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RIVERSIDE COUNTY INTEGRATED PROJECT
GENERAL PLAN
FINAL PROGRAM
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT
VOLUME I
RIVERSIDE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Comprehensive General Plan Amendment No. 618 (GPA00618)
Environmental Assessment (EA) No. 38614
Environmental Impact Report (EIR) No. 441
State Clearinghouse No. 2002051143

Prepared By:

County of Riverside Transportation and
Land Management Agency
Planning Department
4080 Lemon Street, 9th Floor
Riverside, California 92502
(909) 955-3200

With Technical Assistance From:

LSA Associates, Inc.
1650 Spruce Street, Suite 500
Riverside, California 92507
(909) 781-9310

TransCore (Traffic)
300 South Harbor Boulevard, Suite 516
Anaheim, California 92805
(714) 758-0019

The County of Riverside has independently reviewed, analyzed, and exercised its judgement in the analysis contained in this
Environmental Impact Report and supporting documentation pursuant to Section 21082 of the
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Section 1.0 - Summary

1.1 Riverside County Integrated Project

1.2 Proposed Project

1.3 Contents of the Final Program EIR

1.34 Areas of Controversy and Issues to Be Resolved

1.3.1 1.4.1 Public Scoping Meetings

1.45 Public Review of the Draft Environmental Impact Report

1.56 Summary of Alternatives, Environmental Impacts and Mitigation Measures

1.5.1 1.6.1 Alternatives

1.5.2 1.6.2 Impacts and Mitigation of Proposed General Plan

Section 2.0 - Introduction

2.1 Purpose of the Program Environmental Impact Report

2.1.1 Contents of the Final Program EIR

2.1.2 Findings of the Final Program EIR

2.1.1 2.1.3 California Environmental Quality Act

2.1.2 2.1.4 Program Environmental Impact Report

2.2 Intended Use of the Program Environmental Impact Report

2.2.1 Previous Environmental Documentation

2.2.2 Environmental Procedures

2.2.3 Scoping Process

2.3 Program Environmental Impact Report Focus

2.4 Final EIR Document Format

2.5 Public Review of the Draft Environmental Impact Report

Section 3.0 - General Plan Project Description

3.1 Introduction to the Riverside County Integrated Project

3.2 General Plan Organization

3.3 General Plan Characteristics

3.4 Analysis Assumptions and Methodology

3.5 General Plan Objectives

Section 4.0 - Impacts and Mitigation Measures

4.1 Environmental Analysis Assumptions

4.2 Land Use/Agricultural Resources

4.2.1 Land Use/Agricultural Resources Existing Setting

4.2.2 Land Use/Agricultural Resources Thresholds of Significance

4.2.3 Land Use/Agricultural Resources Impacts and Mitigation

4.2.4 Land Use/Agricultural Resources Level of Significance after Mitigation

4.3 Population and Housing

4.3.1 Population and Housing Existing Setting

4.3.2 Population and Housing Thresholds of Significance

4.3.3 Population and Housing Impacts and Mitigation

4.3.4 Population and Housing Level of Significance after Mitigation

4.4 Aesthetics/Visual Resources

4.4.1 Aesthetics/Visual Resources Existing Setting

4.4.2 Aesthetics/Visual Resources Thresholds of Significance

4.4.3 Aesthetics/Visual Resources Impacts and Mitigation

4.4.4 Aesthetics/Visual Resources Levels of Significance after Mitigation

4.5 Air Quality

4.5.1 Air Quality Existing Setting

4.5.2 Air Quality Thresholds of Significance

4.5.3 Air Quality Impacts and Mitigation

4.5.4 Air Quality Level of Significance After Mitigation

4.6 Biological Resources

4.6.1 Biological Resources Existing Setting

4.6.2 Biological Resources Thresholds of Significance

4.6.3 Biological Resources Impacts and Mitigation

4.6.4 Biological Resources Level of Significance after Mitigation

4.7 Cultural Resources

4.7.1 Cultural Resources Existing Setting

4.7.2 Cultural Resources Thresholds of Significance

4.7.3 Cultural Resources Impacts and Mitigation

4.7.4 Cultural Resources Level of Significance after Mitigation

4.8 Energy 4.8.

4.8.1 Energy Existing Setting

4.8.2 Energy Thresholds of Significance

4.8.3 Energy Impacts and Mitigation

4.8.4 Energy Level of Significance after Mitigation

4.9 Flood and Dam Inundation Hazards

4.9.1 Flood and Dam Inundation Hazards Existing Setting

4.9.2 Flood and Dam Inundation Hazards Thresholds of Significance

4.9.3 Flood and Dam Inundation Hazards Impacts and Mitigation

4.9.4 Flood and Dam Inundation Hazards Level of Significance after Mitigation

4.10 Geology and Slope Stability

4.10.1 Geology and Slope Stability Existing Setting

4.10.2 Geology and Slope Stability Thresholds of Significance

4.10.3 Geology and Slope Stability Impacts and Mitigation

