Comment Letters

Our Loma Prieta Chapter Volunteers keep a watchful eye on the actions of local governments and institutions to make sure that our local ecosystems and communities are protected. Read the comment letters below to learn more about our Chapter's public stance in defense of the environment. 

By policy, comment letters are required to be reviewed and cleared by our Chapter Director. If you are a Sierra Club volunteer who would like to send letters on the Chapter's behalf, contact chapter.director@lomaprieta.sierraclub.org for more information.


2024

2024.04.12
Redwood City Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment
To: Redwood City Public Works Department

"The Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter’s Bay Alive Campaign welcomes this opportunity to provide comments on the Redwood City Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment (Report). We do so on behalf of tens of thousands of local Sierra Club supporters who share our commitment to protect the health of our communities, our wildlife and our Earth by promoting living shorelines, healthy waters, and just, equitable solutions to sea level rise in the San Francisco Bay Area."

2024.04.12
Artificial Turf Prohibition Ordinance
To: Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors

"The Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter and Green Foothills heartily endorse the April 16, 2024 Agenda Item #11 (LF 24-5361) to direct the Administration to report to the Board on options for consideration relating to a County ordinance to prohibit new installation of artificial turf and synthetic grass on Santa Clara County property."

2024.04.12
Reid-Hillview Future Planning
To: Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors

"The Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society, Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter and Green Foothills have been following issues with Reid-Hillview for the past few years and we have repeatedly expressed support for the efforts to transition the 180-acre airport property into a sustainable community asset. [...] we hope you envision this site for what it can, and should provide: clean air and a thriving community where urban nature and tree canopy increase in an area that is sorely lacking in both."

2024.04.08
Request to be Added to Stakeholder's Outreach on San Mateo County's Safety / Resiliency Element Planning
To: San Mateo County Office of Sustainability

"We understand that the County is approaching this planning through the County's Office of Sustainability and for several cities. We'd like for SLU to be included in any future stakeholder's outreach regarding the County's progress on this Element. We are very concerned that many of the approaches to resiliency that municipalities are considering do not acknowledge the potential impact on the environment. We believe there are vital environmentally sensitive solutions to consider in the Safety / Resiliency Element, and would like to engage further with the County in detail on each of the following topics."

2024.03.29
South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Sunnyvale Project Feasibility Study
To: US Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District

"Further studies would be needed to develop appropriate strategies based on a closer study of the shoreline conditions by a science-based organization such as San Francisco Estuary Institute. Natural infrastructure typically offers 'no-regret” or “low-regret' options due to their incremental implementation and monitoring requirements, potentially yielding lower upfront costs and greater flexibility over time. Moreover, they provide invaluable ecosystem services that safeguard important wildlife habitats and create new and restored habitats, while simultaneously reducing our communities’ vulnerability and enhancing resilience."

2024.03.25
San Mateo Interstate 101: Freeway Expansion vs. Lane Conversion
To: San Mateo County Transportation Authority and City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County

"The Sierra Club is opposed to freeway expansions such as adding a new lane, for an Express Lane, on Interstate 101 from I-380 to the San Francisco border. High occupancy vehicle (HOV) and high occupancy vehicle/toll (HOT) lanes should come from converting existing highway lanes rather than constructing new lanes."

2024.03.13
Eliminate Polystyrene/Plastic Foam Product Use in the City of South San Francisco
To: South San Francisco Mayor and Councilmembers

"The Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter (SCLP) supports action to reduce plastics pollution due to its effect on the environment, on sustainability and on public health. Because of the danger of polystyrene we ask that the City of South San Francisco join its neighboring cities and the County of San Mateo1 to enact an ordinance eliminating the use of polystyrene/plastic foam products, especially for prepared food and consumer goods that are likely to litter storm drains and beaches."

