CONSENT AGENDA. From the Half Moon Bay City Council meeting on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022 at 7:00pm, by Zoom.
Staff Recommendation: Adopt a resolution authorizing the City Manager to execute Amendment 6 to the professional services agreement with Circlepoint (www.circlepoint.com) for the preparation of an environmental impact report for the proposed Hyatt Place Hotel at a cost of $385,904.
FISCAL IMPACT: No impact to General Fund. The project applicant is required to deposit funds to cover the cost of the environmental impact report (EIR) consultant contract and City project management costs.
BACKGROUND: On April 18, 2017, the City Council approved a professional services agreement with Circlepoint for preparation of an EIR in conformance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for the proposed Hyatt Place hotel project. Circlepoint was selected following an open solicitation with a Request for Proposals (RFP). Ten proposals responding to the RFP were submitted by well qualified consulting firms. The estimated cost of services ranged from approximately $100,000 to $225,000. A staff committee found that the lower cost proposals were under-scoped as a whole and that others were not as sensitive to the specific planning needs of the City and its Coastal Zone context.
Circlepoint was selected having demonstrated the best understanding of the requested work and possessing the most relevant experience. Circlepoint and its sub-consultants work throughout the Bay Area, have familiarity with Caltrans District 4 and other regional agencies and their processes, and have worked on a variety of projects in and around Half Moon Bay.
The original consultant contract was for $186,854. Amendment 1 was approved by City Council in June 2019 for an additional $46,240 and a total budget of $233,094. Amendment 2 was approved by the City Manager in May 2020 for an additional amount of $15,545 under his authority to approve use of ten percent contingency. The second amendment increased the contract amount to $248,639. Amendment 3 would have exceeded the contingency and was approved by City Council on May 4, 2021 brought the contract total to $299,244. Two subsequent amendments were approved by the City Manager, again, under his authority to approve use of the ten percent contingency. These were in the amounts of $7,625 for Amendment 4 and $11,150 for Amendment 5. The total budget with Amendment 5 is $318,019. Additional funds are now needed to complete the Final EIR.
DISCUSSION: The project has undergone a series of significant revisions since environmental review was initiated. The project changes were associated with several pauses in processing and changes in the project design team, including the introduction of a third architect. City Council approved Amendment 3, and the two modest subsequent amendments that were covered by the contingency (Amendments 4 and 5), were needed to update the Draft EIR to incorporate these changes in project scope, including the introduction of Alternative 2, a reduced sized hotel project (102 rooms instead of 129) that incorporates additional land area including an expansion of the existing auto dealership to the south to eventually free up a site on the north side of Seymour Street that is currently used for dealership parking for housing development. That new approach expanded the project footprint of the project area and introduced additional land, requiring additional study. The CEQA consultant updated numerous studies to fairly assess these alternatives.
The combination of project delays and changes resulted in a process that is not wholly cost effective. In fact, due to the delays, certain CEQA requirements have also changed, which required additional technical scope, such as for analysis of vehicle miles traveled (VMT). VMT was not a CEQA standard when the project was initiated. At the time that Amendment 3 was approved by City Council, staff was hopeful that the EIR could be completed within the revised scope and budget, including allowing for use of 10 percent contingency.
The Draft EIR was completed and circulated for 60 days from July 15 – September 13, 2022. The Planning Commission held a hearing during the circulation period on August 9, 2022. Comments on the Draft EIR were extensive. Addressing them requires more effort that initially anticipated or than is typical for a Draft EIR.
One hundred and five comment letters, including over 500 comments, in addition to public hearing comments and public engagement input and an outreach meeting with Main Street Park during the circulation period must be responded to in the Final EIR.
Circlepoint has prepared a scope to cover this extra effort that includes two public hearings and support from the transportation subconsultant, W-Trans. Circlepoint’s schedule allows for ongoing coordination with City staff and would bring the Final EIR forward into public review in early 2023. Amendment 6 is for $67,885 and would bring the total to $385,904.
The applicant is prepared to cover these additional project review costs.
Hyatt Hotel Responds to Public Comment by Spacing Buildings ~ Pro Suggests Hotel Would “Activate Main St.” Improving City’s Outdoor Economy
Half Moon Bay Planning Gets Pushback on Hyatt Place Hotel Regarding Visual Barriers, Water Shortage and Traffic
Planning Commission 8/9/22 Review of Hyatt Place Hotel ~ Draft Environmental Impact (EIR) Report Available for Public Comment. Deadline 9/13/22
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