Posted on

Letters –

from 5

buildings” in the Adaptive Reuse report has incorrect information. For example, many of the “cabins” at Camp Via have collapsed, trees have fallen, there are no roofs and only a concrete block perimeter on most of these buildings. The bathrooms are damaged. Yet these structures are designated on the grid in the Adaptive Reuse study as being in “good” condition. If the assessment of the rest of the buildings is as far wrong as it is for Camp Via then this “visual study” of the condition of buildings is more than misleading. Conclusions put forth as to reuse, cost, and remediation of toxic materials, based solely on a minor visual inspection years ago with zero testing and zero indepth review—is against the spirit of CEQA. In fact, it could be considered criminal.

I sent my feedback to the team now hosting the public comment portion of the CEQA NOP, insisting they require true analysis of environmental hazards present in the buildings slated for reuse or demolition and that results of the analysis be made public. Only through this means can the true cost comparison of new construction vs. remediation (and removal of hazardous materials in existing buildings considered for adaptive reuse) be correctly assessed.

My letter to Permit Sonoma and Brain Oh included a comprehensive list of the known toxins present in buildings built between 1900 and 1976. I also suggested alternatives to demolition and asked that cost of remediation, reuse and toxic disposal be made public once the long delayed study of the buildings is complete.

Only through comprehensive analysis can a feasible path forward be charted. All the public meetings in the world will not answer the burning questions the state has tried to smother—Who pays for what was poorly maintained? Who pays for the correction of decades- long deferred maintenance?

What are the true possibilities for co-housing, low cost development of alternative housing, effective bus service, and sustainable ecological approaches that serve the community?

I await the promised analysis.

Elisa Stancil Levine, Historic Restoration Specialist, founder of Stancil Studios, Inc. Glen Ellen