2024.03.11
Peninsula Clean Energy
To: Peninsula Clean Energy CEO

"It is very encouraging to hear that PCE is offering funds in its Community Reinvestment Package for local energy resources, including microgrids. We hope to publicize this among city officials in San Mateo and will be asking them to pinpoint a location for a microgrids project; [...] This envisioned microgrids entity will serve as a demonstration project in the city and will have a practical purpose as well because it will provide backup power to residents during times of grid outage. We hope that the existence of this microgrids entity will motivate city residents to consider rooftop solar/battery backup microgrids for their own homes. It would help facilitate such local clean energy microgrids projects if PCE forms a small task force whose part-time responsibility is to assist local officials with their clean energy projects."

2024.03.01
San Jose Stormwater Permit Requirements, Homelessness and Neighborhood Considerations
To: San Jose Mayor and City Council

"In recent times, impacts of homeless encampments along San Jose waterways have been accumulating with trash, toxic debris and human waste, as well as erosion and denuding of riparian vegetation. The impacts have devastated ecosystems along the creeks and impaired water quality locally, downstream, and in the Bay. Clean-up efforts have removed millions of tons of trash, and yet the problem persists. The people experiencing homelessness in these conditions and our waterways deserve better, and so do San Jose residents in all city neighborhoods."

2024.03.01
San Mateo General Plan 2040
To: City of San Mateo Mayor and City Council

"SLU [Loma Prieta Sustainable Land Use] has two concerns that the GP [General Plan] could address further. They have been described in detail in the prior SLU letters (November 16, 2023, September 7, 2023, et al) but they are summarized once more, as you are now considering the final adoption of this GP. The lack of housing, particularly affordable housing, is a continuing crisis and should be more strongly addressed , as well as the need for more urban greening and open space in the City for climate change and livability."

2024.02.26
Install Natural Grass Fields Instead of Artificial Turf
To: Fremont Union High School District

"As parents, youth, grandparents, and allies, we ask you to protect students from the health and safety harms of artificial turf and to protect our shared environment from the toxins it releases into the air and water. Specifically, we urge you to reject Amendment #1 to the Lease-Leaseback Agreement with Robert A. Bothman Construction for the District Wide Athletic Field Replacements Project. Instead of artificial turf, we ask you to install natural grass at all FUHSD athletic fields in order to protect students' health and safety as well as the natural environment we all depend on."

2024.02.26
Opposing Artificial Turf, Mountain View City Council February 26, 2024
To: Mountain View Mayor, Vice Mayor, and Councilmembers
"As the Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter’s Chair for Plastic Pollution Prevention efforts, I encourage Mountain View to join the cities of Millbrae and San Marino, to add either a ban or long term moratorium on artificial turf within Mountain View’s jurisdictional boundaries. I understand this year’s work plan is nearing finalization, so perhaps the above-mentioned ban or moratorium can become part of the work plan."

2024.02.23
Opposing Artificial Turf at Campbell Union School District Campuses
To: Campbell Union School District Board of Trustees
"As a parent of two now grown children who went to school in Santa Clara County, and as Chair for the Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter Plastics Pollution Prevention Team, I urge you to reject attempts to put artificial turf on our school campuses. Fortunately there are healthy, drought tolerant, high performance alternatives. Plastic grass is bad for our children’s health, harms the environment, and doesn’t save money when lifecycle cost is factored in."

2024.02.23
Opposing Artificial Turf at Campbell Union High School District Campuses
To: Campbell Union High School District Board of Trustees
"As a parent of two now grown children who went to school in Santa Clara County, and as Chair for the Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter Plastics Pollution Prevention Team, I urge you to reject attempts to put artificial turf on our school campuses. Fortunately there are healthy, drought tolerant, high performance alternatives. Plastic grass is bad for our children’s health, harms the environment, and doesn’t save money when lifecycle cost is factored in."

2024.02.20
Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report for the Beneficial Reuse of Excavated Material in Tidal Marsh Restoration Project
To: Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority Environmental Programs Office
"
We support the project concept as a multi-benefit, innovative approach to address sediment needs for wetland restoration and sea level rise resilience, and particularly its value for sustaining wildlife habitat on the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge. However, we are concerned that the soil acceptance criteria in the Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) may not be ecologically appropriate for the proposed use of sediment in this setting. We offer the comments below in the spirit of collaboration to strengthen the environmental review and assure long term project efficacy and sustainable benefits for Bay shoreline communities and ecosystems."

