Recreational Projects

Arana Gulch Park Master Plan EIR
Client: City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department

Ms. Skewes-Cox was selected to prepare the EIR for this 56-acre open space area adjacent to the Santa Cruz Harbor. The main issues of concern include the presence of the Santa Cruz tarplant (Holocarpha macradenia), an endangered species, and potential impacts from a proposed hiking/bicycle trail across the site.

Corte Madera Skate Park Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration
Client: Town of Corte Madera Parks and Recreation Department

This IS/MND focuses on noise and traffic issues related to the proposed construction of a 4,000 square foot skate park at the Corte Madera Town Park. Ms. Skewes-Cox was assisted by Illingworth & Rodkin for the noise analysis and Whitlock & Weinberger to the assessment of parking and traffic impacts. The IS/MND included a recommendation for a future geotechnical study because the site was located on Bay Mud.

City of Santa Cruz Skate Park Supplemental EIR
Client: City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department

Ms. Skewes-Cox was responsible for preparing a Supplemental EIR on a new skate park in the City of Santa Cruz. The original EIR needed to be supplemented to address a required amendment to the Neary Lagoon Management Plan and findings of hazardous wastes at the project site. As part of the EIR, a complete hazardous waste assessment was completed, with soil and water monitoring to determine if special remediation efforts would be needed.

Pogonip Master Plan EIR
Client: City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department

Prior to starting her own firm, Ms. Skewes-Cox managed this EIR that addressed the proposed uses for a 640-acre open space area in the City of Santa Cruz. The EIR addressed: an Outdoor Education Camp; renovation of an historic Clubhouse; a new caretaker’s residence; future hiking trails; bike paths; roadways; parking; a community garden; and nature study preserves. One major area of controversy centered on the presence of white-tailed kite, a special status species found nesting near an area proposed for a large community garden.

Institutional Projects


Marin Community College District CEQA Work
Client: Marin Community College District Date: 2005-2007

Ms. Skewes-Cox and a team of CEQA experts were retained by the Marin Community College District to prepare all necessary CEQA documents related to the College’s Modernization Program funded by Measure C. Ms. Skewes-Cox is overseeing a group of 10 specialists in such fields as noise, traffic, air quality, architectural history, and visual simulations. Initially, the team prepared Assessments to document existing environmental conditions and constraints at the District’s two campuses. Full EIRs will be prepared for the Bond Spending Implementation Plans to be developed for each campus. Ms. Skewes-Cox also prepared Notices of Exemption for five projects that are currently underway.


Delta Community College Supplemental EIR
Client: Delta-San Joaquin Community College District
Date: 2001-2002

Ms. Skewes-Cox managed the preparation of the EIR for this new community college proposed within the Mountain House New Community, just north of Tracy in San Joaquin County. The new college is to provide educational facilities for up to 12,000 students and to be built on a 114-acre campus. The EIR evaluated the proposed land use change from residential to public, with major issues of concern being traffic, noise, land use compatibility, and air quality. The Supplemental EIR tiered off the 1994 EIR prepared for the Mountain House New Community Master Plan.


U.C. Berkeley NEQSS Projects EIR
Client: UC Berkeley
Date: 2001-2002

For this project, Ms. Skewes-Cox served as adjunct staff to the U.C. Berkeley Capital Projects office, overseeing preparation of the EIR on the Northeast Quadrant Science and Safety Projects. She reviewed and edited the consultants’ work, managed the budget, completed CEQA administrative tasks, and assisted in responding to comments on the Final EIR. The project was quite controversial due to the proposal for amending the University’s Long Range Development Plan to allow for 325,000 gross square feet (gsf) of new development within the Central Campus area. A total of three new developments were evaluated – the Stanley Hall Replacement Building (285,000 gsf), the Davis Hall North Replacement Building (145,000 gsf), and an addition to the Lower Hearst Parking Garage for 139 net new parking spaces. In addition, seismic upgrades at other campus buildings were also included in the analysis.


Underhill Area Master Plan EIR (Administrative Draft)
Client: UC Berkeley
Date: 1999

The Underhill Area Master Plan EIR addressed the University’s proposal for a five-block area south of the main campus. The project was to include 890 new beds, a 1,000-space parking facility, new athletic field, a dining facility, and administrative offices. Renovation and relocation of two historic structures were also addressed in the EIR. Ms. Skewes-Cox served as project manager for the EIR while at LSA, Associates, just prior to starting her own firm. The main issues of concern included: traffic impacts in an urbanized area of the City; visual impacts, especially related to historic facilities; and increased noise during both construction and operation of the project. The firm of Fehr & Peers assisted with the traffic analysis.


