Reasons for Exemption
CEQA Guidelines Section 15301 (c) Existing Facilities, Class 1. This Project meets Section 15301 Existing Facilities Class 1 (c) repair and maintenance categorical exemption, because the Project consists of the repair and maintenance of existing City ROW, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, including grading for the purposes of public safety and would not result in an expansion of use or add capacity.
CEQA Guidelines Section 15302 (c) Replacement or Reconstruction, Class 2. This Project meets Section 15302 Replacement or Reconstruction Class 2 (c) categorical exemption, because the replacement of existing facilities to meet current safety standards and will have the same purpose and capacity with no expansion of use.
Archaeology. The Lower West Neighborhood improvements are located within the American Period (1870-1900), Early 20th Century (1900-1925), and Hispanic-American Transition Period (1848-1870).
A very small portion of the improvements for the Coast Village Neighborhood are located within the Prehistoric Watercourse Buffer Area. Staff reviewed a prior Phase I Archaeological Report (February 2019) prepared by Christopher Duran, MA, RPA, for the portion of the Project within the Prehistoric Watercourse Buffer Area. The Phase I Archaeology Report concluded that the cultural resources records search and field survey did not identify any prehistoric or historic archaeological resources. No specific archaeological resources were directly identified through outreach efforts. The area in question is completely developed with modern infrastructure including roadways and major transportation corridors, landscaping, residential, and commercial development. No native or previously undisturbed ground surfaces exist within this area. Per the Phase I Archaeology Report, no further archaeology work was required and the standard measures for unanticipated discoveries of archaeological or historic (cultural) resources and human remains were recommended. Given the findings of the 2019 Phase I Report, no further action is needed and the effect on archaeological resources is considered less than significant.
Portions of the Upper State Street Neighborhood improvements are located within the Prehistoric Watercourse Buffer Area and the Early 20th Century (1900-1925) areas. Staff consulted with the City’s Environmental Analyst and determined that we can be reasonably assured that the Project would not affect any archaeological resources due to prior landform modification, therefore, neither a Phase I Archaeological Resources Report nor a Letter Report Confirming No Archaeological Resources are required. The determination was based on the assumptions that 1) The total depth of disturbance shall be limited to 4” within the existing roadway; 2) Scope is limited to removal and replacement of existing asphalt only; and 3) No disturbance to native or previously undisturbed soils. Given the Environmental Analyst’s determination, the effect on archaeological resources is considered less than significant.
Biology. All work associated with the Project will take place on existing City street ROW. There will be no disruption to biological resources. Any tree root trimming planned will be coordinated under the direction of the City Arborist. If tree trimming is required during nesting bird season, a pre-construction nesting bird survey will occur, therefore, the Project is less than significant on biological resources.
Coastal Zone. A portion of the Project is located within the Non-Appealable Jurisdiction of the Coastal Zone and will require a Coastal Exemption from the Community Development Department. The effect on the Coastal Zone is considered less than significant as the ROW repairs are for the purposes of public safety.
Creeks. Some streets being treated are adjacent to City creeks, however, construction activities will be restricted to parking and travel lanes only (curb to curb) within the City’s public ROW and will not impact any watersheds or creeks. Additionally, inspection of construction activities will be conducted throughout the Project duration to ensure that the contractor maintains Best Management Practices (BMPs) as required by the Project Specification and Contract documents, therefore the Project’s impacts to creeks are less than significant.
Floodway. A small portion of the Project along State Street is located within the FEMA Floodway. Given the nature of the Project, the effect of pavement maintenance within the floodway is considered less than significant.
Hazardous Materials. All work for the Project is in the public ROW and is not associated with any parcels that are included on the Cortese List. There are no known hazardous materials within the ROW where work is proposed. Therefore, the effect of hazardous materials is considered less than significant.
High Fire Hazard Areas. To avoid potential fire hazards, work performed in High Fire 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, therefore the Project is not anticipated to have an effect on High Fire Hazards and impacts would be less than significant.
Historic Structures. Although the Project improvements will be near historic sites and structures, namely the Montecito Inn a Structure of Merit. The proposed scope of work is focused on the public ROW. It involves repair and maintenance of the existing conditions, and the improvements will not affect the nature of the historic structure. All work will be done within the existing public ROW, therefore impacts to historic resources will be less than significant.
Noise. Temporary construction noise will be typical of the respective type of work. Working hours for the project are between 7:00 AM and 5:00 PM on weekdays only. No permanent noise impacts will occur. The City of Santa Barbara Noise Ordinance (SBMC Chapter 9.16) and General Plan Noise Element (Environmental Resources Element) contains rules to minimize resident's exposure to excessive noise. Noise levels during construction will adhere to decibel limits as required in the Project Specifications and Contract Documents as well as the City of Santa Barbara Noise Ordinance requirements. The Contractor must comply with the Noise Control requirements stated under General Conditions §7.20 (Noise Control), therefore noise impacts would be less than significant.
Parks and Recreation. The Lower West neighborhood scope of work (San Andres Street from Micheltorena Street to Canon Perdido Street) is adjacent to Bohnett Park. Since this will be a road repair and maintenance within the public ROW, there will be no intrusion into Bohnett Park access to the park may be limited for brief periods of time during the proposed scope of work, therefore impacts are less than significant.
Trees. All work associated with the Project will take place on existing City Street ROW. There will be no disruption to existing mature trees adjacent to the project site. If tree root trimming exceeds 20% impacted trees will be replaced per the City’s replacement ratios based on the species impacted. Any tree root pruning will be directed by the City Arborist; therefore, impacts are less than significant.
Visual. All work associated with the Project is compliant with City standard details and will not have a negative visual impact on surrounding resources. Striping and other visual aid improvements are required for safety and are considered less than significant.
In conclusion, the Project is a maintenance and repair project that will improve pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle roadway safety throughout the City of Santa Barbara. 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 the15301 (c) Existing Facilities Class 1 and 15302 (c) Replacement or Reconstruction Class 2 categorical exemptions of the CEQA Guidelines.