4.10.4 Geology and Slope Stability Level of Significance after Mitigation

4.11 Hazardous Materials

4.11.1 Hazardous Materials Existing Setting

4.11.2 Hazardous Materials Thresholds of Significance

4.11.3 Hazardous Materials Impacts and Mitigation

4.11.4 Hazardous Materials Level of Significance after Mitigation

4.12 Mineral Resources

4.12.1 Mineral Resources Existing Setting

4.12.2 Mineral Resources Thresholds of Significance

4.12.3 Mineral Resources Impacts and Mitigation

4.12.4 Mineral Resources Level of Significance after Mitigation

4.13 Noise

4.13.1 Noise Existing Setting

4.13.2 Noise Thresholds of Significance

4.13.3 Noise Impacts and Mitigation

4.13.4 Noise Level of Significance after Mitigation

4.14 Parks and Recreation

4.14.1 Parks and Recreation Existing Setting

4.14.2 Parks and Recreation Thresholds of Significance

4.14.3 Parks and Recreation Impacts and Mitigation

4.14.4 Parks and Recreation Level of Significance after Mitigation

4.15 Public Services

4.15.1 Fire Protection

Fire Protection Existing Setting

Fire Protection Thresholds of Significance

Fire Protection Impacts and Mitigation

Fire Protection Level of Significance after Mitigation

4.15.2 Sheriff Protection

Sheriff Protection Existing Setting

Sheriff Protection Thresholds of Significance

Sheriff Protection Impacts and Mitigation

Sheriff Protection Level of Significance after Mitigation

4.15.3 Solid Waste Management

Solid Waste Management Existing Setting

Solid Waste Management Thresholds of Significance

Solid Waste Management Impacts and Mitigation

Solid Waste Management Level of Significance after Mitigation

4.15.4 Wastewater

Wastewater Existing Setting

Wastewater Thresholds of Significance

Wastewater Impacts and Mitigation

Wastewater Level of Significance after Mitigation

4.15.5 Schools

Schools Existing Setting

Schools Thresholds of Significance

Schools Impacts and Mitigation

Schools Level of Significance after Mitigation

4.15.6 Libraries

Libraries Existing Setting

Libraries Thresholds of Significance

Libraries Impacts and Mitigation

Libraries Level of Significance after Mitigation

4.15.7 Medical Facilities

Medical Facilities Existing Setting

Medical Facilities Thresholds of Significance

Medical Facilities Impacts and Mitigation

Medical Facilities Level of Significance after Mitigation

4.16 Transportation and Circulation

4.16.1 Transportation and Circulation Existing Setting

4.16.2 Transportation and Circulation Thresholds of Significance

4.16.3 Transportation and Circulation Impacts and Mitigation

4.16.4 Transportation and Circulation Levels of Significance after Mitigation

4.17 Water Resources

4.17.1 Water Resources Existing Setting

4.17.2 Water Resources Thresholds of Significance

4.17.3 Water Resources Impacts and Mitigation

4.17.4 Water Resources Level of Significance after Mitigation

Section 5.0 - Additional Topics Required by CEQA

5.1 Significant Environmental Effects That Cannot Be Avoided

5.1.1 Air Quality

5.1.2 Prime Farmlands

5.1.3 Transportation/Circulation

5.1.4 Water Supply

5.1.5 Biological Resources

5.1.6 Aesthetics/Visual Resources

5.2 Significant Irreversible Environmental Effects

5.3 Growth Inducement

5.3.1 Population, Dwelling Units, and Jobs

5.3.2 Jobs-to-Housing Ratios

5.3.3 Conclusion

5.4 Cumulative Impacts

5.5 Consistency with Regional Plans

5.5.1 Regional Comprehensive Plan

5.5.2 Regional Transportation Plan

5.5.3 Regional Plan Consistency Conclusions

Section 6.0 - Alternatives

6.1 Alternatives Considered But Not Carried Further for Analysis

6.1.1 Increase Residential/Decrease Commercial and Industrial Alternative

6.1.2 Decrease Residential/Increase Agricultural Alternative

6.1.3 Increase Open Space/Conservation/Habitat Alternative

6.2 Alternatives Under Consideration

6.2.1 No Build Alternative

6.2.2 No Project Alternative

6.2.3 Rural Emphasis Alternative

6.2.4 Less Intense Community Centers Alternative

6.2.5 More Intense Community Centers Alternative

6.2.6 Density Bonus Alternative

6.3 Environmentally Superior Alternative

Section 7.0 - Organizations and Persons Consulted

7.1 School Districts

7.2 Special Districts

Section 8.0 - Report Preparation Personnel

8.1 Preparers

Section 9.0 - References

9.1 General References

Section 10.0 - Glossary and Acronyms

10.1 Glossary

10.2 Acronyms

Appendices

Appendix A -Initial Study, Notice of Preparation, Comment Letters, Mailing List, Public Scoping Meeting Transcripts, and Public Notices

Appendix B -Riverside County General Plan Vision Statement

Appendix C -Summary of the Transportation Analysis for the Circulation Element of the Proposed County General Plan

