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Kristin Blackson Panel 3
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Kristin Blackson Panel 3

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Creating Quality of Life by Making Markets Work

Creating Quality of Life by Making Markets Work

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  • 1. CEQAHOW TO MAKE CEQA MOREINNOVATIVE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY?
  • 2. Helpful?Unhelpful?Needs Work? What is Your CEQA Threshold?
  • 3. Infill Impediments Discouraging Factors Development Incentives  Development costs and Improvement of  Lack of comparables Playing Field  Inadequate incentives  Density bonuses  Incompatible land uses  Low cost redevelopment land  Adjacent SF uses  CEQA exemptions and plan-  Small parcel sizes level EIRs covering infill  Confusing zoning  Crime reduction  Suburban setbacks  Improved streetscapes  Uncertain design review  Improved open space  Excessive parking ratios  Revised zoning codes  Crime concerns  Neighborhood communication  Environmental conditions  Permit process efficiencyMejias, Luis and Keakin, Elizabeth. 2008. Redevelopment and RevitalilzationAlong Urban Arterials (from the Developer’s Perspective)
  • 4. Perfect World Scenario
  • 5. Streamlining of Urban Infill EIRs Program EIR (CCR §15168) Master EIR (§§PRC 21157 – 21158.5, CCR §15175)
  • 6. Program EIR Designate infill development land uses and formulate community-driven development intensity standards Use specific plan or similar area plan in desired infill target areasCEQA: In the Program EIR, state intent to use to streamline Find consistent projects “within the scope” of the Program EIR or Simplify and focus subsequent environmental documents on consistent projectsGuidelines Section 15168
  • 7. Master EIRListing infill developments or development sites as “subsequent projects” in a Master EIR for a plan or program (e.g., General Plan, Redevelopment Plan)Include type, minimum/maximum intensity, location, per Guidelines §15176(b)CEQA:Cover infill subsequent projects in the Master EIRSeek to find consistent projects “within the scope” orLimit additional environmental documentation
  • 8. CEQA Infill ExemptionInside city limits, §15332 is available.2007 Book of Lists Survey:  100+ cities used it in 2005 and/or 2006  From 1 to 250 times  (2 or 3 times per day?)Only applies to cities, which causes much consternation for counties
  • 9. Qualifying Criteria (a) The project is consistent with the applicable general plandesignation and all applicable general plan policies as well aswith applicable zoning designation and regulations. (b) The proposed development occurs within city limits on a project site of no more than five acres substantially surrounded by urban uses. (c) The project site has no value as habitat for endangered, rare orthreatened species. (d) Approval of the project would not result in any significant effects relating to traffic, noise, air quality, or water quality. (e) The site can be adequately served by all required utilities andpublic services.
  • 10. CEQA Exemption for InfillEither:  at least 10 percent of housing will be sold to moderate income families  not less than 10 percent of housing will be rented to low income families  not less than 5 percent of housing will be rented to very-low income families or  the developer has paid or will pay “in-lieu fees” pursuant to ordinance in amounts sufficient to ensure the development of such units
  • 11. CEQA Exemption for Infill PRC Section 21159.24 creates an exemption applicable where the project is:  residential on infill site  not more than four acres in total area  in an urbanized area  100 or fewer residential units  not including any single-level building exceeding 100,000 square feet  within one-half mile of a major transit stop  higher density infill housing  community-level environmental review was completed within 5 years prior to project application completeness determination, and
  • 12. Bankers Hills CEQA Case Project (San Diego):  14-story, 14-unit residential building on 1.9 ac.  Abutting uses: Balboa Park, condo tower  Consistent with GP and zoning  Busy traffic intersection nearby Relevant Causes of Action:  Not substantially surrounded by urban uses (park)  Not consistent with the General Plan  Significant traffic impacts would occur  Balboa Park and congestion = “unusual circumstances”
