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INITIAL STUDY ENVIRONMENTAL CHECKLIST FORM AND MITIGATED NEGATIVE DECLARATION

II. ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS POTENTIALLY AFFECTED:

The environmental factors checked below ( X ) would be potentially affected by this project, involving at least one impact that is a Potentially Significant Impact as indicated by the checklist on the following pages.

Aesthetics

Hazards & Hazardous Materials

Public Services

Agricultural Resources

Hydrology/Water Quality

Recreation

Air Quality

Land Use/Planning

Transportation/Traffic

Biological Resources

Mineral Resources

Utilities/Service Systems

Cultural Resources

Noise

Mandatory Findings of Significance

Geology/Soils

Population/Housing

  1. DETERMINATION:

On the basis of this Initial Study of Environmental Impact, the Planning Commission of the City of El Segundo finds the following:

I find that the proposed project COULD NOT have a significant effect on the environment, and a NEGATIVE DECLARATION will be prepared.

I find that although the proposed project could have a significant effect on the environment, there will not be a significant effect in this case because revisions in the project have been made by or agreed to by the project proponent. A MITIGATED NEGATIVE DECLARATION will be prepared.

X

I find that the proposed project MAY have a significant effect on the environment, and an ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT is required.

I find that the proposed project MAY have a "potential significant impact" or "potentially significant unless mitigated" impact on the environment, but at least one effect (1) has been adequately analyzed in an earlier document pursuant to applicable legal standards, and (2) has been addressed by mitigation measures based on the earlier analysis as described on attached sheets. An ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT is required, but it must analyze only the effects that remain to be addressed.

I find that although the proposed project could have a significant effect on the environment, because all potentially significant effects (a) have been analyzed in an earlier EIR or NEGATIVE DECLARATION pursuant to applicable standards and (b) have been avoided or mitigated pursuant to that earlier EIR or NEGATIVE DECLARATION, including revisions or mitigation measures that are imposed upon the proposed project, nothing further is required.

____________________________ _______________________

James M. Hansen, Director of Date

Community, Economic and Development Services; and,

Secretary of the Planning Commission

IV. EVALUATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS

  1. A brief explanation is required for all answers except "No Impact" answers that are adequately supported by the information sources a lead agency cites in the parentheses following each question. A "No Impact" answer is adequately supported if the referenced information sources show that the impact simply does not apply to projects like the one involved (e.g. the project falls outside a fault rupture zone). A "No Impact" answer should be explained where it is based on project-specific factors as well as general standards (e.g. the project will not expose sensitive receptors to pollutants, based on a project-specific screening analysis).
  2. All answers must take account of the whole action involved, including off-site as well as on-site, cumulative as well as project-level, indirect as well as direct, and construction as well as operational impacts.
  3. Once the lead agency has determined that a particular physical impact may occur, then the checklist answers must indicate whether the impact is potentially significant, less than significant with mitigation, or less than significant. "Potentially Significant Impact" is appropriate if there is substantial evidence that an effect may be significant. If there are one or more "Potentially Significant Impact" entries when the determination is made, an EIR is required.
  4. "Negative Declaration: Potentially Significant Unless Mitigation Incorporated" applies where the incorporation of mitigation measures has reduced an effect from "Potentially Significant Impact" to a "Less Significant Impact." The lead agency must describe the mitigation measures, and briefly explain how they reduce the effect to a less than significant level (mitigation measures from Section 17, "Earlier Analysis," may be cross-referenced).
  5. Earlier analysis may be used where, pursuant to the tiering, program EIR, or other CEQA process, an effect has been adequately analyzed in an earlier EIR or negative declaration. Section 15063 (c) (3) (d). In this case, a brief discussion should identify the following:
    1. Earlier Analysis Used. Identify and state where they are available for review.

    2. Impacts Adequately Addressed. Identify which effects from the above checklist were within the scope of and adequately analyzed in an earlier document pursuant to applicable legal standards, and state whether such effects were addressed by mitigation measures based on the earlier analysis.
    3. Mitigation Measures. For effects that are "Less than Significant with Mitigation Measures Incorporated," describe the mitigation measures which were incorporated or refined from the earlier document and the extent to which they address site-specific conditions for the project.
  6. Lead agencies are encouraged to incorporate into the checklist references to information sources for potential impacts (e.g. general plans, zoning ordinances). Reference to a previously prepared or outside document should, where appropriate, include a reference to the page or pages where the statement is substantiated.
  7. Supporting Information Sources: A source list should be attached, and other sources used or individuals contacted should be cited in the discussion.
  8. This is only a suggested form, and lead agencies are free to use different formats; however, lead agencies should normally address the questions from this checklist that are relevant to a project’s environmental effects in whatever format is selected.
  9. The analysis of each issue should identify: (a) the significance criteria or threshold used to evaluate each question; and (b) the mitigation measure identified, if any, to reduce the impact to less than significance.

1. AESTHETICS. Would the project:

a) Have a substantial adverse effect on a scenic vista?

X

The CR-S zone is completely built -out, with a variety of architectural styles, and there are no scenic vistas within the Plan area. The Plan will identify methods of creating more attractive entrances and parking areas for the street and alley areas, and encouraging façade treatments. Creating more outdoor seating for restaurants and installing traffic calming improvements would encourage pedestrian activity from El Segundo’s residents, to the benefit and viability of the local businesses located along the commercial streets. The Specific Plan program is intended to enhance the aesthetic quality of the Downtown commercial district, therefore, there are no negative impacts anticipated by the creation of the Downtown Specific Plan or its implementation.

b) Substantially damage scenic resources, including, but not limited to trees, rock outcroppings, and historic buildings within a state scenic highway?

