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In a Nutshell

Updated: Apr 16, 2023

This is a complex issue, but here is our best explanation...


Plan Orinda is multi-year planning effort meant to "shape the future of Orinda". Near the very end of the effort it became evident that the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) did not actually evaluate the impacts from the additional 2,000+ downtown housing units in Plan Orinda on the ability for existing residents to evacuate in the event of a wildfire. The EIR simply surmised that the impact would be "significant and unavoidable".


In addition, contrary to the laws that govern EIRs, the EIR did not then offer up and analyze any mitigation or alternative that might reduce the expected significant impact. This left the City Council with almost nothing to go on and no options to consider as they made a very difficult decision under great pressure from the State.


The members of OSEE see this situation as a serious danger to the community and as such have filed a lawsuit against the City to require them to quantify the impact from the addition of this many units in the traffic choke-point of downtown. That will allow the City Council and Orinda's citizens to understand the full impacts of this decision. The lawsuit also asks the City to look for alternatives to mitigate this negative impact to evacuation potential, which it is required to do by law.


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