Reasons for Exemption
CEQA Guidelines Section 15301 (c) Class 1, Existing Facilities. The Project meets this section’s requirements as the Project consists of repair and maintenance of existing pavement facilities throughout the City and does not result in an expansion of facilities. The repair and maintenance activities do not result in an increase in capacity. The maintenance activities will also improve public safety through ADA compliance, lighting upgrades, and safety striping.
CEQA Guidelines Section 15302 (c) Class 2, Replacement or Reconstruction. The Project meets this section’s requirements as the Project involves replacing existing right-of-way facilities in the same locations to meet current standards of safety and will not result in an expansion of capacity.
Archaeology. Parts of the Project will take place in the following three archaeological zones: Prehistoric Watercourses, Hispanic-American Transition Period (1848-1870), and Early 20th Century (1900-1925). Construction will occur only in previously disturbed right-of-way and all concrete replacement work will be restricted to 18” of disturbance. One location of work – at Shoreline Drive and Loma Alta Drive – will involve disturbance to a depth of approximately five feet for street light pole and traffic signal pole installation. The Shoreline/Loma Alta intersection is within 500’ of a parcel where a prehistoric site was previously identified. Archaeological and Native American monitoring will be required for all ground disturbing activities at this one location.
Biology. The Project does occur within areas with mapped sensitive biological resources. All Project work will take place within the City right-of-way and there will be no disruption to biological habitats. If tree trimming is required during nesting bird season between February and August, a qualified specialist will conduct pre-construction nesting bird surveys.
Coastal. Some of the Project locations are within the Coastal Zone Boundary. A CDP Exemption will be required prior to construction.
Creeks. The work taking place on Brenner Drive may come within 100 feet of the top of the Arroyo Burro Creek (exact locations TBD). All proposed work will occur within the existing roadway and right-of-way, therefore, there should be no impact on the adjacent creek. All standard Best Management Practices (BMPs) will be followed to ensure no construction debris or runoff enters the creek.
High Fire Hazard Areas. Some of the Project locations are within High Fire Hazard Areas. Work in High Fire Hazard Areas will not be permitted on “Red Flag Alert” days, as required by the Santa Barbara City and County Fire Departments. All work within High Fire Hazard Areas is subject to regulation and BMPs as outlined by the Project Specifications and Contract documents.
Floodway. Some of the Project locations are within the FEMA floodway. The repair and maintenance nature of the work will not have a significant impact on the flooding potential of surrounding areas.
Historic Structures. Some of the Project locations are within 50-feet of a listed historic structure or site. The work will be restricted to the City-owned right-of-way and will not impact nearby historic structures.
Parks and Recreation. Some of the Project locations are adjacent to parks, including Escondido Park, Thornbury Park, and Willowglen Park. Since all work will be within the City right-of-way, there will be no intrusion into the parks.
Noise. Some Project locations are within 200 feet of sensitive noise receptors. Some subsurface excavation will be necessary for installation of new street light poles and traffic signal poles. Working hours for the project are between 7:00 AM and 5:00 PM per the Santa Barbara Noise Ordinance. Noise levels during construction will adhere to decibel limits as required in the Project Specifications and Contract Documents. No permanent noise impacts will occur.
Trees. Some tree root pruning may occur as necessary to protect the City right-of-way and streets infrastructure. All pruning will be performed as directed by the City Arborist. No tree removals are planned for this project.
Visual. The Project does involve aboveground work consisting of repairs and maintenance to the streetscape. The visual impact of the work will be negligible, as most work comprises repairs of existing infrastructure. The installation of a new streetlight and traffic signal pole is within the Coastal Zone but will not significantly impact views or visual resources.
In conclusion, the Project will improve pedestrian and roadway safety and maintain City Streets. The project is not anticipated to result in any significant impacts towards 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 15301 (c) Existing Facilities Class 1 and 15302 (c) Replacement or Reconstruction Class 2 categorical exemptions of the CEQA Guidelines.