X

None of the above referenced resources exist in the El Segundo Downtown. The widening of the sidewalks may require the removal of the existing Ficus street trees. Any trees which are removed will be replaced with trees that maintain the visibility of storefronts. This removal and installation program will be consistent with the Master Street Tree Plan. Tree species will be taken from the approved list of street trees for El Segundo. Although many of the buildings in the 100 and 200 block of Richmond Street may qualify as local Historic Buildings, none of the buildings have yet been designated as historic, and they are not located within a State scenic highway. If any buildings are designated as historic, or if a Historic District is created, as contemplated, then additional environmental review will be required. Therefore, there are no negative impacts anticipated by the creation of the Plan or its implementation.

c) Substantially degrade the existing visual character or quality of the site and its surroundings?

X

One of the purposes of the Downtown Specific Plan is to identify current conditions that may be causing degradation to the Downtown District, and to propose solutions to remedy and improve the situation. As mentioned above, the Downtown District is comprised of many architectural styles, some of which are mixed uses, others are devoted entirely to retail use. Design Standards will improve the existing visual character of the project site. The possible construction of a two-story parking structure will not cause any visual degradation as the structure will be required to conform to the Design Standards and development standards included within the Plan. The preparation of a Downtown Specific Plan is not anticipated to cause degradation to any elements of the environment of the Downtown or its surroundings.

d) Create a new source of substantial light or glare which would adversely affect day or nighttime views in the area?

X

The installation of new street lights, twinkle or other decorative lighting, security and accent lights, will be a component of the new streetscape. The type of lights that could be installed has not yet been determined. However, footcandles, shielding, lumins, security and visibility will all be factors in determining the appropriate type of fixture for the Downtown. New lighting will be required to conform to the Design Standards and Development Standards, which address all of the factors discussed above, therefore there is no significant impact.

2. AGRICULTURE RESOURCES: In determining whether impacts to agricultural resources are significant environmental effects, lead agencies may refer to the California Agricultural Land Evaluation and Site Assessment Model (1997) prepared by the California Department of Conservation as an optional model to use in assessing impacts on agriculture and farmland. Would the project?

a) Convert Prime Farmland, Unique Farmland or Farmland of Statewide Importance (Farmland), as shown on the maps prepared pursuant to the Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program of the California Resources Agency to non-agricultural use?

X

None of the above mentioned agricultural resources are located within or near the Plan area.

b) Conflict with existing zoning for agricultural use, or a Williamson Act contract?

X

None of the above mentioned agricultural resources are located within or near the Plan area.

c) Involve other changes in the existing environment which, due to their location or nature, could result in conversion of Farmland, to non-agricultural use?

X

. There are no agricultural resources within the project area or the surrounding area.

3. AIR QUALITY: Where available, the significance criteria established by the applicable air quality management or air pollution control district may be relied upon to make the following determinations. Would the project:

a) Conflict with or obstruct implementation of the applicable air quality plan?

X

The land uses and densities proposed in the Plan area do not exceed those standards that are already existing and permitted, with a few exceptions. The City parking lot in the 200 block of Richmond Street is proposed to allow a density of 1.5 FAR, (.5 higher than the current allowed FAR) which will allow an additional 8760 square feet of mixed use development. The increase in density from 1 to 2 residential units per 25 foot wide lot would potentially increase the number of dwelling units in the Plan area by a maximum of 150 additional units (See project description). Approximately 46 lots within the Plan area are City owned or Chevron parking lots. As these lots are required to meet the parking demands of the Downtown, and the Code required parking for Chevron, it is not anticipated that they will be developed with residential units. The SCAQMD thresholds indicate that projects which exceed 261 apartment units, or 297 condominium units would potentially have significant air quality impacts. It is anticipated that any new residential development in the Plan area would be condominium development, consistent with current development over the past several decades, however it is possible that apartment construction could occur. Since the maximum net increase in residential units does not exceed either of these two SCAQMD threshold numbers, there will not be a significant impact. Therefore, air emissions from the maximum net increase of density for the project, compared to the density currently allowed, would not exceed the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s (SCAQMD) CEQA Air Quality Handbook thresholds (Tables 6-2 and 6-3) for significant air quality impacts, for construction or operations.

b) Violate any air quality standard or contribute substantially to an existing or projected air quality violation.

X

As discussed above, the project will not exceed the Southern California Air Quality Management Plan standards or thresholds of significance. The roadways and intersections within the Specific Plan area currently operate at Level of Service (LOS) A, B and C. Even with increased density, maximum build-out and reconfiguration of Main Street from four to three lanes, the roadways and intersections will not have a significant impact, with mitigation to the intersection of Main Street and Imperial Highway. All intersections are anticipated to be able to handle the traffic volumes, and therefore there are no traffic related air quality impacts. Parking is currently more than adequate in the Plan area and vehicles do not slow down, make frequent stops or recirculate throughout the same streets searching for a available parking. Implementation of the Plan will continue to provide adequate parking, although more flexibility in parking standards will be provided, as previously discussed in the project description. Additionally, any traffic improvements will be designed so they enhance and encourage a pedestrian environment; which will potentially decreasing vehicle miles traveled and cold starts, thereby decreasing air emissions.

c) Result in a cumulatively considerable net increase of any criteria pollutant for which the project region is non-attainment under an applicable federal or state ambient air quality standard (including releasing emissions which exceed quantitative thresholds for ozone precursors)?

