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

Pre-Owned Automobile Dealership and Refurbishing Facility Project
(Conditional Use Permit No. 1179, Commission Review & Approval No. 962, and Amendment No. 51 to the East Valley Corridor Specific Plan)

The public review and comment period for this project began on May 3, 2024, and will end on Monday, June 3, 2024. Public comments on the environmental document should be submitted in writing to Ryan Murphy, Senior Planner, at  ‘rmurphy@cityofredlands.org‘ prior to the deadline of June 3, 2024.

For any general questions about the project, please contact Ryan Murphy, Senior Planner, via email at ’rmurphy@cityofredlands.org‘.


Tennessee Village Residential Project Located at Tennessee St./Lugonia Ave.
(Commission Review & Approval No. 956)

The public review and comment period for this project began on April 24, 2024, and ended on Monday, May 27, 2024. Additional opportunity to provide comments on the project will be at the Planning Commission public hearing (date to be determined). For any general questions about the project, please contact Sean Reilly, Principal Planner, via email at ’sreilly@cityofredlands.org‘.


Proposed Warehouse Project Located at 1101 California Street
(Planned Development No. 7)

The public review and comment period for this project ended on April 29, 2024. Additional opportunity to provide public comments will be at the City Council public hearing for the project (tentatively scheduled for July 16, 2024). 

For any general questions about the project, please contact Kevin Beery, Senior Planner, via email at ’kbeery@cityofredlands.org‘.


“Madera at Citrus Trails” Residential Subdivision (Tentative Tract Map No. 20571)

The City Council approved this project on May 7, 2024. For any general questions about the project, please contact Ryan Murphy, Senior Planner, via email at ’rmurphy@cityofredlands.org‘.


Proposed Warehouse Project at 301 Tennessee St. (CUP No. 1182, CRA No. 948)

The Planning Commission did not approve this project (denial resolution was adopted on May 28, 2024).

For any general questions about the project, please contact Sean Reilly, Principal Planner, via email at ’sreilly@cityofredlands.org‘.

What is “CEQA”?

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

The California Environmental Quality Act is a complex State law that requires the identification, disclosure, and analysis of possible effects on the environment that may result from a proposed development project (or other “project” as defined by CEQA). The City of Redlands utilizes several qualified environmental consulting firms to prepare any required environmental documents or technical studies for proposed projects. 

For general information about CEQA and related topics, please go to the following link:
CEQA Guidelines – California Governor’s Office of Planning & Research


Tribal Government Consultation

Tribal Government notification is a part of the CEQA process now (when an Initial Study is to be prepared) and is required by State law. The City may need to consult with one or more Native American Tribal Governments as part of any required environmental review process for a proposed project. This is often referred to as the ”AB 52″ or “SB 18″ tribal consultation process (development projects often trigger AB 52 only, not SB 18). If consultation is requested by a Tribe, the formal consultation must be conducted as government-to-government communication.

Further information about AB 52 and SB 18 may be found on OPR’s website: 
Governor’s Office of Planning & Research: Tribal Cultural Resources.

An overview of the AB 52 consultation process timeline is provided below. Generally, a Tribal Government has either 30 days (under AB 52) or 90 days (under SB 18) to respond to the City and request to open consultation for a project if they so choose. There is no maximum time limit specified in State law for a Tribal Government to close or conclude consultation.

AB 52 Compliance Timeline and Consultation Process Flowchart (PDF)

Tribal Government Consultation Process Flowchart

The precise timeline will vary for each individual project proposal or development application. If the Tribal Governments have no comments or concerns, then the timeline may be as little as 1 to 2 months (under AB 52) or up to 90 days (under SB 18). On the other hand, if a formal consultation is opened with one or more Tribal Governments, then the process may take several months (depending on the project information a Tribe is requesting, the number of consultation meetings that are needed, agreement upon any mitigation measures, how quickly a Tribe wishes to close consultation, or other factors beyond the control of City staff or the applicant). The assigned staff Planner will keep the project applicant informed regarding the status and progress of any tribal consultation.