U.C. Vision Research Building EIR
Client: UC San Francisco
Date: 1986

Ms. Skewes-Cox served as the project manager for this EIR which evaluated a new multi-story, vision research facility at the west edge of the UCSF campus. The building was to be used for both research and office space as well as classrooms. The main issues of concern focused on safety related to the use and disposal of hazardous materials, visual impacts from nearby residential areas, and traffic/parking. Public controversy was quite high and many comments were received from an active neighborhood organization.


Escondido Village Student Housing Project Initial Study/Mitigated Neg. Declaration
Client: Santa Clara County (for Stanford University Project)
Date: 1998

The Escondido Village Student Housing Project entailed the proposed construction of 483 beds of graduate student housing in four separate on-campus buildings. Three separate sites within Escondido Village were evaluated for this Initial Study, completed in 1999. All CEQA Checklist issues were addressed, with the only topics requiring mitigation being air quality, noise, and archaeological/historical resources. As part of the analysis, detailed traffic and hydrological analyses were completed.


U.C. Santa Cruz College Infill Apartments Project EIR
Client: UC Santa Cruz
Date: 2000-2001

UC Santa Cruz proposes the construction of 518 beds for student housing at three sites within the campus. Ms. Skewes-Cox is assisting staff of the UC Environmental Assessment Group in evaluating impacts related to the following topics: visual quality, hydrology, air quality, and noise. She is being assisted by Swanson Hydrology for the assessment of hydrological impacts. All three projects are in close proximity to existing student housing.


Master Plans, Specific Plans, and General Plans


Mountain House New Community
Client: San Joaquin County Community Development Department

The Mountain House New Community is proposed for an area northwest of the City of Tracy in the Central Valley. The 4,700-acre site is to include a mix of residential, commercial, industrial, public and recreational land uses. In 1992, Ms. Skewes-Cox served as the project manager for the first EIR completed for Mountain House. This EIR addressed the proposed new community plus a General Plan Amendment. Many years later (2000), she served as project manager for the first proposed subdivision approval which required an Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration. The Initial Study addressed the first of 12 proposed neighborhoods and development of 405 acres. Major issues of concern included traffic impacts on surrounding arterials; potential flooding; removal of prime agricultural land; impacts to endangered species such as Swainson’s hawk; and requirements for major infrastructure expansion.


Bahia Master Plan EIR
Client: City of Novato

Ms. Skewes-Cox served as the project manager for this highly controversial development at the eastern edge of the City of Novato. The project entailed 424 new homes and recreational development on 624 acres. A number of significant impacts were identified such as removal of 70 acres of Blue Oak woodland, removal of up to 6,300 trees, direct impacts to 18 acres of seasonal wetlands, and construction-related noise.


San Joaquin County General Plan 2010 EIR
Client: San Joaquin County Community Development Department

Ms. Skewes-Cox served as the project manager for this EIR that addressed growth within San Joaquin County between 1992 and 2010. This EIR was awarded a “Certificate for an Outstanding Environmental Analysis Document” by the Association of Environmental Professionals. The General Plan addressed projected growth within unincorporated areas, but also considered the General Plans for seven incorporated cities within the County. The EIR addressed the following elements: policies; community plans; the proposed General Plan map; the San Joaquin County Development Title; and five new towns that were proposed within the County. Given the projected growth outside of incorporated areas and the County’s location in the Central Valley, removal of prime agricultural lands was a major issue of concern. The EIR recommended a variety of measures to reduce impacts to agricultural lands such as agricultural impact fees, increased densities, and changes to the General Plan map to focus development within existing communities.  Mitigation measures focused on changes to policies, revised or new regulations to be included in the Development Title, and changes to the proposed General Plan map. When the General Plan was adopted, only two of the five proposed new towns were approved.


Stanly Ranch Specific Plan EIR
Client: City of Napa

The Stanly Ranch Specific Plan EIR addressed a resort/residential development on 918 acres within the City of Napa. The project included 300 resort units, a lodge, spa, golf club clubhouse, winery and wine center, employee housing, and a residential area for 540 units. Major issues of concern focused on increased traffic, runoff and potential flooding, removal of an historic grove of trees and historic structures, and impacts to sensitive species.


