On Monday, June 4th, the City of Elk Grove and the environmental consultant, Ascent Environmental, held a meeting to explain the process of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Additionally, the purpose of the meeting was to inform the community of the current stage of EIR for the proposed California Northstate University hospital. They also detailed timelines and phases that were explained in previous sessions. Finally, the session had a question and answer forum for the attendees.
The proposed hospital has a lot of residents concerned about the impact on the city as well as the environment. This hospital will be the only hospital in Elk Grove. It would be located on the I5 side of the city. Some are skeptical about the success for the hospital as Elk Grove has seen in the past of failed ventures such as the ghost mall. There are people that are for and against the proposed hospital.
The Scoping Meeting
During the meeting, Elk Grove’s Planning Manager, Antonio Abalog, and environmental consultant, Patrick Angell of Ascent Environmental, spoke on the scope of the meeting. Angell was one of the primary speakers during the presentation. The Q & A session followed after.
While presenting, Angell reviewed the project location of the hospital, the phases of the project, the California Environmental Quality Act, the Environmental Impact Report and process, and the schedules of the processes. The EIR will evaluate the following topics: Aesthetics, Air Quality, Biological Resources, Archaeological, Historical, and Tribal, Cultural Resources, Energy, Geology and, Soils, Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change, Hazards and Hazardous Materials, Draft EIR Scoping Meeting 12, Hydrology/Water Quality, Land Use and Planning, Noise and Vibration, Population and Housing, Public Services, Transportation, and Traffic, Utilities and Service Systems, Cumulative Impacts, and finally, Growth Inducement.
The Question and Answer session took up the most amount of time during the meeting. A lot of the attendees had questions about the hospital. Primarily Abalog and Angell answered the questions. Also, attendees were able to submit concerns and questions on the parking lot board.
Questions & Answers
During the Q&A, a lot of residents had questions. There were also representatives from NEST that brought up questions regarding the hospital. Residents were concerned about the environmental impact, traffic, public safety, budget, and the long term impact of the hospital.
According to Abalog, the CNU application is incomplete. However, they do have enough information to proceed with the EIR process.
“We have determined we have adequate information to proceed,” Abalog stated in response to a question from an attendee.
Another resident was curious about the impact of the new hospital on trauma care in south Sacramento. “Will you be contacting other police departments such as Sacramento Sheriff’s and Sacramento Police Department to discuss the impact of trauma care in the south area? There’s Kaiser South.”
“We may end up doing that just to make sure that we accurately document the change in conditions,” replied Angell.
Abalog responded in typical fashion. “As Pat said, the EIR will really focus on the impact on police services in general. Not necessarily any crime related to specific issues in the community. But if there issues in the community that you aware of and believe that the hospital will exacerbate those, we encourage you to submit it in writing.”
As the questions went on, the residents had questions about the flood plain as well as stated their concerns. Additionally, there were a lot of questions in regards to the traffic and how it will affect the freeway off ramp. One specific question that also stood out was the effect of a large building on the area around it such as the reflection of sunlight and heat.
For now, the EIR will move forward by the consultants and the City of Elk Grove. Even though the City of Elk Grove is hosting these meetings, the CNU hospital is still a concern for some residents in the Stonelake and surrounding areas. We will continue to report on recently developments with regard to the California Northstate University hospital project.
Video of the session can be view here: Elk Grove Tribute YouTube
The presentation slides can be view here: EIR Scoping Meeting
More information on the California Northstate University Hospital can be found here: http://www.elkgrovecity.org/city_hall/departments_divisions/planning/current_development_projects/california_northstate_university_hospital/project_history__timeline