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Meeting Date: March 11, 2003

Subject/Title: Approve an Agreement for Payment of Contract Services with Vineyards at Marsh Creek, L.L.C. for an Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Vineyards at Marsh Creek Project located near Marsh Creek Road and the southerly extension of Fairview Avenue.

Submitted by: Community Development Department (M. Oshinsky/M. Porto) 
Approved by: John Stevenson, City Manager

Approve the Agreement for Payment with Vineyards at Marsh Creek, L.L.C. 
Vineyards at Marsh Creek, L.L.C. is preparing an application for annexation and development of The Vineyards a mixed-use, planned community located in an unincorporated area within the City’s sphere of influence along our southerly boundary. The proposed project is included within Special Planning Area (SPA) “J” as identified in the City’s General. An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is needed as part of the review and approval process to analyze and address potentially significant impacts resulting from the proposed project.
To avoid potential conflicts of interest, the City procedure is to select a consultant (with the applicant’s concurrence) specializing in EIR preparation. The City then enters into a contract with the applicant, whereby they agree to pay the full consultant and City administrative costs involved with the EIR. The City then contracts with the EIR consultant, who works for and reports directly to the City. The consultant’s work will be supervised by the Community Development Department. The consultant contract is a separate Council action that follows this first contract item on the agenda. 
In accordance with this contract with Vineyards at Marsh Creek, L.L.C., they will deposit funds to prepare the EIR. The City will draw from the funds deposited by the applicant to pay the consultant, and the City’s fee for administration of the EIR. The total cost to the applicant is $284,065 that represents the estimated costs for the EIR of $227,252, plus the City administration fee of $56,813. The applicant also is responsible for all other standard application fees not addressed by either of these agreements.
Vineyards at Marsh Creek, L.L.C. will pay the full cost of the EIR. The applicant has deposited $142,033 with the City that will be drawn down to pay for the EIR. Vineyards at Marsh Creek, L.L.C. will be notified to deposit the additional balance of $142,032 when it is needed. The contract provides that in any event, the applicant shall be liable to the City for the full and total of the City’s costs for the EIR. 


Agreement between the City and Vineyards at Marsh Creek, L.L.C. 

AGREEMENT made this 11th day of March 2003, between the CITY OF BRENTWOOD (“CITY”), a municipal corporation, and VINEYARDS AT MARSH CREEK, L.L.C ("APPLICANT").

For the consideration hereby acknowledged, the CITY and APPLICANT agree as follows:

SECTION 1. PURPOSE OF AGREEMENT. The APPLICANT desires to proceed with an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) as necessary pursuant to State law, to analyze and mitigate any potentially significant environmental impacts arising out of the APPLICANT’S proposed development project. CITY and APPLICANT agree to engage a consultant to prepare an EIR. The CITY has selected RBF (“Consultant”) to prepare an EIR. APPLICANT agrees to pay all costs for production of subject EIR, in addition to all other applicable CITY development, environmental and application fees. 

SECTION 2. SELECTION OF CONSULTANT. CITY and Consultant have separate Agreement for Contract Services for the EIR, dated March 11, 2003. 
SECTION 3. PAYMENT TERMS FOR APPLICANT. APPLICANT agrees to pay the CITY all costs associated with preparation of the EIR, not to exceed $227,252, plus a 10% contingency of $22,725, without the APPLICANT’s written approval. In addition, the APPLICANT shall pay the CITY’s 25% administration fee for the EIR of $56,813. APPLICANT shall pay CITY at the rates and for the hours actually performed by the Consultant in accordance with the rates set forth in Exhibit "A", attached hereto and made a part hereof. Consultant will bill CITY every 30 days for work already performed. Payment by the APPLICANT to the CITY shall be made within twentyone (21) days after receipt of the Consultant's acceptable, undisputed itemized billing. The APPLICANT’s costs for the EIR and administration fee are $284,065, not including the 10% contingency fee. 
Upon execution of this contract, the APPLICANT shall deposit with the CITY $142,033 that represents one half of the CITY’s costs. The CITY’s costs shall be drawn by the CITY based on the rates and for the hours actually performed by the Consultant in accordance with Consultant Agreement plus any portion of the additional 25% comprising the CITY’s costs. Upon notice of an invoice or a scheduled draw that would reduce the funds from this initial deposit to $35,000, the CITY will notify the APPLICANT which then shall have fourteen (14) days from the date of such notification to deposit the remaining balance of $142,032.
In any event, including a stoppage of the project for any reason, and regardless of the amount paid to the Consultant by the CITY, the APPLICANT shall be liable to the CITY for the full and total amount of the CITY’s costs established herein. Supplemental deposits may be made subsequent to the required deposit amounts as a result of mutually agreed-upon amendments to the Scope of Work or Additional Services provided herein. Such supplemental deposits shall be made for the full amount of the amendments and shall become part of the CITY’s costs, in addition to the amount stated above. The APPLICANT remains liable to the CITY for the full amount of the CITY’s costs regardless of the project’s pace or completion.
SECTION 4. EIR SCOPE OF WORK. The Consultant shall perform any and all work needed to complete the tasks outlined in the Consultant’s Proposal, attached as Exhibit “A” and incorporated herein by reference, and which shall serve as the Scope of Work for the EIR for the project, except as the Scope may be amended by mutual written agreement among the APPLICANT, Community Development Director, and the Consultant’s authorized representative.
SECTION 5. TERMINATION. This Agreement may be terminated by either the CITY or the APPLICANT following thirty (30) days written notice of intention to terminate; thereafter, the APPLICANT shall be liable to the CITY only for those fees and costs earned by Consultant to the date of termination and which shall be substantiated by an itemized written statement certified and submitted to CITY by the Consultant. The CITY's right of termination shall be in addition to all other remedies available under law to the CITY. In any event, this Agreement shall expire at the time the work is completed, but no later than January 31, 2005.

