Emergency Gibraltar Dam Log Boom Project


SCH Number
Public Agency
City of Santa Barbara
Document Title
Emergency Gibraltar Dam Log Boom Project
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
Gibraltar Dam’s log boom system has been installed, operated, and maintained along the water surface of the reservoir with the function of funneling incoming Santa Ynez River debris to the dam’s skimmer gate. Following the January 10, 2023, storm event, it was revealed that a section of the existing log boom system failed, and the remaining log boom system remains compromised. A 200-foot section of log boom was immediately repaired and installed adjacent to the spillway gates to prevent further damage from incoming storm debris. Additional work will be performed to repair the remainder of the damaged log boom system (1,800 lineal feet) to prevent future impacts to the spillway gates. The replacement will not result in an increase in dam capacity.

Contact Information

Kaitlin Mamulski
Agency Name
City of Santa Barbara
Job Title
Project Planner
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency


Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara
Southern California
Parcel #

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Statutory Exemption
Type, Section or Code
15269 (a) Emergency Projects and Categorical Exemption 15301 (b) Existing Facilities
Reasons for Exemption
CEQA Guidelines Section 15269 (a), Emergency Projects. This Project meets the Section 15269 Emergency Projects (a) statutory exemption, because the Project repaired and replaced facilities damaged as a result of the January 9, 2023, storm, in which a state of emergency was proclaimed by the Governor pursuant to the California Emergency Services Act, commencing with Section 8550 of the Government Code. Accordingly, the first 200-foot section of log boom was repaired to its original form (with readily available surplus materials). CEQA Guidelines Section 15301 (b), Existing Facilities. This Project meets Section 15301 Existing Facilities Class 1 (b) categorical exemption, because the Project repaired and maintained existing public utilities and will not result in an increase in capacity or expansion of use. The log boom has been periodically repaired and maintained in recent years. The remainder of the log boom system will be replaced with updated but similar construction materials and will match the existing layout and original design. The Project is located within an area of potential archaeological sensitivity; however, the work does not involve excavation or grading, and is restricted to repair and maintenance of the existing log boom system within the Gibraltar Reservoir. No land disturbance was or will be necessary. The Project site is located in a mapped fire hazard severity zone. Because of the minor work proposed and the limited access, it is not anticipated that there will be any fire risks associated with this project. During construction, red flag days will be avoided to reduce the risk of fire hazards. The Dam itself is a historic structure, however, there are no proposed changes to the Dam, only repairs to the existing log boom system, therefore, there are no anticipated effects to the historic resource. The Project is located within a managed waterbody reservoir. Given the minor nature of the repair work to the existing facilities, there is no anticipated flood hazard risk associated with the project. Construction equipment did and will generate noise during construction. However, work occurred/will occur in a remote location, during normal working hours of 7:30 AM to 4 PM within the City’s Noise Ordinance construction hours, and no sensitive noise receptors are nearby. In conclusion, the Emergency Project repaired and will replace the remainder of the City’s existing Gibraltar Dam log boom debris diversion system to protect the dam and spillway infrastructure from upcoming and future storm event debris. The Project is not anticipated to result in any significant impacts towards the environmental resources, therefore, the Public Works Department recommends that the Case Planner consider this Project as exempt, as defined in the CEQA review process classified under the Statutory Exemption Section 15269 (a) – Emergency Projects and Categorical Exemption Section 15301 (b) – Existing Facilities of the CEQA Guidelines.
County Clerk
Santa Barbara


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