On September 19, 2017, the City Council adopted Resolution 17-125, certifying the Final Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”) for the Mace Ranch Innovation Center project (“MRIC”). The planning applications related to the EIR were subsequently put on hold. On June 11, 2019, the City received a letter from the property owners of the MRIC project site (Buzz Oates, Reynolds & Brown, and Ramco Enterprises) requesting the City recommence with processing of their innovation center application, which has been renamed as the Aggie Research Campus (“ARC”). On September 30, 2019, the applicant submitted a project description and a number of other exhibits related to their application that are under review.
The applicant spent the last two years conducting research on modern innovation parks, talking to industry experts, and analyzing the appropriate land uses. The applicant has decided to continue pursuing the appropriate general plan and zoning designations, as well as, an application to annex their proposed Aggie Research Campus project which is located on a 185-acre project site, immediately east of the City of Davis city limits, near the “Mace Curve”, in unincorporated Yolo County. At build-out, the ARC would include up to 2,654,000 square feet of innovation center/business uses and 850 residential units of varied sizes and affordability.
The City’s Mace 25 Parcel
In the prior MRIC proposal, development of the City’s Mace 25 was part of the project proposal. The current ARC proposal removes the City’s Mace 25 parcel from the development proposal. There are no proposed changes to the agricultural zoning of the Mace 25 parcel nor to the City ownership of the property. The ARC project does propose a 150’ wide, nine-acre agricultural buffer easement on the southern and eastern edges of the Mace 25 parcel. The placement of the agricultural buffer easement will be considered as part of the larger entitlement application discussion at a future meeting.
Applicant Letter Comparison Summary of ARC and MRIC Projects (November 27, 2019)
The updated environmental documents are being prepared.
The Davis City Council certified the environmental impact report (EIR) for the proposed Mace Ranch Innovation Center (MRIC) Project in September 2017, determining that it adequately evaluated the environmental impacts of the proposed MRIC project and a related Mixed-Use Alternative. The EIR included an analysis of the potential physical environmental impacts of a Mixed-Use Alternative, at the same level of detail performed for the proposed MRIC project. Once an EIR has been certified, any further review associated with subsequent discretionary actions related to the project is guided by Public Resources Code (PRC) Section 21166; California Environmental Quality Act Guidelines (“CEQA Guidelines”) Sections 15162 and 15163. Neither PRC Section 21166 nor CEQA Guidelines Sections 15162-15163 include requirements for a new notice of preparation (NOP) and scoping meeting. The only specific requirement for a lead agency to issue a NOP and hold a scoping meeting is at the outset of the initial environmental review of a project (CEQA Guidelines Section 15082). The City of Davis issued a NOP and held a scoping meeting for the MRIC EIR process, as required.
While preparation of a new NOP and subsequent scoping meeting are not required for a subsequent EIR or supplemental EIR, the City of Davis is sensitive to the community’s concerns and chose to hold a scoping meeting. As a result, the City has scheduled a scoping meeting for the proposed Aggie Research Campus project on December 2, 2019. The meeting is intended to focus more appropriately on collecting comments related to the changes in circumstances that may have occurred in the project vicinity since the certification of the MRIC EIR in 2017, given that this is an important criterion to consider when preparing further environmental documents for projects, according to CEQA Guidelines Section 15162(a)(2). The intent of the voluntary scoping meeting being held on Monday, December 2, 2019 starting at 5:00 PM and ending at 7:00 PM at Davis City Hall Conference Room, 23 Russell Blvd, Davis, CA 95616 is to solicit input and comments from public agencies and the general public on the proposed supplemental EIR. The intent was to receive comments before or during the scoping meeting.
The City of Davis held a voluntary scoping meeting on December 2, 2019 which provided an opportunity for public agencies and the general public that are interested in providing input as to the scope and content of the supplemental environmental information associated with the preparation of a supplemental environmental impact report. As an additional effort to provide ample opportunities for public engagement and input, City staff not only held the voluntary scoping meting but also extended the period to accept written comments from public agencies and the general public that are interested in providing input as to the scope and content of the supplemental environmental information to Monday, December 9, 2019 at 5:00 PM. Staff has received requests for additional time beyond the December 2, 2019 deadline to provide written comments. In response to the requests for additional time, staff has once again extended the date for delivery of written scoping comments to Monday, December 16, 2019 at 5:00 PM. Written scoping comments can be delivered to the City of Davis Community Development and Sustainability Department, 23 Russell Boulevard, Suite 2 Davis, CA 95616 Attn: Sherri Metzker, Principal Planner or via electronic mail to: email@example.com; up until Monday, December 16, 2019 at 5:00 PM.
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