We received the following question and wanted to share our response with you. The same investigative process can be adapted to other new home building projects in neighboring Bay Area Cities:
We are looking to purchase a home at the new development by Summerhill homes at Las Palmas, and came across your blog when we were searching for environmental issues in new developments in Sunnyvale. Are you aware of any environmental issues with this location and any information that we should we aware of regarding soil/water contamination at this site? There used to be an auto dealership and orchards before that on this site, so we were wondering about any possible contamination. The address is 660 W El Camino Avenue, Sunnyvale, 94087.
Soil, water and environmental issues can investigated a few ways. The first step would be to visit the City of Sunnyvale Planning Department and request to view the files for the Summerhill Las Palmas project. Ask specifically about soils, water and any other required studies that were needed for submission in order to approve this development.
Here is the address: Sunnyvale Community Development 456 W. Olive Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94086 (408) 730-7444
Secondly, you can ask the Summerhill Las Palmas sales manager to share the Natural Hazards Disclosure Report with you before you purchase. The Natural Hazards Disclosure Report is a report that the Seller provides that lists possible waste site nearby, that may have had contaminants, and the status of the clean-up process. The report pulls from various state, county and city databases and discloses nearby LUST sites, for example.
ENVIRONMENTAL SCREENING – Reports the results of a search of government records for sites of known environmental contamination on and near the subject property, such as leaking underground fuel tanks and contaminated landfills and industrial sites, with a comprehensive easy-to-understand explanation of the hazards. Now includes the 2000-foot gas transmission pipeline proximity disclosure!
If nearby sites are referenced, the report will provide various websites in which to research the clean-up process (contaminants, if any) further.
If Summerhill will not share the report with you, you can purchase one yourself. The Natural Hazards reports cost approx. $123.95, and would be helpful.The JCP Reports is a company we use frequently for property reports. CLICK HERE for the JCP Natural Hazards Disclosure website.
We hope that helps. Good luck with your home shopping.
Jeni Pfeiffer, Broker Associate Realtor, BRE #01709666