40 Years | Approval 

County Publishes Final EIR
Final EIR released on November 24, 2010

It took six years, hundreds of experts and over 2,500 pages of information, analysis and commentary. On November 24, 2010, the county published the Final EIR (FEIR) for the Phelps application, which includes: the Draft EIR and its appendices; responses to comments on the DEIR, Errata to the DEIR and Appendix K – Additional Information Used to Address Comments on the DEIR. 

There were 60 individuals and agencies that commented on the DEIR; 63% of the individuals who commented supported the project, primarily because it will drastically cut the number of miles that Toro Area residents drive on Highway 68 to meet daily needs like buying groceries, mailing letters or meeting friends for food or coffee.

County officials will rely on the FEIR for information about ways to mitigate environmental impacts and protect local groundwater supplies.

If you would like to review the components of the FEIR, follow the links below:

Highlights from FEIR

  • Net Benefit to Groundwater Basin

“A positive water balance can be achieved with use of LEED conserving technology and planting xeriscape and drought tolerant landscaping.”  Page 14

The LEED alternative will “achieve a net benefit to the ground water basin.”  Page 19  Click here to download Water Balance chart.

  • Reducing Carbon Footprint

“The VMT [Vehicle Miles Traveled] reduction that will be achieved by the project” will help the county meet GreenHouse Gas emission reduction targets.  Page 287

In 2002, an independent survey of 3000 Toro Area households documented that 59% of local residents drive 15-20 miles to shop in Salinas, 25% drive to Monterey and 16% drive to Seaside or another community to shop. According to the Final EIR, the proposed Phelps shopping village will result in a net reduction of 3,470 vehicle miles traveled every day (mostly on Highway 68).

The DEIR finds that local residents who now shop in Monterey, Seaside or Salinas, would be able to shop closer to home, resulting in “a net reduction of 3,470 vehicles miles traveled per day” and reducing the community’s carbon footprint. Page 382

  • Good Planning; Community Benefits

"The project site is the only commercially zoned parcel along the Highway 68 corridor.  It is centrally located between Salinas and Monterey, and is level.  There are not any other sites that meet this criteria."  page 289