LAFCo Requires Mitigation Steps – SSJID’s Common Sense Solutions
The few area’s of SSJID’s Plan that were classified as “Less Significant with Mitigation” received the following recommended steps for mitigation in the LAFCo’s Subsequent EIR that they just published.
As you can see, the required mitigation is pretty straightforward and easily accomplished.
3.1‐1a Re‐till agricultural lands following construction. If requested by the landowner, SSJID shall re‐till agricultural land used for laydown activities and pole placement to offset compaction caused by heavy material storage and construction activities. [From 2006 Final EIR Mitigation Measure 3.1‐6b]
3.1‐1b Consult with landowners. Where proposed electrical facilities would be located adjacent to or through agricultural lands, SSJID shall consult with the landowners concerning the placement of poles in cultivated land and site new poles to produce the least disturbance to irrigation equipment and farming practices. [Updated from 2006 Final EIR Mitigation
3.1‐1c Adjust location of lines for agricultural operations and flight patterns. SSJID shall site poles in locations that minimize impacts to active agricultural operations. Specifically, SSJID shall align poles adjacent to field boundaries and parallel to rows (if located in row crops), and shall avoid diagonal orientations and angular alignments within agricultural land. SSJID shall construct poles with heights and spacing to minimize safety hazards to aerial applicators. [Updated from 2006 Final EIR Mitigation Measure 3.1‐7b]
Preserve farmland to offset permanent losses. Loss of Prime Farmland, Unique Farmland, or Farmland of Statewide Importance shall be offset with comparable quality farmland at a ratio of one‐to‐one (1:1) with regard to the acreage of land removed from the capability for agricultural use. The one‐to‐one ratio is consistent with the required compensation ratio for agriculture lands identified in the San Joaquin County Multi‐Species Habitat Conservation and Open Space Plan (Nov. 2000). This could be accomplished through the direct purchase of a voluntary conservation easement on productive farmland or payment of an in‐lieu fee to a Farmland Trust within San Joaquin County. Fees collected would be used to purchase voluntary agricultural conservation easements within the County. A fee payment receipt must be obtained and documentation of the land purchase must be demonstrated prior to construction at the affected site. Mitigation lands shall be of comparable productivity based on the Department of Conservation criteria and shall meet all of the following criteria to qualify as agricultural mitigation:
• The mitigation land shall be designated as lands identified by the California Department of Conservation Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program (FMMP) as Prime Farmland, Farmland of Statewide Importance, or Unique Farmland;
• The mitigation land shall have an adequate water supply for the purposes of irrigation. The water supply shall be comparable to, or better than, the land that is the subject of a change in zoning classification, and shall be sufficient to support ongoing agricultural uses. The water supply shall be protected through legal instrument, where applicable, to ensure that water rights permanently remain with the mitigation land; and
• The mitigation land shall be located within the County of San Joaquin. The mitigation land may overlap partially with existing habitat easement areas, as determined by the SSJID in consultation with the County and the California Department of Fish and Game; however, land previously encumbered by any other agricultural conservation easement shall not qualify, or be used for agricultural mitigation. [Updated from 2006 Final EIR Mitigation Measure 3.1‐6a]
To view the entire report, click here.