July - August 2010
Sierra Club Yodeler
Vol. 73 No. 4
The development plan for Patterson Ranch has once again been revised for the better.
Days after the Dec. 14 close of the comment period on the project's draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR), the developer sent in a revised plan, and it inches closer to the key environmental concern of not placing development west of Ardenwood Boulevard.
City staff reviewed the changed plan and the 800 comments submitted by agencies and the public, and in late June issued still another draft EIR for public review. The quantity and quality of comments received on the last EIR have helped to shape the project for the better, and we must continue to provide strong input.
The revised plan now places most development east of Ardenwood Boulevard, but retains two churches to the west in front of Patterson Slough. For the sake of wildlife habitat and the scenic vistas of Coyote Hills Regional Park, no development should be permitted west of Ardenwood Boulevard.
The plan changes the types of housing, eliminating the five-story apartments and three-story townhomes in favor of a mix of one and two-story single-family homes with the option for 72 apartments in two-story buildings. This reduces the number of housing units from 878 to a maximum of 520.
The plan also eliminates the elementary school. The Fremont Unified School Board had submitted a comment letter addressing overcrowding at Ardenwood, indicating that hundreds of students are on waiting lists to get back into the local schools. This issue remains unresolved. Fremont, the school district, and the developer are now pursuing solutions to address this chronic problem that will be further exacerbated by any additional housing. One concept includes converting four acres of an existing city-owned neighborhood park in Ardenwood to an elementary school site. This issue should be addressed in the new Draft EIR.
Instead of the active community park sought by Fremont, the new plan calls for the developer to donate 40 acres of land, which could be used for park or school purposes, and to make a contribution to the Park Improvement Fund to be used for citywide park development purposes.
The revised plan also eliminates the commercial/retail site.
The Draft EIR is available at www.fremont.gov/index.aspx?NID=430
Submit written comments by Mon., Aug. 2, to:
Scott Ruhland, Associate Planner
City of Fremont
Community Development Department
39550 Liberty St.
Fremont, CA 94537
Urge the Council to reject any development west of Ardenwood Boulevard.
To sign an e-petition, and to learn of upcoming EIR and Fremont City Council meeting dates, check the Friends of Coyote Hills web site
To work with the Sierra Club to defend Patterson Ranch, contact Bay Chapter conservation organizer or call (510) 848-0800, ext. 304.