X

See (a) and (b) above.

d) Expose sensitive receptors to substantial pollutant concentrations?

X

Although there are land uses which may have sensitive receptors within and adjacent to the Plan area, such as churches, daycares and schools, since the project will not exceed the SCAQMD thresholds, as discussed above, there will be no significant impacts.

e) Create objectionable odors affecting a substantial number of people?

X

Fumes that may be created by the implementation of the Plan may increase due to an increase in the number of restaurants and the slight increase in density. However, regulations imposed upon food serving businesses are required to comply with SCAQMD requirements. No significant changes in dust, ash, smoke, or fumes are expected. Therefore, no significant impacts are anticipated to occur.

4. BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES. Would the project:

a) Have a substantial adverse effect, either directly or through habitat modifications, on any species identified as a candidate, sensitive, or special status species in local or regional plans, policies, or regulations, or by the California Department of Fish and Game or U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service?

X

The Downtown Specific Plan area is completely build-out; there are no biological resources within the Plan area or surrounding areas to impact.

b) Have a substantially adverse effect on any riparian habitat or other sensitive natural community identified in local or regional plans, policies, regulations or by the California Department of Fish and Game or U. S. Wildlife Service?

X

See a) above.

c) Have a substantial adverse effect on federally protected wetlands as defined by Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (including, but not limited to, marsh, vernal pool, coastal, etc.) through direct removal, filling, hydrological interruption, or other means?

X

See a) above.

d) Interfere substantially with the movement of any resident or migratory fish or wildlife species or with established native resident migratory wildlife corridors, or impede the use of native wildlife nursery sites?

X

See a) above.

e) Conflict with any local policies or ordinances protecting biological resources, such as a tree preservation policy or ordinance?

X

The City of El Segundo does not have a tree preservation policy. The Ficus street trees are proposed to be removed throughout the City consistent with the Master Street Tree Plan. Many of the Ficus trees within the Plan area are anticipated to be removed. Any trees removed will be replaced with mature trees, which will provide more visibility to building facades. Tree removal and replacement is anticipated to be phased to minimize the visual impact. Any vegetation which is removed, and replaced, would not be considered a biological resource, as they are non-native species.

f) Conflict with the provisions of an adopted Habitat Conservation Plan, Natural Conservation Community Plan, other approved local, regional, or state habitat conservation plan?

X

See a) above

5. CULTURAL RESOURCES. Would the project:

a) Cause a substantial adverse change in the significance of a historical resource as defined in Section 15064.5?

X

Although there are no buildings that are officially listed and categorized as historical, either locally or by the State, several buildings in the 100 and 200 blocks of Richmond Street, have significant local historical value. The Plan in and of itself would not severely affect the quality or quantity of these buildings, since it is anticipated that much of the original architecture will be preserved. The Plan proposes the establishment of incentives and dis-incentives to encourage the preservation, maintenance, and enhancement of the historical character of the area. The Plan also proposes the establishment of Historical Standards with design review for new construction, so that it will blend with the existing old construction, maintaining the "Old Town" feel of the area. Design review is also part of the Plan, which will assist in minimizing any potential impacts. Fascia easements may also be a mechanism to preserve the existing architectural styles. There are no significant impact anticipated due to the inclusion of the above mentioned components of the Plan.

b) Cause a substantial adverse change in the significance of an archaeological resources pursuant to Section 15064.5?

X

There are no known or anticipated archeological resources within the Plan area. Should any previously unrecorded archaeological or paleontological resources be encountered during the construction of any projects within the Plan area, all work will be stopped and a qualified archeologist will be consulted to determine the potential significance of the find, in accordance with the State CEQA Guidelines.

c) Directly or indirectly destroy a unique paleontological resource or site or unique geologic feature?

X

Paleontological resources have not been identified in the Downtown, and are not anticipated to exist, particularly since the development of the majority of the area occurred at a time when such resources would not be considered significant (i.e. early to mid 1900’s). There are no unique geologic features, as the area is fully developed and was sand dunes prior to development. However, if any archeological or paleontological resources are encountered during any construction, a qualified expert will be required to investigate, in accordance with CEQA and other State guidelines and provisions.

d) Disturb any human remains, including those interred outside of formal cemeteries?

X

There is no indication that there are any human remains within the Plan area.

6. GEOLOGY AND SOILS. Would the project:

a) Expose people or structures to potential substantial adverse effects, including the risk of loss, injury or death involving:

(i) Rupture of a known earthquake fault, as delineated on the most recent Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zoning Map issued by the State Geologist for the area or based on other substantial evidence of a known fault? Refer to Division of Mines and Geology Special Publication 42.

X

Geologically, the area is not on or near to any known active or potential major fault lines. However, the entire Plan area is subject to seismic shaking and is potentially at risk of serious damage and possible bodily injuries, just as all of Southern California. However, the masonry buildings constructed before 1933 have been seismically retrofitted and upgraded in accordance with standard Code requirements. Some of the masonry buildings constructed after 1933 have also voluntarily been seismically reinforced. Since all new buildings must comply with the California Building Code and lending institutions are requiring seismic retrofitting it is anticipated that no significant impacts would occur with moderate earthquakes events.

