Reasons for Exemption
The project is exempt from CEQA pursuant to Section 15061(b)(3) “Common Sense Exemption” of the CEQA Guidelines, as it can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility that the proposed amendments will have a significant impact on the environment as follows: 1) the proposed Code Amendment is required to implement Program Action 5 of the City’s adopted 6th cycle, 2021-2029 Housing Element and to comply with State law; 2) the Code Amendment involves provisions that only affect the review process (i.e., by-right review) for 20 percent lower income residential projects on certain candidate sites identified in the Housing Element and used in a prior housing element; 3) as required by Government Code section 65583.2(j), such use shall be by-right and shall not require discretionary review that would constitute a “project” as defined in Section 21000 of the Public Resources Code (California Environmental Quality Act “CEQA”); and 4) the proposed Code Amendment implements Program Action 5 of the City’s adopted 6th cycle, 2021-2029 Housing Element of the General Plan.
In addition, the proposed amendment is also exempt from CEQA pursuant to California Code of Regulations section 15168 (c) (2), which provides that when an agency adopts a program EIR, it does not need to prepare an additional environmental document for subsequent activities if the activity is within the scope of the program EIR. On December 15, 2021, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 21-1110 adopting the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (“FPEIR”) for the Housing Element Update Project (State Clearinghouse No. 2022010031) (“Project”). Based on data and analysis and findings of the FPEIR, the Project would not directly result in significant adverse environmental impacts. All potential impacts were determined to be less than significant without mitigation or can be reduced to a less than significant level with implementation of the mitigation measures identified in the FPEIR. Additionally, no cumulative significant impacts were identified in the FPEIR based on findings that the Project’s contributions to such impacts are considered not to be cumulatively considerable.