

Short URL:

Posted by Lorine Wright on Nov 19, 2010. Filed under Carmel Valley, Del Mar, Featured Story, News, Solana Beach. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply



Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6





  • Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices honored with Stevie Gold Award
    Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices was recently named Startup of the Year in the 2014 American Business Awards, earning the brokerage the Stevie Gold award. The award was presented at the Fairmont Millennium Park Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. “Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is among a select few organizations to be entrusted with the Berkshire Hathaway name,” co […]
  • Rancho Santa Fe sports update
    Santa Fe Christian lost to Carlsbad 35-7 in a nonleague game on Sept. 12. The Eagles’ only score came in the third quarter, when Matthew McRoskey completed a 54-yard scoring pass to Caleb Phillips. Reece Walker rushed for 50 yards on four carries and Benton Weeks gained 29 rushing yards on 11 carries. […]
  • Red Envelope Friday fundraiser returns to benefit Rancho Santa Fe School
    The Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation’s annual Red Envelope Friday fundraiser returns Sept. 26. All families are encouraged to contribute “Your Share” in support of a world-class education for their children at R. Roger Rowe School during Red Envelope Friday. Making a contribution is easy! On Sept. 26, volunteers will be at drop off and pick up lines at t […]