Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of City and Regional Planning


W. David Conn


The City of Clearlake in northern California initiated its first general plan update in 2012.The City decided to do an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the general plan update in order to fulfill the California Environmental Quality Act’s (CEQA) requirements.The author wrote the Agriculture and Biological Resources sections of the EIR.She explains the CEQA process for a programmatic-level EIR, and summarizes the lessons learned and recommendations for CEQA.

General CEQA issues include fear of litigation and vague requirements for thresholds of significance.Additional CEQA issues include difficulty applying the same level of analysis to programmatic projects when the Environmental Checklist is more applicable for small-scale projects; difficulty identifying the extent of analysis needed; and the cost and time burdens of preparing programmatic-level EIRs.Recommendations for future programmatic-level EIRs and CEQA reform conclude the paper.