Reasons for Exemption
(A) The project is consistent with the applicable general plan designation, general plan policies, and applicable zoning designation and regulations.
The project site is located in the Coastal Zone and is designated Light Industrial (LI) and zoned Limited Industrial (ML) under the City’s certified Coastal General Plan and Coastal Zoning Code (CZC). The proposed project meets the CZC’s definition of an emergency shelter, as building and open space providing housing and supportive services for homeless persons (CZC Sec. 10- 5.25 I), and emergency shelters are a principally permitted use in the LI land use designation and ML zoning district. Pursuant to CZC Sec. 10-5.201, the ML zoning district has a maximum floor
area ratio of 120% and maximum building height of 35 feet; the proposed two-story, 60-unit project will meet these and all other applicable zoning standards.
The subject 19,800-sq.-ft. parcel was originally developed over a century ago as a community pavilion (visible on Sanborn Map from the year 1900), and then was used as a lumber storage yard and trucking terminal; the trucking terminal was demolished in 1999, and the lot has sat vacant and unutilized since. The use of this disturbed, previously developed, vacant urban land to help address the City’s shelter crisis is aligned with the goals and policies of the Coastal General Plan, particularly Goal I.A and Policy I.A.I, which encourage infill development as a means to protect valuable natural and ecological resources. Overall, the project is consistent with the applicable general plan designation, general plan policies, and applicable zoning designation nd
(B)The development occurs within the City limits, on a project site under 5 acres, is surrounded by urban uses.
The project site is within City limits, on a 0.45-acre parcel that is surrounded by urban uses, including 2nd Street and an industrial and commercial plumbing supplier to the north; A Street and a furniture and mattress showroom to the west; commercial businesses to the south, including a solar energy equipment provider, private security company, car care/ off-road service business, and overhead doors business; and the Eureka Rescue Mission to the east.
(C) The project site has no value as habitat for endangered, rare or threatened species.
The project site is in the middle of a developed light industrial area and is covered with remnant pavement and ruderal grasses and invasive Pampas grass, with no value as habitat for endangered, rare, or threatened species.
(D )Approval of the project will not result in any significant effects relating to traffic, noise, air quality, or water quality.
• Traffic: Given the population served, emergency shelters do not generate a significant number of vehicle miles traveled, especially when located in an urban area near services. The proposed project will be located near other shelter space and supportive services in an area where individuals experiencing homelessness already congregate. The project is located at the corner of 2nd and A Streets, two local streets without significant traffic, less than three blocks from a bus stop at 4th (Highway 101) and B Streets, and a block south from the multi-modal Eureka Waterfront Trail. No significant impacts relating to traffic are anticipated.
• Noise: Ambient noise levels in the project area are typical of an urbanized area with a mixture of commercial, light industrial and residential land uses. To avoid noise impacts to people residing at the nearby Eureka Rescue Mission, during project construction, the City plans to limit operation of heavy equipment to daytime hours between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., consistent with 2040 General Plan Policy N-I.I3. Post-construction, the emergency shelter is not expected to generate noise levels noticeable above the ambient noise environment in the project area. The City will design the building and incorporate acoustical insulation treatments as necessary to ensure interior noise levels within the housing units are 45 dBA or lower, consistent with City noise standards. As a result, the project will not result in any significant effects relating to noise.
• Air Quality: During project construction, the City will take reasonable precautions to
prevent particulate matter from becoming airborne, including by requiring contractors to adhere to standard dust control measures to reduce fugitive dust generation during
excavation or earthmoving construction activities. The operation of the Homekey project is not anticipated to be a significant source of air pollution. To protect future shelter residents, the City will use HEPA filters with a minimum efficiency reporting value of 13 (MERV- 13) in the proposed housing units. As a result, the project will not result in any significant effects relating to air quality.
• Water Quality: The project site is generally flat and stormwater pools within areas of the site and infiltrates. Portions of the stormwater flow north and east where the runoff can enter the City of Eureka’s storm drain system situated at the corner of 2nd and A Streets. Project grading and drainage improvements would occur in compliance with Chapter 150 (Building Regulations) and Chapter 54 (Stormwater Quality Management and Discharge Control) of the Eureka Municipal Code. Pursuant to the City’s stormwater provisions, an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan will be prepared and adhered to during project construction, ensuring adequate best management practices (BMPs) will be installed and maintained to prevent water quality impacts. The proposed project will add impervious surface to the project site through the construction of a new buildings and pavement. Because the project will create or replace more than 5,000 sq. ft. of impervious surface, it is classified as a “Regulated Project” according to the Phase II Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Program and will be required to prepare a Stormwater Control Plan to ensure stormwater runoff from the proposed project is adequately managed consistent with the Humboldt LID Manual and does not adversely impact the City’s existing stormwater infrastructure. As a result, the project will not result in any significant effects relating to water quality.
(e) The site can be adequately served by all required utilities and public services.
The site is served by City water and sewer and all major utilities, Eureka Police and Humboldt Bay Fire, Redwood and Eureka Transit Systems, and is located near the multi-modal Eureka Waterfront Trail.