(ii) Strong seismic ground shaking?

X

All buildings in the area have, and will continue to, experience significant shaking in the event of a major earthquake, just as all of the seismically active Southern California region experiences earthquakes. Many of the older masonry buildings have been seismically rehabilitated, or were constructed subsequent to the 1933 Long Beach earthquake. Should intensification of uses occur in existing buildings, seismic rehabilitation would be required, in accordance with standard Code regulations. New buildings would comply with current Uniform Building Code (UBC) and El Segundo Municipal Code regulations. Therefore, no significant impacts are anticipated as a result of the adoption and implementation of this Plan.

(iii) Seismic-related ground failure, including liquefaction?

X

The Plan area is identified within the City’s General Plan as being an area with medium liquefaction potential, primarily due to the sandy soils. Compliance with standard Codes for new construction will ensure no significant impacts.

(iv) Landslides?

X

The Plan area is not identified within the City’s General Plan as an area that is subject to landslides, soil erosion or loss of topsoil. The groundwater level in the Plan area is approximately 8 feet below the surface. There are some significant topographical changes in a few isolated areas of the Plan, however these are existing and have been for decades and have not experienced any landslides, soil erosion, loss of topsoil or ground movement. Any new grading or construction on slopes will need to comply with standard Code criteria in order to ensure slope stability and erosion control and therefore there are no significant impacts.

(b) Result in substantial soil erosion or the loss of topsoil?

X

See a) iv above.

(c) Be located on a geologic unit or soil that is unstable, or that would become unstable as a result of the project, and potentially result in on- or off-site landslide, lateral spreading, subsidence, liquefaction or collapse?

X

See a) iv above.

(d) Be located on expansive soil, as defined in Table 18-a-B of the Uniform Building Code (1994), creating substantial risks to life or property?

X

The soil in the Plan area is mainly Oakley Fine Sand, with the 200 and 300 blocks of Richmond Street containing Ramona Loam. Neither of these soil types are expansive, generally clay soils are expansive, and therefore there are no significant impacts.

(e) Have soils incapable of adequately supporting the use of septic tanks or alternative waste water disposal systems where sewers are not available for the disposal of waste water?

X

There are sewer systems available throughout the Plan area and the El Segundo Municipal Code requires that all water disposal systems be connected to the sewers. Septic tanks or similar systems, which are not connected to the sewer system, are not permitted. Therefore, there are no impacts.

7. HAZARDS AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS. Would the project?

a) Create a significant hazard to the public or the environment through the routine transport, use or disposal of hazardous materials?

X

See d) below.

b) Create a significant hazard to the public or the environment through reasonably foreseeable upset and accident conditions involving the likely release of hazardous materials into the environment?

X

See d) below.

c) Emit hazardous emissions or handle hazardous or acutely hazardous materials, substances, or waste within one-quarter mile of an existing or proposed school?

X

See d) below.

d) Be located on a site which is included on a list of hazardous materials sites compiled pursuant to Government Code Section 65962.5 and, as a result would it create a significant hazard to the public or the environment?

X

According to the most recent California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) Hazardous Waste and Substance Sites List, dated April, 1998, there are no such sites in the Plan area. There are no other known potentially hazardous sites in the Plan area. The Plan anticipates that development would continue to utilize common cleaning solutions and other common materials used in business and residences, disposed of in accordance with applicable statutes. The use of these materials would not be considered to be a significant increase over existing circumstances. Based on the amount of hazardous materials stored, the nature of the packaging, the materials involved, and the individual businesses’ compliance with applicable regulations, the risk from development in the Plan area is considered minor. Based on the foregoing, the proposed Plan will have a less than significant impact regarding the use, disposal, or release of potentially hazardous materials and no mitigation is required.

e) For a project located within an airport land use plan or, where such a plan has not been adopted, within two miles of a public airport or public use airport, would the project result in a safety hazard for people residing or working in the project area?

X

The Plan area is approximately one-half mile south of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). As the proposed level of development and the types of permitted land uses are consistent with what is already existing in the area; it is not anticipated that there will be any safety hazards associated with implementation of the Plan.

f) For a project within the vicinity of a private airstrip, would the project result in a safety hazard for people residing or working in the project area?

X

The Plan area is not within the vicinity of a private airstrip.

g) Impair implementation of, or physically interfere with an adopted emergency response plan or emergency evacuation plan?

X

Currently, the Plan area is accessible to emergency vehicles via Main and Richmond Streets and Grand Avenue. Based on traffic volumes detailed in the Circulation Element Traffic Impact Study, no unmitigated traffic impacts are foreseen with development in the Plan. Evacuation plans and procedures would be incorporated into building and site design. Therefore, implementation of the Plan is not expected to interfere with emergency response or evacuation plans and no mitigation is required.

h) Expose people or structures to a significant risk of loss, injury or death involving wildland fires, including where wildlands are adjacent to urbanized areas or where residences are intermixed with wildlands?

X

The Plan area is not within or adjacent to any areas which may have wildfires, therefore there are no impacts.

8. HYDROLOGY AND WATER QUALITY. Would the project:

a) Violate any water quality standards or waste discharge requirements?