List of Figures

1.1 Regional Location

3.1 Regional Location

3.2 Riverside County Proposed General Plan Land Use

3.3 Riverside County Area Plans

3.4 Final Draft Eastvale Area Plan Land Use Plan

3.5 Final Draft Elsinore Area Plan Land Use Plan

3.6 Final Draft Harvest Valley/Winchester Valley Area Plan Land Use Plan

3.7 Final Draft Highgrove Area Plan Land Use Plan

3.8 Final Draft Jurupa Area Plan Land Use Plan

3.9 Final Draft Lake Mathews/Woodcrest Area Plan Land Use Plan

3.10 Final Draft Lakeview/Nuevo Area Plan Land Use Plan

3.11 Final Draft Mead Valley Area Plan Land Use Plan

3.12 Final Draft The Pass Area Plan Land Use Plan

3.13 Final Draft Reche Canyon/Badlands Area Plan Land Use Plan

3.14 Final Draft REMAP Area Plan Land Use Plan

3.15 Final Draft San Jacinto Valley Area Plan Land Use Plan

3.16 Final Draft Southwest Area Plan Land Use Plan

3.17 Final Draft Sun City/Menifee Area Plan Land Use Plan

3.18 Final Draft Temescal Area Plan Land Use Plan

3.19 Final Draft Desert Center Area Plan Land Use Plan

3.20 Final Draft Eastern Coachella Valley Area Plan Land Use Plan

3.21 Final Draft Palo Verde Area Plan Land Use Plan

3.22 Final Draft Western Coachella Valley Area Plan Land Use Plan

4.2.1 Existing Land Use

4.2.2 Agriculture Resources

4.5.1 Riverside County Air Quality Basins

4.6.1 Natural Communities

4.6.2 Total Natural Habitats Types in Proposed General Plan Foundation Components

4.6.3 Total Sensitive Habitat Types in Proposed General Plan Foundation Components

4.6.4 Sensitive Habitat Types in Proposed General Plan Foundation Components

4.7.1 Archaeological Sensitivity Areas

4.7.2 Paleontological Sensitivity Areas

4.9.1 100- and 500-Year Flood Hazard Zones

4.9.2 Dam Failure Inundation Zones

4.10.1 Alquist -Priolo Earthquake Hazard Zone Map

4.10.2 Earthquake Probability

4.10.3 Areas Susceptible to Liquefaction

4.10.4 Areas of Steep Slopes

4.10.5 Areas of Documented or Susceptible to Subsidence

4.10.6 Wind Hazard Areas

4.10.7 Near Source Zone Regions Impacting Riverside County and UBC Zone Boundary

4.12.1 Mineral Resource Areas

4.13.1 Common Noise Sources and Noise Levels

4.13.2 Noise Monitoring Locations

4.13.3 Projected Noise Contours Along Freeways and Major Highways (Collector Street - 2 Lanes)

4.13.4 Projected Noise Contours Along Freeways and Major Highways (Mountain Arterial - 4 Lanes)

4.13.5 Projected Noise Contours Along Freeways and Major Highways (Arterial Highway - 4 Lanes)

4.13.6 Projected Noise Contours Along Freeways and Major Highways (Secondary Highway - 4 Lanes)

4.13.7 Projected Noise Contours Along Freeways and Major Highway (Major Highway - 4 Lanes)

4.13.8 Projected Noise Contours Along Freeways and Major Highways (Urban Arterial - 6 Lanes)

4.13.9 Projected Noise Contours Along Freeways and Major Highways (Freeway - 6 Lanes)

4.13.10 Projected Noise Contours Along Freeways and Major Highways (Expressway - 6 Lanes)

4.13.11 Projected Noise Contours Along Freeways and Major Highways (Freeway - 10 Lanes)

4.13.12 Existing Noise Contours Along Freeways and Major Highways (Highway 60 at Etiwanda - Mira Loma Area)

4.13.13 Existing Noise Contours Along Freeways and Major Highways (Highway 91 West of Highway 71 - Green River Area)

4.13.14 Existing Noise Contours Along Freeways and Major Highways (Highway 60 at Heacock St. - Moreno Valley Area)

4.13.15 Existing Noise Contours Along Freeways and Major Highways (Highway 215, South of Highway 60 - March Air Reserve Area)

4.13.16 Existing Noise Contours Along Freeways and Major Highways (Interstate 10 at Singletone Rd. - Calimesa Area)

4.13.17 Existing Noise Contours Along Freeways and Major Highways (Highway 60 - West of Beaumont)

4.13.18 Existing Noise Contours Along Freeways and Major Highways (Interstate 10 at Fields Road - East of Banning)

4.13.19 Existing Noise Contours Along Freeways and Major Highways (Interstate 10 at State Highway 111)

4.13.20 Existing Noise Contours Along Freeways and Major Highways (Interstate 10 at Date Palm Drive)

4.13.21 Existing Noise Contours Along Freeways and Major Highways (Interstate 15 - Rancho California Area)

4.13.22 Typical Diagram of Railroad Noise and Lines (Burlington Northern Railroad at Green River Drive - Coronita Area)

4.13.23 Typical Diagram of Railroad Noise and Lines (Union Pacific Railroad - East of Van Buren Boulevard and South of Limonite)

4.13.24 Typical Diagram of Railroad Noise and Lines (Union Pacific Railroad at Interstate 10 - West of Washington St., North of Palm Desert)

4.13.25 Existing Noise Contours Around Airports

4.13.26 Corona Municipal Airport Future CNEL Contours

4.13.27 Chino Municipal Airport Future CNEL Contours

4.13.28 Riverside Municipal Airport Future CNEL Contours

4.13.29 Flabob Airport Future CNEL Contours

4.13.30 French Valley Airport Future CNEL Contours

4.13.31 Hemet-Ryan Airport Future CNEL Contours

4.13.32 Banning Municipal Airport Future CNEL Contours

4.13.33 Palm Springs Regional Airport Future CNEL Contours

4.13.34 Bermuda Dunes Airport Future CNEL Contours

4.13.35 Desert Resorts Regional Airport Future CNEL Contours

4.13.36 Chiriaco Summit Airport Future CNEL Contours

4.13.37 Desert Center Airport Future CNEL Contours

4.13.38 Blythe Airport Future CNEL Contours

4.13.39 Land Use Compatibility for Community Noise Exposure

4.14.1 Parks and Recreation Areas

4.16.1 Daily Volume/Capacity Ratios for Buildout of Proposed General Plan, Western Riverside County

4.16.2 Daily Volume/Capacity Ratios for Buildout of Proposed General Plan, Coachella Valley

4.16.3 Daily Volume/Capacity Ratios under Cumulative Future Without Project Conditions in Western Riverside County

4.16.4 Daily Volume/Capacity Ratios under Cumulative Future Without Project Conditions in Coachella Valley

4.16.5 Difference in Daily Volumes: Proposed General Plan Compared to Cumulative Future Without Project Conditions in Western Riverside County

4.16.6 Difference in Daily V/C Ratios: Proposed General Plan Compared to Cumulative Future Without Project Conditions in Western Riverside County

4.16.7 Difference in Daily Volumes: Proposed General Plan Compared to Cumulative Future Without Project Conditions in Coachella Valley 4.16-33

4.16.8 Difference in Daily V/C Ratios: Proposed General Plan Compared to Cumulative Future Without Project Conditions in Coachella Valley

