Type, Section or Code
Section 15301, Section 15302, Section 15303, Section 15304, and Section 15311 of the State CEQA Guidelines
Reasons for Exemption
Section 15301. Existing Facilities (Class 1): This exemption consists of, “the operation…or minor alteration of existing public or private structures, facilities… involving negligible or no expansion of existing or former use.” This exemption applies since the proposed project reconfigures current rail lines within the existing rail footprint, with a net decrease in rail footage. Further, in the context of the significant number of existing tracks and rail operations in this area, this modification of the existing tracks, with the related nearby relocation of the retaining wall and power poles, is a minor modification of existing public and private structures.
Section 15302. Replacement or Reconstruction (Class 2): This exemption consists of, “replacement or reconstruction of existing structures and facilities where the new structure will be located on the same site as the structure replaced and will have substantially the same purpose and capacity as the structure replaced.” This exemption applies because the project relocates a retaining wall and power poles a short distance away, and reconfigures current rail lines within the existing rail footprint, with a net decrease in rail footage, and within the same geographic area.
Section 15303. New Construction or Conversion of Small Structures (Class 3): This exemption consists of, “construction and location of limited numbers of new, small facilities or structures; installation of small new equipment and facilities in small structures.” This exemption includes, but is not limited to, “utility extensions” and “accessory (appurtenant) structures.” The project includes relocation of a retaining wall and power poles a short distance away, and reconfiguration of current rail lines within the existing rail footprint, with a net decrease in rail footage. Construction activities that will take place as part of the project are also covered by this exemption.
Section 15304. Minor Alterations to Land (Class 4): This exemption consists of, “minor public or private alterations in the condition of land, water, and/or vegetation...Examples include but are not limited to: (a) Grading on land with a slope of less than 10 percent, except that grading shall not be exempt in a waterway, in any wetland, in an officially designated (by federal, state, or local government action) scenic area, or in officially mapped areas of severe geologic hazard such as an Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zone or within an official Seismic Hazard Zone, as delineated by the State Geologist.” This exemption applies because the project will include minor alterations to land, including grading with a slope of less than 10 percent. Further, the project is not in any waterway or wetland, and the project is not in an officially mapped area of severe geologic hazard such as an Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zone or within an official Seismic Hazard Zone.
Section 15311. Accessory Structures (Class 5): This exemption consists of “construction, or placement of minor structures accessory to (appurtenant to) existing commercial, industrial, or institutional facilities…” The reconstruction of the retaining wall and power poles near their original locations is covered by this exemption.