X

See j) below.

b) Substantially degrade groundwater supplies or interfere substantially with groundwater recharge such that there would be a net deficit in aquifer volume or a lowering of the local groundwater table level (e.g., the production rate of pre-existing nearby wells would drop to a level which would not support existing land uses or planned uses for which permits have been granted)?

X

See j) below.

c) Substantially alter the existing drainage pattern of the site or area, including through the alteration of the course of a stream or river, in a manner which would result in substantial erosion or siltation on- or off-site?

X

See j) below.

d) Substantially alter the existing drainage pattern of the site or area, including through the alteration of the course of a stream or river, or substantially increase the rate or surface runoff in a manner which would result in flooding on- or off site?

X

See j) below.

e) Create or contribute runoff which would exceed the capacity of existing or planned stormwater drainage systems or provide substantial additional sources of polluted runoff?

X

See j) below.

f) Otherwise substantially degrade water quality?

X

See j) below.

g) Place housing within a 100-year floodplain, as mapped on a federal Flood Hazard Boundary or Flood Insurance Rate Map or other flood hazard delineation map?

X

See j) below.

h) Place within a 100-year flood hazard area structures which would impede or redirect flood flows?

X

See j) below.

i) Expose people or structures to a significant risk of loss, injury or death involving flooding, including flooding as a result of the failure of a levee or dam?

X

See j) below.

j) Inundation by seiche, tsunami, or mudflow?

X

The Plan area is located within an urbanized environment, and is not near any surface water bodies, rivers, streams, levees, or dams or within a flood plain designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency or in any areas subject to flooding.

Existing absorption rates and drainage patterns would not be expected to change significantly, as future construction would increase only slightly the amount of impervious surfaces presently located on-site. New landscaped areas would permit some additional surface water absorption. Given there would be no increase in imperviousness, drainage volumes would not increase. Surface water run-off generated by new development in the Plan area would continue to be collected by storm drains located along Main and Richmond Streets and Grand Avenue and directed via culverts to the Pacific Ocean.

Any new development in the Plan area of significant size would require that site run-off and absorption rates will be calculated and analyzed by a licensed civil engineer who would develop a design to facilitate drainage via the existing storm sewer system adjacent to the site. Any improvements would be required to be completed by development applicants. New development will be required to comply with the City’s Storm Water and Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Control Ordinance (No. 1235) and the Water Conserving Landscape Ordinance (No.1194) and Resolution (No. 3806). A National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit from the State Water Resources Control Board would be required for development on any site that is more than 5 acres in size.

During future construction the displacement of earth could temporarily cause a change in drainage patterns. New patterns will be established once the project is completed. All runoff during and after construction will be required to drain into storm drainage facilities in accordance with plans and permits approved by the Departments of Community, Economic and Development Services and Public Works. Adjacent properties will be protected from flooding and erosion in accordance with standard code requirements.

Significant impacts to water availability are not anticipated. While the proposed project would represent a continuation of the region’s urbanizing trend, only minor increases in currently allowed densities are anticipated, as previously discussed. The Plan would not result in significant impacts to ocean or groundwater quality, absorption rates, drainage patterns, surface water run-off, or the amount of available water. There are no new impacts anticipated or associated with the proposed project and no mitigation beyond the standard permits is required.

9. LAND USE AND PLANNING. Would the project:

a) Physically divide an established community?

X

There are no changes in the Plan area that would divide an established community. The Plan will enhance the existing Downtown area, providing a focal point, and help to further unite the existing small town atmosphere of the community.

b) Conflict with an applicable land use plan, policy or regulation of an agency with jurisdiction over the project (including, but not limited to the general plan, specific plan, local coastal program, or zoning ordinance) adopted for the purpose of avoiding or mitigating an environmental effect?

X

The proposed Downtown Specific Plan will provide the land use and development standards for the Plan area, replacing the current Downtown Commercial (C-RS) and Public Facilities (PF) Zoning and land use designation.

Conformance with the General Plan is a policy issue which is determined at the discretion of the Planning Commission and the City Council. The Zoning and Municipal Codes incorporate many requirements which will help to mitigate any potential General Plan conflicts such as landscaping, underground utilities, Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategies, water conservation and storm water control.

As previously discussed, the existing land uses surrounding the Specific Plan area consist of residential, commercial and light industrial uses. The project is not expected to produce significant impacts in the pattern or scale of existing development within the Plan area or in its vicinity. The new Plan retains the existing land use pattern, with only minor revisions, which was already established when the City adopted the Zoning Code and General Plan, and which has been in existence for more than 50 years.

The Plan contains an overall Vision Statement which sets forth the goal of keeping the Downtown area as a small town community center. The Plan has policies that are designed to help the City achieve this goal. These policies address land use, building and design provisions, parking and traffic, and other issues. All these policies are designed not to alter the present land use pattern, but instead to enhance it.

c) Conflict with any applicable habitat conservation plan or natural communities conservation plan?

X

There are no habitat conservation or natural communities conservation plans within or near the Downtown Specific Plan area, therefore there are no conflicts.

10. MINERAL RESOURCES. Would the project:

a) Result in the loss of availability of a known mineral resource that would be of value to the region and the residents of the state?

