[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 222 (Friday, November 16, 2012)]
[Pages 68803-68805]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-27985]



[Docket No. FR-5670-N-01]

Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for 
the HOPE SF Development at Sunnydale and Velasco Public Housing 
Developments, San Francisco, CA

AGENCY: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and 
Development, HUD.

ACTION: Notice of Intent to Prepare an EIS and to Conduct Public 
Scoping Meeting.


SUMMARY: The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) gives 
notice to the public, agencies, and Indian tribes that the City and 
County of San Francisco's Mayor's Office of Housing (MOH) as the 
Responsible Entity in accordance with 24 CFR 58.2, intends to prepare a 
Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/
EIS) for the HOPE SF Development at the Sunnydale and Velasco Public 
Housing Developments (Sunnydale HOPE SF Master Plan Project). The EIR/
EIS will be a joint National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and 
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) document.
    The EIR will satisfy requirements of CEQA (Public Resources Code 
21000 et seq.) and the State CEQA Guidelines (14 California Code of 
Regulations 15000 et seq.), which require that state and local 
government agencies consider the environmental consequences of projects 
over which they have discretionary authority before acting on those 
projects. The Proposed Action is subject to NEPA, because funding for 
the project may include HUD funds from programs subject to regulation 
by 24 CFR part 58; these include, but are not limited to, Community 
Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds under Title I of the Housing and 
Community Development Act of 1974; Home Investment Partnership Program 
(HOME) grants under Title II of the Cranston-Gonzales National 
Affordable Housing Act of 1990, as amended; Project Based Section 8 
Vouchers under Section 8(o)(13) of the United States Housing Act of 
1937; and/or Public Housing operating subsidies for mixed income 
developments authorized under the U.S. Housing Act of 1937, Section 35. 
In accordance with specific statutory authority and HUD's regulations 
at 24 CFR part 58 (Environmental Review Procedures for Entities 
Assuming HUD Environmental Responsibilities), HUD has provided for 
assumption of its NEPA authority and NEPA lead agency responsibility by 
the City and County of San Francisco. This notice is issued in 
accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations 
at 40 CFR parts 1500-1508.
    A Draft EIR/EIS will be prepared for the Proposed Action described 
herein. Comments relating to the Draft EIR/EIS are requested and will 
be accepted by the contact person listed below. When the Draft EIR/EIS 
is completed, a notice will be sent to individuals and groups known to 
have an interest in the Draft EIR/EIS and particularly in the 
environmental impact issues identified therein. Any person or agency 
interested in receiving a notice and making comment on the Draft EIR/
EIS should contact the person listed below within 30 days of 
publication of this notice.
    This EIS will be a NEPA document intended to satisfy requirements 
of Federal environmental statutes. In accordance with specific 
statutory authority and HUD's regulations at 24 CFR part 58 
(Environmental Review Procedures for Entities Assuming HUD 
Environmental Responsibilities), HUD has provided for assumption of its 
NEPA authority and NEPA lead agency responsibility by the City and 
County of San Francisco. The EIR will be a CEQA document intended to 
satisfy State environmental statutes (Public Resources Code 21000 et 
seq. and 14 California Code of Regulations 15000 et seq.).

[[Page 68804]]

ADDRESSES: All interested agencies, tribes, groups, and persons are 
invited to submit written comments on the scope of the Draft EIS to the 
contact person shown below. Comments received will be considered in the 
preparation and distribution of the Draft EIS. Particularly solicited 
is information on reports or other environmental studies planned or 
completed in the project area, major issues that the EIS should 
consider, recommended mitigation measures, and alternatives to the 
Proposed Action. Federal agencies having jurisdiction by law, special 
expertise or other special interest should report their interest and 
indicate their readiness to aid in the EIS effort as a ``Cooperating 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Eugene Flannery, Environmental 
Compliance Manager, City and County of San Francisco Mayor's Office of 
Housing, 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 5th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103; 
Phone: (415) 701-5598; Fax (415) 701-5501; email: 
[email protected]. The Environmental Review Record and 
information regarding the scoping meeting will be posted online at 


