Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area General Plan Update

 

Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) is a 1,575-acre off-highway vehicle (OHV) park operated by the Diablo Range District of State Parks. The park is located within unincorporated Alameda and San Joaquin Counties, approximately 15 miles east of Livermore and 12 miles west of Tracy.

Carnegie SVRA has been operated as an SVRA since 1980 when the Department of Parks and Recreation (the Department) purchased the site. The original 1,575-acre property had been used by off-highway vehicles (OHV) since the 1940s and was operated as a private motorcycle park from 1970 to 1979 before being purchased by the Department.

Announcements

Notice of Preparation and Public Meeting

The Department’s Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division is the lead agency for the preparation of a General Plan Update and associated environmental impact report (EIR) for Carnegie State SVRA. The decision-making body for the General Plan Update and EIR is the OHMVR Commission, a body of appointees that advises the OHMVR Division and has final authority of approval of General Plans and certification of associated EIRs for SVRAs.

The OHMVR Division has prepared a Notice of Preparation (NOP) pursuant to Section 15082 of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines. This NOP informs agencies and the public that an EIR is being prepared to address potential impacts resulting from approval and implementation of the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area General Plan Update. Agencies should comment on the elements of potential environmental effects that are relevant to their statutory responsibilities in connection with the proposed project.

SCOPING PERIOD

Comments on the scope of the General Plan Update and EIR closed on April 30, 2022. 

SCOPING MEETING

A virtual EIR scoping meeting was held on April 19, 2022, from 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. The meeting was recorded and can be viewed on the Cal-Span website. The presentation slides can be viewed here.

Project Background

A General Plan is the primary management document for each park unit within the State Park System, including SVRAs. The General Plan establishes the park unit's primary purpose and management direction. An approved General Plan is generally required before State Parks can move forward with site-specific improvements beyond minor capital outlay projects in general. The Department's Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division (OHMVR Division) is preparing a General Plan Update and associated EIR for Carnegie SVRA to update the long-term management framework set in the 1981 General Plan and establish the foundation for future park improvements. As part of this framework, the General Plan Update will describe appropriate recreational opportunities and management strategies for the Carnegie SVRA.

The General Plan Update preparation will be based on extensive resource and user information developed during the prior planning effort and through ongoing management and operations. The Current Carnegie SVRA Vicinity MapGeneral Plan Update will document existing conditions and include a proposed land use plan, including specific use areas. Use areas will be based on geographic relationships, resource values, management issues, goals, and desired visitor uses and experiences while recognizing this is an existing OHV park with existing uses. The General Plan Update will also contain goals and guidelines that guide Carnegie SVRA management and provide long-term direction for the development of future facilities. Given that a previous General Plan/EIR is in place, adopted in 1981, this General Plan Update may be more specific than other similar SVRAs.

The Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division (OHMVR, the Division) previously prepared a General Plan Revision and associated Program EIR for the original Carnegie SVRA and the adjacent 3,100-acre Alameda and Tesla Expansion Area in 2016. While the General Plan Revision was approved and the EIR certified by the OHMVR Commission in 2016, the Commission rescinded these decisions in 2021 due to several lawsuits. The lawsuits and subsequent legislation requiring that the Alameda and Tesla Expansion Area not be designated as an SVRA has resulted in the Department and the Division electing to prepare a standalone General Plan Update for the Carnegie SVRA. The Department will conduct a separate planning effort for the Alameda and Tesla Expansion Area to determine a suitable classification and future use of these properties.

This proposed General Plan Update and EIR are limited to the 1,575-acre original Carnegie SVRA and specifically excludes the Expansion Area. The classification of and planning for the Expansion Area will be addressed in the future under a separate planning effort.