[fosc] Case File No.:DV03-185/Pallid Manzanita

Ralph Kanz rkanz at earthlink.net
Thu Jan 5 16:43:29 PST 2006


Maurice,

Today I noted the grading taking place at 7728 Skyline.  Located on the site is an endangered Pallid manzanita.  This afternoon I inspected the file and found you had issued the project a Categorical Exemption from the CEQA process.  As you know a project cannot be exempted from CEQA when a special status species might be impacted.  My inspection of the pallid manzanita on the site found it has been directly impacted by the grading activities, including removal of some vegetation. 

In the file is a letter from a neighbor, dated June 12, 2003 advising you that "there is an 'Alameda manzanita' bush on the property.  I believe that it is located uphill from where the building is situated, but provisions should be made to protect it during the building process."  You faxed this letter to the architect for the project.  You also faxed the architect a list of "biologists with expertise in whipsnakes but may also have some knowledge on the Alameda manzanita plants." (Pallid manzanita was formerly referred to as Alameda manzanita.)  There are no further documents in the file referencing Pallid manzanita.  

Clearly the City was aware of the presence of an endangered species on the site and yet did nothing to provide for its protection during the construction of this project.  No biological surveys were done to determine how many plants were present on the site.  No mitigation measures have been put in place to insure the continued existence of the species on this site.

Pallid manzanitas are in serious decline in the City of Oakland.  Mitigation measures for previous projects have failed to be implemented, resulting in the loss of plants.  Fuel reduction activities for wildfire prevention have taken Pallid manzanita.  We cannot afford further losses of this species. 

Please let me know how you plan to protect the endangered species present on this site.

Ralph Kanz
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