Reasons for Exemption
Permit Sonoma has determined that the project is categorically exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) under Section 15304 (Minor Alterations to Land), which consists of minor public or private alterations in the condition of land, water, and/or vegetation which do not involve removal of healthy, mature, scenic trees except for forestry and agricultural purposes. The project involves seasonal outdoor cultivation of an area constituting 1.60 acre of the 40-acre parcel, or four percent of the overall project site. The use does not require additional grading, vegetation removal, construction of new structures or placement of impervious surfaces. A categorical exemption is also appropriate because the evidence supports the conclusion the Project will not have a significant impact on wildfire risk or evacuation plans in the event of an emergency.
The proposed activity is also covered by the common sense exemption, Section 15061(b)(3), because it can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility that the activity in question could have a significant impact on the environment. No exceptions listed under CEQA Section 15300.2 apply, including the “unusual circumstances” exception because the evidence in the record supports the conclusion that there is no reasonable possibility the Project will have a significant effect on the environment due to unusual circumstances. The evidence does not support a finding that an unusual circumstance exists and the Biological Assessment, water analysis, and traffic analysis did not identify significant effects on the environment.