Reasons for Exemption
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) provides several "categorical exemptions" which are applicable to categories of projects and activities that the Lead Agency has determined generally do not pose a risk of significant impacts on the environment. The project is exempt under Section 15332 of the State CEQA Guidelines established for infill development projects. CEQA Guidelines Section 15332 states infill development is applicable to projects that meet five conditions. The reasons why the proposed project meets each condition follows:
(a) The project is consistent with the applicable general plan designation and all applicable general plan policies as well as with applicable zoning designation and regulations. The City General Plan designates the project site as Workplace and Employment District, which provides areas within the City for a wide variety of employment-generating activities, including office, industrial and light manufacturing, research and development, and supportive commercial. The project consists of a new building with conference center, offices, storage/warehouse facility, which are compatible uses in this zone. The design plans for the structure will be reviewed by the City and will be consistent with all applicable building standards and regulations set forth in the Zoning Code.
(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 project is 4.6 acres located in the City at the southeast comer of Calhoun Street and Dr. Carreon. The site is surrounded by existing urban uses that include industrial to the immediate east, single family residential to the south, Calhoun Street followed by single family residential to the west, and a storage facility and vacant commercial/industrial to the north. A photograph of the existing site is enclosed.
( c) The project has no value as habitat for endangered, rare or threatened species. A photograph of the existing site is enclosed. The existing lot is vacant and comprised of flat dirt with sporadic patches of weedy grasses. There are no trees, wetlands, or natural habitat onsite. The surrounding properties are primarily developed and provide no sensitive habitat or habitat for special status species. Thus, the project site and surrounding properties have no value for endangered, rare or threatened species.
(d) Approval of the project would not result in any significant effects relating to traffic, noise, air quality, or water quality. The proposed building will be located approximately 230 feet from the closest residential uses, with the parking lot abutting the adjacent residential uses. The project would generate vehicular trips from staff and visitor vehicles traveling to the office building, with minimal truck traffic associated with office-supply deliveries. All projects are required to comply City approval and any applicable street improvements that would be part of the project scope, which RCOE would be subject to pay its fair share of the street improvements. Construction of the project would take place during the allowed days and hours specified by the City's noise ordinance, resulting in no significant construction noise impacts. The proposed project uses would result in the generation of typical operational noise levels from a commercial development including vehicular traffic ingress/egress noises, vehicular door closure noises, and talking during conversations. These sources of noise are normal and expected, consistent with the existing adjacent RCOE office building, compliant with the zoning designation of the site, and would not result in significant noise impacts. No noise mitigation is required.
Similar to all development proposals, the project will comply with mandatory storm water drainage and water quality requirements including "Low Impact Development" measures, and thus, will not result in significant water quality impacts.