SECTION 6. ADDITIONAL SERVICES. In addition to the ongoing services described herein, the CITY, APPLICANT and Consultant may agree in writing during the terms of this Agreement, that the Consultant shall perform additional services found to be necessary. Such additional services shall not be undertaken by the Consultant until there is an Agreement between the CITY and the APPLICANT as to the scope of the services and the cost to perform said services and the CITY has received written authorization to proceed from the APPLICANT.

SECTION 7. OWNERSHIP OF INFORMATION. All reports, exhibits, data, materials, or other work prepared by the Consultant in compliance with this Agreement shall become the property of the CITY. 

SECTION 8. JURISDICTION. This Agreement shall be administered and interpreted under the laws of the State of California. Jurisdiction of litigation arising from the Agreement shall be in Contra Costa County. If any part of this Agreement is found in conflict with applicable laws, such part 
shall be inoperative, null and void insofar as it conflicts with said laws, but the remainder of this Agreement shall be in full force and effect.

SECTION 9. ATTORNEY'S FEES. In the event either party to this Agreement brings an action to enforce or interpret this Agreement, the prevailing party in such action shall be entitled to reasonable attorney's fees, witness fees and legal costs. For purposes of this provision, "prevailing party" shall include a party which dismisses an action for recovery hereunder in exchange for payment of the sum allegedly due, performance of covenants allegedly breached, or consideration substantially equal to the relief sought in the action or proceeding.

Effective date of this Agreement shall the date first above written.

APPLICANT: Vineyards at Marsh Creek, L.L.C.

By: ____________________________________ 
(Authorized Signature)

Printed Name: ____________________________
Title: ___________________________________
Address: ________________________________
Phone: ________________ Fax: ____________ 


John Stevenson, City Manager


Karen Diaz, CMC, City Clerk


_______________________________________ Dated: ___________
Dennis Beougher, City Attorney

The Vineyards at Marsh Creek project (“proposed Project”) is a mixed used project located near Marsh Creek Road and what would be the extension of Fairview Avenue, on the southern side of the City of Brentwood. The Project site is a portion of a larger Cowell Ranch site, previously considered for development. However, when Contra Costa County amended its Urban Limit Line (“ULL”), designating future areas for urban growth, a large portion of Cowell Ranch was placed outside the ULL, excluding it from consideration as an urban development area. The proposed Project site is located in a portion of Cowell Ranch that was retained within the County’s ULL. The Project site is contemplated to be annexed into the City of Brentwood’s municipal boundary, thus is being considered by the City of Brentwood for development.

The proposed Project includes development of approximately 1,000 units of active adult retirement units, 63 single-family units, 45 acres of commercial development, and a 20-acre parcel with a hotel. It is assumed that the outcome of the charette to be held regarding the proposed project will not substantially alter the project. However, substantial project changes due to the outcome of the charette may result in the need to review and modify the EIR scope and budget.

The Draft EIR, Final EIR and related work products will be prepared in accordance with the criteria, standards and provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act of 1970 (CEQA), Section 21000 et seq. of the Public Resources Code and the State CEQA (California Code of Regulations Section 15000 et seq.), and the regulations requirements and procedures of the City of Brentwood.

The proposed scope of work has been prepared pursuant to RBF’s telephone discussion with the Community Development Director on August 12, 2002, our knowledge of site issues and subsequent information received from City Staff.


RBF will obtain and review available data for the Project area, as well as policy documentation from the City of Brentwood, Contra Costa County, LAFCO, California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and other agencies which may be affected by the proposed Project. The documents to be reviewed will include the EIR previously prepared for the Project site and the previously prepared General Plan EIR. This information will become part of the foundation of the EIR and will be reviewed and incorporated into the analysis, as deemed appropriate.

RBF will meet with City Staff and the Project applicant for purposes of reviewing the refined scope of work for the environmental document, providing RBF with complete copies of all pertinent City documents and mapping, as well as materials and technical studies developed by the applicant to date. The RBF team will review the Project schedule and milestones, as well as identify the role that each will play during the effort. During this meeting, RBF will also work with City Staff to identify the cumulative projects to be considered in the EIR, and the prospective description of Project alternatives.

Following a review of all materials and technical studies, RBF will provide the City with a technical memorandum of any additional materials or information needed, as well as any peer review that may be appropriate for the EIR. At this time, any necessary refinement to the scope of work must be made.


RBF will rely on the applicant’s staff to prepare a summary of the characteristics of the proposed project. RBF will work with City Staff and the Project sponsor to build upon the Project description details for use in the EIR. The Project Description will detail the Project location, background and history of the Project, intended uses, discretionary actions, characteristics, goals and objectives, phasing, agreements, and permits and approvals that are required for the Project based on available information. This section will include a summary of the local environmental setting for the Project. Exhibits depicting the regional and site vicinity will be included in this section. 

The draft Project description will be submitted to the City for review and comment. RBF will incorporate City modifications into the Project description prior to incorporation into the EIR. 


RBF will prepare a Notice of Preparation (NOP) to be reviewed by City staff prior to distribution to the State Clearinghouse and agencies. Distribution of the NOP will be conducted by RBF. 

