Added by AB 1387:

Public Resources Code §21081.2

A city or county in an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for a residential project does not need to make specified findings regarding significant environmental effects with regards to the impact of traffic at intersections, or on streets, highways, or freeways if the residential project:

  • includes less than 100 units;
  • has a minimum residential density of 20 units per acre;
  • is within a half mile of a transit stop;
  • is on an infill site in an urbanized area; AND
  • is in compliance with the traffic, circulation, and transportation policies of the:
    • general plan;
    • applicable community plan;
    • applicable specific plan; and
    • applicable ordinances of the city or county with jurisdiction over the area where the residential project is located; and
    • the city or county requires mitigation measures approved in a previously certified project area EIR applicable to the project to be incorporated into the project.

The city or county still has the authority to adopt mitigation measures to lessen the impact of the residential project on pedestrian and bicycle safety.

However, nothing noted above applies if:

  • application for a proposed residential project is made more than five years after certification of the project area EIR;
  • a major change has occurred in the project area after the certification of the project area EIR;
  • the project area EIR was certified with overriding economic, legal, social, technological, or other beneficial considerations which outweighed the impact with respect to traffic or transportation and made the mitigation measures or alternatives identified in the project area EIR infeasible; OR
  • the proposed residential project covers more than four acres.

A residential project cannot be divided into smaller projects in order to avoid making specific findings.

A city or county must still analyze and determine the environmental impacts of the residential project’s effects on traffic at intersections, or on street, highways, or freeways.

A project area EIR is defined as an EIR certified on any of the following:

  • a general plan;
  • a revision or update to the general plan that includes land use and circulation elements;
  • an applicable community plan;
  • an applicable specific plan;
  • a housing element of the general plan if the EIR analyzed the environmental effects of the density of the proposed project; or
  • a zoning ordinance.

This is effective January 1, 2007.