Chapter 17.10


17.10.010    Environmental quality – Purpose.

17.10.020    Definitions.

17.10.030    Division of responsibility.

17.10.040    Review of traffic impacts.

17.10.045    Consultation.

17.10.050    Completion deadlines.

17.10.060    Public notice of environmental decision.

17.10.070    Review.

17.10.080    Appeal of environmental decision.

17.10.090    Conflict determinations.

17.10.100    Costs.

17.10.010 Environmental quality – Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide guidelines for the study of proposed activities and the effect that such activities would have on the environment in accordance with the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”). (Ord. 700 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012; Ord. 529 § 10, 1991)

17.10.020 Definitions.

Except as otherwise defined in Chapter 17.08 PVEMC, words and phrases used in this chapter shall have the same meaning given them by Chapter 2.5 of CEQA and by Article 20 of the State CEQA Guidelines, as such provisions may be amended from time to time. (Ord. 700 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012; Ord. 529 § 10, 1991)

17.10.030 Division of responsibility.

A. Lead Department. The lead department shall:

1. Determine whether an activity is a project subject to CEQA and whether the project involves the exercise of the city’s discretion;

2. If determined to be a project that involves the city’s discretion, evaluate whether it is exempt or whether there is a possibility that the project may have a significant effect on the environment;

3. If the project is not exempt from CEQA, submit to the director an application for preparation of an initial study, in a form approved by the director.

B. Director. The director shall:

1. Generate and keep a list of exempt projects;

2. Conduct initial studies;

3. Prepare negative declarations;

4. Prepare draft and final EIRs;

5. Consult with and obtain comments from other public agencies and members of the public with regard to the environmental effect of projects, including “scoping” meetings, when deemed necessary or advisable;

6. Assure adequate opportunity and time for public review and comment on the draft EIR or negative declaration;

7. Determine adequacy of an EIR or negative declaration;

8. Submit the final appropriate document to the city council or other decisionmaking person or party who will approve or disapprove a project. Such decisionmaking body shall certify the adequacy of the environmental document;

9. File documents required or authorized by CEQA and the State CEQA Guidelines;

10. Collect fees and charges necessary for the implementation of this chapter and which may be designated by the city council;

11. Formulate rules and regulations as the director may determine are necessary or desirable to further the purposes of this chapter;

12. Evaluate and respond to comments received on environmental documents. (Ord. 700 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012; Ord. 529 § 10, 1991)

17.10.040 Review of traffic impacts.

A. In conducting any EIR, the director shall assess traffic and transit impacts using the “transportation impact analysis” methods contained in the Los Angeles County Congestion Management Program.

B. If an EIR is required for a project, any impact(s) identified by a transit operator shall be discussed in the EIR, in addition to all other impacts required to be discussed pursuant to CEQA. (Ord. 700 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012; Ord. 572 § 2, 1993; Ord. 562 § 1, 1993)

17.10.045 Consultation.

Immediately after deciding that an EIR is required for a project, the director shall, by certified mail or other method which provides a record, send each responsible agency, each trustee agency, each public agency which provided comments after consultation pursuant to PVEMC 17.10.030(B)(5), each fixed-route transit operator providing service to the project, including the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, each city immediately adjacent to the city, and each agency possessing jurisdiction by law with regard to the project a notice of preparation stating that an EIR will be prepared. This notice shall also be sent to every federal agency involved in approval or funding of the project. When one or more state agencies will be a responsible agency or a trustee agency, the director shall send a notice of preparation to each state responsible agency and each trustee agency with a copy to the State Clearinghouse in the Office of Planning and Research. The notice shall include the description and location of the project (by address or map) and the probable environmental effects of the project. (Ord. 700 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012)

17.10.050 Completion deadlines.

A. Time Limitations. Time limits for completion of the various phases of the environmental review process shall be consistent with CEQA and the Guidelines. Reasonable extensions to these time limits shall be allowed upon consent by the applicant.

B. Legislative Acts. Time limits set forth in this section shall not apply to legislative actions or administrative actions that require prior legislative action.

C. Appeal. Any time limits set forth herein shall be suspended during any administrative appeal. (Ord. 700 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012; Ord. 529 § 10, 1991)

17.10.060 Public notice of environmental decision.

A. Posting. Notice of the decision of whether to prepare an EIR, negative declaration, or declare a project exempt shall be posted at an appropriate and publicly accessible location in or near City Hall, and shall be dated.

B. Additional Notice. Notice that the city proposes to adopt a negative declaration or environmental impact report shall be provided to the public prior to the date of the meeting at which consideration of adoption of the negative declaration or environmental impact report shall be given. Notice shall be given to all organizations and individuals who have previously requested such notice. Notice shall also be given by publication one time in a newspaper of general circulation designated by city council for such purpose. (Ord. 700 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012; Ord. 529 § 10, 1991)

17.10.070 Review.

A. If the project requires review and approval by the planning commission or city council, the director may coordinate review and approval of the proposed negative declaration or environmental impact report with review of the associated entitlements by the planning commission.

B. For any project which requires review and approval by the planning commission, it shall not approve or conditionally approve the project unless it has first complied with the requirements of CEQA. Any such CEQA determination made by the planning commission shall be final unless appealed pursuant to PVEMC 17.10.080.

C. For any project which requires review and approval by the city council, the planning commission shall make a recommendation to city council and shall recommend approval, denial or conditional approval of the associated environmental review. (Ord. 700 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012)

17.10.080 Appeal of environmental decision.

A. Time. Fifteen days after the decision is made, any interested party may appeal the decision to the planning commission, or city council if the planning commission has made a final determination pursuant to PVEMC 17.10.070(B), by completing a request to appeal in a form provided by the director.

B. Fee. Any person appealing a decision of the director shall pay a fee as established by the city council by resolution at the time of filing the appeal.

C. Determination. The appeal hearing shall be limited to considerations of the environmental or procedural issues raised by the appellant in the written notice of appeal. The original decision shall be presumed correct, and the burden of proof shall be on the appellant to establish otherwise.

D. Appeal to Planning Commission. The planning commission may uphold or reverse an environmental determination made by the director, or remand the decision back to the director for reconsideration if substantial evidence of procedural irregularities or significant new environmental issues is presented. The decision of the commission will be final, unless appealed to the city council. Any interested party may, within fifteen days after the decision of the planning commission, appeal the decision to the city council by completing a request to appeal form as approved by the director and paying a fee as established by the city council by resolution.

E. Appeal to City Council. The city council shall uphold or reverse an environmental determination made by the planning commission, or remand the decision back to the planning commission for reconsideration if substantial evidence of procedural irregularities or significant new environmental issues is presented. The decision of the city council shall be final. (Ord. 700 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012; Ord. 529 § 10, 1991)

17.10.090 Conflict determinations.

This chapter establishes guidelines for the evaluation of the environmental factors concerning activities within the city and in accordance with CEQA and the State Guidelines. Where conflicts exist, CEQA and the State Guidelines shall prevail except where this chapter is more restrictive. (Ord. 700 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012; Ord. 529 § 10, 1991)

17.10.100 Costs.

Each applicant for an entitlement governed by the provisions of this chapter shall be responsible and shall pay or reimburse the city for all costs incurred by the city in preparing any and all environmental documents and related studies required pursuant to this chapter, CEQA, or the Guidelines. (Ord. 700 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2012; Ord. 529 § 10, 1991)