RBF will conduct one scoping meeting to be held during the 30-day NOP review period. (Additional scoping meetings may be conducted, at additional cost, as deemed appropriate by the City of Brentwood). RBF will work with City Staff and the Project applicant to formulate Project Objectives for the public scoping meeting. This public scoping meeting will be set up as a brief Project overview presentation, so that the community can gain an understanding of the Project and make comments based upon accurate knowledge of the Project. The Scoping Meeting will emphasize the review process and will be presented so that the community can gain a greater understanding of the Project, as well as the intent and requirements of CEQA. RBF will provide handouts and up to two presentation-size graphics to supplement the discussion. Following the presentation, the meeting will be devoted to public participation, questions and comments. Written comment forms will be provided for this purpose, and these comments, along with verbal comments (to be summarized by RBF Consulting), will become a part of the administrative record. This scoping can be an effective way to bring together and resolve the concerns of affected federal, state and local agencies as well as the local community. RBF will provide one (1) camera-ready copy, in an 8.5 x 11-inch format, and one disk copy of the NOP.


As indicated in Section 15083 of the State CEQA Guidelines, many public agencies have found that early consultation solves many potential conflicts that could arise in more serious forms later in the review process. In accordance with State CEQA Guidelines Section 15083.5 and new water availability legislation (i.e., AB 221 and SB 610), RBF will contact the locate water agency to solicit their preparation of a water supply assessment. RBF will also conduct additional discussions with local, state and federal agencies, as needed, to assist in the early stages of the analysis and issue delineation. 


As part of the early scoping of the Project, RBF’s technical staff will conduct a field survey of the site, reviewing existing land use and environmental conditions and conducting a detailed photographic recording of on-site and surrounding uses. 


RBF will provide assistance to City Staff in the preparation of an Initial Study and supporting environmental assessment if it is deemed appropriate or necessary by the City of Brentwood. 


The RBF Team will peer review any/all technical studies submitted by the Project applicant in support of the proposed Project. This peer review would include the verification and validation of the accuracy and objectivity of the technical studies submitted, without unnecessarily duplicating research and analytical efforts. It is not our intent to “re-invent the wheel”, but rather to focus on the area of legal vulnerability, CEQA deficiencies, defined thresholds, clarity, in presentation and conclusions and legal defensibility. 


The Introduction will cite the provisions of CEQA and the City of Brentwood’s CEQA implementation procedures to which the proposed Project is subject. This section will identify the intended uses of the EIR, agencies that may rely on it, purpose of the EIR and statutory authority, summary of the scoping procedures, and summary of the EIR format, listing of responsible and trustee agencies and documentation incorporated by reference.


RBF will provide an Executive Summary for the EIR including a Project Summary, an overview of Project impacts, mitigation measures and levels of significance after mitigation, summary of Project alternatives and areas of controversy and issues to be resolved. The Executive Summary will be presented in a columnar “matrix” format. 


The Environmental Analysis section of the EIR will thoroughly discuss the existing conditions for each environmental issue area, identify short-term and long-term environmental impacts associated with the Project and their levels of significance. Feasible mitigation measures will be recommended to reduce the significance of impacts and the resulting level of significance will be identified. The environmental documentation will assist in identifying constraints, modifications and design improvements, which may be incorporated into the land planning and/or architectural design process. This section will include analysis for the following environmental issue areas.

2.4.1 Geology, Soils and Seismicity

ENGEO has prepared soils, geologic and seismic data for the applicant for use in designing the proposed project. RBF will conduct a peer review of this and other existing available geotechnical documents previously available for the Project site, namely the documents used in support of the 2001 General Plan Update and prior programmatic EIR. Specific tasks will include: review of soils, general geologic and hydrogeologic (groundwater) setting and geologic hazards (i.e., seismic events, landslides, liquefaction) relevant to the proposed development. RBF will identify potential impacts and mitigation recommendations. Evaluation of soils conditions, potential impacts, and mitigation recommendations, will address potential erosion and shrink/swell hazards associated with on-site soils. For this task, RBF will also review of available water supply plans relative to ground and surface water quality to determine the potential for Project impacts. The geotechnical analysis will include appropriate illustrative maps (e.g., a geologic map for the Project, a planning map that shows geologic hazards zones). 

2.4.2 Hydrology and Drainage

RBF Registered Civil Engineers and environmental analysts will conduct a peer review of the hydrology and water quality data prepared for the applicant by Balance Hydrologics, Inc. regarding the hydrology and drainage for the Project and recommend technical study modifications where appropriate. 

Based on available information, RBF will prepare this EIR section to address existing drainage conditions and flood hazards, Project-related effects on existing drainage patterns and facilities, and potential flood hazards associated with the Project due to increased runoff. The EIR will include recommended drainage improvements, based on the applicant’s studies and recommendations resulting from our peer review. This section will identify existing and future flood levels based on FEMA maps and/or applicant studies. The EIR will also identify existing storm water master plans, and anticipated on-site and off-site drainage facilities in order to meet Project drainage needs and requirements.

2.4.3. Water Quality

This EIR section will discuss existing site conditions including site features that influence water quality on the Project site and in downstream locations. ENGEO will describe the existing surface water quality, which will be peer-reviewed by RBF to ensure its completeness and accuracy. Applicable basin water quality planning documents will be discussed as they relate to the Project. The potential for the Project to substantially degrade water quality, interfere with groundwater recharge, contaminate a public water supply, or expose people to water-related hazards will be identified. ENGEO will also describe changes in surface water quality due to the proposed vineyards (e.g., use of pesticides, erosion/sedimentation potential). This assessment will be peer- reviewed by RBF prior to its use in the EIR. The evaluation will include an evaluation of anticipated Project effects due to urban pollutants found in runoff and sediments that may result from on-site erosion. 

