Reasons for Exemption
The grant agreement will fund feasibility, design, and planning studies for an all-electric, mixed-use development, which has not been approved, adopted, or funded by the CEC, and which will not result in the adoption of a plan that will have a legally binding effect on later activities. This falls within title 14, Cal. Code Regs. tit. 14, § 15262, Feasibility and Planning Studies: The CEC has considered environmental factors.
The grant agreement will fund the design of a mixed-use development project and the improvement of methods for possible use in advanced energy development efforts (e.g., planning, architectural, and engineering work). Activities will include information collection, research, design, and energy and emissions analyses. Activities will also include economic analysis, preparation of conceptual drawings and design plans, performance modeling, and construction feasibility analysis.
No construction or changes to the physical environment will be funded by the grant or occur during the design and analysis work. The design activities will take place in existing office buildings, and professionals will visit the proposed development site. Therefore, there is no possibility that the activities may have a significant effect on the environment.
The grant agreement is covered by the common sense exemption that CEQA applies only to projects which have the potential for causing a significant effect on the environment. It can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility that the activity in question may have a significant effect on the environment. The activity is not subject to CEQA. This falls within title 14, Cal. Code Regs. tit. 14, § 15061(b)(3), Common Sense Exemption.