The project is undergoing an analysis of reasonably expected environmental impacts. In March 2019, the City Council considered the feasibility of the Golf Course Water Recycling and Turf Care Facility project which includes the construction of a satellite wastewater recycling facility to generate recycled water for irrigation purposes through treating wastewater. The project also includes a new turf care facility and the installation of new irrigation systems along the Golf Course and other public park spaces. The City Council directed staff to pursue analysis and development of the project. In August 2019, the City Council considered an initial study of the project to review its potential environmental impacts. The study included a project description, a preliminary analysis of potential significant environmental impacts in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act and a recommendation regarding whether to proceed with a negative declaration, mitigated negative declaration or environmental impact report.
Environmental Review Status
The first step in any environmental review process, according to the California Environmental Quality Act, is an initial study. The purpose of an initial study is to determine whether a project may have a significant effect on the environment. If the initial study does not identify any potential negative effect on the environment, a negative declaration should be completed. A mitigated negative declaration is to be used when a project has potentially significant effects, but those effects can be avoided or reduced to an insignificant level through conditions or design features incorporated into the project also known as mitigation measures. An environmental impact report is conducted when the initial study indicates a project will have significant unavoidable impacts on the environment and includes an analysis of each significant environmental impact expected and mitigation measures or alternatives to try to limit those impacts. Based on the initial study conducted for the project, the City Council determined any potential impacts of the Golf Course Water Recycling and Turf Care Facility project could likely be mitigated to insignificant levels and directed staff to complete a mitigated negative declaration for the project. City staff is working with environmental consultants Dudek and Associates to complete the mitigated negative declaration. Part of this process includes continued analysis of the project to confirm what, if any, impacts it may have and how those impacts can be mitigated through conditions and design features. Once the report is complete, it will be made available to the public for review and comment. The California Environmental Quality Act requires that the City respond to all comments it receives. The report will ultimately be presented to the City Council for consideration.
Environmental Concerns to be Addressed
In public outreach forums, through the media and social media, several residents have voiced concerns related to the project. These concerns are largely related to possible noise, traffic, odor and visual impacts. The City continues to work with its consultants to refine the conceptual design for the project, identify potential impacts, and confirm that those impacts can indeed be mitigated as stipulated by the California Environmental Quality Act. Concerns regarding noise, traffic, odor, and visual impacts will all be addressed in the mitigated negative declaration. For example, with regard to visual impacts, the City is working to produce visual simulations of the proposed project to identify the size and shape of the structures, where they could be located on the Golf Course, the modifications to the Golf Course required to accommodate the facilities, and to what extent the facilities will be visible to the public. The visual simulations will be incorporated into the mitigated negative declaration for analysis. Beyond the strict California Environmental Quality Act impacts, which the City must address, it is the City's intent to put forth the best end product that will be in keeping with the Coronado "brand." These will be functional and efficient facilities that are pleasing to all who will see them, including residents, golfers, guests, and tourists.
Based on prior analysis of City zoning and land ownership as well as previously unsuccessful efforts with the U.S. Navy, the City has determined that the only feasible location for the satellite wastewater recycling facility building and associated facilities is the Coronado Municipal Golf Course. Since the recycled water will be mostly used to water the Golf Course and because the bulk of the project will be paid for by golfers, the site makes the most sense legally, practically, and financially. A review of the Golf Course layout, conducted with the assistance of a golf course architect, identified three feasible areas within the front nine holes of the Golf Course to locate the facilities. These locations were included in the City's most recent feasibility study for the project and were named the "Roadside," "Trailside" and "Bayside" options based on their proximity to public roads, the Bayshore Bikeway, and San Diego Bay respectively. As the City's environmental review has progressed it was determined that two of the three locations have significant drawbacks. As a result, the City is considering the "Bayside" location the preferred option and is focusing its review on the mitigated negative declaration to this particular area of the Golf Course. The most significant drawbacks of the other two locations are as follows:
Roadside Existing Golf Course Maintenance Facility
The area is prone to severe flooding. Correcting this issue would require either raising the elevation of the area several feet, which would make any facility more visible, or installing a new stormwater pump station and drainage systems. Such facilities would require regular maintenance in perpetuity and still leave the area susceptible to flooding during power outages.
This area is prone to golf ball strikes. Correcting this issue to improve worker safety would require significant changes to the Golf Course and the possible installation of tall barriers.
Keeping the Golf Course Maintenance Facility in this location does nothing to lessen existing noise, employee parking, and other impacts on the surrounding area.
This location provides little opportunity to conceal the structural improvements required for the project in a manner that would be acceptable to the City, residents, and golfers.
Constructing the facility in this area will require the most significant changes to the existing Golf Course layout.
Any public-related, environmental impact at this location is reduced by moving the complex further away from the closest residents and public vistas along Glorietta Boulevard, which results in the preferred alternative, the "Bayside" location.
Next City Council Update
City staff currently envisions providing the City Council with an update on the project status at an upcoming meeting. For more information regarding the project, contact the City's Public Services and Engineering Department at 619-522-7383.