Project design features will be described that minimize or off-site potential water quality impacts, including open space areas and use of stormwater Best Management Practices (BMP) measures. As the Project site is larger than 5 acres, coverage under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Permit (NPDES) will be required. RBF’s NPDES team will work with the City and the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) to describe the permitting requirements and potential BMP options, drawing on our extensive water quality, NPDES and BMP expertise (detailed engineering studies to identify any additional water resource agency permitting, such as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Clean Water Act Section 404 permit or waiver, Regional Water Quality Control Board NPDES Permit, Waste Discharge permit, can be provided under a separate scope and fee). The EIR will identify recommended mitigation measures, including construction-related erosion control measures, and operational measures to reduce introduction of urban pollutants.

2.4.4. Air Quality

The existing conditions portion of this Section will provide a discussion on the regulatory authority of the federal Clean Air Act, California Clean Air Act, and Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Existing pollutant data will be obtained from the nearest monitoring station to determine the conformity of the Project area (pre- and post-development) with state and federal standards for monitored pollutants. The various types of pollutants monitored at the station will also be described and sensitive receptors in the vicinity of the Project site will be identified. 

RBF will discuss potential Project impacts upon climate and air quality, addressing temporary construction emissions and long-term emissions from Project operations associated with daily vehicle travel and energy consumption. Short-term air quality impacts will be discussed focusing on dust generation, construction vehicle emissions, and possible odors. If sufficient construction details are available, RBF will quantify daily and quarterly construction emissions using APCD methodology and URBEMIS7G. Project-related operational emissions will also be calculated using URBEMIS7G, including stationary (off-site, associated with energy consumption) and mobile emissions (from Project traffic). In addition, based upon data available from the applicant or City, RBF will discuss potential on-site stationary source emissions of proposed non-residential uses, including applicable APCD regulations. This section will also include an air quality conformity analysis based on local and regional growth forecasts. Appropriate mitigation measures will be provided, including discussion of Project design features that reduce air quality impacts, recommended mitigation for construction-related air quality impacts (including a conceptual Traffic Management Plan), and recommended mitigation for operational air quality impacts (including TDM measures for mobile emissions and BACT measures for stationary sources).

2.4.5. Transportation and Circulation

Fehr & Peers Associates (FPA) has prepared a Transportation/Traffic Study for the Project site. The study will rely heavily on previous transportation studies prepared by FPA that include the Brentwood General Plan EIR, the State Route 4 Bypass Segment 3 Analysis, and other studies in the area. Given the controversial nature of this project and the prospect of detailed public agency and private party scrutiny, a thorough analysis is required. This intense scrutiny will require significant initial work as well as ample resources to respond to comments from various parties. 

RBF will conduct a peer-review of the traffic assessment to ensure that City of Brentwood thresholds of significance are applied and that professional standards and modeling techniques were applied to the traffic analysis. RBF will also review the FPA responses to comments that are submitted on the Draft EIR to ensure they respond adequately to the issues raised.

Based on the proposed development plan, FPA will develop initial trip generation and trip distribution estimates for the project. Based on these estimates and the output from the current Brentwood General Plan model, FPA will apply a 5% screening criteria to determine which intersections might be impacted by this project. Therefore, any intersection where the project traffic constitutes 5% or more of the total intersection volume in 2025 will be included in the analysis. It is anticipated that up to fifteen intersections will be included in the FPA study. If more than 20 intersections are identified in the screening analysis, adjustments to the scope and budget will be required.

While the screening analysis is underway, FPA will document all analysis assumptions for approval by City Staff and the other members of the Project Team. These assumptions will address roadway improvements including status and configuration of the State Route 4 Bypass, interim year identification, assumed developments, trip generation, trip distribution, and other relevant topics. The analysis and data collection will not begin until FPA has received concurrence from the City Staff regarding the analysis assumptions.

Upon concurrence from the Staff, traffic counts will be collected at all of the study area intersections. While traffic counts are available at a number of the potential study area intersections, it will be necessary to update these counts given new construction that has occurred in Brentwood over the past several years. Levels of service will be calculated for the study intersections using the CCTA LOS methodology as required by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority in the Technical Procedures Manual, September 1997. Unsignalized intersection service levels will be determined using methodologies in the 2000 Highway Capacity Manual.

Based on the documented assumptions previously described, FPA will prepare forecasts for an interim and cumulative scenario. These forecasts will constitute the base condition for the analysis of the without project condition. The interim year will be identified through consultations with City Staff. The cumulative year of the analysis will be the out-year of the Brentwood General Plan, which is 2025. The land use and network assumptions for each forecast period will be taken from the assumptions previously documented. It is anticipated that some parsing of the land use, roadway network, and zonal connections will be required to develop these forecasts. 

Following development of the forecasts, FPA will document them in a technical memorandum for distribution to the project team and City Staff. City Staff will be required to review and provide approval of these forecasts prior to the assessment of the project impacts. 

Since a majority of the proposed development will be active adult living units, unique residential trip generation data will be employed. The project team will be responsible for providing this data to Fehr & Peers. FPA will apply the standard commercial trip rates from the Trip Generation Manual, 6th Edition published by the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) to the remainder of the project. 

