California State University, Channel Islands – Various Environmental Studies
Since 1998, Rincon Consultants has assisted California State University with the environmental planning (CEQA documentation) associated with the conversion of the Camarillo State Developmental Hospital into the 23rd campus of the CSU system. The following projects have all been performed on the campus in Camarillo, California.
CSUCI Master Plan Program EIR
Rincon prepared a Program EIR for the conversion of the Camarillo State Developmental Hospital into the 23rd campus of the CSU system. Unique in its mission among CSU system institutions, the campus will be managed by a Site Authority charged with the development and oversight of a range of private developments integrated into the campus. University President J. Handel Evans has written that Rincon’s “keen insight into the special political and land use environment in Ventura County was invaluable in planning the approach to the EIR and your ability to represent effectively the objectives of the University in meeting with diverse community groups made an open and community based process a success.” Key EIR issues included traffic, land use and planning, loss of agricultural resources, and growth inducement.
CSUCI Biological and Wetland Assessment, 404/401 Permitting, Riparian and Wetland Habitat Mitigation and Monitoring Plan Preparation and Implementation, and Construction Monitoring
Rincon conducted a general biological assessment followed by focused rare plant and animal surveys in concert with the preparation of the original Master Plan EIR document prepared in 1998. Rincon also conducted a wetland delineation and prepared the Section 404/401 permit applications and Streambed Alteration Agreement. As required by the resource agencies, Rincon prepared the project’s habitat mitigation and monitoring plan. Rincon successfully implemented and monitored the plan for the full 5 years recommended in the Riparian and Wetland Habitat Mitigation and Monitoring Plan (HMMP).
CSUCI Specific Reuse Plan
Following the certification of the Master Plan EIR, Rincon authored the Specific Reuse Plan for the CSUCI Site Authority. The Specific Reuse Plan delineated the private development area from the public university areas. The private community of housing and limited commercial uses is part of unique fiscal plan to fund the ongoing development of the University facilities over time.
CSUCI Master Plan Supplemental EIR
Rincon prepared a Supplemental EIR for the Revised Channel Island Campus Master Plan. A CSU-directed planning team refined the campus plans to include a number of land use configuration and design modifications from those of the 1998 Conceptual Master Plan. These modifications fell into four categories: land acquisitions; on-campus site plan modifications; definition of density and type of residential uses; and development of the K-8 school on the east campus. The SEIR addressed issues determined to be potentially significant outside those addressed in the 1998 FEIR prepared by Rincon. Environmental issues addressed in this SEIR included: aesthetics, agriculture, biological resources, cultural resources, land use and planning, hydrology, and water and wastewater services.
Chumash Demonstration Village IS-MND
Rincon completed an IS-MND for the Chumash Demonstration Village project; an interpretive park that is a joint project of the Pleasant Valley Recreation and Park District and California State University, Channel Islands. The Demonstration Village would include interpretive displays of Chumash culture and the region’s natural history. It would be integrated with and immediately adjacent to a community park with play fields and landscaped areas. The environmental evaluation included a rare plant survey and a vegetation map, as well as a hydrology and cultural resource evaluations.
Overhead Wire Relocation Project IS-MND
Rincon prepared an IS-MND for the Southern California Edison Overhead Wire Relocation Project. The document analyzed the potential environmental effects of realigning overhead electrical transmission lines where they traverse the CSUCI campus. Campus planners promoted the relocation of the lines to a more remote location that was not intended for development for two reasons: public safety and aesthetic benefit. Rincon analyzed several environmental impacts including aesthetics, agricultural resources, biological resources, hazards and hazardous materials, public services and utilities and service systems.
Facilities Projects Supplemental EIR
The 2009 Facilities Projects Supplemental EIR is the most recent of three Supplemental EIRs prepared for the California State University, Channel Islands campus, and it tiers from the previous EIRs providing CEQA review for the campus from 1998 through the present. This SEIR enabled the University to screen out several environmental issues from analysis, but the list of issues grew from prior SEIRs. It also introduced the projects as “Facilities,” thereby positioning the analysis to address specific projects, rather than a full program that may have been implied by a Master Plan update title. The EIR addressed the following projects: design details of a new access road, including creek bridges and parking lots; final flood control levee design; modifications of mitigation conditions of prior EIRs; acceptance of a conveyance of a 370-acre open space property from the County of Ventura; and upgrade of an electrical power substation.
New Entrance Road Project
Rincon prepared the environmental documentation to support the construction of a new Campus Entry Road from Lewis Road across farm fields and crossing Long Grade Canyon Creek north of the central campus. To determine potential project impacts to sensitive biological resources, Rincon conducted focused surveys for the least Bell’s vireo and prepared a Jurisdictional Waters and Wetlands delineation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Assessment.