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.