4.16.9 Percentage of Daily Volumes in Proposed General Plan Roadways Attributable to Growth and Roadway Development in County (Shows Increases Only)

4.16.10 Percentages of Daily Volumes in Proposed General Plan Roadways Attributable to Growth and Roadway Development in County (Show Increases Only) for Locations with LOS Worse than D

4.16.11 Percentage of Daily Volumes in Proposed General Plan Roadways Attributable to Growth and Roadway Development in County (Shows Increases Only)

4.16.12 Percentage of Daily Volumes in Proposed General Plan Roadways Attributable to Growth and Roadway Development in County (Shows Increases Only) for Locations with LOS Worse than D

4.16.13 Express Routes and Possible Transit Oasis Locations

4.16.14 Approximate Reductions in Traffic Due to Transit Oasis

4.17.1 Watershed Areas

List of Tables

1.A Environmental Summary of the Proposed Riverside County General Plan EIR

3.A Key Land Use Concepts

3.B Unincorporated Riverside County Proposed Land Use in Acres

3.C Foundation Component and Area Plan Designations

3.D Land Use Designations Summary Table

3.E Dwelling Units per Acre

3.F Floor-to-Area Ratio

3.G Employment Factors

4.1.A Projections at Proposed Plan Build Out by Area Plan

4.2.A Distribution of Existing Land Use Cities and Unincorporated Areas

4.2.B Riverside County Specific Plan Developments - February 2003

4.2.C Proposed Specific Plans In Riverside County

4.2.BD Crop Valuation (in millions)

4.3.A Population Growth Trends 1990-2000

4.3.B Population, Households and Employment within Unincorporated Riverside County, 1997

4.3.C Unincorporated Riverside County Projections

4.3.D Jobs-to-Housing Ratios

4.4.A Summary of Visual Character

4.5.A Ambient Air Quality Standards

4.5.B Health Effects Summary of the Major Criteria Air Pollutants

4.5.C Ambient Air Quality at Norco Air Monitoring Station

4.5.D Ambient Air Quality at Riverside-Rubidoux Air Monitoring Station

4.5.E Ambient Air Quality at Riverside-Magnolia Air Monitoring Station

4.5.F Ambient Air Quality at Banning-Alessandro Air Monitoring Station

4.5.G Ambient Air Quality at Banning Airport Air Monitoring Station

4.5.H Ambient Air Quality at Perris Air Monitoring Station

4.5.I Ambient Air Quality at Lake Elsinore Air Monitoring Station

4.5.J Ambient Air Quality at Palm Springs Air Monitoring Station

4.5.K Ambient Air Quality at Indio Air Monitoring Station

4.5.L Construction Emissions for a 50-Acre Site 5.

4.5.M Daily Emissions of the Proposed General Plan for Western Riverside County

4.5.N Daily Emissions of the Proposed General Plan for the Central Mountains Area

4.5.O Daily Emissions of the Proposed General Plan for the Eastern Desert Area

4.5.P Daily Emissions of the Proposed General Plan for the Coachella Valley Area

4.6.A Generalized Natural Communities of Western Riverside County and Associated Listed, Proposed, and Candidate Species

4.6.B Generalized Natural Communities of Eastern Riverside County

4.6.C Proposed General Plan Impacts to Habitat and Vegetation Types

4.6.D Potential Impacts and Retention of Sensitive Habitat Types

4.6.E Applicable Mitigation Measures

4.6.F Potential Effectiveness of General Plan Multipurpose Open Space Element Polices as Mitigation for Potentially Significant Impacts to Biological Resources

4.7.A Historical Resources of Riverside County

4.7.B Riverside County Properties Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

4.7.C Paleontological Resources by Age, Formation, and Location

4.8.A Demand of Natural Gas at Build Out of Proposed General Plan

4.8.B Demand of Electricity at Build Out of Proposed General Plan

4.10.A Probable Earthquake Scenarios Fault Source Parameters for Riverside County

4.10.B General Liquefaction Potential Zones for Riverside County

4.13.A Ambient Noise Monitoring Results

4.13.B Existing Traffic Noise Levels

4.13.C Typical Construction Equipment Noise Levels

4.14.A County of Riverside Existing Parks and Facilities

4.15.A Fire Stations Needed at General Plan Build Out

4.15.B Active Landfills in Riverside County

4.15.C Generation of Solid Wastes at General Plan Build Out

4.15.D Disposal Capacity for Riverside County (Tons), 2001-2016

4.15.E Number of Students at Build Out

4.16.A Uninterrupted Traffic Flow Facilities Level of Service

4.16.B Interrupted Traffic Flow Facilities Level of Service

4.16.C Existing Roadway Capacity Analysis (Interstate and State Routes)

4.16.D Existing Roadway Capacity Analysis (Classified Local Facilities)

4.16.E Daily Truck Volumes on Freeways in Riverside County (Bi-Directional)

4.16.F Traffic Analysis of the Proposed General Plan and Alternatives for the Central Mountain Area

4.16.G Traffic Analysis of the Proposed General Plan and Alternatives for the Blythe Area

4.16.H Area-Wide Travel Statistics for the Proposed General Plan and Alternatives Build Out

4.17.A South Coast Region Water Budget with Existing Facilities and Programs

4.17.B Colorado River Region Water Budget with Existing Facilities and Programs

4.17.C Summary of Estimated Annual Water Demand in Unincorporated Riverside County at General Plan Build Out

5.A Unincorporated Riverside County Projections

5.B Jobs-to-Housing Ratios

5.C SCAG Regional Growth Projections

5.D County Population Projections in SCAG Region

6.A Comparison of Population, Housing, and Employment Projections at Build Out Between the No Build Alternative and Proposed General Plan

6.B Comparison of the Daily Emissions of the Proposed General Plan No Build Alternative in Western Riverside County

6.C Comparison of the Daily Emissions of the Proposed General Plan with the No Build Alternative for the Central Mountains Area