X

The proposed Project would not impact the community with respect to the consumption of renewable and non-renewable natural resources in the form of building materials during any future construction, and water and fossil fuels during operation of any business within the Plan area. Increased development in the Plan area would result in an insignificant increase in the consumption of natural resources including fossil fuels in the form of electricity and natural gas since only minor increases above the existing density are proposed. Increased consumption is expected to be marginal and would be considered insignificant relative to cumulative consumption volumes throughout the City of El Segundo and the airport area as a whole. Development in the Plan area would be expected to consume natural resources at relatively low rates compared to the current allowed density, and impacts to energy and mineral resources would therefore be considered insignificant. It is anticipated that existing supplies and infrastructure are adequate to meet any potential additional demands for water and wastewater facilities. In addition, development within the Plan area would comply with all applicable statutes and regulations set forth In the Uniform Building Code, and all applicable State resource conservation measures.

Southern California Edison Company and the Gas Company are the suppliers of electricity and natural gas to the Plan area. Existing fuel supplies and infrastructure are adequate to meet the minor increase in density. Development within the Plan area would comply with all applicable statutes and regulations set forth by the respective energy companies, in addition to all applicable State energy conservation measures. Therefore, the proposed Specific Plan is not expected to result in significant increases in fossil fuel consumption or to produce any significant impacts upon the use, extraction or conservation of any natural resources, and no mitigation is required.

b) Result in the loss of availability of a locally-important mineral resource recovery site delineated on a local general plan, specific plan or other land use plan?

X

There are no known mineral resources within the Plan area, or any mineral resource recovery sites delineated on any local general, specific or other land use plan.

11. NOISE. Would the project result in:

a) Exposure of persons to or generation of noise levels in excess of standards established in the local general plan or noise ordinance, or applicable standards of other agencies?

X

See d) below.

b) Exposure of persons to or generation of excessive groundborne vibration or groundborne noise levels?

X

See d) below.

c) A substantial permanent increase in ambient noise levels in the project vicinity above levels existing without the project?

X

See d) below.

d) A substantially temporary or periodic increase in ambient noise levels in the project vicinity above levels existing without the project?

X

No significant increase in the existing noise levels is anticipated, since the land use pattern is already established and the Plan area is developed. Future development is anticipated to be consistent with this existing land use pattern.

Although the project site is developed, it is anticipated that business uses will change over a period of time. Today, one source of noise in the Downtown is that of the existing bars and restaurants. Any new bars require a conditional use permit. Thus, the noise issue will be addressed through the individual application review process. All businesses must comply with the noise standards in Chapter 9.06.

It is anticipated that there will be a slight increase in long-term ambient noise levels resulting from increased patronage of businesses within the Plan area. Increases in customer and employee activity are directly related to the economic health of the business district and cannot be predicted at this time. However, any increase in noise level is not anticipated to be significant. Exposure of people to severe noise levels is not anticipated to result from the adoption of the Plan and related implementation ordinances.

Reconstruction of existing buildings within the Plan area is anticipated to occur. This would result in a short-term increase in noise levels from typical construction-related noise. Construction and related noise are limited by the City of El Segundo Municipal Code, Chapter 9.06. Noise and vibration effects on the surrounding land uses are analyzed for both short-term construction activities and long-term operation of businesses within the Plan area. Construction activities for any new development in the Plan area are anticipated to be short-term in nature (approximately 6 to 12 months in duration) and will occur only between 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday – Saturday as allowed by City regulations. In addition, vibration attributable to construction activities is expected to be minimal due to the type of construction equipment generally employed for development of this nature. Therefore, there are no impacts.

e) For a project located within an airport land use plan, or, where such a plan has not been adopted, within two miles of a public airport or public use airport, would the project expose people residing or working in the project area to excessive noise levels?

X

See f) below.

f) For a project within the vicinity of a private airstrip, would the project expose people residing or working in the project area to excessive noise levels?

X

The Plan area is approximately one-half mile south of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The area is in the 65 CNEL noise contour, which is not considered a severely impacted noise area. The types of land uses proposed within the Plan area are already existing, are generally not sensitive to noise. There are no noise impacts with the proposed Plan area.

12. POPULATION AND HOUSING. Would the project:

a) Induce substantial population growth in an area, either directly (for example, by proposing new homes and businesses) or indirectly (for example, through extension of roads or other infrastructure)?

X

See c) below.

b) Displace substantial numbers of existing housing, necessitating the construction of replacement housing elsewhere?

X

See c) below.

c) Displace substantial numbers of people, necessitating the construction of replacement housing elsewhere?

X

In 1997, the City of El Segundo had a permanent population of approximately 16,250 and a daytime population of approximately 75,000. This resident to employee ration has contributed to a relatively high demand for housing within the City. In 1996, a total of approximately 7,325 dwelling units existed in El Segundo. All residences in the City are located west of Sepulveda Boulevard, while non-residential uses are located predominately to the east of Sepulveda Boulevard.

New development within the Plan area will bring minimal new employment and a maximum of 150 housing units to the area is not anticipated to add significantly to the overall daytime population of the entire City. The project is not expected to induce substantial growth as the densities proposed are similar to what is currently allowed and the increase in residential density is not significant compared to the overall number of dwelling units in the City. The project will not displace existing housing or people as no demolition of existing housing is anticipated. No significant impact is anticipated.