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; 
  • Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) Analysis***; or
  • Other technical study depending on the needs of the project.

* Note 1: 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 prior to beginning any work. If approved, the consultant will be added to the list.   
** Note 2: For some environmental studies, it is advisable to have your intended consultant contact Planning Division staff to discuss and agree on the scope of work prior to beginning any work on your project. Some consultants may require special training, certification, or permits such as California Fish & Wildlife or U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service permits (e.g., for special status species such as San Bernardino Kangaroo Rat or other threatened or endangered species). 
*** Note 3: The traffic consultant must contact Land Use Engineering Division staff and Planning Division staff to agree on a scope of work prior to beginning any work on the traffic analysis for your project. Some projects may still require a separate Traffic Impact Analysis (i.e., Level of Service (LOS) analysis) to verify compliance with the City’s General Plan and Measure ‘U’ even though CEQA no longer considers LOS analysis to evaluate environmental impacts.

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 (e.g., a Floor-Area Ratio of 0.75 or more, not providing on-site parking that exceeds the zoning code requirements, etc.) 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 CEQA Assessment VMT Analysis Guidelines.

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 Land Use Engineering Division (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’ 

Measure ‘U’ is a local growth management initiative adopted by the voters in Redlands, and contains policies for traffic Levels of Service in Redlands. Level of Service (or LOS) is no longer evaluated under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and therefore, is no longer included in CEQA environmental documents such as Initial Studies. CEQA now uses Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) only as the metric for environmental analysis.

The City continues to use Level of Service (LOS) analysis for purposes of evaluating a proposed project’s compliance with the General Plan and Measure U. The City may require a Traffic Impact Analysis report to be prepared separately for a proposed project, but will not be included in the CEQA analysis or documents.

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.”

Guiding Policies: Standards for Traffic Service

5.20a: Maintain LOS C or better as the standard at all intersections presently at LOS C or better.

5.20b: Within the area identified in GP Figure 5-1, including that unincorporated County area identified on GP Figure 5-1 as the “donut hole”, maintain LOS C or better; however, accept a reduced LOS on a case by case basis upon approval by a four-fifths (4/5ths) vote of the total authorized membership of the City Council.

5.20c: Where the current level of service at a location within the City of Redlands is below the Level of Service (LOS) C standard, no development project shall be approved that cannot be mitigated so that it does not reduce the existing level of service at that location except as provided in Section 5.20b.

Click here for Measure ‘U’ pages from Chapter 5 in the General Plan

Click here for Chapter 5, Connected City, from the General Plan


Exemptions (per Section 2, Part B, of Measure U):

“2. Special Categories of Development.
The provisions of this initiative measure shall not apply to the following:
A. New individual infill construction of single family homes on existing lots of record bounded by developed property as of March 1, 1997;
B. Rehabilitation, remodeling or additions to existing single family residential structures;
C. Reconstruction or replacement of any uses to the same density, intensity and classification of use as existed on the Effective Date, including legal non-conforming uses;
D. Development directly related to proposed Metrolink stations in the City of Redlands, including one at the University of Redlands;
E. New development projects subject to the Downtown Specific Plan 45, upon a four-fifths (4/5ths) vote of the total authorized membership of the City Council; and
F. Special, temporary or occasional uses of public streets including parades, local sporting and cultural events, graduation ceremonies, approved school activities and other occasional public gatherings.”

NOTE: If you believe a proposed development project may qualify for one of the exemptions listed above, please contact Planning Division staff for further information before preparing your Traffic Study.   

Water Efficient Landscape

Click on the link below to view resources for water-efficient landscaping, including water budget calculators:

City of Redlands Water-Efficient Landscape Requirements (RMC Chapter 15.54)

California Department of Water Resources website 

DWR Water Budget Calculators

Inland Empire Utilities Agency – landscaping

Click on the links below for the City’s annual reports regarding the Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO). 

2023 MWELO Report
2022 MWELO Report
2021 MWELO Report
2020 MWELO Report
2019 MWELO Report
2018 MWELO Report
2017 MWELO Report
2016 MWELO Report
2015 MWELO Report