6.D Comparison of the Daily Emissions of the Proposed General Plan with the No Build Alternative for the Eastern Desert Area

6.E Daily Emissions of the Proposed General Plan for the Coachella Valley Area Compared to Incorporated Cities

6.F Difference in Daily Emissions with Proposed General Plan and the No Build Alternative

6.G Comparison of Population, Housing, and Employment Projections at Build Out Between the No Project Alternative and Proposed General Plan

6.H Comparison of the Daily Emissions of the Proposed General Plan to the Existing General Plan for Western Riverside County

6.I Difference in Daily Emissions with Proposed General Plan and the No Project Alternative

6.J Area-Wide Travel Statistics for the Proposed General Plan, No Build, and No Project Alternatives at Build Out

6.K Comparison of Impacts of the Alternatives to the Proposed General Plan






SECTION 1.0 SUMMARY

1.1 Riverside County Integrated Project

In 2020, Riverside County (See Figure 1.1) will be home to approximately 2.8 million people, who will occupy approximately 918,000 dwelling units (Hoffman, 2001). This represents a doubling of the present population and housing stock of Riverside County. Other studies by the California Department of Finance estimate that the County will continue to grow to 3.5 million people by 2030 and 4.5 million people by 2040. These population figures include residents that live within unincorporated areas as well as those that live within the boundaries of the 24 incorporated cities within the County. Projections contained in the 2002 Riverside County General Plan indicate that approximately 1.77 1.67 million persons would reside within the unincorporated areas of the County in nearly 591,209 558,000 dwelling units in 2040.

The challenge of balancing the housing, transportation, and economic needs of existing and future populations with limited natural resources and the sensitivity of the natural environment has led Riverside County to develop the Riverside County Integrated Project (RCIP). The RCIP, which consists of three coordinated plans, will determine future planning, transportation, and conservation needs for Riverside County. These three plans include the following:

• The 2002 Riverside County General Plan (Comprehensive General Plan Amendment No. GPA00618)

• The creation of a Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP) for the western portion of Riverside County, and the integration of an ongoing Coachella Valley Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan effort (which is not a part of RCIP but is a related program) into the fabric of comprehensive planning for the County.

• The identification of transportation corridors to meet the future transportation needs of Western Riverside County through the Community Environmental and Transportation Acceptability Program (CETAP).

Each of the plans has independent utility, and each can be approved without approval of the others. They will, however, be coordinated such that if all three are adopted, no conflicts between the plans will occur. This document focuses on the 2002 Riverside County General Plan, which is the proposed project.

1.2 Proposed Project

The 2002 Riverside County General Plan is intended to be a blueprint for the future of Riverside County. It describes anticipated future growth, development, and environmental management programs over the long term. It is intended to act as a "constitution" for public and private development, and to serve as the foundation for growth and land-use-related decision-making within unincorporated Riverside County. Most of the unincorporated portions of Western Riverside County and some of Eastern Riverside




Figure 1.1

REGIONAL LOCATION

County are divided into 19 Area Plans to provide more detailed land use and policy direction regarding local issues, such as land use, circulation, and open space.

The General Plan is meant to express the community's goals with respect to the man-made and natural environments, and to set forth the policies and implementation measures needed to achieve those goals for the welfare of those who live, work, and do business in Riverside County.

The following discretionary actions are anticipated to be taken by Riverside County as part of the proposed project:

• Adoption of the 2002 Riverside County General Plan, which incorporates 19 Area Plans as part of the Riverside County General Plan, and

• Adoption of proposed boundary changes to zoning districts to coincide with the 19 Area Plan boundaries.

This EIR (EIR No. 441) has been prepared according to California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requirements to evaluate the potential environmental impacts associated with the implementation of the proposed 2002 Riverside County General Plan (General Plan). This EIR is intended to serve as an informational document for public agency decision-makers and the general public regarding the objectives and components of the proposed General Plan, which is the proposed project for the purpose of CEQA.

1.3 Contents of the Final Program EIR

The Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the County of Riverside General Plan (State of California Clearinghouse No. 2002051143) has been prepared in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the guidelines for the implementation of CEQA. The Final EIR consists of two volumes containing the following contents:

Revisions made to the Draft EIR (August 20, 2002), State of California Clearinghouse No. 2002051143 - Volume I;

A list of persons, organizations, and public agencies commenting on the Draft EIR (Section 1.4 of Volume II);

The responses of the Lead Agency to significant environmental points raised in the public review and consultation process (Section 2.0 of Volume II);

An addendum to the Draft EIR as a result of responses to comments on the Draft EIR (Section 3.0 of Volume II); and

The Mitigation Monitoring Plan (MMP) (Section 4.0 of Volume II).

The Final EIR (Volume I) also contains an analysis of revisions/changes made to the General Plan Land Use Map, land use designations and general plan components, 19 Area Plan Maps, and General Plan policies as a result of the County of Riverside Planning Commission and Board of Supervisor's public hearings on proposed General Plan through September 9, 2003.

The Final EIR incorporates by reference the Riverside County General Plan Program Draft EIR, August 20, 2002, and the Riverside County Integrated Plan Existing Setting Report (March 2000).

1.34 Areas of Controversy and Issues to be Resolved

Pursuant to Section 15123(2) of the CEQA Guidelines, a summary section must address areas of controversy known to the Lead Agency, including issues raised by agencies and the public. In addition, pursuant to Section 15123(3) of the State CEQA Guidelines, a summary section must also address issues to be resolved, including the choice among alternatives and whether or how to mitigate the significant effects. Each of these issues is discussed below:

The Initial Study (IS) (Environmental Assessment No. 38614) prepared for the proposed General Plan identified potential environmental impacts related to the following issues:

• Aesthetics

• Land Use and Planning

• Agricultural Resources

• Mineral Resources

• Air Quality

• Noise

• Biological Resources

• Population and Housing

• Cultural Resources

• Public Services

• Geology and Soils

• Recreation

• Hazards and Hazardous Materials

• Transportation/Traffic

• Hydrology and Water Quality

• Utilities and Service Systems

Based on the IS, it was determined that potential impacts associated with the aforementioned issues required further evaluation in the Program EIR for the proposed General Plan. Additionally, the IS determined that an evaluation of potential cumulative impacts resulting from implementation of the proposed General Plan be included in the EIR.

