A word of caution regarding before and after pictures.
These pictures were scanned in from the Final EIR for the Grade Separation Project. Take a look at the first picture this was taken before the berm and platform were built:
Here is the “after” picture from the EIR report on the Grade Separation project:
It’s hard to see any impact of the raised platform. As a matter of fact it seems as if you can still see across Old County in the locations both North and South of the depot building. Since the depot is the focal point of the picture and not the platform it makes sense. Before and after shots taken from El Camino looking east from locations north and south of the depot building would have told a far different story.
Those before and after shots remind me of the following pictures in the EIR for SCTV:
Quite frankly if you take a quick look at either of the two comparisons above it’s hard to see any difference in the before and after photos!
Both of these before and after picture sets utilize the same techniques to minimize what the actual impact to the neighborhood will be. Notice the angle and perspective of the photographs, notice how prominent the ground is relative to the sky. These techniques minimize the significant impact to views from the east side neighborhood. If the picture was taken in a more central location in the park the buildings would be much more prominent than they appear in the above wide angle shots. These are the subtle techniques that make the impacts appear to be less significant than what they actually will be.
Now take a look at this:
These minimize the size and impact of the buildings due to the angle of the picture taken. Additionally notice the very mature trees obscuring the front of the buildings and notice how many trees there are.
Is the city requiring the developer to plant fully mature trees as represented in the after picture? If not, last I checked trees don’t grow to that size and fullness overnight.
Think about the impact of these buildings if you were looking directly at them instead of at an angle. What would a before and after picture look like if it was taken at a different angle and location? Think about the loss of views to west side residents of the east bay hills as well as the loss of views of the Pulgas Ridge hills from east side residents.
Just some food for thought…