A. Background

    The MOH, acting under authority of section 104(g) of the Housing 
and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5304(g)), section 288 
of the HOME Investment Partnerships Act (42 U.S.C. 12838), section 26 
of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437x) and HUD's 
regulations at 24 CFR part 58, in cooperation with other interested 
agencies, will prepare an EIS to analyze potential impacts of the 
Sunnydale HOPE SF Master Plan Project.
    Constructed in 1941 and 1963 respectively, the Sunnydale and 
Velasco Public Housing Developments together form the City's largest 
public housing community. Located in the Visitacion Valley area of San 
Francisco, the project site is bounded by Hahn Street to the east, 
Velasco Avenue to the south, Brookdale Avenue to the west, and McLaren 
Park to the north and northwest. It includes Assessor's Blocks 6310-Lot 
1, Block 6311-Lot 1, Block 6312-Lot 1, Block 6313-Lot 1, Block 6314-Lot 
1, and Block 6315-Lot 1. The 2,127,187-square-foot (approximately 50-
acre) project site slopes down from west (Brookdale Avenue) to east 
(Hahn Street), at slopes ranging from 15.5 percent at its highest and 
steepest point to a 2-percent slope at the lower elevations. The 
average grade change is 9 percent. Elevations range from 250 feet above 
sea level (asl) at the western edge of the site to 75 feet asl at the 
southeastern corner.
    The project site is a quarter of a mile north of Geneva Avenue, 
which is roughly the border between the City of San Francisco and Daly 
City and also leads to the I-280 freeway to the west. The project site 
is approximately three-quarters of a mile west of Bayshore Boulevard, 
which is a main street that connects the neighborhood to U.S. Highway 
101 to the east. Single-family residential and small-multifamily 
residential uses are immediately adjacent to the site to the south and 
east, and these uses characterize most of the Visitacion Valley 
neighborhood. The north and west is McLaren Park, which is the City's 
second largest park at 312 acres. The park's Gleneagles Golf Course and 
Herz Playground are directly north of the project site. A sloped 
natural area of McLaren Park with a walking path to the Crocker Amazon 
Playground abuts the project site to the west. Also to the west is the 
partially occupied McLaren campus of the San Francisco Unified School 
District, which currently houses a pre-kindergarten school.
    The Sunnydale and Velasco Public Housing Developments consist of 
785 residential units and the Willie Brown Community Center (including 
the Housing Authority's Leasing Center) located in 94 buildings that 
are one and two stories (20-35 feet) in height. The buildings are laid 
out according to the site topography, as are the streets; neither 
follow the grid pattern of the surrounding neighborhood. In between the 
buildings is open space of grass and unmaintained landscaping with 
three play areas. A bungalow on Velasco Street is occupied by Wu Yee 
Children's Services, which operates a child care program for the 
neighborhood. Several asphalt surface parking lots are located 
throughout the site and provide 430 off street parking spaces. The 
streets internal to the project site provide parking for another 452 
automobiles. Three bus stops are located within the project site.
    The Sunnydale HOPE SF Master Plan (Proposed Action) would replace 
all 785 units, the current utility and open space infrastructure, re-
align the streets and add new community facilities and park spaces. The 
Proposed Action would consist of the development of up to 1,700 new 
residential units that are a mix of public housing replacement units, 
new affordable units and new market rate units in buildings that range 
from 40-65 feet in height. The Proposed Action would also include up to 
6 acres of new park spaces within the project site, up to 72,500 square 
feet of community facilities including a new community center, 
neighborhood-serving retail space, and a child care program.

Alternatives to the Proposed Action

    There are three alternatives to the Proposed Action to be analyzed 
in the EIS. Alternative 1 is a variation of the project density. 
Alternative sites for the project were explored early in the process, 
and it was determined that no other more viable site was available.
Alternative 1--Reduced Development Alternative
    Number of Units: 1,372.
    Maximum Height: 65 feet.
    Acreage: 48.8 acres (no change).
    Percent Reduction in Units Compared to Proposed Action: 19 percent.
Alternative 2--Replacement of Existing Public Housing Units
    Number of Units: 785 units.
    Acreage: 48.8 acres.
    No new Community Center, no retail, no additional open space.
    Percent Reduction in Units Compared to Proposed Action: 53 percent.
Alternative 3--No Project Alternative
    The No Project Alternative would analyze the ``no action'' 
alternative, which would be the continuation of uses on the site; 
therefore, existing buildings and tenants would remain at the project 
site and no new buildings or uses would be constructed.

B. Need for the EIS

    The proposed project may constitute an action significantly 
affecting the quality of the human environment and an EIS will be 
prepared on this project by the City and County of San Francisco's MOH 
in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 
U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). Responses to this notice will be used to: (1) 
Determine significant environmental issues, (2) identify data that the 
EIS should address, and (3) identify agencies and other parties that 
will participate in the EIS process and the basis for their 

C. Scoping

    A public joint EIR/EIS scoping meeting will be held on a date 
within the comment period and after at least 15 days of publishing this 
Notice of Intent. Notices of the scoping meeting will be mailed when 
the date has been determined. The joint EIR/EIS scoping meeting will 
provide an opportunity for the public to learn more about the project 
and provide input to the

[[Page 68805]]

environmental process. At the meeting, the public will be able to view 
graphics illustrating preliminary planning work and talk with MOH 
staff, and members of the consultant team providing technical analysis 
to the project. Translators will be available. Written comments and 
testimony concerning the scope of the joint EIR/EIS will be accepted at 
this meeting. In accordance with 40 CFR 1501.7 affected Federal, State, 
and local agencies, any affected Indian tribe, and other interested 
parties will be sent a scoping notice. Owners and occupants within a 
300-foot radius will also be notified of the scoping process. In 
accordance with 24 CFR 58.59, the scoping hearing will be preceded by a 
notice of public hearing published in the local news media 15 days 
before the hearing date.

D. Probable Environmental Effects

    The following subject areas will be analyzed in the combined EIR/
EIS for probable environmental effects: Land Use and Planning (land use 
patterns, relationship to plans/policies and regulations; Visual 
Quality/Aesthetics (views/light and glare); Socioeconomics and 
Community (demographic character changes, displacement); Environmental 
Justice (disproportionately high and adverse effects on minority and 
low income populations); Cultural/Historic Resources; Transportation 
and Circulation; Noise (construction and operational); Air Quality 
(construction and operational); Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Wind and 
Shadow; Recreation; Utilities and Service Systems (water supply, 
stormwater, sewer, solid waste); Public Services (fire, police, 
schools, parks); Biological Resources; Geology/Soils; Hydrology/Water 
Quality (erosion control and drainage); Toxic and Hazardous Materials; 
Mineral and Energy Resources; and Agriculture and Forest Resources.
    Questions may be directed to the individual named in this notice 

    Dated: November 8, 2012.
Mark Johnston,
Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development (Acting).
[FR Doc. 2012-27985 Filed 11-15-12; 8:45 am]