Reasons for Exemption
The proposed project is exempt from further environmental documentation under the California Environmental Quality Act (Public Resources Code §§ 21000 et seq.), categorical exemptions Class 1, Class 3, Class 4, and Class 11.
Class 1, Existing Facilities (CEQA Guidelines § 15301): The multiuse field already exists on the Chaparral High School campus. The proposed project would install four light poles on the multiuse field to light the soccer field. The proposed project is not intended to expand the use of the existing school facility but is prompted by SB 328, which requires high schools to start no earlier than 8:30 am. Thus after-school sports activities start later, affecting how long such activities can last unless the practice field is lighted for evening use. The addition of four light poles on the existing athletic would involve negligible expansion of existing uses into the evening hours, and the proposed project meets the criteria for an exemption under CEQA Guidelines Section 15301.
Class 3, New Construction or Conversion of Small Structures (CEQA Guidelines § 15303): The proposed project involves the installation of four light poles with a total of 20 LED luminaires, which requires the extension of electrical utilities to power the light poles. The light poles would have a total electrical load of 28.60 kilowatts. The electrical utility system meets the criteria for an exemption under CEQA Guidelines § 15303.
Class 4, Minor Alterations to Land (CEQA Guidelines § 15304): The proposed project could disturb up to 6,000 square feet of surface area on the 51-acre campus, removing approximately 800 square feet of concrete and 4,000 square feet of grass, fine grading 4,500 square feet, and excavating and exporting 183 cubic yards of soils for placement of the light poles and for trenching and backfilling for electrical utility improvements. These improvements would be minor alterations to the existing multiuse field and would not involve removal of healthy, mature, and/or scenic trees. Therefore, the proposed disturbance of soils for trenching and backfilling surfaces would meet the criteria for an exemption under CEQA Guidelines § 15304.
Class 11, Accessory Structures (CEQA Guidelines § 15311): The light poles are accessory structures to the existing multiuse field at the Chaparral High School. These accessory structures would not change the nature of the use but would extend use of the field into evening hours, which became necessary because of SB 328. SB 328 does not allow high schools to start before 8:30 am, and after-school sports activities will need to start later and end later. The after-school sports activities currently occurring at Chaparral High School cannot continue unless the practice field is lighted for evening use. The proposed light poles are accessory structures to the existing field and meet the criteria for an exemption under CEQA Guidelines § 15311.
A review of the possible exceptions to the exemption, as outlined under CEQA Guidelines § 15300.2, determined that no characteristics or circumstances would invalidate findings that the project is exempt from CEQA (see “Supplement to Notice of Exemption”). The Supplement to Notice of Exemption is available for review at Temecula Valley Unified District’s Facilities Development office at 31350 Rancho Vista Road, Temecula, CA 92592.