Reasons for Exemption
The Project would involve granting of an easement, construction, installation and maintenance of an underground water line within the proposed easement area in an existing roadway and previously disturbed site of the housing project. The Project is categorically exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) under CEQA Guidelines Section 15301: Class 1 Existing Facilities. This exemption applies to the operation, repair, maintenance, permitting, leasing, licensing, or minor alterations or minor alteration of existing public or private structures, facilities or mechanical equipment, involving negligible or no expansion of an existing use. The easement includes trenching and undergrounding of the utility facilities, which falls under minor alterations of an already disturbed roadway and site. No environmentally sensitive habitat exists within the easement. The project is also categorically exempt under CEQA Guidelines Section 15304: Class 4 Minor Alterations to land. The project is exempt because it includes minor trenching and backfilling for access and installation of the utility line. CEQA Guidelines Section 15300.2 includes a number of exceptions to categorical exemptions, which include the following: location; cumulative impact; significant effect; scenic highways; hazardous waste sites; and historical resources. These exceptions have been determined not to apply to the Project.