Notice of Preparation (NOP) of an EIR for the proposed project was prepared and distributed with the IS on May 28, 2002. The IS/NOP, describing the project and issues to be addressed in the EIR, was distributed to the State Clearinghouse, responsible agencies, and other interested parties for a 30-day public review period that extended from May 28 to June 30, 2002.

The objective of distributing a NOP is to solicit public comment in order to identify and determine the full range and scope of issues of concern so that these issues might be fully examined in the EIR. Twenty-one Forty-seven comments responses responding to the NOP and IS were received and are summarized below. The IS/NOP, distribution list, and comments on the NOP received by the County of Riverside are included in Appendix A.

• Governor's Office of Planning and Research (May 28, 2002) - This comment confirmed receipt of the IS/NOP and assigned the project a State Clearinghouse number (SCH No. 2002051143).

• Rob Wood, Native American Heritage Commission (NAHC) (May 31, 2002) - This comment letter requests the following to adequately assess and mitigate impacts on archaeological resources: Perform a record search, prepare a professional finding report if an archaeological inventory survey is required, contact the NAHC for Sacred Lands File Check and appropriate contacts, and understand that lack of surface archeological evidence does not preclude existence.

• City of Canyon Lake (received June 2, 2002) - This comment requested that the name and address of the City Manager be recorded as corrected on facsimile transmission.

• Timothy N. Stanton, P.E., Ramona Municipal Water District (June 3, 2002) - This comment letter acknowledged receipt of the IS/NOP and stated the proposed General Plan would have no impact on the Ramona Municipal Water District.

• Kathleen McNamara, Ed. D., Banning Unified School District (June 6, 2002) - This comment letter requested clarification of the term "The Pass" used in the NOP.

• Dan Wood, Menifee Union School District (June 6, 2002) - This comment letter expressed concerns that build out of the proposed General Plan would significantly impact the provision of school facilities within the District. The commentor provided site requirements and general school population figures and requested that the needs of the Menifee Union School District be provided for in the proposed General Plan.

• Tom Hawkins, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (June 7, 2002) - This comment letter stated that the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is a non-regulatory agency and is not involved in the review of Environmental Impact Reports.

• Robert J. Brucato, California Institute of Technology (June 7, 2002) - This commentor requests that the General Plan EIR address the potential proliferation of light pollution that may affect the operation of Palomar Observatory.

• Jeffrey M. Smith, AICP, Southern California Association of Governments (June 11, 2002) - The commentor requests that the EIR for the proposed General Plan specifically cite SCAG policies and addresses the manner in which the proposed General Plan is consistent with the applicable core policies or supportive of applicable ancillary policies.

• Ann L. Turner-McKibben, Friends of Northern San Jacinto Valley (June 11, 2002) - This comment letter requested that the EIR for the proposed General Plan address the following issues: the growth inducing impacts of proposed General Plan; the environmental impacts associated with global climate change; the reason why the San Jacinto Valley was split into two planning areas; a reassessment of how the San Jacinto River and the San Jacinto Wildlife Area are depicted in all planning documents; the EIR accurately depict Mystic Lake; the accurate delineation and designation of Davis Road; how the upgrade of Davis Road will affect the San Jacinto Wildlife area; the development of Gillman Springs Road as a major transportation corridor; the thorough assessment of geotechnical and hazards in the north San Jacinto Valley; potential impacts associated with the proposed channelization of the San Jacinto River; and how the proposed General Plan will impact floodplains and wetlands. Ms. Turner-McKibben requested to be kept informed of all notices, meetings, and actions regarding the proposed General Plan.

• Michael A. McKibben, Ph.D. (September 26, 2000) - This comment letter was attached to Ann L. Turner-McKibben's letter dated June 11, 2002, and detailed specific scientific comments on the absence of significant geotechnical hazards that are not addressed by the County's draft hazard map and proposed General Plan, including: seismic shaking zones and building codes; the status of the Casa Loma fault; the existence of the Farm Road fault; the existence of a slowly-moving landslide along Gilman Springs Road; chronic subsidence and liquefaction in San Jacinto Valley; the growing size of Mystic Lake; and the State's existing emergency response plans for a major earthquake. Dr. McKibben requested to be kept informed of all notices, meetings, and actions regarding the proposed General Plan.

• James E. Cohen, California Indian Legal Services (June 21, 2002) - The commentor requests that copies of all environmental documentation related to the proposed General Plan be forwarded to Mr. John Macarro, Office of Tribal Attorney, Pechanga Indian Reservation.

• William J. Liebhauser, United States Department of the Interior/Bureau of Reclamation (received June 21, 2002) - The commentor requests that copies of future environmental documentation related to the proposed General Plan be forwarded to Ms. Deanna J. Miller, Director, Resource Management, and Mr. William J. Steele, Area Manager, Southern California Area Office.

• Susan L. Nash, San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society (June 21, 2002) - This comment letter requested that Board of Supervisors consider the health of County residents when planning and approving a General Plan; expressed concern that development of housing sufficient to "accommodate" future population would adversely affect the health of residents of County and surrounding areas; and suggested that the proposed Riverside County Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP), the proposed General Plan, and all transportation plans be integrated.

