Type, Section or Code
15315, Class 15 and 15061(b)(3), 15301, 15303 15304 and 15305
Reasons for Exemption
Finding: Pursuant to San Benito County Local Guidelines for the California Environmental Quality Act, this project qualifies for an exemption from CEQA under State CEQA Guidelines Categorical Exemptions (California Code of Regulations §15315, Class 15 and 15061(b)(3), 15301, 15303 15304 and 15305,
Evidence: The three-lot parcel map conforms to the General Plan and Zoning District. A Class 15 exemption consists of the division of property zoned for residential use into four or fewer parcels when the division is in conformance with the General Plan and zoning. Section 15061 applies when it can be seen with certainty there is no possibility that subdividing the property into three parcels as currently configured may have a significant effect on the environment. The existing 17.66-acre agricultural parcel has already been divided previously to less than 40-acre agricultural parcel for grade-1 soils that has not demonstrated commercial agricultural viability, nor is it a part of a Williamson Act contract demonstrating vital agricultural resource to conserve as a larger agriculturally zoned parcel. Furthermore, the new parcels will remain as agricultural productive zoning that could serve as agricultural uses other than commercial agriculture as described within the General Plan. The project would result in two single-family residences and potentially an accessory unit on lots 2 and 3, both in a zone allowing residential use by right, and exempt under State CEQA Guidelines §15303. Lot 1 has an existing main residence, accessory residence, barn, shed, existing access off Orchard Road, well, and septic system and are exempt under State CEQA Guidelines §15301. Alteration of land would occur on terrain with slope under 10 percent and would not affect healthy, mature, scenic trees, in keeping with State CEQA Guidelines §15304. Under current regulations, in addition to the property’s existing residence and existing accessory dwelling, the site allows additional residences without a subdivision not limited as to size if restricted to family members and employees of the property owner or lessee; the project would minimally affect this intensity of use and is therefore permissible under State CEQA Guidelines §15305. In addition, the proposal would not qualify for State CEQA Guidelines §15300.2’s exceptions to Categorical Exemptions as it is located away from the attributes and circumstances listed in the exceptions. Land use and development similar to this proposal has occurred in the immediate surroundings to the north, east and west of the subject property, and the project has a low likelihood of creating significant environmental impact beyond current conditions. In addition, the properties directly south of the subject parcel have a General Plan overlay designation of commercial throughfare that could also contribute to future additional development. The project is to existing regulations and to conditions of approval that address environmental concerns and avoid significant impacts.