Tip Sheet for Commenting on the DEIR

  • A legally adequate EIR is required by law under CEQA (the California Environmental Quality Act) before the City can approve the proposed Davidon Homes project. The EIR must describe the project completely and accurately, describe “existing” conditions without the project, analyze the significant impacts, analyze feasible mitigations and provide alternatives. This EIR focuses on impacts to aesthetics/ views, traffic, noise, landslides, water quality, sensitive species, and more.
  • Under CEQA, the public has a “privileged position” because “citizens can make important contributions to environmental protection” and based on “notions of democratic decision making."

For the City to be required to respond to your comments, they must be received by the City by no later than May 1, 2017. Address your comment to City of Petaluma, Alicia Giudice, Senior Planner, 11 English Street, Petaluma CA 94952, or email to agiudice@ci.petaluma.ca.us

Subject line of email or caption at top of letter should say “Comments on Davidon Homes Draft EIR”. Copies of the EIR are online at


and hard copies are at the Petaluma library, the City Clerk’s and Community Development offices at city hall, and Lucchesi Community Center.

Helpful Tips

  1. Provide facts based on your own experience. Say where you live and what you have witnessed.
  2. However, avoid speculation or apprehension. For example, saying, “I live at this address, I’ve been counting cars that pass this intersection for the past x years, and the number has gone from 5 cars/morning to 50 with the addition of new developments” is far more factual than “I’m concerned traffic will get worse.”
  3. Be as factual and specific as possible.
  4. Don’t be intimidated by the size of the DEIR. You could focus on a specific section of the EIR that interests you and read it thoroughly. You don’t need to read it all (!)
  5. Ask pointed questions that should be investigated.
  6. Suggest specific alternatives with less impact.
  7. If you have some expertise, use it.
  8. You can write multiple letters, each one on a separate topic. Write early and often.
  9. Include evidence (photos, video, audio tapes, data records) even if collected after the deadline.
  10. Send copies to us, Petalumans for Responsible Planning (PetRP@comcast.net) and send copies to other City officials, e.g. Planning Commission, City Council. See list of e-mail addresses.
  11. Show up and speak at the City’s public hearings; your oral presentation is also considered as comment. Currently, a hearing is scheduled before Planning Commission on April 4, 2017.

Possible Comment Areas – make sure your statements are true for you and based on your experience.

Please send a copy to us at PetRP@comcast.net

  • I live nearby in Victoria; we have steep, unstable, sliding hillsides. Fixing the problem requires (describe). This EIR ignores these slope failures, and the EIR should analyze how the proposed Davidon project will combine with the Victoria landslides cumulatively. (photos)
  • I drive by the red barn every day. Keep the creek and meadow open; it's a scenic treasure. Cutting down the trees as proposed will ruin this view.
  • Petaluma should require Davidon to erect story poles showing where it would put these houses, so we can see the impact on the open space and on this scenic viewshed.
  • I live downstream on Kelly Creek at ___. I’ve seen tiger salamanders (photo, date) in the creek. When someone washes a car or paint brushes upstream, this is what I see ____. I’ve also seen flooding (describe)
  • Are there any underground tanks left over from the ranch operation on this site?
  • Was the hillside soil and hydrology testing done during recent wet months and repeated to get enough data?
  • Where is the nearest open field for recreational play? There's no place in this neighborhood to throw a frisbee, play catch, touch football, volleyball. Has the City studied the recreational needs on the west side?
  • How much historical value would be lost by moving the barn? What would it cost to move it vs. leaving as is? Has a feasibility study been made of its potential as a museum, displaying the old dairying methods? What would it cost to restore it? Can the cows be kept there with a weekend milking demo for kids?
  • Are the endangered red-legged frog studies up to date? Where on the property is the known habitat?
  • Will the houses have solar-ready roofs? What is the carbon footprint of this development?
  • The Victoria homebuilder went bankrupt and did not fix defects in construction and site preparation. Davidon should post an adequate bond, guaranty, or trust fund to cover the long-term possibilities of adverse impacts on the homeowners and the City.
  • Davidon is not feathering density at the edge of the urban growth boundary. The houses should be clustered on the less-sensitive parts of the site away from the Kelly Creek and its tributaries.
  • A new trail running behind and between the Davidon houses' back fences is a degraded park experience for walkers and won't be appreciated by the new homeowners either. Need to clearly separate the private and public areas here.
  • I have seen owls and/or bats (describe species) nesting in the eucalyptus trees above the barn (describe at what times of year).