The estimated project-generated trips will be added to the interim and cumulative volumes at the study intersections. Trip distribution will be determined based on anticipated traffic patterns derived from the East County model and the site location in relation to complementary land uses and the relative location of the regional transportation system. The estimated trip generation will be assigned to the roadway network according to the trip distribution. The AM and PM peak hour service levels will be computed for both the interim and cumulative forecasts (with and without the project).

Based on the results of the project impact analysis, mitigations will be developed for each of the impacted study area intersections. These mitigations may include roadway improvements, traffic signal installation, impact fee payment, and other appropriate mitigation techniques.

FPA will conduct a qualitative assessment of the project site plan for on-site vehicle, bicycle, pedestrian, and emergency vehicle access and circulation. The assessment will also consider the parking layout and supply as required by the City’s zoning ordinance. In addition, FPA will also evaluate driveway operations using HCM and minimum required throat depth (MRTD) methodologies. This assessment will also consider the project’s connectivity to off-site transportation facilities (e.g., bike lanes and paths, pedestrian walks, transit routes). This analysis will assess safety factors applicable to the CEQA analysis as well as overall traffic operations and circulation issues.

FPA will consolidate the results of the analysis in a stand-alone Traffic Study suitable for inclusion in an Environmental Impact Report. This report will be distributed to the project team for internal review prior to presentation to the City. Following the receipt of comments from the Project Team, the report will then be distributed to the City as a Draft study. Any additional comments by the City will be applied to the Final Traffic Study. Following receipt of all comments from the City, an EIR traffic section will be prepared from this Traffic Study for inclusion in the EIR. 

2.4.6. Biological Resources

H. T. Harvey & Associates will: (1) conduct a background review of the biological databases, and the biology reports, maps, and draft EIR prepared by the applicant’s biologists; (2) conduct an independent site survey, and; (3) provide a peer-review of the environmental resources sections of the draft EIR prepared by the applicant’s biologists. These tasks assume that no additional meetings or field visits will be required. 

The purpose of the peer review is to provide the City of Brentwood an independent evaluation of biological resources and/or to document any requirements for additional analysis or amendments to the biology reports. The applicant’s biological reports to be peer-reviewed by H. T. Harvey & Associates will include a wetlands delineation, assessments, and mitigation measures, and a second report of special status species surveys, assessments and mitigation measures. H. T. Harvey & Associates will identify whether additional work or amendments are required to the biology reports, prior to their use in the EIR.

In preparation of the peer-review of the applicant’s biologists’ work, H. T. Harvey & Associates will review all of the Project plans and reports including maps and descriptions of site plans, improvement plans, and related on-site and off-site construction plans and staging areas. H .T. Harvey & Associates will review previous pertinent environmental review documents for the Project area as well as aerial photographs of the Project site and vicinity. Also to be reviewed are USGS topographic maps, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wetland Inventory Maps, Contra Costa County Sensitive Species Database Maps, the California Natural Diversity Database, other technical literature related to the biotic resources of the Project vicinity, regional planning documents (general plan policies, EIRs, etc.), species data compiled by the California Native Plant Society, the National Audubon Society, or other public interest groups, and resource agency data (e.g., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Game). H. T. Harvey & Associates will also contact the resource agencies, if appropriate, for information regarding sensitive species on or near the Project site.

As part of the peer review, H. T. Harvey & Associates biologists will conduct a reconnaissance-level field survey of the Project site, immediate vicinity, and planned on-site and off-site construction areas. Ecologists specializing in special-status avian, mammalian, and amphibian species will conduct the survey to peer-review the documentation provided by the applicant’s biologists. H. T. Harvey & Associates will field check the biotic habitats identified by the applicant’s biologists as well as their quality and condition. H. T. Harvey & Associates will field inspect the dominant tree, shrub, and herbaceous flora as described by the applicant’s biologists to determine their accuracy. Included in this task will be the verification of biotic habitats suitable for the occurrence of plant species of special status (state and/or federally threatened or endangered, federal candidate species, and California Native Plant Society List 1B species). The information generated by the applicant’s biologists’ regarding wildlife habitat values will be reviewed. H. T. Harvey & Associates will verify habitats appropriate for state- and federally-listed threatened and endangered terrestrial vertebrate species and other such species of special status identified by the applicant’s biologists prior to use in the EIR. 

The results of the peer review will be conveyed in a brief report either indicating the technical adequacy of the existing biology reports, or the places where additional analysis must be conducted. Based on the outcome of the H. T. Harvey & Associates report, the applicant’s biologists may be required to conduct additional data collection or assessment. H. T. Harvey will rely on mitigation measures, where determined to be adequate for EIR purposes, or develop new mitigation measures to reduce or avoid project impacts as feasible. It is assumed that agency permits (e.g., 404 permits, 1600 Agreements) will be obtained by the applicant’s biologists and not by H. T. Harvey & Associates.

2.4.7. Cultural and Historic Resources

RBF will rely on the services of Holman & Associates to assist in the preparation of a cultural and historic resources section of the EIR. According to previous archaeological reports prepared for the project and vicinity (the most recent of which was conducted by William Self Associates), numerous cultural resources have been identified on the larger Cowell Ranch site and vicinity. Moreover, the historic John Marsh House (Stone House) has been identified as a historic feature in the vicinity. 

The records search data is not considered valid past 90 days. The Vineyards at Marsh Creek EIR will need to include current records and may require a reconnaissance survey to update the records and to review specific on-site conditions. 

By necessity, the following Holman & Associates scope is broken down into two phases. Depending on the conclusions of Phase 1, additional work may be required to ensure that cultural resources are properly addressed in the EIR. Due to the uncertainty of the Phase 1 results, the costs can only be estimated for Phase I at this time. 