Nevada County General Plan Final EIR
Client: Nevada County Planning Department

Ms. Skewes-Cox prepared the Final EIR for the County’s General Plan that was highly controversial due to projected growth within an established rural area. Major issues of concern focused on traffic impacts, water quality degradation from increased development, visual impacts, and availability of services. Ms. Skewes-Cox presented the conclusions of the Final EIR at public hearings and responded to many public comments.


Hemme Hills Residential Development General Plan Amendment EIR
Client: Contra Costa County Community Development Department

The Hemme Hill EIR addressed a proposed residential subdivision in a hillside location just east of the City of Danville. The site had previously been used for grazing and was to be developed with 400 single-family homes. New roads were proposed in major drainageways, requiring a careful analysis of potential hydrological impacts to downstream areas. Landslides on the site were another constraint evaluated in the EIR, resulting in recommendations for major site planning alterations for both homesites and roadway locations.


Miller Avenue Annexation and Development EIR (General Plan Amendment and Prezoning)
Client: City of Mill Valley Planning Department Date: 2006-2007

The City of Mill Valley retained Ms. Skewes-Cox to prepare the EIR on the proposed annexation of about 5 acres into the City of Mill Valley. The project also included a proposed development for 18 residential units on one part of the site and a mixed-use commercial and residential project (22 units) on another part of the site. Main issues of concern were traffic, increased runoff, parking availability, noise, and visual impacts. A number of mitigation measures were recommended for redesign of the projects due to the identified impacts.


Initial Studies


Initial Study for Canyon Road Sewer Assessment District and Annexation, Town of Fairfax
Client: Ross Valley Sanitary District Date: 2005

Ms. Skewes-Cox managed and prepared the Initial Study for this project. The Ross Valley Sanitary District (RVSD), which provides wastewater service to a number of towns in central Marin County, proposed to annex 34 residential properties into the District and to provide sewer service to these homes. The proposed Canyon Road Sewer Assessment District would encompass these 34 lots within the Town of Fairfax, extending from No. 56 Canyon Road to No. 200 Canyon Road. Thirty-two of the properties contain existing single-family homes, each with an on-site sewage disposal system (i.e., septic tank and drain field). As part of the annexation project, a new sewer main was proposed for construction. This 8-inch diameter main would be about 2,100 linear feet in length and would connect to an existing public sewer main located in Canyon Road in the vicinity of No. 46 Canyon Road. Following completion of the sewer main, the existing 32 residences would be connected to the main and their existing septic tanks would be pumped out, removed and/or backfilled. Drain fields would be abandoned.


Mountain House Villages E/G Initial Study
Client: San Joaquin County Community Development Department

This Initial Study was tiered off a Master EIR completed in 1994 that addressed the entire new community of Mountain House. This Initial Study addressed the proposed subdivision for two of the overall 12 villages, with a total of 1,914 single-family lots. In addition, Villages E and G included two elementary schools, two neighborhood parks, a complex road network, and public facilities. The main issues of concern focused on policy conformance with the Specific Plan, transportation, water quality, biological resources, and aesthetics. During the environmental review process, the overall subdivision design was significantly altered to include smaller lots, with alleys and greenways for improved pedestrian access.


Town of Tiburon Library Expansion
Client: Belvedere-Tiburon Library Agency

The Belvedere-Tiburon Library Agency (BTLA) has proposed an expansion of its existing library to allow more space for public functions and to possibly include offices for the Historic Society and Recreation Department. BTLA hired Ms. Skewes-Cox to help with the overall planning process as well as the Initial Study. Given the site’s proximity to marsh habitat, we completed initial site work to identify an adequate setback for the building footprint. The focus of the analysis will be upon water quality, biotic resources, parking, and visual impacts.


Lemle Residence Initial Study
Client: City of Mill Valley

The City of Mill Valley asked Ms. Skewes-Cox to prepare an Initial Study on a single-family residence proposed in an area of identified spotted owl habitat. The five-acre site included extremely steep, wooded terrain, with access from an unpaved fire road. By the conclusion of the work, the applicant had donated two acres to the City to be retained in permanent open space. The remaining three acres were to be used for the 3,700 square foot residence and separate 500-square foot garage. The project also included a fire truck turn-around and new paving for a driveway. Public access was to be maintained along the fire road adjacent to the site. Thus, visual simulations were prepared to document the new buildings’ visibility from public areas. The project was adopted with 41 mitigation measures identified in the Initial Study.


Other Initial Studies

Refer to Mountain House New Community Master Plan and Corte Madera Skate Park explained above.

Copies of reports and references for any of the above projects can be provided upon request.