• Peggy Temple, City of Corona (June 24, 2002) - The commentor requested that the EIR include analysis of the following issues: the analysis in the EIR should be for the worst case scenario to adequately identify and address potential environmental impacts; the Density Bonus Alternative needs to be better explained; the EIR must explain the use of baseline data that is two years old; the EIR must distinguish between the MSHCP Conservation Unit Area and reserve area; how the analysis of biological resources will be accomplished when the MSHCP environmental document is being prepared separately; an analysis of existing and planned landfills in the County, and potential impacts and land uses surrounding such facilities, especially areas adjacent to El Sobrante landfill; an adequate analysis of water supply for the level of development envisioned in the proposed General Plan; and the inclusion of the proposed Orange County corridor in the analysis of potential transportation impacts.

• Lori A. Ludi, City of Loma Linda (June 25, 2002) - The commentor requests that the General Plan EIR address the long-term effects of the areas surrounding the County of Riverside, specifically the Bi-County corridor plan.

• Andrew L. Webster, P.E., Rancho California Water District (June 25, 2002) - This comment letter suggested potential water supply and water quality mitigation measures.

• Joseph W. Wright, City of Anaheim (June 25, 2002) - This comment letter acknowledged receipt of the IS/NOP. While no comments were noted, copies of subsequent environmental documents were requested as they were available for review.

• George Hague, Sierra Club, San Gorgonio Chapter (June 25, 2002) - This comment letter requested that the EIR for the proposed General Plan include an analysis of the supply of and demand for water and how the use of water will affect plant, insect, or animal life. Additionally, the commentor states that potential air quality impacts associated with buildout of the proposed General Plan must be included in the EIR. The commentor also requests that the EIR address: how sprawl will be prevented; why very-low density housing is not provided for in the Lakeview area; why the channelization of the San Jacinto will be permitted; why wildlife corridors are not shown in adjacent counties; the level of protection given to vernal pools; and how connectivity between reserves will be analyzed through the multi-species plan. The commentor requested subsequent environmental documents related to the proposed General Plan as they become available for public review.

• Laura J Simonek, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD Metropolitan) (June 25, 2002) - This comment letter requested that MWD Metropolitan projects within the Planning Area need to be considered in sufficient detail and evaluated to determine potential impacts. Furthermore, Metropolitan requests that all of its "core" properties (those facilities which are in existence or are proposed) be excluded from any conservation land use designation.

• Michael Kellner, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians (June 25, 2002) - This comment letter suggests that the County meets with each Indian Tribe or Band to discuss the proposed General Plan. In addition this comment suggests that Indian land should be identified by individual reservations. Comment letter also contains specific individual revisions to the proposed General Plan.

• Michel D. Remington, Imperial Irrigation District (IID) (June 26, 2002) - This commentor requests that the IID utility area, corridors and facilities for Riverside County is considered in the General Plan document.

• Robert S. Hewitt, Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) (June 26, 2002) - This comment letter states the NRCS's opinion pertaining to the conversion of farmland resulting from the implementation of the proposed General Plan. This comment also provides recommended changes associated with this issue. In addition, this letter states their opinion pertaining to the ability to amend the Plan and request zone changes. In conclusion, this comment letter includes positive incentives to encourage agriculture and assist farmers to stay in business.

• Steve Chaffer, California Department of Food and Agriculture (June 26, 2002) This commentor requested that the EIR for the proposed General Plan address the following issues: the impacts of growth on the County on the demand for water and how the increased demand will be met with respect to supplies expected to be needed for future agricultural production; the need to mitigate for the impacts of urban development on adjacent agricultural lands; the cumulative impact of past and projected growth on agricultural resources throughout the County; and the potential to utilize agricultural land conservation banks to mitigate for the loss of agricultural land. This comment letter recommended the use of California Land Evaluation and Site Assessment (LESA) to address the significance of agricultural land conversion impacts in particular areas of the County.

• Gary Pryor, County of San Diego (June 26, 2002) - This comment letter stated that aesthetic, air quality, biological resource, cultural resource, noise, transportation and circulation, and cumulative impacts are important issues to the County of San Diego in relationship to Riverside County because of the population that is working in San Diego County and living in Riverside County. Equally, the County of San Diego needs to take the Riverside County's growth, as well as current needs, particularly the circulation system, into account while updating its own General Plan.

• Penny Newman, Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (June 27, 2002) - This comment letter requested that in addition to the issues already addressed in the EIR, all feasible, environmentally friendly solutions to the problems of growth be assessed, and compared to traditional development in terms of cost, efficiency, environmental, and health impacts. The commentor provided specific suggestions for mitigation for some of the issue areas included in the EIR.

• Charles E Coe, City of Chino (June 27, 2002) - This comment letter expresses concern with the Prado Dam project and the elevated flood inundation line. This comment letter recommends reviewing advantages and disadvantages of allowing development in this area.

• Gary Watts, State of California Department of Parks and Recreation (CDPR) (June 27, 2002) - This comment letter requests that CDPR maintains jurisdictional authority over the State Park System. This agency also requests a copy of the RCIP Existing Setting Report.

• Jeffery S. Adams, City of Chino Hills (June 28, 2002) - This comment letter expresses concern regarding lack of coordination of transportation planning and programming, development within flood plain areas, and the conservation of biological resources.

• Margaret Strachan (June 28, 2002) - This comment letter suggests that the San Jacinto River should be left in its natural state to protect the natural integrity of the flood plain. In addition, this comment letter expresses concern regarding the projected population increase of the Lakeview/Nuevo area and the loss of agriculture resources. Implications resulting from the potential implementation of the Rural Emphasis Alternative and the Density Bonus Alternative on the Lakeview/Nuevo area.

• Bill Figge, Department of Transportation (June 28, 2002) - This comment letter provides objectives and suggestions to create more efficient and livable communities.

• David G. Woelfel, California Regional Water Quality Control Board (June 28, 2002) - This comment letter states that construction activity over five acres requires a General Construction Activity Storm Water Runoff Permit. This comment letter also provides principals and policies that should be considered for the proposed General Plan.

