Chapter 3. Guidelines for Implementation of the California Environmental Quality Act Article 5. Preliminary Review of Projects and Conduct of Initial Study Notice of Exemption.
(a) When a public agency decides that a project is exempt from CEQA and the public agency approves or determines to carry out the project, the agency may file a notice of exemption. The notice shall be filed, if at all, after approval of the project. Such a notice shall include:
(1) A brief description of the project,
(2) The location of the project (either by street address and cross street for a project in an urbanized area or by attaching a specific map, preferably a copy of a U.S.G.S. 15' or 7-1/2' topographical map identified by quadrangle name).
(3) A finding that the project is exempt from CEQA, including a citation to the State Guidelines section or statute under which it is found to be exempt, and
(4) A brief statement of reasons to support the finding.
(b) A notice of exemption may be filled out and may accompany the project application through the approval process. The notice shall not be filed with the county clerk or OPR until the project has been approved.
(c) When a public agency approves an applicant's project, either the agency or the applicant may file a notice of exemption.
(1) When a state agency files this notice, the notice of exemption shall be filed with the Office of Planning and Research. A form for this notice is provided in Appendix E. A list of all such notices shall be posted on a weekly basis at the Office of Planning and Research, 1400 Tenth Street, Sacramento, California. The list shall remain posted for at least 30 days. The Office of Planning and Research shall retain each notice for not less than 12 months.
(2) When a local agency files this notice, the notice of exemption shall be filed with the county clerk of each county in which the project will be located. Copies of all such notices will be available for public inspection and such notices shall be posted within 24 hours of receipt in the office of the county clerk. Each notice shall remain posted for a period of 30 days. Thereafter, the clerk shall return the notice to the local agency with a notation of the period it was posted. The local agency shall retain the notice for not less than 12 months.
(3) All public agencies are encouraged to make postings pursuant to this section available in electronic format on the Internet. Such electronic postings are in addition to the procedures required by these guidelines and the Public Resources Code.
(4) When an applicant files this notice, special rules apply.
(A) The notice filed by an applicant is filed in the same place as if it were filed by the agency granting the permit. If the permit was granted by a state agency, the notice is filed with the Office of Planning and Research. If the permit was granted by a local agency, the notice is filed with the county clerk of the county or counties in which the project will be located.
(B) The notice of exemption filed by an applicant shall contain the information required in subdivision (a) together with a certified document issued by the public agency stating that the agency has found the project to be exempt. The certified document may be a certified copy of an existing document or record of the public agency.
(C) A notice filed by an applicant is subject to the same posting and time requirements as a notice filed by a public agency.
(d) The filing of a Notice of Exemption and the posting on the list of notices start a 35 day statute of limitations period on legal challenges to the agency's decision that the project is exempt from CEQA. If a Notice of Exemption is not filed, a 180 day statute of limitations will apply.
Public Resources Code 21083
Public Resources Code 21108
Public Resources Code 21152
(Amended by Register 2005, No. 40.)