Phase 1 of Cultural/Historic Work 

(a). Conduct & Update Literature Review Project: 

The literature review will be done at the Northwest Information Center located at Sonoma State University to obtain all extant archaeological reports on the new project area and properties immediately surrounding it. There should be some additional materials other than the William Self report for are the; the Marsh House has been the scene of much archeological research in the past 10 years. The documents will be reviewed to compile a list of historical and prehistoric archeological sites, which may be impacted by the proposed project. 

(b). Field Check of Recorded Site Locations: 

It will not be necessary to conduct a field survey of the entire project area, since it has now been done at least twice. Recorded site locations will be revisited to document any changes, which may have occurred between 1993 and 2003. Data collected would be used for the preparation of new archeological site forms if needed during Phase 2. 

(c). Report of Findings: 

After we have obtained a copy of the development map for the new project we will assess potential impacts to the resources listed above. The report will contain recommendations for a second phase of work, which may include the following: 

 Preparation of updated site registration forms for all archeological sites found inside the new project borders. 

 Presence/absence testing to determine the aerial extent and depth below surface of those archeological sites located in areas, which may be impacted by project improvements. These data would be used to stake the borders of the actual deposits so that professional surveyors can prepare mapped locations of them for planning purposes. 

 Recommendations for hand excavation to evaluate the scientific importance of any archeological deposits, which cannot be avoided by, planned improvements to the area. Evaluative testing is needed to first demonstrate the significance of a specific cultural resource; if significance is demonstrated, it will then be necessary to prepare a plan for the mitigation of impacts to each threatened resource area. 

Depending on the nature of the proposed development plan, it may not be necessary to do any of the Phase 2 work listed above other than site re-registration; none of the prehistoric sites may actually be situated inside development areas, and the one historic resource, the farm complex, may also not be impacted by the proposed development. The only requirement may be to re-register the historic and prehistoric sites on the new Primary Form utilized by the State Historic Preservation office. This form is a more detailed version of those prepared by William Self Associates in 1993, and would require additional information gathering both in the field and from archival sources to complete.

Holman & Associates will obtain a records search to identify previous archaeological and historical resources recorded on the project site. Holman & Associates will also conduct a reconnaissance survey of the site to verify records data and to ensure that no new resources are found on the site.

2.4.8. Hazards
ENGEO is conducting a Phase 1 site assessment for the Vineyards at Marsh Creek project. RBF will peer-review this Phase I site assessment to ensure that the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) E 1527-00 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process were followed, including a search of the hazardous materials sites compiled pursuant to Government Code Section 65962.5. RBF will also be looking to the ENGEO report for documentation of any high-pressure natural gas lines and petroleum lines on the project site that may be impacted by the project. RBF will identify and evaluate potential sources of hazardous and/or toxic materials on or adjacent to the Site. RBF will investigate and assess whether the past or present generation, use, handling, storage, or disposal of hazardous materials has the potential to impact site conditions and/or require site mitigation. Mitigation measures will be developed, if required, for the proposed project.

2.4.9. Noise 

RBF will evaluate potential noise impacts of the proposed Project, focusing on short-term construction noise (including truck hauling from site grading), long-term changes in noise levels in the Project area due to traffic changes along area roadways and changes in ambient noise levels associated with increased human activity. The analysis will address existing conditions, existing plus Project, and cumulative conditions including the Project. RBF will take up to five (5) short-term noise measurements in the Project vicinity to document existing noise conditions. Construction-related noise impacts will be discussed, focusing on nearby sensitive receptors. For operational mobile noise sources, the distance to the 65 CNEL (Community Noise Equivalent Level) will be Projected, based on traffic figures obtained from the traffic study, vehicle mix assumptions provided by the Project traffic engineer, and the FHWA Highway Noise Prediction Model (RD-77-108), which is the widely accepted method of evaluating roadway noise impacts. Project noise impacts will be assessed based on total increases in the ambient noise level and potential exceedance of City standards. RBF will provide tables to identify potential Project noise impacts, and identify mitigation measures necessary to achieve the City noise standards.

2.4.10. Public Services, Facilities and Utilities

RBF staff will coordinate with City Staff and affected public service and utility providers to assess potential impacts of the proposed Project. RBF will prepare and send letters to affected agencies as a resource to determine Project effects on the provision of their services or facilities. The following services, facilities and utility systems will be analyzed:

 Solid Waste Disposal  Parks
 Telecommunications  Schools
 Natural Gas & Electricity  Fire
 Wastewater  Police
 Water Supply 

2.4.11. Aesthetics/Visual

RBF will conduct a field survey and take site photographs to describe and characterize the existing aesthetic environment on-site and in the project vicinity. The existing conditions of the EIR will describe existing views from the site and views from publicly accessible surrounding areas (e.g., Deer Valley Road, Marsh Creek/Camino Diablo Road and Concord Avenue) to the site, particularly from the adjacent uses. The change in these views will be described in the EIR based on proposed Project plans and on visual simulations assumed to be provided by the applicant.

RBF will also address potentially significant impacts generated by the introduction of light and glare associated with the development of the proposed Project. This analysis will include a light and glare impact discussion on neighboring sensitive uses from streetlights, vehicle headlights, building lights, and nighttime building illumination and security lighting. RBF will review and incorporate existing City policies and guidelines regarding light and glare for inclusion into the EIR. RBF will recommend mitigation measures to reduce potential aesthetic and light and glare impacts to the maximum extent possible. RBF will evaluate impacts in terms of changes to scenic vistas and scenic resources, alteration of visual character and introduction of new sources of substantial light and glare.

