Community Development

What is the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)?
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) (Pub. Res. Code 21000 et seq.) is a state law that requires environmental analysis for projects subject to City approval to determine if it will have a significant environmental impact.

CEQA applies to "projects" proposed to be undertaken or requiring approval by State and local government agencies.  "Projects" are activities that require discretionary City approval and have the potential to result in a significant impact.

The basic steps of the environmental review process are:

  1. Determine if the activity is a "project" subject to CEQA.
  2. Perform an Initial Study to identify the environmental impacts of the project and determine whether the identified impacts are "significant".
  3. Determine if the project is exempt from CEQA.
  4. Based on the findings of the Initial Study, the lead agency makes the following findings or prepares one of the following environmental documents:
    • Find that although the proposed project could have a significant effect on the environment, there will not be a significant effect in this case because all potentially significant effects:
      • Have been analyzed adequately in an earlier EIR pursuant to applicable studies; and
      • Have been avoided or mitigated pursuant to an earlier EIR including revisions or mitigation measures that are imposed upon the proposed project.
    • Prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) if there is substantial evidence that significant impacts may occur.
    • Prepare a Negative Declaration (Neg Dec) if there is no evidence that the proposed project would have significant effect on the environment.
    • Prepare a Mitigated Negative Declaration if there is evidence that significant effects might occur but the project proponent can modify the project to eliminate the effects, or reduce them to a level of insignificance.
What is a CEQA Exemption?
CEQA exempts certain types of projects from its requirements.  These exemptions are listed in the State Law, the State CEQA Guidelines, and the City's CEQA Implementing Procedures.
What are Mitigation Measures?
Mitigation Measures are actions intended to eliminate or reduce the significant environmental effects of a project as identified in a CEQA document.

Mitigation when used in the context of CEQA includes:
  1. Avoiding the impact altogether by not taking a certain action or parts of an action.
  2. Minimizing impacts by limiting the degree or magnitude of the action and its implementation.
  3. Rectifying the impact by repairing, rehabilitating, or restoring the impacted environment.
  4. Reducing or eliminating the impact over time by preservation and maintenance operations during the life of the action.
  5. Compensating for the impact by replacing or providing substitute resources or environments.
What is an Initial Study?
An Initial Study is a checklist that assesses whether a project may have a significant impact on the environment.  This helps determine whether an environmental impact report or a negative declaration should be prepared.
What is a Negative Declaration (Neg Dec)?
A Negative Declaration is a written statement by the lead agency briefly describing why a proposed project will not have a significant effect on the environment and thus does not require the preparation of an EIR.
What is a Mitigated Negative Declaration?
A Mitigated Negative Declaration is a type of negative declaration prepared when an Initial Study identifies the potentially significant environmental impacts of a project, but also identifies mitigation measures that would reduce the impacts to a negligible level.
What is an Environmental Impact Report (EIR)?
An EIR provides the general public, state and local agencies with detailed information on the potentially significant environmental effects of a proposed project and lists ways to minimize significant environmental effects, including an analysis of alternatives to the project.
What is a conditional use permit?
A conditional use permit is required when certain land uses need to be reviewed to assure there will be no adverse impact to the surrounding areas. 


For example, a business might want to put an automotive repair shop in a Community Commercial zoning area.  The project would be reviewed and notices sent to surrounding property owners with a time frame for comments.  This process requires a public hearing before the Planning Commission.  


The Application Checklist and Universal Application forms can be downloaded from the City of Roseville website.


Please call the Planning Department at 916-774-5279 for additional information. 


Are there times when the city requires water features to be turned off?
Yes, if the City declares a Stage 3 drought condition all decorative fountains, decorative (i.e., non-swimming) pools, water play features, and decorative waterways shall be drained and made dry. Such fountains, pools, and waterways shall not be refilled until the city has returned to the basic water conservation stage. In normal rainfall years, City water play features will be turned off during the winter months. During the spring and summer months, water play features are set “on” using timers, start delays and pre-set water output and are turned off during the evenings.
Are water features affected by the City’s water waste ordinance?
Yes.  If a water feature is shown to be wasting water the City will treat it just like any other water waste complaint. 
Does the City require efficiency features in water features?
The City requires that all fountains and waterfalls have a pump installed that continues to recirculate water through the feature. Water features that do not recirculate the water are considered water waste and are not allowed per Roseville Municipal Code 14.09.030.
How does the City decide which water features to allow, and which to disallow?
Whether the water feature is privately owned and maintained or publicly owned or maintained, a number of factors are considered. These include budget, design goals, adjacent or nearby uses, ability to achieve water efficiency requirements and commitment to long term maintenance and operations.
What about playground equipment?
Water play features that utilize medium to high water usage require a recirculation system.  Water play features that have very low flow output, such as misters or other similar type nozzles, have too small of an output to recapture and therefore do not require a recirculation system.  Water efficiency features are incorporated into the spray nozzles which minimizes waste and problems associated with water waste (i.e. stormwater runoff, continual wet turf areas, etc.).
What is a water feature?
Any feature that uses the movement of water as its primary focus. This can be a water fountain, a waterfall, pond, pool, or a play component in a park.
Why are water features important to our community?
For parks and public/community gathering spaces, water is a valuable and popular play feature. This in part is due to the hot summer climate as well as a draw for children. The challenge is to provide the opportunity for water play throughout the entire community and achieve the cumulative water efficiency and savings required as well as minimizing operational costs that are associated with recirculating systems. These objectives are conflicting and require a strategic approach to balance and achieve both. The result is that not every park will have a water play feature, but rather large geographical areas throughout the City may have an opportunity for water play of some sort.
Why does the city allow water features to be installed?
Water features can contribute greatly to Roseville residents' quality of life, particularly during the hot summer months.  In addition, water features can add significant architectural interest, thereby improving the aesthetic appearance of the city.

The City outlines specific water conservation requirements, including water efficient landscaping.  New construction landscape projects are required to submit and adhere to a conservative "water budget," which is a pre-established amount of water that can be applied to maintain the landscape.  These water budgets restrict the amount of water that can be applied thus requiring landscape designers to plan landscapes that require less water.  In an effort to provide flexibility to landscape designers and developers, the City does not dictate or prohibit specific landscape features, including water features.  However, if a water feature is used in a landscape, the landscape design must offset the higher water consumption of the water feature with lower water-consuming landscaping elsewhere in the project.

Will the City continue to allow water features to be installed in the future?
Yes, the City will continue to allow water features to be installed in future developments.  However, these features will be considered high water users (equal to turf grass) and accommodations must be made to the landscape design to ensure that the project meets a stringent water budget.
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