Chapter 3. Guidelines for Implementation of the
Article 12. Special Situations
Sections 15180 to 15190
15180. Redevelopment Projects
(a) All public and private
activities or undertakings pursuant to or in furtherance of a redevelopment
plan constitute a single project, which shall be deemed approved at the time of
adoption of the redevelopment plan by the legislative body. The
Note: Authority cited: Section 21083, Public Resources Code; Reference: Section 21090, Public Resources Code.
Discussion: This section identifies the special requirements that apply to redevelopment projects. Subsection (a) identifies the statutory requirements that apply in this situation.
Subsection (b) is an effort
to relate the provisions applying to redevelopment projects to other provisions
in CEQA. The language in CEQA Section 21090 providing that a redevelopment plan
and undertakings in furtherance thereof are a single project, is consistent
with the theory of a program
This approach is also
consistent with Sections 21166 and 21090 which speaks in terms of a single
project. They provide that where an
15182. Residential Projects Pursuant to a Specific Plan
(a) Exemption. Where a public
agency has prepared an
(b) Scope. Residential projects covered by this section include but are not limited to land subdivisions, zoning changes, and residential planned unit developments.
(c) Limitation. This section
is subject to the limitation that if after the adoption of the specific plan,
an event described in Section 15162 should occur, this exemption shall not
apply until the city or county which adopted the specific plan completes a
(c) Fees. The Lead Agency has
authority to charge fees to applicants for projects which benefit from this
section. The fees shall be calculated in the aggregate to defray but not to
exceed the cost of developing and adopting the specific plan including the cost
of preparing the
(e) Statute of Limitations. A
court action challenging the approval of a project under this section for
failure to prepare a supplemental
Note: Authority cited: Section 21083, Public Resources Code; Reference: Section 65453, Government Code.
Discussion: This section is added to reorganize and interpret the special provisions of AB 1151 (Roos) of 1979 dealing with specific plans. This section is necessary to draw attention to Government Code Section 65453.
15183. Projects Consistent with a Community Plan or Zoning
(a) CEQA mandates that
projects which are consistent with the development density established by
existing zoning, community plan, or general plan policies for which an
(b) In approving a project meeting the requirements of this section, a public agency shall limit its examination of environmental effects to those which the agency determines, in an initial study or other analysis:
(1) Are peculiar to the project or the parcel on which the project would be located,
(2) Were not analyzed as
significant effects in a prior
(3) Are potentially
significant off-site impacts and cumulative impacts which were not discussed in
(4) Are previously identified
significant effects which, as a result of substantial new information which was
not known at the time the
If an impact is not peculiar to the parcel or to the project, has been
addressed as a significant effect in the prior
(d) This section shall apply only to projects which meet the following conditions:
(1) The project is consistent with:
(A) A community plan adopted as part of a general plan,
(B) A zoning action which zoned or designated the parcel on which the project would be located to accommodate a particular density of development, or
(C) A general plan of a local agency, and
(e) This section shall limit the analysis of only those significant environmental effects for which:
(1) Each public agency with
authority to mitigate any of the significant effects on the environment
identified in the planning or zoning action undertakes or requires others to
undertake mitigation measures specified in the
(2) The lead agency makes a finding at a public hearing as to whether the feasible mitigation measures will be undertaken.
(f) An effect of a project on
the environment shall not be considered peculiar to the project or the parcel
for the purposes of this section if uniformly applied development policies or
standards have been previously adopted by the city or county with a finding
that the development policies or standards will substantially mitigate that
environmental effect when applied to future projects, unless substantial new
information shows that the policies or standards will not substantially
mitigate the environmental effect. The finding shall be based on substantial
evidence which need not include an
(g) Examples of uniformly applied development policies or standards include, but are not limited to:
(1) Parking ordinances.
(2) Public access requirements.
(3) Grading ordinances.
(5) Flood plain ordinances.
(6) Habitat protection or conservation ordinances.
(7) View protection ordinances.
(h) An environmental effect shall not be considered peculiar to the project or parcel solely because no uniformly applied development policy or standard is applicable to it.
Where the prior
(1) "Community plan" is defined as a part of the general plan of a city or county which applies to a defined geographic portion of the total area included in the general plan, includes or references each of the mandatory elements specified in Section 65302 of the Government Code, and contains specific development policies and implementation measures which will apply those policies to each involved parcel.