2.4.12. Land Use

RBF will describe the existing onsite and surrounding land uses and planned land uses. For this task, RBF will analyze the relationship of the Project to all applicable ordinances and policies, including the City of Brentwood General Plan (particularly Special Planning Area SPA J, or SPA J) and Zoning Ordinance, Contra Costa County Urban Limit Line, and applicable LAFCO policies. RBF will assess the effects of the Project with the open space and recreational policies of the surrounding Cowell Ranch property, including Marsh Creek Reservoir and the John Marsh Home State Park. Conflicts with any applicable land use and any adopted habitat conservation plan or natural community conservation plan will be identified (e.g., the East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservation Plan). RBF will discuss the college and its relation to the proposed project. RBF assumes that the City of Brentwood will provide the East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservation Plan if adopted in time for project commencement. Project consistency with the policy direction spelled out for SPA J, including areas such as jobs/housing balance (to be a 2:1 jobs/housing balance on the project site), location of employment-generating uses, designation of open space, and phasing related to availability of public services and facilities will be assessed.

2.4.13. Population and Housing

RBF will identify the current City population, housing units and type as well as the anticipated totals, as identified under the General Plan and Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) projections. RBF will describe the proposed range of housing options proposed by the Project applicant/sponsor, including affordable and senior housing units and describe how they effect housing need and population growth anticipated by the City. 

RBF will identify and analyze the consistencies and potential inconsistencies of the Project with the existing General Plan designations and policies. RBF intends to use information available from the City, Initial Study and NOP process to identify particular concerns and isolate areas of potential public controversy. RBF will recommend mitigation measures to reduce potential impacts to the extent feasible.

2.4.14. Discovery of Other Issues

RBF will assess any other issues that may be discovered during the scoping process and/or in review of comments received in response to the NOP. If major issues are discovered, RBF will meet with the City and the applicant to revise the scope and fees as deemed necessary.

2.4.15. Effects Found Not to be Significant 

RBF will describe effects found not to be significant, in accordance with §15128 of the State CEQA Guidelines, by listing them with brief explanations of why they are not significant and by referral to the evidence supporting the finding in the Notice of Preparation/Environmental Assessment. Mandatory findings of significance in Public Resources Code §21083 and Appendix G of the State CEQA Guidelines (Environmental Checklist Form, Section XVII) shall be addressed. 


RBF will discuss potential growth-inducing impacts pursuant to State CEQA Guidelines Section 15126.2. The potential for the project to annex land into the City of Brentwood, to introduce new housing or employment to the area, or reduce obstacles to future development (e.g., provide new infrastructure or new links between discontinuous infrastructure distribution lines) will be considered for discussion under growth inducement.


In accordance with State CEQA Guidelines Section 15130, the EIR will discuss the cumulative impacts of the project “when the project’s incremental effect is cumulatively considerable.” “Cumulatively considerable” means that the incremental effects of an individual project are considerable when viewed in connection with the effects of past, current, and probable future projects. 

RBF will consult with City Staff to define the study area for the cumulative analysis. The cumulative impacts discussion will describe the listing of cumulative projects and actions under consideration by the City of Brentwood, or “planning” documents used in lieu of a “list approach”. The potential for impact and levels of significance are based on the effects of the proposed Project combined with the effects of other known and probable future projects. The planned community college site near the proposed Project will be one of the proposed uses considered in the cumulative impacts assessment. RBF will evaluate cumulative impacts for each environmental topic area evaluated for the Project. Mitigation measures will be recommended where appropriate to reduce the level of significance of identified cumulative impacts. 


RBF will assess a reasonable range of alternatives to the Project in accordance with State CEQA Guidelines Section 15126.6. This task assumes that RBF will evaluate three alternatives plus the No Project Alternative (total of 4 alternatives). Any offsite alternatives considered will require supplemental setting information to be provided by the City or Project applicant. The possible alternatives could include reduced unit count scenarios, or a change in the proposed mix of residential, commercial/office and winery/entertainment uses on the site. RBF will provide sufficient level of detail to allow decision-makers to gain a greater understanding of all alternatives should a determination be rendered to support an alternative development scenario. As required by CEQA, the alternatives section will also include an analysis of the No Project Alternative.

RBF will work closely with the City to prepare the final descriptions of the alternatives to be considered in the EIR and the assumptions that should be used to analyze each alternative. 
As required by the State CEQA Guidelines, RBF will discuss the potential for each of the alternatives to reduce significant impacts identified for the proposed Project. Any new impacts anticipated to occur with each alternative would also be presented. 

The environmentally superior alternative will be also identified in accordance with State CEQA Guidelines. If the environmentally superior alternative is the No Project alternative, another among those evaluated will be selected. A summary table of the alternatives and their associated impacts will be provided in the EIR summary.


RBF will provide additional sections (or table index to specified subjects) in the EIR to meet CEQA and City requirements including the following: Significant Environmental Effects of the Proposed Project; Significant Environmental Effects Which Cannot be Avoided if the Proposed Project is Implemented; Significant Irreversible Environmental Changes Which Would be Involved in the Proposed Project Should it be Implemented; Inventory of Mitigation Measures, Inventory of Alternatives; list of EIR Preparers, resources used in the analyses; and Organizations and Persons Consulted. 


The EIR will include graphic exhibits to enhance the written text and clarify the proposed Project’s environmental impacts. Using state-of-the-art computer design equipment and techniques, our in-house graphic design team will create professional quality, black and white and/or color exhibits, dividers and covers for the EIR and Appendices. All exhibits will be 8½" x 11" and/or 11” x 17” in size.

