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AB-1886 California Environmental Quality Act: transit priority projects.(2015-2016)



Current Version: 05/11/16 - Amended Assembly         Compare Versions information image


AB1886:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 11, 2016

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2015–2016 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1886


Introduced by Assembly Member McCarty
(Principal coauthors: Assembly Members Bloom and Gonzalez)

February 11, 2016


An act to amend Section 21155 Sections 21155 and 21155.2 of the Public Resources Code, relating to environmental quality.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1886, as amended, McCarty. California Environmental Quality Act: transit priority projects.
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires a lead agency, as defined, to prepare, or cause to be prepared, and certify the completion of, an environmental impact report (EIR) on a project that it proposes to carry out or approve that may have a significant effect on the environment or to adopt a negative declaration if it finds that the project will not have that effect. CEQA also requires a lead agency to prepare a mitigated negative declaration for a project that may have a significant effect on the environment if revisions in the project would avoid or mitigate that effect and there is no substantial evidence that the project, as revised, would have a significant effect on the environment.
CEQA provides for limited CEQA review or exempts from its requirements transit priority projects meeting certain requirements, including the requirement that the project be within 1/2 mile of a major transit stop or high-quality transit corridor included in a regional transportation plan. CEQA specifies that a project is considered to be within 1/2 mile of a major transit stop or high-quality transit corridor if, among other things, all parcels within the project have no more than 25% of their area farther than 1/2 mile from the stop or corridor.
This bill bill, for a transit priority project to meet the requirements for limited CEQA review, would increase that percentage to 50%.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 21155 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

21155.
 (a) This chapter applies only to a transit priority project that is consistent with the general use designation, density, building intensity, and applicable policies specified for the project area in either a sustainable communities strategy or an alternative planning strategy, for which the State Air Resources Board, pursuant to subparagraph (H) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 65080 of the Government Code, has accepted a metropolitan planning organization’s determination that the sustainable communities strategy or the alternative planning strategy would, if implemented, achieve the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.
(b) For purposes of this chapter, a transit priority project shall (1) contain at least 50 percent residential use, based on total building square footage and, if the project contains between 26 percent and 50 percent nonresidential uses, a floor area ratio of not less than 0.75; (2) provide a minimum net density of at least 20 dwelling units per acre; and (3) be within one-half mile of a major transit stop or high-quality transit corridor included in a regional transportation plan. A major transit stop is as defined in Section 21064.3, except that, for purposes of this section, it also includes major transit stops that are included in the applicable regional transportation plan. For purposes of this section, chapter, a high-quality transit corridor means a corridor with fixed route bus service with service intervals no longer than 15 minutes during peak commute hours. A Except as provided in subdivision (a) of Section 21155.2, a project shall be considered to be within one-half mile of a major transit stop or high-quality transit corridor if all parcels within the project have no more than 50 25 percent of their area farther than one-half mile from the stop or corridor and if not more than 10 percent of the residential units or 100 units, whichever is less, in the project are farther than one-half mile from the stop or corridor.

SEC. 2.

 Section 21155.2 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

21155.2.
 (a) A Notwithstanding subdivision (b) of Section 21155 and for purposes of this section, a project shall be considered to be within one-half mile of a major transit stop or high-quality transit corridor if all parcels within the project have no more than 50 percent of their area farther than one-half mile from the stop or corridor and if not more than 10 percent of the residential units or 100 units, whichever is less, in the project are farther than one-half mile from the stop or corridor.
(b) A transit priority project that has incorporated all feasible mitigation measures, performance standards, or criteria set forth in the prior applicable environmental impact reports and adopted in findings made pursuant to Section 21081, shall be eligible for either the provisions of subdivision (b) or (c). (c) or (d).

(b)

(c) A transit priority project that satisfies the requirements of subdivision (a) (b) may be reviewed through a sustainable communities environmental assessment as follows:
(1) An initial study shall be prepared to identify all significant or potentially significant impacts of the transit priority project, other than those which that do not need to be reviewed pursuant to Section 21159.28 based on substantial evidence in light of the whole record. The initial study shall identify any cumulative effects that have been adequately addressed and mitigated pursuant to the requirements of this division in prior applicable certified environmental impact reports. Where the lead agency determines that a cumulative effect has been adequately addressed and mitigated, that cumulative effect shall not be treated as cumulatively considerable for the purposes of this subdivision.
(2) The sustainable communities environmental assessment shall contain measures that either avoid or mitigate to a level of insignificance all potentially significant or significant effects of the project required to be identified in the initial study.
(3) A draft of the sustainable communities environmental assessment shall be circulated for public comment for a period of not less than 30 days. Notice shall be provided in the same manner as required for an environmental impact report pursuant to Section 21092.
(4) Prior to acting on the sustainable communities environmental assessment, the lead agency shall consider all comments received.
(5) A sustainable communities environmental assessment may be approved by the lead agency after conducting a public hearing, reviewing the comments received, and finding that: all of the following:
(A) All potentially significant or significant effects required to be identified in the initial study have been identified and analyzed.
(B) With respect to each significant effect on the environment required to be identified in the initial study, either of the following apply:
(i) Changes or alterations have been required in or incorporated into the project that avoid or mitigate the significant effects to a level of insignificance.
(ii) Those changes or alterations are within the responsibility and jurisdiction of another public agency and have been, or can and should be, adopted by that other agency.
(6) The legislative body of the lead agency shall conduct the public hearing or a planning commission may conduct the public hearing if local ordinances allow a direct appeal of approval of a document prepared pursuant to this division to the legislative body subject to a fee not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500).
(7) The lead agency’s decision to review and approve a transit priority project with a sustainable communities environmental assessment shall be reviewed under the substantial evidence standard.

(c)

(d) A transit priority project that satisfies the requirements of subdivision (a) (b) may be reviewed by an environmental impact report that complies with all of the following:
(1) An initial study shall be prepared to identify all significant or potentially significant effects of the transit priority project other than those that do not need to be reviewed pursuant to Section 21159.28 based upon substantial evidence in light of the whole record. The initial study shall identify any cumulative effects that have been adequately addressed and mitigated pursuant to the requirements of this division in prior applicable certified environmental impact reports. Where If the lead agency determines that a cumulative effect has been adequately addressed and mitigated, that cumulative effect shall not be treated as cumulatively considerable for the purposes of this subdivision.
(2) An environmental impact report prepared pursuant to this subdivision need only address the significant or potentially significant effects of the transit priority project on the environment identified pursuant to paragraph (1). It The lead agency is not required to analyze off-site alternatives to the transit priority project. It The lead agency shall otherwise comply with the requirements of this division.