2024.02.14
Support and concerns regarding February 15 Study Issues and Budget Proposals Workshop
To: Sunnyvale Mayor and City Council

"The Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter and the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society support the following items. CDD 24-02: Explore the Creation of a Dark Sky Ordinance for all Private Property [...] LRS 24-01: Examine the Permanent Closure of the Interior Levees Surrounding Sunnyvale’s Wastewater Treatment Ponds [...] ESD 24-01 Evaluate the Use of Artificial Turf Versus Living Groundcover [...] We are concerned about the following items. We are concerned about item DPW 24‐04 “Evaluate Late Night Lights at Public Parks” and item DPW 20-13 “Lighting of Current and Future City Owned Dog Parks”. Both of these items could increase light pollution in Sunnyvale in parkland habitat."

    2024.02.12
    2/13/24 Valley Water Board Agenda Item 8.1. Update on the Pacheco Reservoir Expansion Project
    To: Santa Clara Valley Water District

    "According to the staff report, “staff has prepared a presentation providing a more detailed explanation of how Valley Water plans to operate the completed Project to include required infrastructure, redundancy plans and operational challenges. Staff has also provided additional detail on the Project’s benefits and how these benefits have been calculated and accounted for during the design phase.” Unfortunately, the presentation in the agenda packet provides very little new information about benefits or operations and does not discuss redundancy plans or operational challenges."

    2024.01.29
    Request for Release of NOP Comment Letters submitted for the Millbrae/Burlingame Sea Level Rise Protection Project
    To: OneShoreline Board
    "
    We appreciate the OneShoreline Board's commitment to addressing the critical issue of sea level rise protection along the Millbrae/Burlingame/San Mateo shoreline. The significance of this high-profile project, coupled with public funding, warrants a transparent and inclusive approach. The current process, so far, is somewhat lacking in the transparency and outreach expected of a project of such great impact and interest to the environmental community, regulatory agencies, the airport, property owners and the general public."

    2024.01.29
    2024-1-18 DRAFT One Bay Vision
    To: Bay Conservation and Development Commission
    "We are encouraged to note that BCDC is making progress on the Regional Shoreline Adaptation Plan (RSAP). We hope to see a final One Bay Vision that implements Bay Adapt’s six guiding principles, and makes clear to local governments and planners what it means to “Put Nature First Whenever Possible” and “Support Socially Vulnerable Communities” and explains clearly how they can do so. With that in mind, we hope you will strengthen the draft One Bay Vision to..."

    2024.01.26
    01/31/24 Agenda Item 6.1, John Smith Road Landfill Expansion General Plan Amendment and Conditional Use Permit
    To: San Benito County Planning Commission
    "The Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter advocates for sustainable land use in San Mateo, Santa Clara and San Benito Counties. Regarding the John Smith Road Landfill Expansion General Plan Amendment and Conditional Use Permit coming before the Planning Commission on January 31, 2024, the Sierra Club offers the following comments from an environmental perspective."

    2024.01.25
    The Definition of Chartered Parkland
    To: San Jose Parks and Recreation Commission
    "We reflect the interests of our communities when we stress the importance of parks to the residents of San José across the city. Rich or poor, young or old, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, or ability: parks are important to us all – for our physical health, our mental health, and the health of the community. We ask you to ensure that the definition of parkland fully protects existing, under construction, and planned parks in the City of San José."

    2024.01.22
    Supporting the “Preserve Our Progress - Guadalupe River Trail” memo
    To: San Jose Rules and Open Government Committee
    "SCVAS and SCLP thus support the “Preserve Our Progress'' memo by Mayor Mahan and Council Members Davis and Torres, with the hope that the City Manager promptly implements a “no return zone” that prevents re-encampment along the Guadalupe River Trail. In addition, we hope the City prevents a subsequent expansion of encampments along the Guadalupe RIver south of Woz Way and north of Julian Street, and implements monitoring to quantify such potential impacts."

