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Environmental Sciences (Santa Barbara Resources): Planning and EIRs

A guide to the environmental resources for the Santa Barbara area from the UCSB Library

Environmental Impact Reports/General Plans

Environmental Impact Reports (EIRs) are required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). This act applies to all governmental agencies at all levels in California when a proposed project is likely to have a significant effect on the environment. The report includes an inventory of existing environmental conditions; projected environmental effects of a project must be identified and feasible alternatives proposed for mitigating the significant adverse affects. Draft reports are made available for public comment before final reports are issued.

General Plans are comprehensive, long-term plans mandated by California state planning law for the physical development of a city or county. Various elements of the plan are mandated, including land use, circulation, open space, conservation, housing, safety, and noise. The General Plan may also be called a "City Plan," "Comprehensive Plan," or "Master Plan." A pamphlet on the Santa Barbara County plan is located in the UCSB Library: A citizens' guide to the Santa Barbara County comprehensive plan, Government Information, Local HT393 .C22 S263 1982.

The UCSB Libraries collect general plans and draft and final EIRs for local government projects in the Santa Barbara area. These are cataloged and made available for public use. They can be searched using UCSB Library Search. Many agencies within local governments are making their publications available online and some general plans and/or elements may be in electronic form. From government websites, look for links to Documents or Publications or Planning. Information on the Comprehensive Plan of Santa Barbara County is linked off the county's website.


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