Drafting Programmatic EIRs: Lessons Learned & Practical Tips
Friday, May 19, 2017
1:45 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. CDT
San Francisco, CA, United States
CM | 1.50
L | 1
CEQA practitioners often divide themselves into two camps: those that prepare project EIRs and those that prepare program EIRs. Most of us fall into the “project” camp, and have trouble adjusting our perspective accordingly for a programmatic EIR. Although the California courts clarified in 2014 that the project vs program label doesn’t really matter – the level of specificity in an EIR should be dictated by the nature of the project – there are some fundamentally different approaches to the CEQA evaluation of a General Plan or other planning document, especially one that applies to an entire county, city, or specific plan area, than for a specific development project with known construction and operation details. This session will delve into the nuts and bolts of programmatic EIRs, focusing on issues that are specific to plan-level documents, as well as how aspects of the EIR and analysis are different in a program EIR than in a project EIR. We’ll cover issues related to self-mitigating plans; identifying and evaluating plan buildout, including when a plan has a very long-term buildout; use of policies, programs, and measures as mitigation; project alternatives, cumulative analysis, and response to comments in a plan context; and setting up for and implementing future tiering. Panelists will offer perspectives from local agency, consulting, and legal backgrounds to share best practices on these and other aspects of programmatic EIRs. We’ll also present case studies from Cupertino, Vacaville, and Butte County to illustrate these issues and how the lessons learned can be applied to other program EIRs.
Lynne Bynder, firstname.lastname@example.org