Reasons for Exemption
Supporting Information for LA Motel Conversion Project
County of Los Angeles Department of Health Services
The Los Angeles County, Department of Health Services (DHS), acting on behalf of the County of Los Angeles (County), pursuant to the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for the approval of funds for the proposed
Project, has reviewed the proposed LA Motel Conversion Project and has determined that the Project complies with the requirements for a Statutory Exemption (SE) covered under Public Resources Code (PRC) Section 21080.50. The proposed Project fits within the parameters of an exemption under CEQA, as follows: PRC Section 21080.50 (SB 450): The proposed interim supportive motel housing project involves the interior renovation of the existing 4,948-square-foot motel buildings to convert into interim supportive housing for homeless individuals. The Project meets the requirements of a supportive housing facility per PRC section 21080.50 and Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) sections 12.03, 14.00, and 151.02 as amended by Ordinance No. 185489. The existing motel use has a certificate of occupancy dated June 25, 1948, in compliance with the statutory requirements. The proposed Project would not result in a change o:frooms from existing conditions but would include the conversion of two rooms to be ADA-compliant rooms. As such, the proposed Project does not result in the expansion of more than 10 percent of the floor area of any individual living unit in the structure. Upon termination of the use for supportive housing, the use of the structure would revert back to that authorized by the certificate of occupancy currently in effect.
The proposed Project would not result in any significant effects related to traffic, noise, air quality, or water quality. According to the Institute of Transportation Engineers Trip Generation Manual, 10th Edition, the existing motel use generates 84 daily trips whereas the proposed use would generate 24 daily trips, which accounts for all trips associated with the project's operations, including residents and staff. Therefore, the proposed Project would result in a decrease of 60 daily trips. The in proposed vehicular trips would not require further analysis under City of Los Angeles guidelines and, thus, the proposed Project would likely not have a measurable impact on vehicle miles traveled or traffic operations. Proposed Project activities include renovations to the existing motel buildings on-site. Any noise generated from Project renovations would be temporary, intermittent, and would comply with LAMC Section 111 et seq. requirements and restrictions to noise. The Project would result in nominal short-term construction-related air quality emissions, primarily related to the localized interior demolition, operation of power tools for interior use, and application of interior architectural coatings (e.g., paints) during the construction period. Short-term construction impacts associated with the Project would be negligible because the buildings would not be demolished and there would be no need for large construction equipment (e.g. graders, dozers) and because the site does not require grading or earthmoving. Furthermore, operational impacts associated with vehicle trips to and from the Project site would be negligible due to a decrease in vehicle trips as compared to the existing motel use. The Project site is fully developed, and the proposed renovations would not alter the existing building footprints or paved areas of the Project site. The proposed use would also not result in a change of land use which generates substantially different water quality pollutants than under existing conditions. The proposed Project would comply with (LAMC) section 64.70.02, which outlines pollutant discharge control regulations.
PRC Section 21080(b)(4) (Emergency Projects): Additionally, the proposed Project meets the required criteria to be covered under Article 18, Statutory Exemptions, of the State CEQA Guidelines (see Public Resources Code Section 21080(b)(4), CEQA
Guidelines Section 15269(c) - Emergency Projects). Homelessness is an emergency in Los Angeles County, and is considered a "clear and imminent danger, demanding immediate action to prevent or mitigate loss of, or damage to life, health, property, or essential public services" as defined by the CEQA Guidelines. Homelessness threatens the wellbeing of those who are without a home and the economic stability of impacted communities. On December 6, 2016, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors declared homelessness an emergency in the County. The declaration noted that homelessness in the County is pervasive and growing in severity, endangering the lives of tens of thousands of County residents and threatening the economic stability of the region by burdening the medical and social services safety net infrastructure. Furthermore, on March 4, 2020, the County of Los Angeles declared a local and public health emergency in response to increased spread of COVID-19 across the country and in Los Angeles County. In addition, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20, which directed all residents to stay home in accordance with guidance and directives from the State Public Health Officer. As such, emergency programs have been initiated to house individuals experiencing homelessness in order to "slow the curve" and ensure the healthcare delivery system is capable of serving the community.