I. LAND USE AND PLANNING
The City of Petaluma zoning maps identify the Service Center as "Light Industrial" and the areas immediately to the north of Corona Road and east of the Service Center as a "Light Industrial, Flood Plain Combining District" (M-L FPC). The areas immediately south and west are designated "Garden Apartments" (R-M-G). The Youngstown Mobile Home Park is located within the R-M-G zoning designation.
The proposed project would not conflict with either the General Plan land use or zoning designations. The Public and Institutional category identified in the City of Petaluma’s General Plan is specifically intended for "public utility substations; and institutional, academic, governmental, and community service use and lands." The project would be compatible with land use designations. The M-L designation in the zoning ordinance is intended for light and specialized industrial uses "of a non-nuisance type regulated by performance standards." A Conditional Use Permit can be granted for the establishment or expansion of "quasi-public uses appropriate to the M-L District"; however, the zoning district does not specify public utility substations as a conditional use (PG&E, 1997). Although City of Petaluma zoning does not specify public utilities as a conditional use, it should be noted that municipalities do not have jurisdiction or regulatory control on utility siting; therefore a conditional use permit from the City is not required. "The design, construction, and maintenance of substation, power line and power line facilities are subject to the sole authority and exclusive jurisdiction of the CPUC and are therefore the discretionary action is considered outside the jurisdiction of a city.
A flood control channel is located on the north side of Corona Road. The proposed power line would not conflict with storm drainage uses because the line would be designed to ensure clearance for channel maintenance. In addition, the project would be compatible with City of Petaluma General Plan programs and policies relating to the integration of new utility easements into the open space network because landscaping proposed by PG&E would enhance the visual quality of Corona Road and the drainage channel (PG&E, 1998b). Landscaping within the Service Center parking areas also would be consistent with City policy (PG&E, 1998b).
The project site is within the boundaries of the Flood Plain-Combining District (FP-C). A "development permit" obtained from the City would allow the construction of an aboveground public utility, such as a substation, within this District. The conditions of the permit include the use of construction standards, materials, and methods minimizing flood damage; for example, enclosed structures must be elevated 12 inches or more above base level flood elevation. The substation is designed to withstand flood damage well above the 12-inch level, and would remain functional if flood waters rose to a height of several feet. No additional design or construction measures are necessary to ensure operation and maintenance of the substation during flooding (PG&E, 1998a). Because project construction would not create additional impervious surface and flooding frequency is not expected to increase, flooding of the site would not present any land use compatibility issue for surrounding residences. Therefore, this impact is considered to be less than significant.
· Approximately 40 of the mobile homes in the Youngstown Mobile Home Park located on Pamela Court behind the Service Center and on Michael Drive southeast of the project site;
· The City’s Fire Station (1001 North McDowell Boulevard), located at the western corner of Corona Road and North McDowell Boulevard, adjacent to the proposed power line that would be located along the north side of Corona Road;
· The U.S. Post Office North Bay Processing and Distribution Center (1150 North McDowell Boulevard), located on the northeast corner of Corona Road and North McDowell Boulevard (the parking lot is the only part of the facility located adjacent to any of the proposed project components);
· Two residences located on the light industrial parcel immediately east of the proposed site at 230 and 276 Corona Road, approximately 160 feet and 220 feet from the location of the proposed substation;
· A third residence located on the same light industrial parcel at 965 North McDowell Boulevard, approximately 420 feet from the proposed project;
· An automobile repair shop located on the southwest corner of Corona Road and North McDowell Boulevard; and
· One residence located at 320 Corona Road, 270 feet east of the location of the proposed pole on the northern corner of Corona Road and North McDowell Boulevard.
The project would not conflict significantly with the existing residential uses in the Youngstown Mobile Home Park because of the separation distance between the substation and the residences and mitigation that would result from proposed fencing and landscaping. The northeastern portion of the Young property (on the north side of the site) consists of recreational vehicle parking and garbage collection. Because of the dimensions of this area, development setback requirements, and conditions of the Youngstown Use Permit, permitted future uses in this area would remain the same as existing uses (PG&E, 1998). The proposed power line right of way is compatible with existing and future uses of this portion of the Young Property.
The project would not be incompatible with any other adjacent land uses listed above because current uses and operation of these homes and facilities would not be significantly affected in the long-term. The project, if implemented, would not induce a change in the immediately surrounding lands or land uses along the tap line.
Project construction would temporarily increase noise and air pollutant emissions, which could be a nuisance factor for nearby residents. Noise and air quality impacts and mitigation measures are identified in Sections V and X (Air Quality and Noise, respectively) Because construction activities would not have a long-term impact on adjacent uses, this impact is considered less than significant.
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