City Council Meeting:
Agenda Item: 1-I
To: Mayor and City Council
Subject: Adopt a Resolution Approving a
Mitigated Negative Declaration/Mitigation Monitoring Reporting Program for the
Staff recommends that the City Council:
The Palisades Bluffs Improvement Project involves
the implementation of geotechnical improvements to the Palisades Bluffs from
the McClure Tunnel to the Northwest boundary of the City of
investigation of the Santa Monica Palisades Bluffs was performed by URS
Corporation in 2004 on behalf of the City.
The objective of the investigation was to develop conceptual design
recommendations and cost estimates for enhancing stability of the Bluffs
adjacent to Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) along the length of
· Drainage Improvements
Horizontal drains (hydraugers) are proposed to be installed north of the California Incline. The drains consist of a small diameter perforated pipe drilled into the base of the bluffs adjacent to PCH. The drains will collect excess ground water and provide a path for water to exit the Bluffs to improve stability. Similar systems were installed as part of the Santa Monica Palisades Bluffs Slope Repair project following the 1998 landslide and proved to be successful in removing excess water.
· Surface Treatments
Surface treatment is intended to reduce erosion of exposed surfaces along the Bluffs. Surface treatments will be installed in areas that are not visible from PCH or areas adjacent to PCH. Surface treatments will initially be installed in a limited area along the Bluffs from the McClure Tunnel to the northern City limit. The surface treatments consist of measures such as the application of a spray-on chemical grout and a soil/chemical grout mixture. The surface treatment will be tested in this limited area to ensure that it will not be visible from PCH or the California Incline and will be assessed by a licensed landscape architect. If the demonstration installations are successful, staff will propose to implement more extensive surface treatments as a second phase.
· Planting of Native Vegetation
soil erosion, native southern
· Other Safety Measures
Several areas along the Bluff have overhanging soil blocks, old pavement, abandon concrete structures and pipes. These items are to be removed or stabilized where possible to enhance the safety of traffic and pedestrians along PCH.
A draft Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration was prepared pursuant to Sections 15063(c) and 15070(b) (1) of the California Environmental Quality Act Guidelines to addresses the potential environmental effects of the improvement elements recommended in the Geotechnical Study. The Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration identified environmental impacts that would be potentially affected by the project including aesthetics, biological resources, construction effects, cultural and historic resources, geology/soils, hydrology/water quality, and neighborhood effects. The Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration was circulated for a 30-day public review period from February 5, 2007 to March 7, 2007. Three (3) comments were received on the Draft Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration. The comments and responses to the comments are included in the Final Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration. The Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration concluded that, with the incorporation of proposed mitigation measures, the proposed project would not result in significant impacts. The required mitigation measures are detailed in the Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program, which is included in the Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration and attached to the proposed Resolution.
After circulation of the Mitigated Negative Declaration, City staff met separately with the PCH Residents Association, Santa Monica Canyon Civic Association and Palisades Neighborhood Council in June 2007 to provide updated information on the proposed project and environmental approval process. At these informational meetings, the community voiced three areas of concern: 1) the temporary traffic impacts on PCH associated with the implementation of the Bluffs project; 2) the coordination/cumulative temporary traffic impact of this project with the proposed project to reconstruct the California Incline; and 3) potential aesthetic impacts associated with the proposed improvements. In response to these concerns, the implementation schedule will be coordinated with other projects including the reconstruction of the California Incline to minimize temporary construction traffic impacts.
Improvement Project will be completed prior to the proposed closure and
reconstruction of the California Incline. A detailed Construction Traffic
Management Plan will be developed during preparation of the bidding documents
in accordance with the mitigation requirements established in the Mitigated
Negative Declaration. The Construction
Traffic Management Plan will also be coordinated with Caltrans and the City of
Previous Council Items
On July 25, 2006, the City Council approved Contract No. 8467 (CCS) with URS Corporation to provide environmental program management services for the Santa Monica Bluffs Improvement Project. URS Corporation has been contracted to conduct slope erosion inspection and to work with the project’s environmental consultant, Rincon, to complete the environmental review process. Upon approval of the Mitigated Negative Declaration /Mitigation Monitoring Reporting Program and as authorized by the City Engineer, URS Corporation will proceed with the development of bidding documents for the improvement project as the next phase of their current professional services agreement. This agreement was authorized by City Council on April 26, 2005.
The recommendation presented in this report does not have a budget or financial impact.