Capitol Annex Project’s Environmental Impact Report Violated CEQA by not Analyzing Alternative Solutions

(Sacramento, CA) – Save Our Capitol! today issued the following statement regarding the matter of Save Our Capitol! vs. California Department of General Services (DGS) and Joint Committee on Rules of the California State Senate and Assembly (JRC):

“The State of California plans to move forward with the illegal Capitol Annex Project, a $1.2 billion boondoggle that would demolish the historic Capitol Annex, one of the most important historic buildings in California, and would irreversibly damage the Capitol’s historic West Lawn.

“When the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) was released, it included substantive changes from the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR). In violation of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), there was a requirement for DGS and JRC to study alternatives because of the changes. They did not do so.

“DGS and JRC’s suggestion that the Project will not adversely impact historic resources on the west side of the historic Capitol—and that recirculation of the EIR to consider an alternative location for the visitor/welcome center was not required—is not supported by substantial evidence. To the contrary, undisputed record evidence proves that construction of a visitor/welcome center on the west side of the Capitol would destroy historic features of the West Lawn, and that its relocation to the south side of the Capitol would eliminate this significant impact entirely.

“For these reasons, once DGS and JRC amended the project description to relocate the proposed parking garage away from the southside of Capitol Park, the EIR was required to consider the alternative of constructing the visitor/welcome center in that newly-available location to lessen significant adverse impacts. By failing to do so, the Capitol Annex Project is moving forward with a deficient EIR, violating CEQA’s requirement of transparency and its protections for the public interest.”

Click here to read Save Our Capitol!’s appeal. A hearing on the case before the Third Appellate District is scheduled for November 14, 2022.