    2024.01.05
    Informational update and providing feedback on the development of Valley Water’s Water Supply Master Plan 2050
    To: Santa Clara Valley Water Board of Directors
    "The Sierra Club appreciates any opportunity to provide input on the Water Supply Master Plan (WSMP) update, especially early in the process. Please consider the following comments and suggestions based on the information provided about the Plan update so far."


    2023

    2023.12.13
    Santa Clara County Fairgrounds Athletic Fields
    To: Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, San Jose City Mayor and City Concilmembers, San Jose State University, and San Jose Earthquakes
    "Please help the state of California, Santa Clara County, the City of San Jose, and our splendid local Earthquakes Soccer team lead the nation in both community sporting venues and in building sustainable playable non polluting athletic fields that use drought tolerant bermudagrasses or other grass hybrids with Dark Sky compliant lighting that support our children and our environment."

    2023.11.29
    Notice of Preparation: Millbrae and Burlingame Shoreline Area Protection and Enhancement Project EIR
    To: OneShoreline
    "We diligently reviewed OneShoreline’s supporting documents to improve our understanding of the Project. Unfortunately, we encountered inconsistencies in the documentation, with numbered alternatives not aligning across various reports. Similarly, the feasibility report drew from analyses in prior reports that did not consistently address the same Project concept or feature. Although we acknowledge the evolving nature of the Project, the lack of a definitive Project description forced us to make assumptions about the intended alternatives and hindered our ability to provide precise scoping comments regarding specific features or locations."

    2023.11.29
    Response to the Santa Clara County Health Department's letter on the public health risks of artificial turf
    To: Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors
    "Given the outdated nature and inaccuracies of the letter from the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department, the SCLP recommends the letter be withdrawn. Because the public health and environmental impact of continued usage of petroleum products such as artificial turf can be devastating, we ask that the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors take time to thoroughly research the issue so that decisions will be based on the most current and reliable independent evidence-based information. We, the Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club, stand ready to assist you, and we will be more than happy to provide you with the latest research on this critical issue."

    2023.11.20
    Valley Water Community Outreach Plan
    To: Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors
    "On October 17, we sent the following suggestions to staff to provide specific ideas for consideration and possible implementation. Our suggestions include general outreach ideas, ideas for a series of BLOGs on the Water Supply Master Plans, and ideas for better outreach and communication about the Delta Conveyance Project."

    2023.11.16 Letter to City of San Mateo regarding San Mateo Updated Housing Element

    2023.11.08 Joint-letter to Santa Clara Valley Water District regarding the Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project DEIR

    2023.11.08 Letter to Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors supporting Santa Clara County plastic pollution reduction

    2023.11.06 Joint-letter to Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors regarding objection to the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority Resolution of Necessity 23-51

    2023.11.06
    Requesting a submission extension for written comments to the NOP for the Millbrae and Burlingame Shoreline Area Protection and Enhancement Project EIR 
    To: OneShoreline Board of Supervisors
    "
    We would like to provide useful comments on this project. To do so we need sufficient time to review and understand this newly-available information. Therefore, we respectfully request that the deadline for the submission of written scoping comments be extended by an additional two weeks."

    2023.10.30
    Sea Level Rise Guidance for Cleanup Activities
    To: Department of Toxic Substances Control
    "We were pleased to see the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) issue draft Guidance for their Project Managers on how to incorporate future sea level rise (SLR) into hazardous waste site remediation planning and implementation. Importantly, the Guidance applies not only to sites currently undergoing remediation planning and implementation, but also to sites that have already completed all required remediation but leave hazardous wastes still in place. Nonetheless, we believe the Guidance lacks the necessary specificity to ensure consistent interpretation and application of the Guidance, as well as public clarity about the criteria for certain determinations and mechanisms for accountability."