  • 13. Banker’s Hill Decision Proper use of Class 32 affirmed based on City’s substantial evidence Balboa Park considered an urban use Findings of no significant impacts on traffic, noise, AQ, WQ based on substantial evidence Conclusion that no significant impacts occurred because of unusual circumstances affirmed after considering fair argument (park and congestion were not “unusual” in urban setting)Banker’s Hill, Hillcrest, Park West Community Preservationv. City of San Diego, 4th Appellate District, May 8, 2006
  • 14. SB 375 Streamlining RTP EIR addresses SCS. If an APS is prepared simultaneously, RTP EIR can also cover it. Infill projects can benefit from CEQA streamlining, if they qualify
  • 15. Projects Consistent with SCS/APSQualifications: Residential project or mixed-use with no more than 25% non- residential Consistent with SCS/APS with EIR (land use designation, density, building intensity, applicable policies) CEQA Benefit: Need not repeat growth-inducing and GHG effects from cars and light trucks, nor include a less dense alternative to reduce GHG
  • 16. Transit Priority ProjectsBasic qualifications to be a TPP: At least 50% residential use, with a minimum net density of 20 units/ac If commercial use is included, it must have an FAR of at least 0.75 Located within ½ mile of major transit stop or high- quality transit corridor in the RTP
  • 17. Basic TTP – Approve with SCEAQualify for Sustainable Communities EA: Incorporate all feasible mitigation, performance standards, or criteria in EIR
  • 18. TPP Qualifying for ExemptionComplete CEQA exemption, if meets basic qualifications, plus: Maximum of 8 acres or 200 dwelling units served by existing utilities No significant historic resources effect 15% more energy efficient and 25% improved water conservation, and
  • 19. Community Programs and Plans Designate infill development areas as a special use in a General Plan, Community Plan, or zoning program Set sideboards for land use types and development parametersCEQA: Cover infill development in the GP EIR, Community Plan EIR, or EIR on zoning program Use §21083.3/§15183 to exempt covered issues, and cover only what is peculiar to the site or project, not previously analyzed, substantially more severe now
  • 20. SB 226/CEQA 15183.3Pub. Res. Code 21094.5:  Establishes streamlining method for any defined “infill project” located:  in an “urban area” in a city or county  on a previously developed site or a vacant site that is 75% contiguous to urban parcel  in a area subject to a prior “planning level decision” (i.e., a general plan, community plan, specific plan, or zoning) for which an EIR was certified
  • 21. SB 226/CEQA 15183.3 An eligible infill project must satisfy both of the following:  Any of these three conditions:  Be consistent with an adopted “sustainable communities strategy” (SCS) or an “alternative planning strategy” (APS)  Consist of a “small walkable community project” (as defined)  In a community without an adopted SCS or APS, have a residential density of more than 20 du/acre or a FAR of at least 75%  All applicable statewide performance standards adopted pursuant to Pub. Res. Code 21094.5.5 (to be effective 1/1/13)
  • 22. Plan for Infill in Advance Plan ahead for infill, regardless of planning vehicle Quickly coordinate local plans with SCS to add SB 375 streamlining as a possible strategy Take advantage of existing “regular” CEQA streamlining provisions for later projects. Lead public education campaign during the planning process to help community understand the strategy Promote community benefits, gain community support Also, use Class 32 exemption in cities, if it applies
  • 23. Recent CEQA MovementsIn 2012, it is all about what did not pass.  CEQA relief for High Speed Rail  CEQA relief for LA Communication Systems  Aggressive expansion of AB 900 – CEQA relief for Leadership Projects.Get ready folks, CEQA reform/modernization/ enhancement/streamlining it is coming!
  • 24. AB 900• Leadership Project” includes: – A residential, retail, commercial, sports, cultural, entertainment, or recreational project that:  Is located on an infill site  Is consistent with any Sustainable Communities Strategy or Alternative Planning Strategy adopted by an MPO pursuant to SB 375  Achieves LEED Silver or better  Achieves a “transportation efficiency” 10% greater than for comparable projects

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