Environmental Documents


This page provides access to environmental review documents, including current project documents (such as Notices of Intent and Initial Studies) that are available for public review and comment at this time.

To submit written comments during the applicable public review/comment period for a project listed below, please contact the Planning Division staff member identified in the Notice of Intent and Initial Study. 

Environmental Documents for Public Review

There are no environmental documents available for public review at this time. Please check this page for future updates.

Use of Environmental Consultants

Use of Environmental Consultants by Applicants: A maximum of three (3) environmental technical studies/reports may be prepared by a qualified consultant hired directly by the applicant (see Council Resolution No. 7744). The consultant(s) must be hired from the City’s list of authorized consultants.*  It is recommended that potential applicants call Planning staff to discuss the proposed project before beginning any environmental work. Up to three (3) technical studies/reports may include:

  • Air Quality/Greenhouse Gas/Energy Analysis; 
  • Biological Habitat Assessment; 
  • Cultural Resources Assessment; 
  • Historical Resources Assessment; 
  • Noise Impact Analysis; 
  • Traffic Impact Analysis (VMT analysis, and possibly LOS analysis for Measure U); or
  • Other technical study depending on the needs of the project.
* If an applicant wishes to use a consultant that is not currently on the List of Authorized Consultants, please have the consultant contact Planning staff directly and submit a current Statement of Qualifications for review. If approved, the consultant will be added to the list.   

Preparing Initial Studies: In accordance with Council Resolution No. 7836, the City will hire a qualified consultant  to prepare the Initial Study for development projects subject to CEQA review (e.g., Mitigated Negative Declaration, Negative Declaration, or EIR). Applicants may not prepare or hire a consultant to prepare an Initial Study for their own project. The City of Redlands is the lead agency under CEQA, and must independently prepare the environmental document and determination to satisfy CEQA requirements. Staff will prepare a Funding Agreement for the developer’s project, and the developer will be responsible for 100% of the cost for preparing the environmental documents (plus an additional 10% of the total contract cost for the City’s contract administration).  

Engineering Reports and Studies: There is no limit on the number of engineering technical reports that may be submitted, as these often are necessary to inform the site design and ultimately the Site Plan. If available, engineering reports should be submitted with the application, including but not limited to:

  • Preliminary hydrology/drainage report; 
  • Preliminary Water Quality Management Plan;
  • Soils investigation; 
  • Geotechnical investigation; 
  • Slope stability analysis, if applicable;
  • Phase 1 Site Assessment or Phase 2 Site Investigation reports; etc. 

Note: For development projects subject to NPDES requirements, a Preliminary Water Quality Management Plan must be submitted and accepted/approved prior to any public hearing or decision on the project (including Planning Commission hearing).

Local CEQA Thresholds for VMT Analysis

The City Council adopted local thresholds for VMT analysis on July 21, 2020:

City of Redlands CEQA Assessment VMT Analysis Guidelines

Map of Low VMT Areas

Map of Transit Priority Areas


A proposed development project will be determined to be either A) exempt from VMT analysis, or
B) not exempt from conducting VMT analysis for environmental review purposes.

A. Categories of Exemption

A project is “screened” (i.e., exempt) from preparing a VMT analysis when it can meet one or more of the following categories of exemption listed below. This is based on a proposed project’s VMT impact that is below the threshold of significance, and therefore will result in a “less than significant” VMT impact under CEQA. The screening categories for exemption are the following:

1. Location Within a Transit Priority Area: Projects located within a Transit Priority Area (i.e., within a half-mile of the Redlands train stations) and meeting the applicable criteria, such as having a Floor-Area Ratio 0.75 or more, are exempt from preparing a full VMT analysis.
2. Location in a Low VMT Areas: Certain areas of the City that are deemed Low VMT Areas will have low VMT-generating land uses (subject to buildout in accordance with the 2035 General Plan) compared to the Countywide VMT average. As such, future development projects in these specified Low VMT Areas, defined as more than 15% below the countywide average (highlighted in green on the map), are exempt from preparing a full VMT analysis.
3. Local-Serving Land Uses: Local-serving uses reduce the amount of VMT by providing common goods and services frequently needed by local residents, and as a result local residents drive fewer miles and thus generate less VMT. Proposed projects defined as Local-Serving Land Uses are exempt from preparing a VMT analysis, and include the following:

  • Local serving K-12 schools
  • Local parks
  • Day care centers
  • Local serving gas stations
  • Local serving banks
  • Local serving hotels (e.g. non-destination hotels)
  • Student housing projects on or adjacent to a college campus
  • Local serving assembly uses (places of worship, community organizations)
  • Community institutions (public libraries, fire stations, local government uses)
  • Local serving community colleges that are consistent with the assumptions in the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP/SCS)
  • Affordable living facilities
  • Senior housing

4. By Project Type and Square-Footage: Certain types of land uses under a square-footage threshold will have a less than significant impact, based on the CEQA Guidelines for greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. The City’s guidelines provide specific size and square-footage thresholds for different types of land uses. Projects which generate less than 3,000 metric tons (MT) of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) per year are exempt from VMT analysis, specifically:

  • Single-Family Residential – 167 dwelling units or fewer
  • Multi-Family Residential (1-2 stories) – 232 dwelling units or fewer
  • Multi-Family Residential (3+ stories) – 299 dwelling units or fewer
  • Office – 59,100 square-feet or less
  • Local Serving Retail Center – 112,400 square-feet or less (and no stores larger than 50,000 square-feet in a commercial center)
  • Warehousing – 463,600 square-feet or less
  • Light Industrial – 74,600 square-feet or less
 B. Non-Exempt Projects

A development project that is not exempt from performing VMT analysis under one of the categories above will be required to conduct a VMT analysis. Preparation of the VMT analysis must be prepared following the detailed instructions in the adopted City of Redlands CEQA Assessment VMT Analysis Guidelines (see link at top).

If necessary, a project will identify any mitigation measures that reduce the VMT impact to a level less than significant (see Guidelines), in which case a Mitigated Negative Declaration may be prepared in accordance with CEQA.  Development projects that cannot mitigate their VMT impacts would be required to prepare an Environmental Impact Report.  Please refer to the ‘Use of Environmental Consultants’ tab (at top of this page) for further information about the City’s use of environmental consultants to prepare MNDs and EIRs. 

Consultants: Prior to beginning any work on traffic impact or VMT analysis, a consultant must contact staff in the Municipal Utilities & Engineering Department (Mr. Don Young, Engineering Manager, at dyoung@cityofredlands.org) to discuss and agree upon the scope of work. Any traffic or VMT analysis prepared and submitted without a pre-authorized scope may be rejected, and additional work may be required by City staff and/or the City’s peer review consultant.

Measure U: In addition, the City may continue to require Level of Service (LOS) analysis for purposes of evaluating a proposed project’s compliance with the standards required by Measure U local growth management initiative. Measure U, Section 2 (Principles of Managed Development), Principle Six states:

“(a) Levels of Traffic Service throughout the City Shall Be Maintained- To assure the adequacy of various public services and to prevent degradation of the quality of life experienced by the citizens of Redlands, all new development projects shall assure by appropriate mitigation measures that, at a minimum, traffic levels of service are maintained at a minimum of LOS C throughout the City, except where the current level of service is lower than LOS C, or as provided in Section 5.20 of the Redlands General Plan where a more intense LOS is specifically permitted. In any location where the level of service is below LOS C at the time an application for a development project is submitted, mitigation measures shall be imposed on that development project to assure, at a minimum, that the level of traffic service is maintained at levels of service that are no worse than those existing at the time an application for development is filed, except as provided in Section 5.20b.”