Reasons for Exemption
The sale of surplus property is a “project” pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). However, CEQA Guidelines §15312 (Class 12 Categorical Exemption) exempts the sale of surplus property. To be eligible for a Class 12 exemption in the Coastal Zone, the property cannot have significant value for wildlife habitat or other environmental purposes, and one or more of the following conditions must exist:
(1) The property is of such size, shape, or inaccessibility that it is incapable of independent development or use; or
(2) The property to be sold would qualify for an exemption under any other class of categorical exemption in these guidelines; or
(3) The use of the property and adjacent property has not changed since the time of purchase by the public agency.
The Clarke Annex parcel is located in the Coastal Zone, but is covered by the annex building and therefore does not have significant value for wildlife habitat or other environmental purposes. Also, any project on the property to be sold is likely to be exempt under a Class 1 exemption (§15301 Existing Facilities), as operation, repair, maintenance, permitting, leasing, licensing, or minor alteration of existing facilities (the Clarke Annex), involving negligible or no expansion of use. And the use of the subject parcel and adjacent parcel to the south has been for museum purposes since the time the City took ownership in the late 1970s. Therefore, the sale of the property is exempt from CEQA pursuant to CEQA Guidelines §15312.