The most helpful role residents can take during the environmental review process is to provide comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR). Many people believe that they aren’t an expert and therefore can’t be qualified to comment. This is untrue. The fact that you reside nearby means you have intimate knowledge of the baseline conditions that may be overlooked in the project’s environmental review.
The Planning and Conservation League Foundation (PCL Foundation) has a full color Community Guide to the California Environmental Quality Act that can help residents formulate comments. It is most helpful to keep comments fact based. In other words, “I hate this project” doesn’t qualify as a substantive comment. You may in fact hate the project, but you should refocus your comments on the project or the DEIR’s deficiencies. Instead, something to the effect of “Every week day between 8:30 and 9:30 AM the intersection of Sierra College Blvd. and Rocklin Rd. backs up. It takes me four light cycles to make it through the intersection” is more appropriate.
Furthermore, if you are an expert of some kind providing comments related to your field of study would be helpful. The types of “experts” that might be helpful as it relates to the Sierra Gateway Apartments would be: an arborist, biologist, traffic engineer, landscape architect, geologist, water specialist, planner, etc.
The PCL Foundation website also has helpful tips on reviewing EIRs, formulating effective comments, and how to participate.