Freemont Hillside Stabilization Phase 2


SCH Number
Public Agency
California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo
Document Title
Freemont Hillside Stabilization Phase 2
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
In March of 2017, a heavy rain event caused the hillside above and to the east of Cal Poly's Fremont Dormitory to separate and slide. Soil made contact with the east side of the dormitory, damaging the conference room wall and ceiling, resulting in the evacuation of all residents. Initial and interim remedial measures (Phase 1 and 2) were implemented while engineering and design of long-term slope stabilization measures were conducted to prevent further damage to the building and risk to the Cal Poly community. Phase 3 will involve the implementation of the final stabilization measures along the hillside within the eastern portion of California Polytechnic State University. Phase 1 work, conducted in Spring/Summer 2017 involved the removal of debris, excavation of soil unsuitable for reuse, the incorporation of temporary storm water management features, and minor earthwork to prevent buildup of hydrostatic pressures and further sliding. Phase 2 work conducted in Spring 2020, consisted of site exploration, test drilling, and auguring work in and around the slide zone to further evaluate the hillside and develop a design to retain the hillside and prevent future slides. Implementation of the design developed in Phase 2 is planned for Phase 3 and the subject of the Statutory Exemption. Phase 3 includes the final stabilization and implementation of Phase 1 and 2 along with additional minor grading and other minor site improvements to provide a permanent anchored site wall and uphill stabilization galleries. The existing 2017 landslide area would be stabilized using a tied back soldier pile wall along with a series of upslope tieback galleries. Site preparation would include clearing and grubbing of proposed improvement areas to remove existing vegetation and other materials, such as debris, pavement, and organics. An estimated 7,500 cubic yards of unsuitable soil would be removed from the project site and hauled offsite. Grading of the existing slope will be conducted in areas where the slope failed and deformed in 2017. Concrete structures/walls would be provided and located partially below and partially above ground surface in eight locations to provide greater slope stability. Drainage improvements would be incorporated into reconstructed slope to ensure that surface water does not run uncontrolled over slopes or pond on pavements, slabs, or adjacent to foundations. Erosion, sediment control, and water pollution control BMPs would be installed prior to the start of earth-moving activities and maintained throughout construction. The hillside would be revegetated upon completion of construction to reduce the potential for erosion. Upon completion of initial construction, future maintenance of the proposed structures/walls and/or minor slope adjustments may be necessary to ensure the continued integrity of the final slope grade and are considered part of this project

Contact Information

Melina Marie Smith
Agency Name
Planning Analyst
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency


San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo
Cross Streets
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Emergency Project
Type, Section or Code
Sec. 21080(b)(4); 15269(b)(c)
Reasons for Exemption
Section 15269, c, Exempts specific actions necessary to prevent or mitigate an emergency. The phase 2 subsurface investigation is exempt because it was determined there is still significant potential for future debris flows to impact structures and there has been additional slope movement this last winter. The long-term hillside stabilization plan will be pursued in a later phase of work.
County Clerk
San Luis Obispo


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