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Local Environmental Review Procedures

The City of Orange has adopted Local CEQA Guidelines (pdf) (as required by state law) to assist the development community and the public in understanding City procedures for complying with CEQA. These Guidelines describe Community Development Department staff responsibilities, procedural steps for completing the CEQA process, public review and noticing requirements, and guidance for evaluating impacts to historical resources. These Guidelines were updated and approved by the Orange City Council on April 11, 2006.

In addition to the Local CEQA Guidelines, the City has also adopted a Mitigation Monitoring Program (pdf) (as required by state law). It requires a Mitigation Monitoring Report to be prepared for any project where “mitigation measures” are imposed. The Mitigation Monitoring Report establishes timing and assigns responsibilities for implementing and monitoring compliance with required mitigation measures. The Mitigation Monitoring Program was last updated on August 27, 1991.

These two documents, along with the administrative procedures outlined in the City of Orange Zoning Code, define the local environmental review process.

 City of Orange Initial Study Template

The City of Orange Initial Study Checklist template (pdf) is now available online! The Initial Study Checklist is a preliminary analysis tool used by City staff and/or environmental consultants to evaluate the environmental effects of a project. It consists of a series of questions organized by environmental issue area and it is a critical element of the environmental review process.

Note: The City of Orange Initial Study checklist was last updated on February 1, 2010. The checklist is consistent with the State's Initial Study Checklist (Appendix G of the State CEQA Guidelines) effective March 18, 2010. It differs from the State's Initial Study Checklist only in that it contains additional checklist questions related to Water Quality. These questions were added in conformance with the recommendations of the County of Orange Drainage Area Management Plan (DAMP) and the City of Orange Local Implementation Plan (LIP).

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Analysis-Local Guidance

New State CEQA Guidelines addressing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions became effective on March 18, 2010. In summary, CEQA documents are now required to make a good faith effort to describe, calculate, or estimate GHG emissions from projects and also must determine whether that project contribution is “cumulative considerable”.

In light of the general analysis framework provided in the State CEQA Guidelines, the City has issued the following Local Interim Guidance Memo. The memo is intended to supplement the State’s Guidance (where needed) and provide a local framework for analyzing GHG emissions in environmental documents for which the City of Orange is the CEQA lead agency. If you have any questions regarding the memo, please contact Jennifer (McDonald) Le, Senior Planner/Environmental Review Coordinator at
jle@cityoforange.org or (714) 744-7238.

The following documents and weblinks were referenced in the memo and may also be helpful in the analysis of GHGs.

Request for Proposals (RFP)

The City of Orange does not have an approved “qualified consultant list”. However, we do maintain a contact list for consultants interested in receiving environmental services RFPs. Please note that the City of Orange allows private development applicants to retain their own environmental consultants (at the discretion of the Community Development Director). Therefore, RFPs for environmental services typically relate to City Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) only. Current RFPs for environmental services are listed on the City’s Bids and RFPs web page

If you would like to be added to the Environmental Consultant mailing list to receive notices of RFPs for environmental services, please email Senior Planner/Environmental Review Coordinator, Jennifer McDonald Le, at jle@cityoforange.org.

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