CEQA Streamlining Exemptions

Click on a link below to view each exemption type's project checklist.

Small Infill Exemption Project Checklist

  • 5 acres or less
  • Within city limits
  • Consistent with local General Plan land uses and policies
  • Consistent with local zoning code
  • Served by utilities and public services
  • Not in area with value as habitat for endangered, rare or threatened species
  • Will not result in significant environmental effects relating to traffic, noise, air quality, or water quality

(CA CEQA Guidelines Section 15332)

Affordable Housing Exemption Project Checklist

  • 5 acres or less
  • 100 or fewer housing units—either new construction or conversion
  • All units affordable to low-income households for at least 30 years
  • Not located on developed open space
  • Consistent with local general plan land use and policies, and with any other applicable local plan
  • Consistent with local zoning code
  • Provides mitigation measures included in adopted local plans
  • Served by utilities and public services or will pay all in-lieu or development fees.
  • Contains no wetlands, value as wildlife habitat, endangered species, plants protected by Native Plant Protection Act, or species protected by local ordinance
  • Not on the Cortese list (hazardous waste)
  • Not within earthquake or seismic hazard zone, unless general plan or zoning contains provisions to mitigate the risk
  • Not within landslide hazard, floodplain, or floodway zone, unless general plan or zoning contains provisions to mitigate the risk.
  • Endangerment assessment has been completed
  • No significant effect on historical resources
  • Does not have unusually high risk of fire/explosion due to materials used/stored on nearby properties
  • Does not present a risk of a public health exposure higher than state standard
  • Not within state conservancy
  • Has not been divided into smaller projects to qualify for a statutory exemption

(CA Code of Regulations Section 15194(b)-(d))

Residential Project Consistent With Specific Plan Exemption Project Checklist

  • Residential project
  • Within area with adopted Specific Plan and Certified EIR
  • Specific Plan EIR prepared in 1980 or later

(CA Code of Regulations Section 65457)

Specific Plan Exemption Project Checklist

  • Within  area with adopted Specific Plan and Certified EIR
  • Project consistent with Specific Plan and EIR, including any mitigations
  • Can be mixed-use, residential, or employment center/office
  • If office project, Floor Area Ratio (FAR) is 0.75 or greater

(CA Code of Regulations Section 21155.4(2))

Community Plan Exemption Project Checklist

  • Consistent with development density of community plan, zoning, or general plan with a certified EIR
  • Initial Study completed to identify environmental effects, if any, that are: 1) peculiar to the project or parcel; 2) not analyzed as significant impacts in previous EIR; 3) potentially significant off-site impacts or cumulative impacts not analyzed in the earlier EIR; or 4) previously identified significant impacts which, as a result of substantial new information, are determined to have a more serious adverse impact than discussed in the earlier EIR.
  • Any environmental effects identified in the Initial study can be substantially mitigated by uniformly applied development policies or standards

(PRC Section 21083.3)

Infill Project Exemption Project Checklist

  • Site in area analyzed in certified EIR
  • If residential and within 500 feet of a high volume roadway or other significant source of air pollution, includes mitigation measures
  • If non-residential, includes renewable energy feature
  • If commercial: 1) floorplate is below 50,000 square feet; and 2) within ½ mile of 1,800 dwelling units or  located in a low vehicle travel area
  • If office: 1) located in a low vehicle travel area
  • Project would not have any significant effects on the environment that either have not already been analyzed in a prior EIR or that are more significant than previously analyzed, or that uniformly applicable development policies would not substantially mitigate. 

If all checklist items are met, use this appendix to document project and utilize exemption; exemption is only partial if some or all previously identified environmental effects are not mitigated

(CA CEQA Guideline Reference: Section 15183.3)

Transit Priority Project Exemption Project Checklist

  • Project site less than 8 acres
  • Less than 200 units
  • Net density at least 20 units/acre
  • At least 50% residential
  • If mixed-use, Floor Area Ratio of at least 0.75
  • Satisfies list of environmental, affordability, and resource conservation criteria

(CA PRC Section 21155.1)