Does every project require CEQA review?

CEQA only applies to projects that require discretionary approval by a government agency. A discretionary approval requires the use of judgment on the part of the approver. For example, if you want to change the zoning on your property to subdivide the property for a housing development, a discretionary action would need to be taken by the Board of Supervisors. This simply means that the Board of Supervisors has a choice to either approve or disapprove your request.

CEQA also applies to ministerial (non-discretionary) projects, however may qualify for an exemption as allowed by CEQA. A project requiring only ministerial approval simply involves a comparison of a project with specific standards or checklists and checking for compliance. For example, a County Building Department may check your house plans against electric and plumbing standards to make sure that the plan complies with adopted safety and sanitary regulations. Generally, the issuance of a building permit consistent with zoning and other land-use regulations is a ministerial action.

Show All Answers

1. What is the California Environmental Quality Act and what is its purpose?
2. Why is CEQA important?
3. How does CEQA work?
4. What is considered a project under CEQA?
5. Does every project require CEQA review?
6. What is an exemption?
7. What is an Initial Study?
8. What is a Significant Impact? How do you decide whether an impact is significant?
9. What is a mitigation measure?
10. What is a Negative Declaration or a Mitigated Negative Declaration?
11. What is an Environmental Impact Report (EIR)? When is one required?
12. What happens after the environmental document is finished?
13. Is a public hearing required?
14. How to citizens get involved? What are the public notice requirements?