13. PUBLIC SERVICES. Would the project result in substantial adverse physical impacts associated with the provision of new or physically altered government facilities, need for new or physically altered government facilities, the construction of which could cause significant environmental impacts, in order to maintain acceptable service ratios, response times or other performance objectives for any of the public services:

a) Fire protection?

X

See e) below

b) Police protection?

X

See e) below

c) Schools?

X

See e) below

d) Parks?

X

See e) below

e) Other public facilities?

X

The approval and implementation of the Plan will not result in the need for new or altered fire or police protection services, since the project covers an already developed portion of the City. The proposed Plan is not anticipated to impact the demand for municipal services. Police and fire services to the Plan area are provided by the City of El Segundo Police and Fire Departments. Water and park services are also operated by the City of El Segundo. Sewer demands for the proposed project will continue to be accommodated by Los Angeles County Sanitation District sewer lines and will be treated at the Hyperion Treatment facility in the City of Los Angeles. School services are provided by the El Segundo Unified School District.

In the future, as new development occurs, upgrades in fire protection systems and seismic retrofit programs could reduce the demands upon the Fire Department.

Some existing land uses within the Plan area require a greater level of police protection than others. Bars and restaurants with liquor licenses or entertainment have been known to require additional police protection. The new Plan will continue to require conditional use permits for bars and special permits for entertainment and amplified sound. Any sale of alcohol requires an Administrative Use Permit, which is discretionary. The need for any additional police protection can be addressed, if necessary, through the project specific application process.

There is minimal residential development within the Plan area. Any increase in schoolage children in the Plan area that may occur with the adoption and implementation of the Plan is anticipated to be minor, as any new residential development is anticipated to be minor and not a significant impact. Residential development within a mixed-use environment tends to attract smaller households without school age children.

All parks and other recreational facilities adjacent to the Plan area are to be retained. The Plan area itself does not contain any parks or recreational facilities so there are no proposed changes to these facilities. No additional facilities will be required due to the adoption of the Plan and implementation program, because the project will not result in a significant increase in population or employment.

No impacts to other public or governmental facilities are anticipated as the result of the proposed project.

14. RECREATION.

a) Would the project increase the use of existing neighborhood or regional parks or other recreational facilities such that substantial physical deterioration of the facility would occur or be accelerated?

X

The project is not anticipated to significantly increase the use of any existing recreational facilities as any increase in employment or population in the Plan area will be insignificant, as previously discussed.

b) Does the project include recreational facilities or require the construction or expansion of recreational facilities which might have an adverse physical effect on the environment?

X

All parks and other recreational facilities adjacent to the Plan area are to be retained. The Plan area itself does not contain any parks or recreational facilities. There are no proposed changes to the existing recreational facilities in the surrounding area. No additional facilities are proposed or will be required due to the adoption of the Plan and implementation program, because the project will not result in a significant increase in population or employment.

15. TRANSPORTATION/TRAFFIC. Would the project:

a) Cause an increase in the traffic which is substantial in relation to the existing traffic load and capacity of the street system (i.e., result in a substantial increase in either the number of vehicle trips, the volume to capacity ratio on roads, or congestion at intersections)?

X

The roadways and intersections within the Specific Plan area, currently operate at Level of Service (LOS) A, B and C. As evaluated in the Circulation Element update, even with increased density, maximum build-out, and reconfiguration of Main Street from four to three lanes, the roadways and intersections will not have a significant impact, with mitigation. One intersection, Imperial Highway and Main Street (outside of the Plan area), would require intersection mitigation, including striping, signalization modifications, and possibly other minor improvements. The westbound left-turn and eastbound right-turn volumes currently are very high. This intersection currently operates at LOS E, and the increase in density in the Downtown would slightly worsen the condition.

With a three-lane configuration, one through lane would be provided in each direction on Main Street and the third lane would be a center left-turn lane. A two-lane configuration was evaluated but is not proposed as there are potentially significant impacts with two-lanes. Additionally, the Circulation Element evaluates the possibility of reclassifying Main Street from El Segundo Boulevard to Grand Avenue from Secondary Arterial to Collector Street. The evaluation concludes that it would be appropriate instead to identify a new street classification, "Commercial Collector", as the existing roadway for the entire length of Main Street is inconsistent with the existing classifications. Main Street is currently designated as a four-lane collector from Grand Avenue to Imperial Avenue, with a curb to curb width of 56 feet and a right-of way width of 80 feet. The new classification would only be for Main Street and would accommodate the proposed three-lane configuration as well as the existing four-lane configuration, which will remain outside of the Specific Plan area. The traffic analysis that was prepared for the Circulation Element is considered to be worse case scenario as the entire C-RS zone was evaluated, not just the Plan area.

b) Exceed, either individually or cumulatively, a level of service standard established by the county congestion management agency for designated roads or highways?

X

The nearest CMP designated roadway is Sepulveda Boulevard. The traffic study that was prepared for the City’s Circulation Element update indicates that there will be no significant impact to any CMP routes as the Plan area is located almost 1 mile west of this nearest route.

c) Result in a change in air traffic patterns, including either an increase in traffic levels or a change in location that results in substantial safety risks?

X

As previously discussed, the Plan will not significantly increase allowed density and the traffic study for the Circulation Element indicated there are no significant impacts with the implementation of the Plan. The type of land uses that are existing and proposed are neighborhood serving and are not expected to generate additional airport traffic which would impact air traffic patterns or result in a substantial safety risk.

d) Substantially increase hazards to a design feature (e.g., sharp curves or dangerous intersections) or incompatible uses (e.g. farm equipment)?