(2) For purposes of this
section, "consistent" means that the density of the proposed project
is the same or less than the standard expressed for the involved parcel in the
general plan, community plan or zoning action for which an
(j) This section does not
affect any requirement to analyze potentially significant offsite or cumulative
impacts if those impacts were not adequately discussed in the prior
Note: Authority cited: Section 21083, Public Resources Code; Reference: Section 21083.3, Public Resources Code.
section implements Public Resources Code Section 21083.3(a) as amended by the
Legislature in 1984. Formerly Section 21083.3(a) authorized a limited
Public Resources Code section
21083.3 was further amended in 1992 (Chapter 1102) to broaden its application
to all qualifying development projects, not simply residential projects. In
addition, the conditions which would trigger the application of CEQA to such
projects have been expanded to include situations where "substantial new
information" shows an effect addressed in the previous
Subsection (f) clarifies that uniformly applied development standards or policies do not have to apply jurisdiction-wide in order to substantially mitigate the impacts of a project. They do have to apply within a zoning district or a community plan. Some ordinances, such as hillside development and floodplain protection zones, are applied only in areas subject to environmental constraints such as steep slopes and flooding. Yet, they establish standards that are uniformly applied within those zoning classifications to mitigate environmental effects. This subsection further provides that if at the time these standards or policies were adopted no finding had been made regarding their use for future projects, such findings may be made after a public hearing for that purpose.
Whenever a state agency issues an order which requires a local agency to carry out a project subject to CEQA, the following rules apply:
(a) If an
(b) If a local agency
undertakes a project to implement a rule or regulation imposed by a certified state
environmental regulatory program listed in Section 15251, the project shall be
exempt from CEQA with regard to the significant effects analyzed in the
document prepared by the state agency as a substitute for an
Note: Authority cited: Section 21083, Public Resources Code; Reference: Sections 21080, 21080.5, and 21154, Public Resources Code.
Discussion: This section brings together two separate provisions dealing with state-mandated local projects. The first provision implements Section 21154 of the statute. This requirement in subsection (a) is straightforward and needs little interpretation.
This section exempts the
local agency from complying with CEQA as to any effects as discussed as
significant in an
15185. Administrative Appeals
(a) Where an agency allows administrative appeals upon the adequacy of an environmental document, an appeal shall be handled according to the procedures of that agency. Public notice shall be handled in accordance with individual agency requirements and Section 15202(e).
(b) The decision-making body to which an appeal has been made shall consider the environmental document and make findings under Sections 15091 and 15093 if appropriate.
Note: Authority cited: Section 21083, Public Resources Code; Reference: Sections 21082 and 21083, Public Resources Code.
section deals with the problem of how to handle appeals from decisions for
15186. School Facilities.
(a) CEQA establishes a
special requirement for certain school projects, as well as certain projects
near schools, to ensure that potential health impacts resulting from exposure
to hazardous materials, wastes, and substances will be carefully examined and
disclosed in a negative declaration or
(b) When a project located within one-fourth mile of a school involves the construction or alteration of a facility which might reasonably be anticipated to emit hazardous or acutely hazardous air emissions, or which would handle acutely hazardous material or a mixture containing acutely hazardous material in a quantity equal to or greater than that specified in subdivision (a) of Section 25536 of the Health and Safety Code, which may impose a health or safety hazard to persons who would attend or would be employed at the school, the lead agency must:
(1) Consult with the affected
school district or districts regarding the potential impact of the project on
the school when circulating the proposed negative declaration or draft
(2) Notify the affected
school district of the project, in writing, not less than 30 days prior to
approval or certification of the negative declaration or
(c) When the project involves
the purchase of a school site or the construction of a secondary or elementary
school, the negative declaration or
(1) The negative declaration
(A) The site of a current or former hazardous waste or solid waste disposal facility and, if so, whether wastes have been removed.
(B) A hazardous substance release site identified by the Department of Toxic Substances Control in a current list adopted pursuant to Section 25356 of the Health and Safety Code for removal or remedial action pursuant to Chapter 6.8 (commencing with Section 25300) of Division 20 of the Health and Safety Code.
(C) The site of one or more buried or above ground pipelines which carry hazardous substances, acutely hazardous materials, or hazardous wastes, as defined in Division 20 of the Health and Safety Code. This does not include a natural gas pipeline used only to supply the school or neighborhood.
(2) The lead agency has
notified in writing and consulted with the county or city administering agency
(as designated pursuant to Section 25502 of the Health and Safety Code) and
with any air pollution control district or air quality management district
having jurisdiction, to identify facilities within one-fourth mile of the
proposed school site which might reasonably be anticipated to emit hazardous
emissions or handle hazardous or acutely hazardous material, substances, or
waste. The notice shall include a list of the school sites for which
information is sought. Each agency or district receiving notice shall provide the
requested information and provide a written response to the lead agency within
30 days of receiving the notification. If any such agency or district fails to
respond within that time, the negative declaration or
(3) The school board makes, on the basis of substantial evidence, one of the following written findings:
(A) Consultation identified none of the facilities specified in paragraph (2).
