SB 375 CEQA Streamlining


SB 375 CEQA Streamlining


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. 

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:
  • 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
Exempt from CEQA