    2023.10.23 Joint-letter to Los Altos, regarding Oct 24 meeting agenda item 6 (Dark Skies Discussion)

    2023.10.16 Joint-letter to Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors regarding the Stanford Community Plan Update (Item #9, 10/17/23 agenda)

    2023.09.27 Joint-letter to BAWSCA Re: Conduct hybrid in-person and livestreamed meetings

    2023.09.21 Joint-letter extending gratitude to Councilmember Mehlinger for proposing the study issue item ‘Closure of Interior Levees’ and to the full Council for co-sponsoring the study issue

    2023.09.07 Letter to San Mateo Mayor, City Council, Planning Commission, and staff regarding comments on San Mateo Draft General Plan 2040 and Draft EIR

    2023.08.21 Joint-letter to Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors regarding concerns in the Pacheco Reservoir Project

    2023.08.15 Letter to San Jose Mayor and City Council offering strong but conditional support for Title 28 to the San Jose municipal code to establish a municipal utility for electric service

    2023.08.14 Joint-letter to Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors in support for the permanent shutting of the Lehigh Southwest cement kiln

    2023.08.13 Letter to Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors regarding recommendations to the Forest Health Plan for Sanborn and Upper Stevens Creek County Parks

    2023.08.10 Letter to Joint Recycled Water Policy Advisory Committee with the City of San Jose/Santa Clara offering support and recommendations on potable reuse in San Jose

    2023.08.09 Letter to San Mateo Mayor, City Council, Planning Commission, and City Staff regarding San Mateo's Updated Draft 2023-2031 Housing Element

    2023.08.04 Letter to City of San Mateo Community Development Department Associate Planner regarding draft objective design standards

    2023.07.25 Joint-letter to Hawthorns Area of Windy Hill Preserve Public Access Working Group requesting they Allow Public Comment and Identify Areas and Species for Conservation Actions

    2023.07.24
    Supporting city-led community engagement process
    To: Mayor Gee and Members of the City Council
    "While we support staying with the original Westport Specific Plan, we support the staff recommendation that a city-led community engagement process should be used to update the Westport Specific Plan, if the Council is considering the possible repeal of the existing Westport Specific Plan. To emphasize the necessity of meaningful community engagement, we further acknowledge the Planning Commission’s recent unanimous recommendation that the City Council direct the applicant to engage in additional community outreach."

    2023.07.18
    Recent revisions to the Ravenswood Business District Specific Plan Update framework
    To: Community Development Director, City of East Palo Alto
    "We commend the diligent work of City staff and its team of consultants to develop a thoughtful plan for the future of the RBD/Four Corners area and the City. We are particularly pleased to see that the RBDSP updates include protection of the public and private wetlands at the north east edge of the plan area. Reduced floor area ratios and the inclusion of stepped-back building heights and transition zones next to residential and shoreline areas are steps in the right direction, but do not allay all of our concerns. Please see our comments below regarding the recent plan updates as well as some continuing concerns regarding chemical hazards and community outreach."

    2023.07.11 Letter to Los Altos Mayor and City Council regarding re-evaluation of proposed adoption of Mechanical Equipment Ordinance

    2023.07.07
    Moffett Park Specific Plan and Final Environmental Impact Report
    To: Mayor Klein and City Councilmembers
    "We commend the diligent work of the City Council, City staff and its team of consultants to put forth a comprehensive and thoughtful plan for the future of Moffett Park. We acknowledge and appreciate the extensive research, refinement and public process that underlie the MPSP. Nevertheless, the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and associated updates to the MPSP did not allay some significant concerns. We strongly disagree with the EIR’s conclusion that increased use by 42,000 new residents and 60,000 new employees in the Moffett Park area will not have a significant impact on wildlife and habitat in existing park and open space adjacent to Moffett Park. We also disagree with the EIR’s comment responses asserting that the threat of bird collisions above 60 feet is minimal."