(B) The facilities specified in paragraph (2) exist, but one of the following conditions applies:
1. The health risks from the facilities do not and will not constitute an actual or potential endangerment of public health to persons who would attend or be employed at the proposed school.
2. Corrective measures required under an existing order by another agency having jurisdiction over the facilities will, before the school is occupied, mitigate all chronic or accidental hazardous air emissions to levels that do not constitute any actual or potential public health danger to persons who would attend or be employed at the proposed school. When the school district board makes such a finding, it shall also make a subsequent finding, prior to occupancy of the school, that the emissions have been so mitigated.
This finding shall be in addition to any findings which may be required pursuant to Sections 15074, 15091 or 15093.
(d) When the lead agency has
carried out the consultation required by paragraph (2) of subdivision (b), the
negative declaration or
(e) The following definitions shall apply for the purposes of this section:
(1) "Acutely hazardous material," is as defined in 22 C.C.R. § 66260.10.
(2) "Administering agency," is as defined in Section 25501 of the Health and Safety Code.
(3) "Hazardous air emissions," is as defined in subdivisions (a) to (f), inclusive, of Section 44321 of the Health and Safety Code.
(4) "Hazardous substance," is as defined in Section 25316 of the Health and Safety Code.
(5) "Hazardous waste," is as defined in Section 25117 of the Health and Safety Code.
(6) "Hazardous waste disposal site," is as defined in Section 25114 of the Health and Safety Code.
Note: Authority cited: Section 21083, Public Resources Code. References: Sections 21151.4 and 21151.8, Public Resources Code.
Discussion: CEQA contains requirements applicable to school projects and projects proposed near schools which are intended to limit the exposure of school children and others to toxic or hazardous substances. This section brings the requirements of Public Resources Code sections 21151.4 and 21151.8 together in a single place for ease of reference.
15187. Environmental Review of New Rules and Regulations
(a) At the time of the adoption of a rule or regulation requiring the installation of pollution control equipment, establishing a performance standard, or establishing a treatment requirement, the California Air Resources Board, Department of Toxic Substances Control, Integrated Waste Management Board, State Water Resources Control Board, all regional water quality control boards, and all air pollution control districts and air quality management districts, as defined in Section 39025 of the Health and Safety Code, must perform an environmental analysis of the reasonably foreseeable methods by which compliance with that rule or regulation will be achieved.
(b) If an
(c) The environmental analysis shall include at least the following:
(1) An analysis of reasonably foreseeable environmental impacts of the methods of compliance;
(2) An analysis of reasonably foreseeable feasible mitigation measures relating to those impacts; and
(3) An analysis of reasonably foreseeable alternative means of compliance with the rule or regulation, which would avoid or eliminate the identified impacts.
(d) The environmental analysis shall take into account a reasonable range of environmental, economic, and technical factors, population and geographic areas, and specific sites. The agency may utilize numerical ranges and averages where specific data is not available, but is not required to, nor should it, engage in speculation or conjecture.
(e) Nothing in this section shall require the agency to conduct a project level analysis.
(f) Nothing in this section is intended, or may be used, to delay the adoption of any rule or regulation for which this section requires an environmental analysis.
Note: Authority cited: Section 21083, Public Resources Code; References: Sections 21159 and 21159.4, Public Resources Code.
This section provides that an environmental assessment must be prepared prior
to the enactment of specified regulations and outlines the minimum contents of
such an assessment. An
This section applies to projects consisting solely of the installation of pollution control equipment and other components necessary to the installation of that equipment which are undertaken for the purpose of complying with a rule or regulation which was the subject of an environmental analysis as described in Section 15187.
(a) The lead agency for the
compliance project may prepare a focused
(1) the agency which
promulgated the rule or regulation certified an
(b) The discussion of
significant environmental effects in the focused
Note: Authority: Section 21083, Public Resources Code; Reference: Section 21159.1, Public Resources Code.
This section applies to lead agencies which are permitting projects consisting
of the installation of pollution control equipment where a regulatory agency
has already prepared an environmental assessment or
15189. Compliance with Performance Standard or Treatment Requirement Rule or Regulation
This section applies to projects consisting solely of compliance with a performance standard or treatment requirement which was the subject of an environmental analysis as described in Section 15187.
(a) If preparing a negative
declaration, mitigated negative declaration or
(b) Where the lead agency
determines that an
Note: Authority cited: Section 21083, Public Resources Code; Reference: Section 21159.2, Public Resources Code.
This section enables the lead agency for a compliance project to tier a
negative declaration or
15190. Deadlines for Compliance with Sections 15188 and 15189
(a) The lead agency for a
compliance project under either Section 15188 or Section 15189 shall determine
(b) Where the
Note: Authority cited: Section 21083, Public Resources Code; Reference: Section 21159.3, Public Resources Code.