Working with the City of Escondido, Harris prepared an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for a residential project that subdivided 40.62 acres into residential, recreation, street, and open space lots. Pursuant to CEQA, the EIR assessed the environmental ramifications of the project, identified feasible mitigation measures, and evaluated a range of alternatives to reduce significant effects.
The EIR also evaluated impacts associated with the Bear Valley Parkway Specific Alignment Plan, which included widening, a center median, sidewalks, and curb and gutter installation among its improvements.
To streamline the EIR process, Harris used the CEQA Guidelines Appendix G Initial Study Checklist to eliminate several environmental topics from detailed analysis. For many of the topics, such as air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, and water quality, Harris prepared technical studies to demonstrate that impacts would be less than significant.
The final EIR focused only on topics that could significantly affect the environment, including:
- Agricultural resources
- Biological resources
- Cultural resources (including Tribal Cultural Resources)
- Geology and soils
- Hazards and hazardous materials
- Land use and planning
- Transportation and traffic
In accordance with Assembly Bill 52, the City consulted with local Native American tribes that expressed interest in the project.
Beyond the Blueprints
To address potential aesthetic concerns, Harris prepared visual simulations from Bear Valley Parkway to illustrate the view changes and capture the scene from several surrounding public vantage points.