Staff is recommending that the Council Consider and Certify an Environmental Determination For the Phelps Ave Reconstruction Project and Further Direct Staff to File a Notice of Exemption with the County Clerk’s Office in Compliance With The California Environmental Quality Act.
In March of 2016, the City Council reprogramed project funding from Elm Ave to Phelps Ave with the anticipation of the development of the West Hills College District Office Administration Building. Staff executed task orders with the City Engineer to begin design engineering and prepared a preliminary budget in the amount of $865,000 to design and construct Phelps Ave from Posa Chanet to Elm Ave.
During the course of project design the City adopted its first Active Transportation Plan (ATP) including the development of a master multi-use trail system. In the proposed ATP, a segment of the trail was planned along the Phelps Ave alignment so the project design was amended to accommodate the new trail network.
The project is nearing design completion and staff needs to file an environmental document with the Clerks office to satisfy the requirements of CEQA and Caltrans related to the issuance of an encroachment permit near Elm Ave.
The Phelp Ave reconstriuction project includes the reconstruction of Phelps Avenue from Elm Avenue to Posa Chanet Boulevard. Proposed work includes pulverization of existing AC pavement, grading of base material, removal of minor concrete improvements, installation of curb and gutter, sidewalk, curb ramps, valley gutter, median islands, AC pavement, multi-use trail, landscaping and irrigation. The project also includes installation of storm drain inlet, storm drain main, fire hydrants and street lighting.
In accordance with California environmental Quality Act (CEQA) this activity constitutes a project under the statute and an environmental determination must be made. Therefore, staff has reviewed the project scope and subsequently has determined that this project is categorically exempt pursuant to section 15302 related to minor alternations to land.
The proposed project includes the reconstruction of an existing arterial street and said improvements do not include an increase in capacity or use beyond its current use. The proposed project would not result in any significant effects related to biological resources, traffic, noise, air quality, or water quality, and the site would be adequately served by all required utilities and public services. The proposed construction activity is expected to occur within the existing right-of-way.
With council approval staff will submit the attached notice of exemption to the Fresno County Clerk in accordance with CEQA.
V. FISCAL IMPACT:
The processing fee for the notice of exemption is $50.00 and will be absorbed by project funding.