California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA):
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is a California law that requires development projects to submit documentation of their potential environmental impact. In general, CEQA applies to any land use activity, but there are many details the City reviews in determining if a project falls under CEQA or not. The City first prepares an initial study, assessing whether a project may have significant environmental impacts. If the initial study determines there may be significant impacts, the City hires an outside consultant to prepare an Environmental Impact Report. If there are not significant impacts, the City prepares a Negative Declaration. If the project has significant environmental impacts that may be mitigated to a level of less than significant, then the City prepares a Mitigated Negative Declaration. Environmental Documents in circulation are open for public comment.