Project Title:CEQA Transportation Impact Thresholds Update
Case Number: (None)                                
Project Location:Countywide
Assigned Staff and Division:

Mark Friedlander, Long Range Planning Division

Status

vmt

Staff prepared a Request for Proposals  to update the County's CEQA transportation impact thresholds to comply with the State-mandated change from level of service (LOS) to vehicle miles traveled (VMT), pursuant to Senate Bill (SB) 743 (2013) and the new CEQA Guidelines Section 15064.3 (2019).

Description

SB 743 removes LOS as the primary measure of transportation impacts pursuant to CEQA, and replaces it with VMT. This shift in transportation impact focus is intended to align transportation impact analysis and mitigation outcomes with the State's goals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, encourage infill development, and improve public health by increasing rates of active transportation. On December 28, 2018, the California Office of Administrative Law approved regulatory changes to the CEQA Guidelines that implement SB 743. The new CEQA Guidelines (Section 15064.3, Determining the Significance of Transportation Impacts) requires that all cities and counties update their transportation impact analysis metrics to VMT by July 1, 2020. The CEQA Guidelines give lead agencies discretion to choose the most appropriate methodology to evaluate a project's VMT impacts, based on substantial evidence.

The County's Environmental Thresholds and Guidelines Manual currently uses LOS-based thresholds to analyze transportation impacts.  This project will help the County comply with and implement SB 743 and the new CEQA Guidelines. It will result in standardized VMT metrics, thresholds of significance based on substantial evidence, and feasible VMT mitigation measures tailored to the unincorporated areas of the county. The project will enable County staff, applicants, and members of the public to consistently evaluate transportation impacts pursuant to CEQA throughout the unincorporated county. 

Timeline

The County intends to develop and adopt these provisions by July 1, 2020.Important Links

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Documents

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Additional Information

OPR Guidelines for SB 743 Implementation