The project site is approximately 0.94 acres in size and is located at 12 Medical Plaza Drive, within the Sutter Roseville Medical Center (SRMC). The SRMC campus is approximately 49 acres in size and is located in the Northeast Roseville Specific Plan (NERSP). The SRMC site has a General Plan designation of Business Professional (BP). The NERSP land use designation for the SRMC is Medical Campus, and the zoning designation is Planned Development for Medical Campus (PD 457). On October 26, 2006, the Planning Commission - as the approving authority specified by the Roseville Municipal Code for such entitlements - approved a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to allow an increase in square footage of the SRMC from 804,000 square feet to 1,100,000 square feet.
The applicant requests approval of a Design Review Permit (DRP) to allow the construction of an approximately 192,000-square foot parking structure, which would create an additional 551 parking stalls for the SRMC. The applicant proposes expanding the existing parking garage to support the existing campus as well as a newly proposed Medical Office Building (MOB) 7. On June 23, 2022, the Planning Commission considered and approved the entitlements related to the MOB 7 project (File#PL22-0061). The MOB 7 project will ultimately result in the construction of a 100,000 square foot medical office building and a new graduate medical education program to occupy the first floor of the building. Based on the results of a parking study conducted by Fehr and Peers, MOB 7 will require 332 spaces. The new parking garage expansion will provide the necessary parking spaces for the new medical office building as well as an additional 219 spaces for the SRMC.
An Initial Study which led to a Negative Declaration was prepared to evaluate the potential environmental effects of the Sutter Parking Garage Expansion project. The same Initial Study/Negative Declaration (IS/ND) evaluated the effects of the MOB 7 project (File#PL22-0061), which the Planning Commission approved on June 23, 2022. While the two projects were considered independently, it was determined that, in order to evaluate the combined environmental impacts of both projects, one comprehensive environmental document would be prepared. The IS/ND was released for a 20-day public review, from April 12, 2022 to May 2, 2022. During the public review period, no comments were received.
Prior to the May 12, 2022 Planning Commission hearing for the Sutter Parking Garage Expansion project, a comment letter was submitted by the Lozeau Drury law firm (dated May 11, 2022), on behalf of the Laborer’s International Union of North America. Lozeau Drury’s letter (see Attachment 2) alleged that the project may have unmitigated adverse environmental impacts related to indoor air quality, noise, air quality impacts from the emissions of reactive organic compounds (ROGs), and greenhouse gas, and the project did not consider renewable energy alternatives. The letter also alleged that a proposed Condition of Approval contained an environmental mitigation measure that was not discussed or incorporated in the IS/ND and that any reference to an environmental mitigation should have led to a Mitigated Negative Declaration. The letter concluded with a request that the City prepare and circulate an Environmental Impact Report in lieu of the Negative Declaration. On May 12, 2022, staff prepared, and provided the Planning Commission, a response memorandum (see Attachment 3) that addressed the Lozeau Drury law firm comments and provided one minor correction to the Negative Declaration. The response memorandum concluded that the Negative Declaration adequately evaluated the environmental impacts for both the Sutter Parking Garage Expansion project and the MOB 7 project and the document could be relied upon for compliance with California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
Prior to the June 23rd Planning Commission hearing for the Sutter MOB 7 project, the City received a letter from Thomas Law Group (see Attachment 4), representing Sutter Valley Hospitals, concurring with the City’s response to the Lozeau Drury letter and requesting the Planning Commission adopt the Negative Declaration for the MOB 7 project. The Planning Commission ultimately approved the MOB 7 project and no appeal was received related to that action.
Summary of May 12, 2022 Sutter Parking Garage Expansion Planning Commission Meeting
The Sutter Parking Garage Expansion project was heard by the Planning Commission on May 12, 2022. At the conclusion of staff’s presentation, a Commissioner asked if the applicant had reviewed staff’s response to the Lozeau Drury letter. Staff informed the Commission that the applicant had reviewed and concurred with the response.
The only public comment received that evening was from the applicant who stated they were in agreement with staff’s recommendations. After closing public comment, the Planning Commission deliberated on the item and voted to adopt the IS/ND and the four (4) findings of fact and approved the Design Review Permit subject to sixty-two (62) conditions of approval. The motion passed with a vote of 5 ayes, 0 nays, and 2 absent.
On May 20, 2022, the City Clerk’s office received a notice of appeal of the Planning Commission’s action on the Sutter Parking Garage Expansion project (see Attachment 5). The appeal was submitted by the Lozeau Drury law firm, representing the Laborers’ International Union of North America, Local Union No. 185. The appeal, dated May 20, 2022, did not raise any new issues not already analyzed and responded to by staff in the response memorandum considered by the Planning Commission. The Lozeau Drury law firm appeal included the May 11, 2022 letter which alleged the project analyzed in the Negative Declaration may have unmitigated adverse environmental impacts related to indoor air quality, noise, air quality impacts from the emissions of ROGs, and greenhouse gas, and the project did not consider renewable energy alternatives. It is important to note that the majority of issues identified in the May 11, 2022 letter relate to the development of MOB 7 and not to the Parking Garage expansion.
This Council Communication provides a summary of the issues raised in the appeal.
Condition of Approval
The appeal asserts Condition of Approval No. 3 contained an environmental mitigation measure from a previous project that was not discussed or incorporated in the Negative Declaration of the Sutter Parking Garage Expansion project (Project).
