Monday, February 25, 2008

City OKs EIR for Benicia Business Park

City OKs EIR for Benicia Business Park
East Bay Business Times - by Jessica Saunders
Friday, February 22, 2008

Developer Albert D. Seeno Jr. can begin preparing a detailed plan for his proposed 528-acre Benicia Business Park after the City Council's Feb. 19 vote certified the project's environmental impact report.

The council certified the report with the understanding that the proposed project as described could not be approved without significant modifications due to numerous conflicts it has with the city's General Plan, said Dan Schiada, city public works director. The developer, Discovery Builders Inc. of Concord, opted to pursue the EIR separately from the project review.

The council also directed the developer to incorporate new mitigation measures for Interstate 780 traffic effects and to include analyses on urban decay and environmental sustainability, Schiada said.

"Those were some of the key elements they need to address to make the revised project consistent with the General Plan," he said.

A call to Discovery Builders for comment was not returned in time for publication.
Seeno has been trying for nearly 30 years to start construction on the proposed light industrial and commercial park on a hilly parcel northeast of the new Benicia bridge off of Interstate 680. The site, which overlooks the Carquinez Strait and Suisun Bay, is adjacent to the city's existing industrial park.

No tenants have been identified.

The General Plan conflicts include the proposed grading of 9 million cubic yards and removal of most of the site's southern hills. The city's environmental protection policies discourage grading of hillsides.

The boot-shaped property is the largest undeveloped tract remaining in Benicia.

Discovery Builders, owned by Seeno's son Albert Seeno III, is seeking approval for the business park under contract for property owner West Coast Home Builders, which Seeno Jr. and his brother Tom Seeno own. | 925-598-1427

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