California State University, Maritime Academy – Eastern Hillside Stabilization Project


SCH Number
Public Agency
California Maritime Academy
Document Title
California State University, Maritime Academy – Eastern Hillside Stabilization Project
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
The Eastern Hillside Stabilization Project (project) would stabilize and reinforce the Cal Maritime campus’s eastern hillside. The project would remediate rockfall and landside risks along the campus’s eastern hillside. Primary project activities include rock excavation, vegetation and tree removal, and construction of rockfall catchment infrastructure at the toe of the hillside which includes a flat concrete debris/maintenance bench and 6-foot-high retaining wall with a 6-foot-high debris barrier installed on top of the wall. This infrastructure would minimize damage from future landslides or rockfalls below the hillside. The project earthwork activities would reduce the slope of the hillside, which has average slopes as steep as 1.4:1, or greater than 50 percent. Earthwork activities would span approximately 3.20 acres (139,392 square feet) and involve the removal of existing tree stumps, eucalyptus trees, and non-native grassland along the hillside that were disturbed in a 2019 wildfire. In total, project grading includes approximately 30,000 cubic yards (cy) of cut soil and 8,400 cy of fill (compacted soil). The project would create pproximately 5,000 square feet of new impervious area as a result of a new concrete debris bench, retaining wall, and sidewalk at the toe of the hillside. After grading and earthwork activities are completed, the hillside would then be revegetated with hydroseed to improve the stability of the hill and protect against future soil erosion. In addition, the project includes the stabilization and reinforcement of the western edge of a paved surface parking lot at the top of the hillside and planting of 16 oak trees along the same area. An existing fire hydrant and water line would be relocated at the toe of the hillside so that they would be protected by the proposed new rockfall catchment infrastructure. To provide for stormwater drainage, three replacement catch basins would also be installed on the debris bench and a new 760 square foot bioretention area would be constructed along the northwestern edge of the remediated parking lot. The bioretention area would prevent infiltration of water into the remediated fill section of the project and would not result in a reduction of parking spaces. The project also involves reconstruction of an existing wooden stairway along the hillside that was also damaged during the 2019 wildfire. The project would incorporate applicable mitigation measures included in the 2018 Facility Master Plan EIR Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program, adopted by the CSU Board of Trustees in July 2018. Construction of the project is anticipated to begin in January 2022. Project completion and operation is anticipated in by June 2022.

Contact Information

Anne Collins-Doehne
Agency Name
California State University, Office of the Chancellor
Job Title
Principal Environmental Planner
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency


Northern California
Cross Streets
Located adjacent to Maritime Academy Drive, between the campus’s Laboratory and Pier, below the

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
CEQA Guidelines §15301, State class number: Class 1
Reasons for Exemption
The project is categorically exempt under the Class 1 (Existing Facilities). The Class 1 exemption applies to projects that involve the maintenance, repair, or minor alteration of existing structures, facilities, or topographical features. This exemption is applicable to the proposed project because it involves minor alterations and maintenance of the campus’s eastern hillside, which is a topographical feature. The proposed earthwork would involve reducing the slope of the hillside, removal of rocks larger than six inches in diameter, and removal of disturbed vegetation and tree stumps. The project area would also be revegetated and hydroseeded to improve the stability of the hill and protect against soil erosion. This exemption is also applicable because it allows for the addition of safety and health protection devices, in conjunction with existing topographical features. Specifically, the proposed rockfall catchment infrastructure would be installed at the toe of the eastern hillside slope to remediate rockfall and landside risks along the campus’s eastern hillside. Reconstruction of the hillside wooden stairway and improvements to the surface parking lot are also covered by this exemption because they would repair existing campus structures and facilities. Furthermore, this exemption applies because the project would not result or enable the expansion of an existing or former use on the Cal Maritime campus; the project would not create additional space for classrooms, training areas, or other campus facilities. Therefore, the project described above is eligible for the Class 1 exemption. Additionally, the project does not meet any of the exceptions to the use of a categorical exemption under CEQA Guidelines §15300.2. Specifically, the project would not: (1) be located in a particularly sensitive environment; (2) have a significant cumulative impact; (3) have a significant effect on the environment due to unusual circumstances; (4) result in damage to scenic resources; (5) be located on a site included on any list compiled pursuant to state law; or (6) cause a substantial adverse change in the significance of a historical resource.


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