CEQA Streamlining for Land Use Projects Consistent with the SCS
SB 375 provides several CEQA reform provisions. These include streamlined review and analysis of residential or mixed-use projects consistent with the SCS; modified review and analysis, through an expedited Sustainable Communities Environmental Assessment (SCEA), for Transit Priority Projects (TPPs) that are consistent with the SCS; and a complete CEQA exemption for TPPs that are consistent with the SCS and meet a specific list of other requirements. In each of these cases, this MTP/SCS EIR will serve as a first-tier environmental document under CEQA.
This is a summary of the CEQA benefits. Projects should review the entire law and public resource code when utilizing the streamlining benefits.
Three Categories of SB 375 CEQA Benefits
|Mixed-Use Residential Project
- At least 75% of total building square footage for residential use
- Consistent with the use designation, density, building intensity, and applicable policies for the project area of an SCS or APS accepted by CARB OR
- A Transit Priority Project as defined below
- Environmental documents are not required to reference, describe or discuss: 1) growth inducing impacts, 2) impacts from car and light‐duty truck trips on global warming or regional transportation network, 3) reduced density alternative to project.
|Transit Priority Project
- At least 50% of total building square footage for residential use OR
- If 26‐50% of total building square footage is nonresidential, a minimum FAR of 0.75
- Minimum net density of 20 du/acre
- Within 0.5 miles of major transit stop or high‐quality transit corridor included in the regional transportation plan (No parcel more than 25% further, and less than 10% of units or no more than 100 units further than 0.5 miles)
- Consistent with the use designation, density, building intensity, and applicable policies of an SCS or APS
|Benefits described above PLUS:
- Option to review under a “Sustainable Communities Environmental Assessment”
- An Initial Study is prepared identifying significant or potentially significant impacts.
- Where the lead agency determines that cumulative impacts have been addressed and mitigated in SCS/APS, they will not be “considerable.”
- Off‐site alternatives do not need to be addressed.
- Deferential review standard – the burden of proof for legal challenge is on the petitioner/plaintiff.
|Sustainable Communities Project
- Everything for Transit Priority Project PLUS:
- Within 0.5 miles of major transit stop or 0.25 miles of a high‐quality transit corridor included in the regional transportation plan
- Served by existing utilities
- Does not contain wetlands or riparian areas
- Does not have significant value as a wildlife habitat and does not harm any protected species
- Not on the Cortese List
- Not on developed open space
- No impacts to historic resources
- No risks from hazardous substances
- No wildfire, seismic, flood, public health risk
- 15% more energy‐efficient than CA requirements and 25% more water‐efficient than average for community
- No more than 8 acres
- No more than 200 units
- No single level building greater than 75,000 square feet
- No net loss of affordable housing
- Compatible with surrounding industrial uses
- Within ½‐mile of rail/ferry or ¼‐mile of high‐quality bus line
- Meets minimum affordable housing requirements as prescribed in SB 375 OR in‐lieu fee paid OR 5 acres of open space per 1,000 residents provided
- Meets all other applicable requirements from PRC 21155-21155.4
|Exempt from CEQA