From: LauraDixon@aol.com Date: Mon, 3 Jan 2000 01:26:16 EST Subject: Here's my letter to the Mayor...have you written yet?
Dear Friends of Ravenna Woods,
I know...the holidays have had us distracted and if you, like I, have been having a bout with a cold bug or the flu, there hasn't been time. Still, please take a few minutes to send out an email. It can make a difference. We've only been able to make the progress we've had to date due to your efforts to let DCLU, the Mayor and the City Council know that we, as a community, are dedicated to the preservation of Ravenna Woods.
Happy New Year and may we succeed in 2000:)
Here's my letter, cc'd to Council members:
Mayor Paul Schell:
Many good wishes for the new year. I would like to thank you for your past support of Friends of Ravenna Woods. When you visited the site, you made it clear that this fragile, wooded natural area needed to be preserved in accordance with the University Neighborhood plan which made the preservation of the Ravenna Woods property a key strategy.
You may also be aware that the community has long had serious concerns about the negative environmental impacts that a project of inappropriate magnitude would have on the Ravenna Woods property itself as well as the surrounding properties. Community members have written letters and provided documentation to DCLU which supported the need for an environmental impact statement before any construction could take place. On June 11, 1999, DCLU notified the current applicant, Ravenna House LLC, of DCLU's intent to issue a Determination of Significance. On September 23, 1999, DCLU issued a Determination of Significance, with five areas of probable significant environmental impacts initially identified: construction, height, bulk and scale, land use, parking, and traffic and transportation. At the EIS scoping meeting on October 11, 1999, the applicant's "revised" plans, which were not submitted until October 4, had few substantive changes and did not address many of the possible environmental impacts outlined. At this meeting, Mr. Ketil Freeman assured the community that DCLU would continue to require an EIS unless there were substantial modifications of the development project, such as a substantial change in housing type to single family, that would eliminate significant environmental impacts. He also outlined the procedural steps of an EIS scope which included a formal public review and comment process. We left the meeting with the understanding that this process would begin.
We've been waiting patiently, believing that the DCLU had prepared an EIS scope and was working on the EIS draft. You can imagine our dismay when we discovered that DCLU is continuing to review the project as if no DS has ever been issued. DCLU is encouraging and accepting environmental analysis and information from the applicant outside of the EIS process and without the objective consultant arrangement required for an EIS. It may be appropriate in some cases to withdraw a DS and not do an EIS if a project has been substantially changed (for example: changing the project to single family housing}. It is not, however, at all proper to allow the developer to submit EIS required information and analysis outside of the EIS process. This is especially true in the absence of any meaningful project revisions. Such a practice would mean an EIS would never be required for any project.
We realize that you have many issues demanding your attention. We would, however, be extremely grateful if you would intercede and turn this situation around. DCLU appears to have little concern or respect for the community members it is supposed to be serving.
Thank you for your time and attention,
Laura Dixon-Dybvad President Friends of Ravenna Woods