Reasons for Exemption
The project is categorically exempt from the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15332 (Infill Development Projects) of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations. CEQA Guidelines Section 15332 applies to projects characterized as small (i.e., site smaller than 5 acres in size) infill development projects located within urbanized areas that are consistent with local general plan and zoning requirements and that would: (a) not be located on a site that has value as habitat for endangered, rare, or threated species, or (b) not result in any significant effects relating to traffic, noise, air quality, or water quality. The State has determined that projects that meet the criteria specified above are a class of projects that will not have a significant effect on the environment. The project consists of construction of eight (8) industrial storage/shop units and one (1) caretaker housing unit on a 0.26-acre vacant site that is largely disturbed and surrounded by other similar industrial uses. The project meets the criteria to qualify for use of the proposed categorical exemption as follows:
(a) The project is consistent with the applicable general plan designation and all applicable general plan policies as well as with the applicable zoning designation and regulations.
The project is consistent with the applicable general plan designation and all applicable general plan policies as well as with the applicable zoning designation and regulations. The parcel’s General Plan designation and zoning designation is Industrial (I) which allows light manufacturing and service uses that can be contained within wholly enclosed structures. The proposed primary use (i.e., industrial storage/shop uses) is consistent with the Industrial designation as it will provide industrial storage/shop uses in an appropriately located area that is separate from residential uses. The inclusion of the caretaker housing unit is appropriate for the site because one of the uses proposed on the site (i.e., snow removal operator) requires 24-hour oversight due to the unique needs of snow removal businesses.
(b) The proposed development occurs within city limits on a project site of no more than five acres substantially surrounded by urban uses.
The proposed development is within Town limits, less than five acres, and surrounded on all sides by urban uses, namely enclosed storage, construction yards, and other similar and compatible industrial uses.
(c) The project site has no value as habitat for endangered, rare, or threatened species.
The site is largely disturbed and cleared of native vegetation from prior uses except for limited vegetation and small shrubs along the rear of the property. The project site require minimal grading to prepare it for development. The site is not known to provide habitat for endangered, rare, or threatened species and does not feature any sensitive natural resources such as wetlands or watercourses.
(d) Approval of the project would not result in any significant effects relating to traffic, noise, air quality, or water quality.
The project will not result in any significant effects of traffic, noise, air quality, or water quality since the project is consistent with the size of the development permitted for the site and the proposed uses are consistent with the intended uses of the zone. The project conforms or is required to conform to the Municipal Code requirements for noise and air quality, and the project is located in a zone that is separate from residential uses in order to minimize impacts to the residential uses from noise, odor, and dust impacts that may originate from the site. The project conforms or is required to conform to Public Works standards for site grading, stormwater retention, and drainage. Lastly, the project is required to obtain all necessary permits for construction. Therefore, no significant effects on traffic, noise, air quality, or water quality will result from the proposed development of the site.
(e) The site can be adequately served by all required utilities and public services.
The site is situated in an area already served by all necessary municipal utilities (i.e., water, wastewater, propane) and public services (i.e., fire, police, trash removal).
None of the exceptions set forth in CEQA Guidelines Section 15300.2 apply because:
(a) Infill development projects are classified as Class 32 by the CA Secretary for Resources and are not subject to the special circumstances applicable to projects classified as Classes 3, 4, 5, 6, or 11.
(b) The cumulative impacts from successive projects over time will not be significant because the proposed use is consistent with the allowed and previously anticipated use for the zone.
(c) Given the location, scope, and purpose of the proposed project, there would be no significant impacts or effect on environmental resources since the site has been previously disturbed and cleared of native vegetation and there are no sensitive natural resources, such as wetlands or watercourses, on the site. It is not anticipated that any unusual circumstances exist on the site that would result in significant impacts or increase the severity of any existing less than significant impacts.
(d) The site is not located adjacent to or near a scenic highway.
(e) There are no known hazardous materials on the site. The project site is not listed on the Hazardous Waste and Substances list maintained by the Town; or the State Water Resources Control Board GeoTracker System which includes leaking underground fuel tank sites and spills, leaks, investigations, and cleanup sites; or the Environmental Protection Agency’s database of regulated facilities; or the Department of Toxic Substances Control EnviroStar Data Management System which includes CORTESTE sites.
(f) There are no known historical or cultural resource areas on the site.
Therefore, the project is exempt from CEQA pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15061(b)(2) since the project meets the criteria for use of the Infill Development Project categorial exemption and the application of that categorical exemption is not barred by one of the exceptions set forth in CEQA Guidelines Section 15300.2.