Del Mar council considers new CEQA guidelines

Del Mar City Hall
(Jon Clark)

In response to a new state law, the Del Mar City Council is evaluating new standards for environmental review that places an emphasis on vehicle miles traveled.

The law, SB 743, was approved by then-Gov. Jerry Brown in 201`3 and takes effect in the city this July. The vehicle miles traveled metric replaces the traditionally used “level of service” measurement and whether there are traffic delays.

Options to mitigate traffic for new construction will focus on improvements for multimodal means of transportation, according to a report by city staff.

“The ridesharing caught my attention and perhaps even the idea of electric golf cart sharing,” Del Mar Deputy Mayor Terry Gaasterland said. “There may be things we haven’t thought about that would fit the city well.”

The law allows cities to set their own thresholds to determine when a project would create a significant CEQA impact, according to the city staff report. Council members agreed they wanted to adopt a citywide criteria to evaluating vehicle miles traveled, instead of using the same methods applied for the whole region.

Proposed city regulations will be developed and presented to the Planning Commission and Traffic and Parking Advisory Commission in April or May.

--Report by Luke Harold