Devil's Slide Tunnels Freeway Mitigation Project : File Number PLN2001-00799

April 5, 2002
Via Certified Mail

Harry Yahata, District Director
Caltrans, District 4
P.O. Box 23660
Oakland, CA 94623-0660

Re: Devil's Slide Tunnels Freeway Mitigation Project : File Number PLN2001-00799

Dear Director Yahata,

On March 27, 2002, based on  information provided by staff memorandum  presented at the hearing, the San Mateo County Planning Commission accepted staff's recommendation and approved  a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) for  the $270 million Sierra Club Devil's Slide Hwy 1 Tunnels Freeway  Project for illegal ESHA mitigation construction activities.  Within minutes following the Planning Commissions non-compliant CDP approval, I filed  an appeal  with  Notice of Violation (NOV) documents on behalf of the Coastal Family Alliance and the Half Moon Bay Coastside Foundation aka Save Our Bay  to the Board of Supervisors.

The Coastal Family Alliance is  requesting that Caltrans withdraw their non-compliant  Devil's Slide Tunnels Project mitigation application File # PLN2001-00799 that has been appealed to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.  The reason supporting Caltrans withdrawing their Devil's Slide Tunnels Freeway mitigation project application is that the County of San Mateo on May 11, 1999 lawfully  notified Caltrans during the CEQA/NEPA statutory comment period that " the County could not find that the proposed tunnel design complies with the County's Local Coastal Program (LCP)."  The Coastal Commission lawfully notified Caltrans on May 12, 1999 that the Devil's Slide Tunnels  Freeway Project does not comply with the San Mateo County LCP or  Coastal Act and Caltrans could not be granted a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) for the Tunnels Freeway Project.  By memorandum dated March 21, 2002 to the SMC Planning Commission, Project Planner Michael Schaller, noted that the revised Devil's Slide Tunnels Freeway Mitigation Site CDP application was: Ö. "as much as possible into compliance with the County's LCP.  The applicant redesigned the project after consultation with the County and the Coastal Commission regarding the applicability of Measure-T and its provisions."  This memo is a clear restatement by the County and Coastal Commission that the $270 million  Devil's Slide Tunnels Freeway Project does not fully comply with the LCP and the Coastal Act.  Ergo, San Mateo County Planning staff ESHA mitigation opinions regarding the Devil Slide Tunnels Freeway Project will not indemnify Caltrans or nullify the Coastal Commission's   Adopted Findings for the San Mateo County  LCP regarding NO ESHA MITIGATION. 

If Caltrans   proceeds with the $270 million Sierra Club Tunnels Freeway mitigation activities, it is with the full knowledge that this "mitigation project" DOES NOT comply with the LCP and Coastal Act.  Violations of the LCP and Coastal Act  by Caltrans will disqualify Caltrans from being granted  Federal permits and the $270 million in needed FHWA funding.  Measure-T as adopted into the LCP requires FULL compliance (not "as much as possible compliance) with the Local Coastal Program and Coastal Act.  The Coastal Family Alliance is asking Caltrans to cease and desist their statutory declared non-compliant mitigation activities until the County of San Mateo  and the Coastal Commission rescind their LCP adopted findings for  the Sierra Club Devil's Slide Tunnels Freeway Project.  The SMC voter approved  Measure-T requires full compliance with the LCP and the Coastal Act.

Sincerely

Oscar Braun, Executive Director

CC
Norman Y. Mineta, U.S. Secretary of Transportation
Maiser Khaled, FHWA Team Leader, 1986 Devil's Slide Highway 1 Improvement Project

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