    2023.07.03 Joint-letter to Assemblymember Luz Rivas opposing SB 423 unless amended

    2023.06.29 Letter to City of Menlo Park Associate Planner regarding Notice of Preparation for 1005 O’Brien and 1320 Willow Road Project

    2023.06.23
    Prematurity of the New Redwood Life Precise Plan and EIR
    To: Mayor Gee and Redwood City Council
    "We believe that it is premature to start a new Precise Plan for the Life Sciences industry and especially the associated EIR because there are several items that are not yet adequately addressed."

    2023.06.21 Letter to San Mateo City Council regarding the Federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the Investment and Infrastructure Jobs Act (IIJA)

    2023.06.21 Letter to San Carlos Mayor and City Council requesting the City of San Carlos adopt the Proposed Biotech Ordinance that prohibits any BSL-3 or BSL-4 lab

    2023.05.19 Letter to OneShoreline Project Manager regarding the Draft OneShoreline Planning Guidance Policy

    2023.05.19 Letter to the Pacifica Planning Commission recommending disaproval of the Pacifica Quarry Reclamation Plan and FEIR

    2023.05.02 Letter to the Santa Clara County Planning Office regarding the Permanente Creek Restoration Plan Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report

    2023.04.26 Letter to the Menlo Park Planning Commission regarding prohibiting Bio-Safety Level 3 and 4 labs in Menlo Park

    2023.04.20 Letter to Redwood City Council regarding Bio-Safety Level 3 labs in Redwood Shores

    2023.04.17 Joint-letter to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors regarding the Lehigh Southwest cement kiln

    2023.04.17 Joint-letter to the California Water Commission regarding the Pacheco Dam Project Reevaluation Request

    2023.04.05 Letter to the Bay Conservation and Development Commission regarding the public hearing and possible vote on the Flow Equalization and Resource Recovery Facility Levee Improvement Project by the West Bay Sanitary District

    2023.04.04 Letter to San Mateo City Council, Planning Commission, and Sustainability & Infrastructure Commission regarding the Complete Streets Study

    2023.03.31 Letter to the Palo Alto City Council regarding the dedication of the Measure E site as parkland

    2023.03.28 Letter to the San Mateo City Council regarding Land Use Heights and Densities, and Measure Y

    2023.03.17 Letter to the San Carlos City Council recommending no BSL-3 labs in San Carlos

    2023.03.13 Letter to the San Jose City Council regarding the Measure T Status Report

    2023.03.06 Letters to many cities in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties regarding Residential Objective Design Standards for Public and Common Open Spaces and Landscaping

    2023.02.21 Joint-letter to the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority regarding the Llagas Creek Bridge and Day Use Area Project

    2023.02.10 Joint-letter to the Sunnyvale Community Development Department regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Moffett Park Specific Plan

    2023.02.06 Joint-letter to the Mountain View Community Development Department regarding the Draft Subsequent Environmental Impact Report for the North Bayshore Master Plan Project

    2023.01.30 Letter to Principal Planner of City of San Carlos regarding the Environmental Impact Report on 808 Alameda

    2023.01.27 Letter to the Palo Alto City Council Regarding 2023 Council Priorities

    2023.01.25 Letter to the Mountain View Community Development Department regarding the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report for the North Bayshore Master Plan

    2023.01.23 Letter to the San Carlos City Council regarding the study session on an existing buildings reach code

    2023.01.22 Joint-letter to the Palo Alto City Council regarding the 575 Los Trancos Road Residential Project

    2023.01.19 Letter to the Sunnyvale Department of Commercial Development Regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Moffett Park Specific Plan

    2023.01.18 Joint-letter to the Gilroy Planning Commission regarding Electronic Billboards

    2023.01.17 Letter to the Cupertino City Council regarding the Review of City Hall Decision

    2023.01.09 Letter to San Mateo City Council regarding the San Mateo 2023-2031 Housing Element Updated Draft


    Previous Years' Comment Letters

    2022 Comment Letters

    2021 Comment Letters

    2020 Comment Letters

    2019 Comment Letters

    2018 Comment Letters

    2017 Comment Letters

    2016 Comment Letters

    2015 Comment Letters

    2014 Comment Letters

    2013 Comment Letters

    2012 Comment Letters