Emergency Gibraltar Road Debris Removal and Repair Project


SCH Number
Public Agency
City of Santa Barbara
Document Title
Emergency Gibraltar Road Debris Removal and Repair Project
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
The “upper” access road is maintained and used by the City of Santa Barbara personnel. The January 9, 2023, storm caused significant debris loading onto the City’s Gibraltar Dam “upper” access road, requiring emergency removal and minor mitigation repairs to restore critical access for both the dam caretaker and City personnel. The upper access road is the City’s secondary access road. The City’s primary access road via Paradise Road east of Red Rocks was significantly damaged by the same storm event and will not be serviceable until at least 2024 per the Los Padres National Forest. Therefore, it was critical the City restore immediate, safe driving access along the upper access road. The Emergency Project was two phased. The first phase involved removal of loaded debris to restore emergency access using backhoes and excavators. The second phase involved minor restoration of the road using rock debris to fill gullies with the goal of restoring safe driving access in the near term.

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 #
153-030-023, 153-250-006,007,021,023,024

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Statutory Exemption
Type, Section or Code
15269 (a) Emergency Projects and Categorical Exemption 15301 (c) 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 property 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. CEQA Guidelines Section 15301 (c), Existing Facilities. This Project meets Section 15301 Existing Facilities Class 1 (c) categorical exemption, because the Project involved repair and maintenance of an existing road with no increase in capacity. Previous archaeological reports in the Gibraltar Dam area suggest the area may be archaeologically sensitive. However, the emergency work that has already occurred did not involve excavation or grading below the surface. The work was restricted to clearing sediment that accumulated as a result of the storm, therefore, the potential impacts are considered less than significant. Mapped data is not available for this location, but it is plausible that in this remote, vegetated area there would be a high fire risk. Construction activities did not increase fire risk. Construction equipment generated noise, but work was/will be restricted to normal working hours of 7:30 AM to 4 PM compliant with the City’s Noise Ordinance and in a remote location with no sensitive noise receptors nearby. The site contains mature trees, but no tree removal or pruning occurred or will occur as part of this Project. The Project did involve work above ground, however, work was/will be restricted to returning the site to a pre-storm condition and did not/will not involve any significant alteration to the landscape. In conclusion, the Emergency Project restored the Gibraltar Road to pre-January 9, 2023, storm conditions for safe driving access. 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 15301 (c) -Existing Facilities of the CEQA Guidelines.
County Clerk
Santa Barbara


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