SAN RAFAEL -- An organization representing neighbors of a proposed 270,000-square-foot Lucasfilm digital movie production studio in Lucas Valley northwest of San Rafael has appealed the recent project approval by the Marin County Planning Commission.
[caption id="attachment_50930" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Rendering of the proposed 270,000-square-foot digital movie production studio at Grady Ranch. Lucas Valley Estates Homeowners Association objects to the height and appearance of the building, among other project details."][/caption]
Lucas Valley Estates Homeowners Association, which represents 174 dwellings southeast of the 52-acre project site, filed an appeal late Friday afternoon to the Marin County Board of Supervisors. The appeal challenges the county Planning Commission's Feb. 27 unanimous approval of the precise development plan, including the film-production building with integrated daycare, overnight guest rooms and employee restaurant, and certification of the supplemental environmental impact report.
A hearing on the appeal is currently scheduled for the 1:30 p.m. session of the April 3 board of supervisors meeting, according to Tom Lai, assistant director of the Marin Community Development Agency.
"It was all the same issues that were raised before," he said about the appeal petition.
The basis for the appeal, according to the four-page filing, is "all points raised in public comment letters."
The approved 1996 project master plan and environmental impact report and the 2012 precise development plan and accompanying environmental report have "insufficient details and information," according to the filing.
"The significant departures from the 1996 plan should require an amendment to the master plan and a new EIR," the document said. "There are risks to public safety and impacts to private property that have not been adequately studied and/or not properly addressed."
Specific allegations in the appeal petition are:The precise development plan is a phasing and segmentation of the Grady Ranch project not allowed under CEQA.Notification of neighbors was lacking and inadequate for the what amounted to a change in zoning in the 1996 master plan and environmental report and for the availability of the draft supplemental environmental impact report earlier this year.There was insufficient time to review the plan and its supplemental environmental document.A proposed restoration of a creek running along the Grady Ranch property doesn't have enough information about risks to downstream public and private property owners, and the monitoring program isn't adequate, enforceable or provide owner recourse.Intensity of land use is beyond that of the approved 1996 master plan.Building heights and impacts on views from neighboring properties exceed the constraints of 1996 approvals.Risks of erosion from grading, including raising a knoll to screen the building from neighbors, haven't been adequately addressed. Impacts to protected steelhead trout in the creek weren't adequately studied. A proposed geoexchange building temperature-control system in the knoll is outside the scope of the 1996 plan and has inadequately assessed risks.Hours of operation changed from the 1996 plan, the impacts of which change haven't been properly addressed and can't be enforced.A proposed "outdoor sound stage" is outside the scope of the approved master plan, and its uses and hours of operation haven't been adequately studied.Traffic and noise studies in the supplemental environmental document aren't adequate.The new development plan doesn't comply with standards for visual impact, light pollution and building heights.
These matters were discussed during the six-hour Feb. 27 Planning Commission meeting, split between public testimony and discussion between commissioners, county planning staff and supplemental environmental impact report consultants, and at lengthy hearing in December.