Location, location, location is the familiar mantra for any potential home buyer. But buyers want a healthy location to raise families, enjoy their yards and be free from a toxic environment. This should be an ethical concern to all responsible developers and sellers of real estate. Unfortunately, Phil Angelides and his company Riverview Capital Investments are ignoring this basic human need. The McKinley Village project is in a perilous location.
What potential buyer in their fully informed and right state of mind would purchase a home on this hazardous location that is bounded by a severely congested freeway and two very active train routes? Noise, air pollution, sound pollution, and train derailments are all legitimate concerns for any future homeowner. Especially when considering this question: Is this the best location for the purchase of my new home?
Air quality is a major concern with this site. Scientific studies jointly conducted by UCLA researchers and the California Air Resources Board concur and conclude that residential developments near a congested freeway and its traffic emissions are health risks.
The studies find that ultrafine particulate distributions of hydrocarbon emissions, nitrous oxide, and carbon monoxide, on and near freeways and congested streets are health hazards. The health problems include increased risks for asthma, heart disease, bronchitis and lung cancer. This applies to both young and old. Recently, some scientists are finding that vehicle exhaust can lead to brain damage in young and old. There is evidence for correlation of higher rates of dementia and autism in people that live in these more polluted areas.
The developer states that the new housing will have HEPA air filtration systems. This may reduce the risk for exposure while being inside the homes, but what about when you want to be outside barbequing, swimming, etc. (Are residents then to don their respirator- filtration masks to enjoy the outdoors?)
Increased traffic from the site onto our existing neighborhood streets will increase toxic emissions to innocent established neighborhoods. Moms and dads that jog around McKinley Park while pushing the baby in the athletic stroller need to be aware that their newborn and toddler’s brains and lungs are being affected by the ambient air quality.
I encourage you to read Sac Bee’s article, Monday, August 26th, 2013, “EPA to focus on L.A. Freeways”. This article further substantiates our concerns. The EPA is being sued by Physicians for Social Responsibility and several other advocacy groups in southern California. The groups are demanding that particulate monitoring be conducted next to the freeways. This lawsuit has led to placement of 4 monitors in Southern California freeways, and three in the San Francisco Bay area. Similar monitoring installations will occur in more than 100 big cities across this nation.
This closer investigation and monitoring is expected to reveal data that will show higher pollution levels than previously assumed. Then more environmental organizations and neighborhood activists will certainly be calling upon their local and national officials to take more aggressive steps in reduction of emission controls and to more strictly curtail residential development near freeways.
Council member Cohn, City Council members, and all other officials of the City of Sacramento, you are now informed and need to be on serious alert about this site. The site is a health hazard and unhealthy for residential development.
Legitimate neighborhood associations, environmental activists, and concerned neighbors oppose this project, as proposed. We are supported by numerous scientific studies that validate our concerns about the air quality problems at this proposed location. We, the citizens, will be closely monitoring what your positions and findings will be in the draft-Environmental Impact Report. Here’s the important question: Is it safe and ethically right to REZONE and develop this site for residential development?