X

Currently there are no design features which are hazards. Proposed traffic improvements will not create any new hazards and are anticipated to improve safety as the emphasis will be on improving and enhancing pedestrian circulation without negatively impacting vehicular circulation. There are no incompatible land uses in the vicinity.

e) Result in inadequate emergency access?

X

Any modifications to roads or alleys will be designed to accommodate emergency vehicles in accordance with standard Code requirements. As the level of new development that is proposed with Plan implementation is minimal, there will not be any significant impacts to emergency access.

f) Result in inadequate parking capacity?

X

The Plan proposes to provide more flexible parking standards in order to take advantage of the existing abundant parking supply. Joint-use, shared, structured and off-site parking and other solutions are potentially proposed in order to better manage parking. A Parking Management Plan, to be included within the Specific Plan, will ensure that existing and new parking facilities are adequate to serve any new development within the Plan area.

g) Conflict with adopted policies or programs supporting alternative transportation (e.g., bus turnouts, bicycle racks)?

X

The Plan will enhance and expand existing alternative transportation by providing additional or improved bus turnouts and bike racks.

16. UTILITIES AND SERVICE SYSTEMS. Would the project:

a) Exceed wastewater treatment requirements of the applicable Regional Water Quality Control Board?

X

See g) below.

b) Require or result in construction of new water or wastewater treatment facilities or expansion of existing facilities, the construction of which could cause significant environmental effects?

X

See g) below.

c) Require or result in the construction of new storm water drainage facilities or expansion of existing facilities, the construction of which could cause significant environmental effects?

X

See g) below.

d) Have sufficient water supplies available to serve the project from existing entitlements and resources, or are new or expanded entitlements needed?

X

See g) below.

e) Result in a determination by the wastewater treatment provider which services or may serve the project determined that it has adequate capacity to serve the project’s projected demand in addition to the provider’s existing commitments?

X

See g) below.

f) Be served by a landfill with sufficient permitted capacity to accommodate the project’s solid waste disposal needs?

X

See g) below.

g) Comply with federal, state, and local statues and regulations related to solid waste?

X

Existing utility infrastructure beneath Main and Richmond Streets and Grand Avenue, and the abutting alleys, includes electricity, natural gas, telephone, cable television, water, sewer and storm drain lines. Utility services for any future development in the Plan area would be provided by the appropriate purveyors, including: Southern California Edison Company, The Gas Company, Pacific Bell, Paragon Cable, and the City of El Segundo Water and Wastewater Division. Solid waste disposal is provided to commercial users by a variety of private haulers. The City of El Segundo provides residential solid waste service. Development within the Specific Plan Area would contract with a provider. Landfill capacity for the planning term (10 years) is adequate for assumed population and commercial growth within Los Angeles County. Future development and implementation of the Plan would not exceed any assumptions for either population or commercial growth in the region. The impacts of the Plan on utility systems is minimal. Developers would required to submit all registration forms required for service connections in the Plan area, and would adhere to all applicable utility permit guidelines and restrictions.

Water utility service is provided by the City of El Segundo Water Department which purchases water from the West Basin Municipal Water District (WBMWD). WBMWD recently completed the largest water reclamation facility in the State located in El Segundo, which provides water to a number of commercial, industrial and park users. It would be feasible at this time to connect to reclaimed water supplies, as reclaimed water facilities are located within a few blocks of the Plan area.

Therefore, development and implementation of the Plan is not expected to generate the need for new utilities, nor would it cause significant alterations to existing utilities.

17. MANDATORY FINDINGS OF SIGNIFICANCE.

a) Does the project have the potential to degrade the quality of the environment, substantially reduce the habitat of a fish or wildlife species, cause a fish or wildlife population to drop below self-sustaining levels, threaten to eliminate a plant or animal community, reduce the number or restrict the range of a rare or endangered plant or animal, or eliminate important examples of the major periods of California history or prehistory?

X

See c) below.

b) Does the project have impacts that are individually limited, but cumulatively considerable? ("Cumulatively considerable" means that the incremental effects of a project are considerable when viewed in connection with the effects of the past projects, the effects of other current projects, and the effects of probable future projects)?

X

See c) below.

c) Does the project have environmental effects which will cause substantial adverse effects on human beings, either directly or indirectly?

X

The proposed project is on almost fully developed sites located in an urban setting. Based on the analysis above, the project does not have the potential to degrade the quality of the environment. There are no foreseeable negative cumulative impacts associated with the proposed project or no environmental effects that will have an adverse effect on human beings.

Mitigation Measure:

Intersection improvements, including striping, signalization modifications, and possibly other minor improvements, shall be required at Imperial Highway and Main Street, when the level of new development dictates that it is necessary in order to mitigate project impacts.

Source List:

  1. City of El Segundo Subdivision and Zoning Code – Titles 19 and 20 –1993, as amended.
  2. City of El Segundo General Plan – 1992, as amended.
  3. City of El Segundo General Plan Existing Conditions Reports – April 1992
  4. City of El Segundo Circulation Element Update Technical Report – Meyer, Mohaddes Associates, Inc. – February 2000
  5. California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) Hazardous Waste and Substance Site List – April 1998
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