JUNE 1, 2004

On June 6, 2000, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 2000-35, thereby adopting a Negative Declaration for Environmental Assessment No. 714 and Code Amendment No. 45, amending Chapter 15.20 (Moratorium on Land Use Permits) of the City's Municipal Code. The amendments were intended to allow for limited, reasonable use of developed properties within the Landslide Moratorium Area by expanding the variety of development projects that could be excepted from the moratorium without jeopardizing the public health, safety and general welfare. The amendments also included a requirement for the connection of existing developed properties to new sanitary sewer systems, with the intent of reducing the infiltration of wastewater into the active and inactive landslides, and improving gross soil stability within the entire Landslide Moratorium Area. Prior to its adoption, the Negative Declaration was circulated for public comment from April 19, 2002 through May 18, 2002 and no substantive comments were received from any persons or responsible agencies. In adopting the Negative Declaration, the City Council found: 1) that there would be no significant adverse environmental impacts resulting from the adoption of the amendments; and 2) that, although the adoption of the code amendment would serve only to effectuate changes to the language of the existing Municipal Code, the City Council recognized that separate environmental review would be performed for any projects to which Chapter 15.20 applied, prior to receiving any approvals from the City.

The City Council is currently considering the adoption of an Ordinance that would further amend Chapter 15.20 by clarifying that the maximum cumulative project(s) total square footage for additions to existing structures and construction of permanent detached accessory structures is six hundred square feet per parcel for both types of project(s) combined, rather than for each type of project(s) individually. The proposed amendment would maintain the current Code provisions to allow the construction of a new garage up to six hundred square feet in area on a developed parcel. The effect of these revisions would be to limit the expansion of developed properties within the Landslide Moratorium Area—except for those properties located within the Landslide Moratorium Area "outlined in blue" (i.e., subject to the exception under Section 15.20.040 (K) of the Municipal Code)—to one thousand two hundred square feet per parcel, consisting of:

  • Six hundred square feet (600 SF) of additions to main structures, patio enclosures, conversion of existing garages to habitable space, and construction of and additions to permanent attached and detached accessory structures; and,

  • Six hundred square feet (600 SF) for a new attached or detached garage.

Without the adoption of this Ordinance, the current language of Sections 15.20 040 (H) and (L) could be interpreted to allow up to one thousand eight hundred square feet of expansion to developed properties because the totals for additions to existing structures and for new permanent detached accessory structures would not be combined for the purposes of determining the cumulative project(s) square footage. As such, the City Council has determined that the proposed amendment would not result in new significant environmental effects, but would actually serve to reduce potential adverse impacts upon the environment by clarifying the limitations on the scope of future expansions to developed properties within the Landslide Moratorium Area. Furthermore, the City Council believes that the amendment is within the scope of EA/ND No. 714 that was prepared and adopted in conjunction with Code Amendment No. 45’s amendments to Chapter 15.20 that were adopted on June 6, 2000. As a result, no further environmental review of this code amendment is necessary.