Filing a Notice of Exemptions (NOE)

Why file a Notice of Exemption?

  • If a NOE is filed, a shorter statute of limitations of 35 days commences for any challenge to the agency decision
  • If a NOE is not filed, the normal 180 day statute of limitations will apply

When should a Notice of Exemption be filed?

  • A NOE may be filed, but is not required, after a public agency decides that a project is exempt from CEQA and grants approval of the project
  • There is no time limit for filing a NOE after approval of the project

Who files a Notice of Exemption?

  • Either the lead agency or the applicant may file a NOE

Where should a Notice of Exemption be filed?

  • If the lead agency is a state agency, the agency or the applicant must file with the Office of Planning & Research
  • If the lead agency is a local agency, the agency or the applicant must file with the county clerk of the county in which the project will be located

Contents of a Notice of Exemption

A NOE must contain the following items:

  • a brief project description
  • a finding that the project is exempt from CEQA, including a citation to the relevant statute or guidelines section
  • a brief statement of reasons to support the findings
  • sample notice

Statutory References

Guidelines References

Selected Cases