How does a Public Agency
determine whether an activity is a 'project' under CEQA?

Activity has potential for a direct physical change or a reasonably foreseeable indirect physical change in the environment, and

Activity involves a discretionary approval and

  • Discretionary approval require the exercise of judgement or deliberation.
  • Ministerial approvals require little or no judgment by a public official and are not projects.

Activity is one of the following types of activities:

  • Activities directly undertaken by a public agency, which include public works construction activities, clearing or grading of land, improvements to existing public structures, enactment and amendment of zoning ordinances, and adoption and amendment of local general plans.
  • Activities that are supported (in whole or in part) by public agency, which include contracts, grants, subsidies, loans, or other assistance from a public agency.
  • An activity involving the public agency issuance of a lease, permit, license, certificate or other entitlement for use by a public agency.

STATUTORY REFERENCES

Definition of Project | Public Resources Code §21065
CEQA Policies | Public Resources Code §21000
Exclusions to Definition of Project | Public Resources Code §21080

GUIDELINES REFERENCES

Preliminary Review | 14 California Code of Regulations §15060
Definition of Project | 14 California Code of Regulations §15378
Definition of Discretionary Project | 14 California Code of Regulations §15357
Definition of Ministerial Approval | 14 California Code of Regulations §15369
Ministerial Projects | 14 California Code of Regulations §15268
Definition of Approval | 14 California Code of Regulations §15352
Definition of a Private Project | 14 California Code of Regulations §15377

SELECTED CASES

Friends of Mammoth v.Board of Supervisors(1972) 8 Cal.3d 247
Bozung v. Local Agency Formation Commission(1975) 13 Cal.3d 263
Lexington Hills Association v. State of California(1988) 200 Cal.App.3d 415
Simi Valley Recreation and Park District v.Local Agency Formation Commission(1975) 51 Cal.App.3d 648
Fullerton Joint Union High School Dist. v. State Board of Education(1982) 32 Cal.3d 779
Kaufman & Broad v. Morgan Hill Unified School District (1992) 9 Cal.App.4th 464
City of Livermore v. Local Agency Formation Commission(1986) 184 Cal.App.3d 531
Prentiss v. City of South Pasadena(1993) 15 Cal.App.4th 85
Natural Resources Defense Council v. Arcata National Corp., et. al.(1976) 59 Cal.App.3d 959
Laurel Heights Improvement Association v. Regents of the University of California(1988) 47 Cal.3d 376
McQueen v. Board of Directors, Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District (1988) 202 Cal.App.3d 1136
Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority v. Hensler(1991) 233 Cal.App.3d 577