THE RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORS OF ARCHER (RNA)
The Residential Neighbors of Archer (RNA) was and remains an informal group of Brentwood residents who live near the Archer School for Girls and who are concerned about the impacts of Archers massive expansion project.
We regret the confusion caused by recent communications from the office of Councilmember Mike Bonin, and various emails, to the effect that RNA signed a covenant as part of a settlement with Archer. RNA is not a signatory to the covenant, and only two families that were formerly members of RNA have settled with Archer. (Read the covenant here.)
The vast majority of RNA members, including many new members, continue to oppose the massive Archer project because it would have severe adverse impacts on the local residential community, both during the construction phase and thereafter.
The Residential Neighbors of Archer/RNA continue to believe that the project is far too large and far too impactful on the local residential community, and should be cut back substantially.
RNA believes that Archer was and is required by CEQA to consider alternative locations for the project and its main components.
For example, a number of schools on the Westside hold their outdoor varsity games off campus, and we are not aware of any combination middle school and high school that holds its varsity games on a campus this small (only 7.0 acres even including the new land Archer wants to add to its campus).
When Archer was allowed to move into our neighborhood in 1998, after extensive negotiations and formal Findings and numerous restrictive Conditions imposed by the City, Archer was permitted various construct limited new facilities, and to hold limited types, numbers and sizes of athletic activities on campus, including building a new gym.
In the ensuing years, Archer never built that gym, and made arrangements to have its outdoor varsity games played at a location that has regulation size softball and soccer fields and adequate adjacent parking for families and guests, and is not immediately adjacent to a very congested intersection.
Similarly, Archers initial proposal in 1996, to acquire the Eastern Star Home and convert it into a middle school and high school for girls, did not request (and was not allowed) to build a performing arts center or a multipurpose facility. Apparently in those days Archer felt that it could provide a superior education and other aspects to its students without those onsite facilities.
Since its 1998 Conditional Use Permit (the 1998 CUP), Archer has been able to hold performances for its students and their parents and other guests at offsite facilities at a nominal cost (paying fees for use of those facilities), but now it proposes to build a very large Performing Arts Center (PAC) at a cost well over $10 million.
This is another clear case where mitigation under CEQA would require Archer to consider and discuss alternative sites where it could lease, acquire or build a performance venue for the limited number of performances that it actually contemplates during each school year, rather than imposing on local neighbors the substantial adverse impacts of both constructing a large PAC onsite, and the management of visiting vehicles both arriving and departing for such performances.
RNA has agreed to be a member of the new Sunset Coalition (see www.sunsetcoalition.org), and as a part of the Sunset Coalition to continue to press for very substantial reductions in the amount of construction that Archer should be permitted to do on its small current site, as well as to support the other members of the Sunset Coalition in their efforts to reduce the amount of construction vehicle traffic that Archer will be permitted to inject into already-congested Sunset Boulevard.
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