Transit-Oriented Development

Should Local Agencies Consider Proposed High Speed Rail in CEQA Analyses of Local Projects?

With the California High Speed Rail Authority moving forward on the Northern-Southern California high-speed rail (HSR) project, local agencies should be aware that they may be required to consider the HSR in analyses of the environmental impacts of their local projects.

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires a lead agency to identify and mitigate significant environmental impacts of a project, including cumulative impacts that result from local projects and projects outside the local agency's jurisdiction. A lead agency has a duty to use reasonable efforts to discover, disclose and discuss related projects which are under the administrative jurisdiction of other city, state, and federal agencies. (See id. § 15130(b)(1)(A); San Franciscans for Reasonable Growth v. City & County of San Francisco (1984) 151 Cal.App.3d 61, 74, n.13.)

These cumulative impacts include impacts from other "past, present, and reasonably foreseeable probable future projects." (CEQA Guidelines, §§ 15126.4, 15355.) The HSR may be considered a reasonably foreseeable probable future project for CEQA purposes, as the Authority certified a programmatic EIR/EIS for the project in November 2005 and is now preparing to evaluate project-level environmental impacts.

The degree to which a lead agency must analyze the impacts of the HSR in conjunction with its own local projects depends on several factors, such as the status of the design and project-level environmental review of the individual route segment that may impact the local project and whether the project impacts are related. Read Meyers Nave's full article here.

Proposition 1C TOD Housing Program Draft Guidelines - Public Comment and Forums

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) is seeking comments on draft guidelines for the Transit Oriented Development Implementation Development Program (TOD Housing Program). Click here for a copy of the draft guidelines. Additional information is available at http://www.hcd.ca.gov/fa/tod/. The HCD web site also includes a partial list of transit stations meeting the proposed eligibility requirement specified in Section 103(a)(3)(A) of the draft guidelines. HCD expect to have posted information on drive times, as described in Section 103(a)(3)(B), before the public forums.

HCD is accepting written comments and questions on the draft guidelines, via e-mail to cahouse@hcd.ca.gov. The deadline for comments is September 10, 2007. When sending comments, use “TOD Guidelines Comments” as the subject line.

Oral comments will be accepted at the public forums listed below. These forums will include a short overview of the draft guidelines, but their primary purpose is to provide members of the public with an opportunity for oral comments. If you plan on attending, RSVP by emailing Donella Moran at dmoran@hcd.ca.gov, and specify which session you plan to attend.

Forum Locations:

Sacramento, August 27, 2007 from 1:00-3:00 PM

1800 3rd Street, Suite 183, Sacramento, CA 95811 (near 8th & O Light Rail Station)

Oakland, August 28, 2007 from 9:00-11:00 AM

Ehilu Harris Building- Auditorium, 1515 Clay Street, Oakland, CA 94612 (near 12th and 19th Street BART Stations)

Los Angeles, September 4, 2007 from 1:00-3:00 PM

Ronald Regan Building- Auditorium, 300 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA  90013

San Diego, September 5, 2007 from 10:00-12:00 Noon

SANDAG Boardroom, 7th Floor, 401 B Street, San Diego, CA 92101

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