ABSTRACT: Selected sections of CEQA Considerations (5.0), including SIGNIFICANT UNAVOIDABLE IMPACTS (5.1) and CUMULATIVE IMPACTS (5.5) are presented. Other sections, including IRREVERSIBLE ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGES (5.2), GROWTH INDUCEMENT (5.3) and EFFECTS FOUND NOT TO BE SIGNIFICANT (5.4), are not presented.
5.0 CEQA CONSIDERATIONS
CEQA Guidelines §15126 requires that an EIR discuss the significant environmental effects associated with the project, significant environmental effects which cannot be avoided, significant irreversible environmental change, potential growth inducing impacts, mitigation measures intended to minimize significant impacts, and alternatives to the proposed project. CEQA Guidelines §15128 further states that an EIR shall briefly indicate the reasons that various possible significant effects were determined not to be significant. CEQA Guidelines §15130 also requires that an EIR discuss cumulative impacts of a project when the project’s incremental effect is cumulatively considered.
5.1 SIGNIFICANT UNAVOIDABLE IMPACTS
CEQA Guidelines §15126.2(b) requires that an EIR describe any significant impacts that cannot be mitigated or reduced to a level of less-than-significant. Since a prospective buyer has not been identified and therefore the actual use of the subject property may vary, the following significant unavoidable impacts are considered “potential.” Actual impacts will vary according to the future use; however, as a conservative approach to fully evaluate potential project-induced impacts, this EIR evaluated a range of potential uses. The following impacts were identified as significant and unavoidable:
• Sale of the Flanders Mansion Property would result in sale of publically owned parkland and would therefore conflict with several goals, objectives and policies identified in the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea General Plan/Coastal Land Use Plan; and
• Sale of the Flanders Mansion Property would result in the loss of an area of parkland available to the public that provides a wide variety of park benefits and is integrated into the Mission Trails Nature Preserve in a manner that facilities or significantly enhances the use and enjoyment of other areas of the Preserve.
A substantive discussion of each of the significant and unavoidable project-induced impacts identified above is provided in each of their respective sections.
5.5 CUMULATIVE IMPACTS
CEQA Guidelines §15130 requires an EIR to discuss cumulative impacts of a proposed project when the project’s incremental effect is cumulatively considerable. CEQA Guidelines §15355 defines a cumulative impact as “two or more individual effects which, when considered together, are considerable or which compound or increase other environmental impacts.” According to CEQA Guidelines §15065(a)(3), cumulatively considerable means “that the incremental effects of an individual project are significant when viewed in connection with the effects of past projects, the effects of other current projects, and the effects of probable future projects.” The purpose of the cumulative impact analysis is to identify and summarize the environmental impacts of the proposed project in conjunction with approved and anticipated development in the project area. CEQA Guidelines §15130(a)(2) further states that when the incremental effects of a project combined with other projects is not significant, an EIR shall briefly indicate why the impact is not significant. The CEQA Guidelines stipulate that the discussion of cumulative impacts “shall reflect the severity of the impacts, but the discussion need not provide as great detail as provided for the effects attributable to the project alone” (CEQA Guidelines §15130(b)).
Development of the proposed project has the potential to result in conflicts with several goals, objectives and policies contained in the City’s adopted General Plan/Coastal Land Use Plan that are intended to minimize and/or avoid impacts to parkland. While it is ultimately up to the discretion of the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea to determine whether the proposed project is consistent with the General Plan/Coastal Land Use Plan, this RDEIR determined that the proposed project would result in the permanent loss of parkland and therefore has the potential to conflict with the following goals, objectives and policies of the General Plan/Coastal Land Use Plan related to parkland: G5-6, O5-21, P5-46 and P5-107. Accordingly, this RDEIR determined that this would represent a significant and unavoidable impact. This impact, however, is locally significant and would not contribute to a cumulatively considerable impact. The cumulative projects identified above are generally consistent with the land uses designations and intended development projections identified in the General Plan/Coastal Land Use Plan. For these reasons, the proposed project would not contribute to a cumulatively considerable impact.
Development is accordance with the cumulative project list would not significantly impact the use of existing park or recreational facilities such that physical impacts to the environment would occur. While this RDEIR determined that the proposed project would represent a significant and unavoidable impact due to the loss of public parkland, this impact is individually significant and would not constitute a cumulative level impact as no projects identified in the cumulative project list would impact existing park or recreational facilities (see Section 4.5 Parks and Recreation).