Nearly 2 acres sat vacant on the corner of Highway 101 and Dahlia Drive in Solana Beach, California. A new applicant, Zephyr Partners, proposed to revive the former mobile home park property with a mixed-use project featuring retail stores, restaurants, offices, and residences in a sustainable environment called Solana 101.
Harris & Associates prepared the environmental impact report (EIR) and technical studies for the City. The EIR evaluated a development concept based on the desire of the local residents for community compatibility, sustainability, and environmental conservation.
Harris’ technical analyses for the mixed-use project included:
- Air quality
- Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
- Biological resources
- Supplemental noise analysis
- Peer reviews of traffic, stormwater, water and wastewater studies
The EIR also addressed potential impacts to public and private views around the property—an area of concern for the local community.
The City Council hearing for the EIR and project approval was standing room only. Twenty seven speakers were called to the podium, with every person in favor of the project and no opposition. The City Council unanimously certified the EIR and approved the project, which will transform a blighted site into a vibrant commercial and residential center for the community to enjoy.
Beyond the Blueprints
During the draft EIR’s final review, the City decided to implement a drastic change—opting to go with one of the alternatives as the proposed project. At the same time, the City wanted to release the EIR for public review as soon as possible. Harris quickly reassigned staff workload and rewrote the EIR and technical studies in only five weeks. The EIR was released for public review in May 2018.
And when a modeling exercise identified a significant GHG impact, Harris conducted an additional technical analysis to show numerous GHG-reducing options, both on-site and off-site, that could reduce emissions. Among other measures, the project included the provision of 54 electric vehicle charging stations to serve the project residents and surrounding community.