(Sample Issues From the Last Application Submitted March 2015 )
Hamilton Fields Sports Complex and Stadium
• Commercial / Private business 55 acre sports complex
• Developer’s are 2 LLC’s (RHM LLC and MSA LLC)
• On public lands which must be owned by US Army, but NOT a public facility with public access
• Current plan includes a 1000 seat stadium w/amplified sound and lighting adjacent to wetlands submitted 3/2015
• 9 fields for baseball, soccer, football, volleyball under private control
(original Developer plan submitted in 2012 called for 78 acres, 13 fields and a hotel)
• 12 additional buildings on the Landfill and a 40,000 sq ft indoor training facility
• Additional dog park, rock climbing walls, beach volleyball court
• Sales of food and alcohol on site
• Expected over 3,800 visitors per day; majority of them NON-local
• Traffic study estimated over 400,000 non-local visitors per year
• Open 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm or later
• 770 hardscape or gravel parking spaces next to wetlands and/or creek
• 550 paved parking spaces directly adjacent to the Wetland
• Adjacent to (300 ft) from 300 million dollar Hamilton Wetlands Project
Wetlands habitat exists up to the landfill cap
• Storm water runoff from Landfill 26 currently being pumped directly into Hamilton Wetlands. This surface water quality is unknown, last tested for 3 out of 39 known contaminants in 2010.
• Landfill 26 is an unlined RCRA capped landfill which had 39 significant toxics identified at closure. The method of remediation was not protective of public health and the environment as it was built on historic creek channels that have been shown to transport toxic contamination, benzene and methane.
• Adjacent and nearby residential communities of Hamilton Communities, Bel Marin Keys, Los Robles, Pacheco Valley and Ignacio, and waters of the State including Pacheco Pond and Creek, Novato Creek, and San Pablo Bay will be potentially impacted.
• City and developer initially selected a mitigated negative declaration for the proposed project roadway across wetlands and Pacheco Creek. This is prior to an accepted project proposal by the City. ( City of Novato Website)
• City requests public to “wait and see” until the EIR on the project is produced
• Project will negatively impact all wildlife and endangered species in the area, including Hamilton Wetland Restoration Project and Pacheco Pond a wildlife refuge
• Noise pollution 12 or more hours a day
• Massive light pollution during night, impacting nocturnal wildlife
• Oil, gasoline, heavy metals and lubricants leaking from 770 parking spaces and automotive traffic
• Toxic run off into the Pacheco Creek, Pacheco Pond Wildlife Refuge, Hamilton Wetlands and high groundwater table on site (surface level) has occurred since the landfills inception
• Landfill toxics were covered in place (capped) in an unlined environmentally sensitive floodway. Toxics including Pesticides, Vinyl Chloride and 39 chemical compounds were detected by the Regional Board in 1989. These have not removed or contained and refuse was not immobilized. The RWQCB has stated that landfill refuse is saturated by underlying groundwater.
• Site-wide trash blown and run off into protected wildlife areas (Collect 4-8 tons per year)
• Significant water use and infrastructure for fields, water attractions, toilets and public
• Significant wastewater generation and disposal issues.
• Elimination of wildlife corridors: bisecting existing access. Removes all screening and wildlife protection. Removes aquatic species transport corridors. (Possible red legged frog habitat- sighting noted in 1998)
• Major site changes to flood plain, drainage, hydrology, and storm water impacts
Endangered Species Impacts
• Federally Endangered Species at Hamilton Wetlands - 2 federally listed endangered species and 38 special status species are known or have habitat in the adjacent Wetlands Restoration Project and Wildlife Refuge.
o The California Clapper Rail has a breeding season from Feb -August and they are sensitive to noise and light year around.
o The Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse another local endangered species is nocturnal and breeds in the spring to fall.
o Project is also located adjacent to Pacheco Pond Wildlife Refuge, which is a major stop for thousands of migratory birds along the Pacific Flyway during Fall- Spring and is breeding and nesting habitat for many native wildlife and waterfowl. This refuge is protected by ordinances of both Marin County & City of Novato and CA Fish and Wildlife regulations.
Stadium Site / Hazardous Waste Landfill 26
• “A lighted Stadium with grass fields and loudspeaker amplified sound will include a snack bar and restrooms directly adjacent to the wetlands occupying the 5 acres on the Northeast sector of the Landfill.”
• A commercial Sports Complex was not included in the Novato General Plan or Hamilton Master Plan.
• Master Plan (October 15, 1998) also stated that no lights would be allowed on the landfill soil cap.
• No cumulative impacts from other contamination plumes (MTBE/ Benzene) under the Landfill have been addressed in addition to known toxics.
• Landfill 26 – a class II hazardous waste landfill.
o No weight bearing structures on landfill
o Landfill cap cannot be breeched
o Methane generating landfill - venting system to remain in place
o Methane and toxics distribution underground through aquifers and historic creek channels
o Benzene contamination migration from Navy gas station site.
Major Development Issues
• Commercial development, NOT a community facility.
• Public access controlled by developer, not City controlled.
• Requesting change of land use designation on and surrounding Landfill 26
• Currently Open Space – NO buildings or “Improvements”
• Wants designation of Park Land to allow building of roads, bridges and buildings.
• Fast Track: developer could lose Federal easement unless project breaks ground before July 2017 termination of agreement is possible after this by Secretary of the Army.
• Developer & Novato waiting for EIR to determine environmental impacts.
• City Of Novato’s Hamilton Master Plan also mandated a 300 ft buffer of open space around Ammo Hill. And a 300 ft wildlife corridor between Ammo Hill and Reservoir (POL) Hill.
• Not in compliance with Marin Countywide Plan uses relative to Sea Level Rise, Baylands Corridor.
Community Quality of Life Impacts
• Traffic – 400,000 estimated cars from outside Novato annually.
• Noise- PA systems directed at homes within 150 feet and wetlands within 100 feet.
• Air pollution – topography is a bowl, concentrating air and pollution.
• Trash – Every year 8 tons of trash is removed from this area of the watershed. With an expected 3,800 visitors daily this would increase exponentially.
The City staff has stated that environmental concerns will be addressed in the EIR/ CEQA review process. The City has included the Hamilton Fields project in the Revision of the City Master Plan Update. The request to the City staff for rezoning has not been withdrawn.
For more information, contact:
Sue Lattanzio, SCMG Board suelattanzio at gmail.com | 415-710-4787
Developments on Landfills
Highlights the high cost of maintaining a landfill park when the LLC goes belly up and
who is responsible? Actual cost to do development over landfills very high.
Davis CA- Similar Issues
Landfill 26 Hamilton Army Airfield, Novato CA