RBF will respond to one complete set of City comments on the Administrative Draft Project EIR. If desired by the City, RBF will provide the Preliminary Draft of the EIR with all changes highlighted to assist with the final check of the document.


RBF will respond to a second review of the Preliminary Draft Project EIR (anticipated to only require editorial or other “non-substantive” changes) and will prepare the report for the required 45-day public review period. In addition, RBF will prepare the Notice of Completion (NOC) for submittal to the Office of Planning and Research (OPR). Distribution of the NOC shall be conducted by RBF. RBF will also work with the City to develop a distribution list for the NOC and Draft EIR.

RBF will provide 40 copies of the Draft EIR to the City, along with a camera-ready original for reproduction.

The City of Brentwood will provide one complete set of comments on the Draft EIR to RBF. Upon RBF review of the comments, we will meet with the City to review and agree on strategies to key comments.

Following the meeting with the City, RBF will respond in writing to all comments received on the Draft EIR during the 45-day public review period, and any additional comments raised during public hearings. RBF will prepare thorough, reasoned and sensitive responses to relevant environmental issues. RBF assumes that no new technical analysis is required to respond to public comments. RBF will prepare an errata, if required, to summarize changes necessary to the Draft EIR derived from written responses to comments. To facilitate City use of the errata, RBF will indicate Draft EIR changes with bold and underline text (bold, underline) for text additions, and strike out (strike out) for any text. This task includes written responses to both written and oral comments received on the Draft EIR (includes review of hearing transcripts, as required). A draft set of Responses to Comments will be prepared for review by City Staff (one review cycle is anticipated). 


The Final EIR will consist of a list of commenters, the comment letters made regarding the Draft EIR, an Errata (if needed) to summarize changes to the Draft EIR, and the written Response to Comments. RBF will also prepare the Notice of Determination (NOD) after Project approval (should the project be approved). Distribution of the NOD to the County Clerk shall be conducted by RBF.

All mapping, exhibits, summary tables, and draft documents will become the property of the City upon completion of the Final EIR, and the consultant will provide the document(s) on disc compatible with work processing systems.


To comply with Public Resources Code Section 21081.6, RBF will prepare a mitigation monitoring and reporting program (MMRP) for adoption by the City of Brentwood at the time to adopt the CEQA findings. The body of the MMRP will be in a table/matrix format.

RBF will work with City Staff to identify the mitigation monitoring steps/procedures to ensure that mitigation measures are implemented as intended. The MMRP will describe the authority for the MMRP, the mitigation measures to be implemented, as amended in the errata for the Final EIR, the timing for implementation of the measures and agency responsible for their implementation. The MMRP will also include a column to verify (via documentation, field checks, for example) implementation of the measure, date of verification, and pertinent remarks.


RBF will prepare the Statement of Overriding Considerations pursuant to Section 15093 of the State CEQA Guidelines, if necessary, and CEQA Findings Facts for each significant effect identified in the EIR, pursuant to Section 15091 of the State CEQA Guidelines (Section 21081 of CEQA) for adoption by the City prior to taking Project action. RBF will submit a draft set of Findings for City review (and Statement of Overriding Considerations if required) and will respond to one set of City comments. 

At the City’s request, RBF can prepare draft resolutions to support certification of the Final EIR, the Findings of Facts and the adoption of Overriding Considerations (if necessary), and the adoption of the Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program.

RBF will also prepare the Notice of Determination (NOD) within a day or two following City Council approval of the project (should it be approved) for RBF distribution the County Clerk’s Office no later than five (5) days after City Council approval of the project.


RBF will conduct coordination meetings as deemed appropriate. This proposal is budgeted to include four (4) coordination meetings as follows:

 Project Initiation
 Review of Administrative Draft EIR
 Review of Draft EIR Comments/Strategy for Responses
 One “floater” meeting (unassigned)

A communication link will be established between RBF and City Staff to maintain an orderly flow of communication and coordination. Ms. Julia LeBoeuf will be the day-to-day contact with the City. 

Regular correspondence between RBF and the City of Brentwood will help the Planning Department track the progress of preparation of the EIR. Project coordination will include telephone communications, in-person meetings, memoranda, and e-mail correspondence between the City and the RBF Team.


RBF will attend the charette/workshop being held to review the proposed project (assumed to be multiple meetings, totaling 40 hours). RBF will also attend one (1) Zoning Administrator meeting (assumed at 5 hours) to review the proposed project and EIR prior to the project being reviewed by the Planning Commission. The firm will also attend Planning Commission/City Council Meetings as necessary. The number of meetings will be finalized during the refinement of the scope of work, but are estimated (for budgeting this proposal) to include two (2) Planning Commission and one (1) City Council hearing. 

RBF will provide the City with the following number of estimated copies of the deliverables, along with one unbound camera-ready original and electronic file for each:

 Initial Study: 5 copies
 Summary of Scoping Meeting comments: 
 NOP: 5 copies and one original
 Administrative Draft EIR: 5 copies
 Draft EIR: 40 copies and one original
 Notice of Completion (NOC): 5 copies and one original
 Administrative Response to Comments: 5 copies
 Final Responses to Comments: 20 copies
 Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program: 20 copies
 Statement of Overriding Considerations
and Findings: 20 copies
 Notice of Determination (NOD): 5 copies and one original
 Electronic versions of each report will be available


City Administration
City of Brentwood City Council
150 City Park Way
Brentwood, CA 94513
(925) 516-5440
Fax (925) 516-5441