Professional geoscientists have generated voluminous geologic, hydrogeologic and geotechnical engineering information on the parcel of land proposed for development of the Cordoba Center mosque and cultural center on Monterey Road (at California Avenue) in San Martin. As a licensed (but now mostly retired) consulting professional geologist (PG) and engineering geologist (CEG), I have kept a watchful eye on this project ever since it came into the public view in 2006.
As an integral part of my 40-year career I performed professional peer review services for several Bay Area cities (including Morgan Hill) and three counties (including Santa Clara) in the Bay Area, so I have reviewed hundreds of technical reports like the ones produced for the Cordoba Center property.
First of all, it needs to be said that this parcel is probably one of the most thoroughly studied that I have seen in many years. While I may not have seen all of the reports generated in the study of this property, I have reviewed three engineering geology documents (Steven F. Connelly, CEG), two geotechnical engineering documents (Barry Milstone of Milstone Geotechnical), two hydrogeologic documents (Jeremy Wire of Geoconsultants, Inc.), and two environmental health documents (Michael Batz of Batz Environmental Consulting and Steven Hartsell of SR Hartsell Environmental Health Consulting). Additionally, I have reviewed reports and correspondence from the California Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (Roger Briggs) and the Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health (Ann Peden).
Having spent an entire career in the geologic and geotechnical engineering profession, I have become very familiar with the quality of work performed by many dozens of such professionals, including everyone of those individuals mentioned above. I personally know all of these professionals, and I hasten to mention that I hold each one of them in the highest regard.
After reviewing project details in their reports, I have formed the opinion that the geologic, hydrogeologic and geotechnical engineering data generated for this parcel of land is of the highest quality one could expect in this region.
Which brings me to an important conclusion: The scientific and engineering data generated by these professionals solidly support the conclusions that the proposed development is compatible with the soil, geologic and groundwater conditions of the site. These professionals have shown that the project, as currently designed, complies with all of the requirements of the respective jurisdictional authorities.
Living in this region, we are very aware that California is environmentally the most highly regulated state in the country, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area. We should therefore be comfortably assured that all environmental geologic and hydrogeologic concerns with the project have been adequately addressed.
Peter C. Anderson