Environmental Planning

Environmental Planning is one of the functions of the Comprehensive and Advance Planning section of the Community Development Department. Environmental Planning involves establishing programs and policies that encourage environmentally conscious development patterns, as well as encouraging low impact, resource-efficient project design that recognizes and protects the City’s environmental resources.

Environmental Planning also involves oversight of the Environmental Review process. Environmental Review is required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for all projects undertaken or approved by the City. It is the stage of a project where the project’s effect on the environment is analyzed and disclosed to City decision makers and to the public prior to the City rendering a decision on the project.

This web page provides information about local environmental review policies, programs and resources, guidance for navigating the City’s local environmental review process and provides access to environmental documents currently available for public review.

Staff Responsibilities 

Full-time planners in the Advance Planning section provide expert environmental review guidance and focus on environmental compliance. The main functions for the staff members are:

  • Performing environmental and planning review of City projects
  • Providing environmental information and education to Staff and public
  • Supporting Planning Division Staff in the environmental review process for private development projects

Advance Planning staff works in coordination with other Planning Division staff and City Departments to ensure compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the City’s Local CEQA Guidelines (PDF) for all City capital improvement projects and private development projects.

Capital Improvement Projects

Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) are projects paid for by your tax dollars for the betterment of infrastructure and facilities in our City. CIP projects include maintenance of our public streets, street widening or intersection improvements to keep traffic moving for our commuters, additional bike trails for our community to enjoy and safely utilize, new fire stations, libraries, and improvements to and/development of our public parks for City of Orange residents.

Environmental Documents and Resources

Staff also develops and maintains City environmental procedures, documents, environmental resource information, and oversees Community Development Department compliance with regional environmental programs such as the Natural Communities Conservation Planning (NCCP) program, Clean Water Act, and Clean Air Act. We also review and comment on environmental documents for projects in surrounding areas that may impact the City of Orange, ensuring environmental protection and safety for our City and residents.

Hazardous Waste Facilities

No off-site Hazardous Waste Facility can be constructed, installed, operated, or maintained in, or within 300 feet of any residential, commercial, or office/professional zone or district. Off-site Hazardous Waste Facilities can be constructed, installed, operated, or maintained only in the M1 and M2 Zones and only after first obtaining a Hazardous Waste Facility Siting Permit (in accordance with Orange Municipal Code Chapter 17.42 and Division 20, Chapter 6.5 of the California Health and Safety Code, as amended from time to time including, without limitation, Sections 25199 through 25199.14) and all other applicable federal, state, county, and city permits, licenses, and approvals. The Hazardous Waste Siting Permit is also a conditional use permit, and is subject to all provisions of the Orange Municipal Code relating to conditional use permits (except as specifically modified in this chapter).

The California Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Toxic Substances Control has a fact sheet outlining the process set forth in State law for approval of an off-site hazardous waste facility.