Local Environmental Review Procedures

The City of Orange has adopted Local CEQA Guidelines (as required by state law) to assist the development community and the public in understanding City procedures for complying with CEQA. These guidelines describe Community Development Department staff responsibilities, procedural steps for completing the CEQA process, public review and noticing requirements, and guidance for evaluating impacts to historical resources.

These Guidelines were updated and approved by the City of Orange City Council on July 14, 2020 to address the use of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) as the metric for evaluation of development project transportation impacts and to make the Guidelines consistent with the current provisions and interpretations of CEQA and the State CEQA Guidelines.

This document, along with the administrative procedures outlined in the City of Orange Zoning Code, define the local environmental review process.

City of Orange Initial Study Template

The City of Orange Initial Study Checklist template is now available online! The Initial Study Checklist is a preliminary analysis tool used by City staff and/or environmental consultants to evaluate the environmental effects of a project. It consists of a series of questions organized by environmental issue area and it is a critical element of the environmental review process.

Please note: The City of Orange Initial Study checklist was last updated in July 2020. The checklist is consistent with the State’s Initial Study Checklist (Appendix G of the State CEQA Guidelines) effective December 28, 2018. It differs from the State’s Checklist only in that it contains additional checklist questions related to water quality (Hydrology section) and energy resources (Utilities section). The water quality questions were added in conformance with the recommendations of the County of Orange Drainage Area Management Plan (DAMP) and the City of Orange Local Implementation Plan (LIP).

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Analysis-Local Guidance

New State CEQA Guidelines addressing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions became effective on March 18, 2010. In summary, CEQA documents are now required to make a good faith effort to describe, calculate, or estimate GHG emissions from projects and also must determine whether that project contribution is "cumulative considerable."
In light of the general analysis framework provided in the State CEQA Guidelines, the City has issued the following Local Guidance Memo. The memo is intended to supplement the State’s Guidance (where needed) and provide a local framework for analyzing GHG emissions in environmental documents for which the City of Orange is the CEQA lead agency. If you have any questions regarding the memo, please contact Ashley Brodkin, Associate Planner.

The following documents were referenced in the memo and may also be helpful in the analysis of GHGs.

Request for Proposals (RFP)

The City of Orange does not have an approved "qualified consultant list." However, we do maintain a contact list for consultants interested in receiving environmental services RFPs. Please note that the City of Orange allows private development applicants to retain their own environmental consultants (at the discretion of the Community Development Director). Therefore, RFPs for environmental services typically relate to City Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) only. Current RFPs for environmental services are listed on the City’s Bids and RFPs page.

If you would like to be added to the Environmental Consultant mailing list to receive notices of RFPs for environmental services, please email Associate Planner, Ashley Brodkin.