Tip Sheet for Commenting on the RDEIR
A legally adequate EIR is required by law under CEQA (the California Environmental Quality Act) before the City can approve the proposed Davidon / Scott Ranch 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, wildfire, and more.
Once an EIR is completed for the first time, it is called a Draft EIR (DEIR). In 2017, the City Council requested that the DEIR be completed again because of numerous concerns. Under CEQA, the document has to be redone and re-released, which is why the document is named RDEIR.
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 4 p.m. on March 15, 2021. Address your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject line of email or caption at top of letter should say “Comments on Scott Ranch RDEIR”. Copies of the EIR are online at
Documents can be made available by appointment through the City of Petaluma Planning Division Office, 11 English Street, Petaluma, CA. Hard copies can be purchased at the City Planning Division for the City's cost of production.
If you commented on the DEIRs in 2013 and 2017, you might want to find your correspondence (or ask us to email it to you). The new DEIR is not required to incorporate previous public comments into the latest document. With some updating, your comment from 2013 or 2017 might be still valid in 2021!
Please don’t let your “lack of expertise” prevent you from trying to comment on the environmental impact concerns that you have.
Our research on the Draft Environmental Report (use what you want in your letter).
Provide facts based on your own experience. Say where you live and what you have witnessed.
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.”
Be as factual and specific as possible.
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 (!)
Ask pointed questions that should be investigated.
If an impact will occur, will it be substantial or "significant"? Significance is determined by the difference between what currently exists and what will exist during or following completion of the project. If you conclude there would be a significant adverse effect, does the document agree with that assessment? If not, why not or does it simply fail to discuss it at all?
Suggest specific alternatives with less impact.
If you have some expertise, use it.
You can write multiple letters, each one on a separate topic. Write early and often. Separate your concerns into clearly identifiable paragraphs or headings. Keep a tight focus on each separate issue. Don't mix topics.
Include evidence (photos, video, audio, data records) even if collected after the deadline.
Email copies to us, Petalumans for Responsible Planning (PetRP@comcast.net) and send copies to other City officials, e.g. Planning Commission, City Council.
Currently, a hearing is scheduled before City Council on Monday, March 15, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom teleconferencing.
Members of public may provide written public comment by emailing comments to the Clerk at email@example.com up to two hours prior to the meeting start (March 15, 2021 at 4:00 p.m.).
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 asked the city for signs to make our neighborhood safer from the park traffic. Include photos. Do not design a new neighborhood without taking into consideration the problems that other neighborhoods have had with the number of people using Helen Putnam Park.
I use the traffic circle at Western and Windsor every day. I have observed big trucks driving over the top of the traffic circle instead of trying to navigate around it. Get feedback from other neighborhoods with traffic circles and listen to the feedback when deciding whether a traffic circle is the best solution for Windsor and D Street.
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)
I live in the Pinnacle Heights neighborhood. Before the pandemic, cars were bumper-to-bumper coming from San Antonio Road and Marin County into Petaluma. The amount of traffic made it unsafe to exit our neighborhood. Although many people are working from home, this situation will change in the future and the vehicle traffic will return. I question whether the traffic circle will be able to safely handle the traffic.
I live at _____ and my backyard is on Windsor Drive. The number of cars parking on Windsor Drive averages ________ per day from an average of zero cars just a a year ago.
I understand the need for housing. But urban sprawl is not the way to solve housing problems. Shouldn't we devote this energy to developing affordable housing? I would like us and the city council to think long term for Petalumans and our grandchildren.
The Concept Map shows houses 20, 21, 22, and 28 being built over the red legged frog habitat. Obviously, this portion of the habitat will be permanently destroyed by constructing homes. Why build in this section at all? Mitigation will be no compensation for this loss but is merely lip service to environmental concerns.
Are the endangered red-legged frog studies up to date? These are the same 2003 studies that the citizens have requested to be updated in the last three environmental plans. Would it be reasonable to assume that a 2003 study adequately represents conditions in 2021?
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.
I have seen owls and/or bats (describe species) nesting in the eucalyptus trees above the barn (describe at what times of year).