The City’s environmental review process is established by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The California Environmental Quality Act was enacted in 1970, and is similar to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
The City’s Municipal Code specifically assigns the responsibility for implementation of CEQA to the Planning Department and is charged with maintaining independence and objectivity in its review and analysis of the environmental consequences of development projects under its purview.
The CEQA & Policy Review Section reviews City (public) projects and other actions under CEQA for potential environmental impacts; prepares environmental documents; directs the work of outside environmental consultants; and works with public project applicants and stakeholders to ensure that all feasible environmental mitigation measures or project alternatives are incorporated to minimize or preclude adverse impacts to the environment. In addition, the CEQA and Policy Review section works with the Development Services Department to provide CEQA training to community planning groups.
Notices of Rights to Appeal Environmental Determinations (NORA) - Notices of environmental determinations made by City staff (including the City Manager), the City Hearing Officer, and the City Planning Commission that may be appealed to the City Council in accordance with Section 112.0520 of the Municipal Code.