Reasons for Exemption
CEQA Guidelines Section 15301 (a), (b), and (d) Class 1, Existing Facilities. The Project meets this section’s requirements as the Project consists of repair and maintenance of existing water main facilities used to provide water to the City. The repair and maintenance activities do not result in an increase in capacity. The restoration of the deteriorated facilities will ensure a safe and steady supply of potable water to the community.
CEQA Guidelines Section 15302 (c) Class 2, Replacement or Reconstruction. The Project meets this section’s requirements as the Project involves replacing existing water facilities in the same locations and will not result in an expansion of capacity.
All project locations are identified within range of Archeological areas of importance including Hispanic, Early 20th Century, Prehistoric sites, and prehistoric water buffer zones. All work associated with the Project is limited within the City streets ROW that have previously been disturbed. Any subsurface digging could encounter unknown resources, therefore if resources are discovered all work will halt and the City’s Environmental Analyst will be contacted to engage the appropriate resource protective measures prior to work proceeding. An Archeological and Native American monitor is required for the subsurface work at APS. Given the areas of work have been previously disturbed, the work is considered to be less than significant.
The Cliff Drive portion of the project is within 100 feet of biologically sensitive species buffer. This includes the Cliff Aster and Plummer’s Baccharis. This segment is also within close range to the Sensitive Fish Habitat, Coastal Zone vegetation, Creeks and Wetlands, Movement Corridors, and Upland Habitats Vegetation. All construction will be performed within the City ROW and therefore negative effects on the biologically sensitive species are not anticipated. If any unexpected interaction with such species occurs, the City will halt work and consult with a biological monitor before proceeding. Impacts to biology are considered less than significant given the work is within the ROW.
The APS segment of the project crosses over the Sycamore Canyon Creek along the roadway bridge. Construction Specs will require that all debris from the project are prevented from entering the creek bed boundary. Given the standard construction minimization measures, the Project is anticipated to have a less than significant effect to creeks.
The Project has multiple locations within proximity to at-risk areas noted for prior hazardous material contamination. The City has an environmental consultant on call in case contaminated soil is located during construction. Therefore, the Project is considered to have a less than significant effect in terms of hazardous materials.
The APS section of water main at the Sycamore Creek Bridge is within the floodway boundaries. The typical segments of water main are installed within the roadway and are not at risk from flood damage. The section of water main located on the exterior of the bridge will be installed higher than the bridge in order to protect it from the projected 100-year flood event. This ensures that the pipeline can deliver water to the community even if the bridge is damaged from debris carried by a flood. Therefore, the Project’s effects on the floodway are considered to be less than significant.
The State Street. sections of water main replacement are within proximity to various identified Historic Structures. All work will be completed underground within the City ROW and will have no impact on the Historic Structures.
This project includes the installation of potable water main pipe that will be visible above ground along the Sycamore Canyon Creek Bridge crossing. This is necessary to protect the pipeline from the risk of damage caused by debris in the event of a100 year flood occurring. The exterior of the pipe will be painted an appropriate color per review of the City Community Development team. Given the screening measures, the pipe will have a less than significant effect on visual resources.
In conclusion, the FY23A Water Main Replacement Project improves the public infrastructure by delivering a safe and steady supply of potable water to the community within the City of Santa Barbara. 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 Categorical Exemption Sections 15301 Existing Facilities Class 1 (a), (b), and (d) and 15302 Replacement or Reconstruction Class 2 (c) of the CEQA Guidelines.