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Have Your Say on Project That Could Impact Devereux Creek Birds, Wildlife

The city of Goleta has released a Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Rancho Estates Mobile Home Park Fire Improvements Project. Among the proposed improvements is a fire road that would be built on top of the bank of Devereux Creek, near the Coronado Butterfly Preserve.

Devereux Creek in the Ellwood area of Goleta is an important corridor for migratory and breeding birds and other wildlife. The proposed project also would remove trees and violate the creekside buffer zones that are mandated by Goleta’s General Plan.

These activities will negatively impact the environment in the area.

The community is asked to help by attending a hearing at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 9 in Goleta City Council Chambers, 130 Cremona Dr., Suite B. Enter on the east side of the building.

At that time, the environmental hearing officer will take comments on the adequacy of the draft EIR. Santa Barbara Audubon Society (SBAS) representatives will testify at the hearing. Any member of the public may also speak.

A strong turnout at the hearing will help SBAS advocate successfully for the selection of Alternative 2, described in Section 6.0 of the DEIR as “Environmentally Superior.”

Those wishing to speak at the hearing should pick up a speaker slip near the entrance, complete it, and give it to a city official inside the Council Chambers. Anticipated time allotted to each speaker is 3 minutes.

If you can’t testify in person or would like to augment your verbal remarks, send written comments via email to Joe Pearson II, associate planner, [email protected], from now until 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 21.

For some suggestions on composing your own talking points or written comments, the list is available on the SBAS at http://santabarbaraaudubon.org/save-the-coronado-seep/.

Please note that no decision will be made at this hearing. After the hearing, the city will incorporate the public’s comments into the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) where appropriate.

This will be followed by hearings on the FEIR before the Goleta Planning Commission and the Goleta City Council. There is also likely to be a hearing before the California Coastal Commission.

If you have questions or would like to help the Conservation Committee on this project, email [email protected] or call 964-1468.

— Janice Levasheff for Santa Barbara Audubon Society.

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