The Condition of Approval No. 3 was inadvertently and erroneously included in the staff report. The conditions of approval for MOB 6 were used as a template to begin developing appropriate conditions for the proposed Project. Staff requested the Planning Commission adopt the Project with the removal of Condition of Approval No. 3.
Indoor air quality
The appeal asserts the Project may have potentially significant indoor air quality impacts from emissions of formaldehyde. The commenter alleges that the analysis of air quality is flawed because there is no discussion of formaldehyde impacts related to indoor air quality.
The appeal provided support to their assertion by including a letter from a Certified Industrial Hygienist, who asserts that people in the building will be exposed to high levels of off-gassed formaldehyde from the decomposition of composite wood products used to construct buildings, and that this will result in a cancer risk for employees of 17.7 per million. The two studies referenced in the appeal to determine that the Project’s indoor emissions of formaldehyde constitute a significant CEQA impact, even if the Project uses typical materials and construction methods which meet the California Air Resources Board (CARB) formaldehyde airborne toxics control measure, are not applicable to the Project for several reasons. In short, the examples used in the cited studies were constructed prior to the current mandatory regulations which reduce formaldehyde in construction materials. Examples of current mandatory regulations to reduce formaldehyde in construction materials include Federal Environmental Protection Agency final rule to reduce exposure to formaldehyde emissions from certain wood products produced domestically or imported into the United States (effective February 10, 2017), and the Composite Wood Products Regulation (CARB) which reduces public exposure to formaldehyde through the establishment of strict emission performance standards on composite wood products (e.g. particleboard, medium density fiberboard and hardwood plywood). With the current mandatory regulations and proposed construction start date of summer 2022, the project will not have significant impacts from formaldehyde emissions.
The appeal asserts the Project did not analyze and mitigate noise impacts from construction noise and the Project’s mechanical equipment.
The recently approved MOB 7 is located approximately 120 feet from the nearest apartment building and the Project is located approximately 390 feet away from the nearest apartment building. The appeal claims that mechanical equipment could result in substantial noise affecting sensitive receptors located approximately 120 feet away. However, the existing Sutter Medical Office Building 4 is located 45 feet away from the apartment complex and the existing mechanical equipment (same mechanical equipment proposed at MOB 7) and the existing conditions do not violate the City’s noise thresholds or standards. As a result, it can be seen with certainty that the Project does not have the potential to result in significant noise impacts related to mechanical equipment. Further, the Parking Garage Expansion, which is now before the Council, does not include any unenclosed mechanical equipment. The electrical equipment for the parking garage elevator is located within the concrete elevator shaft.
Pursuant to the City of Roseville Noise Ordinance, all construction noise is limited to daytime hours and shall be minimized to the extent which is practical, in order to prevent noise during sleeping or night time hours. All projects in the City are required to comply with the City’s Noise Ordinance and the City’s adopted California Environmental Quality Act Implementing Procedures findings, which indicate that compliance with the City Noise Ordinance is sufficient to protect nearby sensitive receptors from the negative health effects from construction noise. The Project does not pose any unique characteristics that would result in construction noise which is greater than typical construction, and as such it can be seen with certainty that the Project does not have the potential to result in construction noise impacts.
Air quality impact from ROGs
The appeal asserts the Project did not appropriately analyze the air quality impacts from emissions of ROGs.
The appeal provided an analysis completed by SWAPE Technical Consultation, Data Analysis and Litigation Support of the Environment, to review the air quality modeling of the Project. SWAPE evaluated the City’s analysis and prepared its own California Emissions Estimator Model (CalEEMod). The analysis by SWAPE did find an error in the City’s model, but their amended model also contained incorrect data. City staff corrected the model and found the Project to be below the screening thresholds.
The appeal asserts the City improperly relied on the General Plan Update Environmental Impact Report to conclude that impacts would be less than significant.
The Project’s vehicle trips and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) resulting from the full buildout of the SRMC were evaluated as part of the citywide analysis prepared for the General Plan Update EIR and as part of the citywide buildout analysis of non-mobile greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, the emissions from the Project are not a new project-specific impact requiring further analysis, and per the tiering provisions of CEQA Section 15152, additional environmental analysis is not required.
The appeal asserts the Project had an obligation to evaluate whether any renewable energy features could be incorporated into the Project.
There is no obligation for a project to evaluate whether any renewable energy features could be incorporated, instead, CEQA requires an analysis of whether a project would result in “inefficient, wasteful, and unnecessary consumption of energy” as part of an EIR. However, this Project did not result in an EIR and the evaluation of any renewable energy features is not required for the Project’s IS/ND. Furthermore, the Project will comply with the California Green Building Standards Code.
In conclusion, staff finds that the Initial Study/Negative Declaration remains the appropriate document to comply with CEQA. No new or substantially more severe impacts have been identified which would necessitate the preparation of a subsequent or supplemental EIR.
The proposed project was distributed to all internal and external agencies and departments who have requested such notice, and all comments or recommended conditions of approval have been incorporated into the project, as appropriate. Notice of both the Planning Commission hearing and the City Council hearing was published in the Roseville Press Tribune and on the Roseville Coalition of Neighborhood Associations (RCONA) website, and mailed to all property owners and residents within a 300 foot radius of the project site. As of the writing of this report, staff has not received any public comment regarding the project.