I am concerned with poorly planned growth in Lodi, so I recently read through the proposed changes for Reynolds Ranch and attended the Planning Commission meeting last week.
I was appalled that no one on the commission had questions for the developer following his opening comments. The document should have raised many red flags, and yet no one had any questions. Thus, during public comment I voiced my concerns, though it appeared to do little good. The commission voted 5-1 in favor of the project changes.
The 2008 report states that traffic rates are expected to be 79 percent higher than those predicted in the 2006 report. The 2008 revision almost doubles the 2006 estimates to over 50,536 daily trips! The report suggests that traffic lights are sufficient to care for the increase in cars. It doesn't take an expert to see the potential traffic nightmare.
The report of 2006 showed "significant environmental impact" in 10 areas. It also stated that there would be "significant and unavoidable impact related to operational emissions of ozone precursors." If this was reported in the 2006 EIR report, then what would the environmental impact be with the 2008 proposed changes?
Everyone knows how bad the housing market is. But the changes they propose are huge: eliminating most of the single family homes in exchange for senior housing, dropping the school they agreed to build, and increasing the retail square footage from 350,000 to over 700,000 square feet.
The Lodi News-Sentinel reported Aug. 30 that Pacific Municipal Consultants of Rancho Cordova were hired to assess the effects of the Wal-Mart Supercenter and the cumulative effects of the area's planned growth. They wrote: "The construction of the Lodi shopping center in combination with Reynolds Ranch could lead to an oversupply of retail space in the Lodi area." Should we be taking on such risk? The proposed changes may have serious consequences for existing retailers in Lodi.
Tonight the City Council votes on the Reynolds Ranch project. I hope to see you at 7 p.m.