• T.A. Manfred, United States Maine Corps (June 28, 2002) - This comment letter states that the proposed General Plan should meet the requirements of the 40CFR1500 series.

• Randal K. Bynder, City of Rancho Mirage (June 28, 2002) - This comment letter lists particular impacts that the city would like addressed. The letter requests that the EIR compare the "City Centers" to the policies recommended by the Transportation and Land Use Agency. The City requests that impacts to air quality, biology, water, and transportation be addressed at the Area Plan level.

• Stanley Riddell, Cherry Valley Unincorporated Community Committee - This comment letter states that the residents of Cherry Valley are concerned with the preservation of the character of the community. Specific areas of concern are water and agricultural resources.

• Marc Miller, Menifee Valley Community Economic Development Council (June 30, 2002) - This comment letter states specific areas of concern to this community, they include: water quality and quantity, traffic and circulation, air quality, scenic corridors, biological resources, agricultural resources, and biological waste.

• Robert Wheeler, Elsinore-Murrieta-Anza Resource Conservation District (June 30, 2002) - This comment letter states that the DEIR should address the lack of coordination between the EIR, MSHCP, and CETAP.

• Timothy Neely, County of Orange Planning & Development Services Department (July 1, 2002) - This comment letter states that the DEIR should supply a description of the CETAP project, the DEIR needs to specify statistics relating to the full build out of the proposed General plan to the existing General Plan. The project description should also include comparisons between the different alternatives. A discussion of the Santa Ana River Trail and the Santa Ana River Bikeway should be included.

• Earnest Quintana, United States Department of the Interior National Park Service (July 1, 2002) - This comment states that the EIR understates the importance of Joshua Tree National Park to the County. Maps within the various plans are inconsistent in depicting the park and its boundaries. The comment letter also states that there is a need to address impacts of the plan and the area plans specifically on the resources of the park.

• Debbie M. Brazill, City of Fontana (July 3, 2002) - This commentor respectfully requests a copy of the Draft Environmental Report when the document becomes available. The city has no further comment at this time.

• James C. Dice, Senior State Park Resource Ecologist, State of California Department of Parks and Recreation Colorado Desert District (June 26, 2002) - This comment letter states that the Department supports a buffer area of low density zoning around the boarder of all State Parks, and opposes any zoning change that would increase development density adjacent to or within State Park boundaries. Also, the comment letter states that the EIR should address any impacts to natural resources within and adjacent to State Park lands.

• Naresh P. Varma, P.E. Chief Environmental Management Division, County of San Bernardino Department of Public Works (June 27, 2002) - This comment letter states that the San Bernardino County Flood Control District requests to be notified if the new Riverside County General Plan proposes any changes in zoning for the area around Reche Canyon Creek.

• Patrick M. Egle, Planner, County of San Bernardino Land Use Services Department (June 28, 2002) - This comment letter states that the department has reviewed the document and would like to receive a copy of the Draft EIR when it becomes available.

• Shawn Nelson, City Manager, City of Temecula (July 1, 2002) - This comment letter states that the City would like the transportation analysis to include intersection LOS. The letter also requests that recently approved land uses be included in the General Plan traffic analysis and that the County perform analysis regarding the link between proposed General Plan land uses, their relationship to the circulation system and the anticipated revenue sources to support the circulation system. The letter also requests that a smaller population/employment level should be considered in the alternatives analysis in the EIR.

• Robert Lopez, Regional Manager Public Affairs, Southern California Edison (July 5, 2002) - This comment letter states that Southern California Edison would like to see an Energy Element included in the EIR. This element would help SCE prioritize its resources to continue to deliver affordable energy to county residences and businesses. Southern California Edison states that it has plans to meet the electricity needs of its customers in Riverside County.

• Shirley Richter, Coordinator Facilities Planning, Temecula Valley Unified School District (July 8, 2002) - This comment letter requests County assistance in locating a 50+ acre site in the French Valley area for a future High School. The letter also requests that major freeway corridors and utility power lines be kept away from existing or proposed school sites. Additionally, the comment letter requests that the proposed General Plan include language that states the County will be proactive in working with school districts in ensuring new development mitigates its school impacts to the fullest extent under State Law.

• Ike Burr, Deputy Director, Installations and Logistics, Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command (MCAGCC), Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (July 9, 2002) - This comment letter states that all of the elements of the proposed General Plan and all of the alternatives of the Plan will either directly or indirectly impact the readiness of local DoD ranges and bases by increasing the demand for resources through levels of development and adversely impacting water and air resources. Therefore, the MCAGCC requests an evaluation of each alternative's potential to directly and indirectly encroach on local military installations.

1.34.1 Public Scoping Meetings

In addition to responses to the NOP, two public scoping meetings were held to solicit input from the general public on what analysis should be included in the EIR. These scoping meeting were held on Thursday, June 20, 2002, at the Lake Perris Fairgrounds and Tuesday, June 25, 2002, at the Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival. Both meetings were open for public comment from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Attendees were given the option of providing oral or written comments. The time, place and intent of these public scoping meetings was advertised (in English and Spanish) in the following publications:

• The Press-Enterprise (Page B-2): Tuesday, June 11, 2002.

• The Desert Sun (Page F-10): Tuesday, June 11, 2002.

• The Californian (Page B-3): Wednesday, June 12, 2002.

• La Prensa (Page A-5): Week of June 14-20, 2002.

The comments received at each public scoping meeting are summarized below. Copies of the public notices and complete transcripts of each public scoping meeting are provided in Appendix A.

Public Scoping Comments: Thursday, June 20, 2002

A total of four speakers offered public comment. Comments generally addressed the need to adequately identify potential air quality impacts within the County (with specific references to the Mira Loma area) and potential impacts resulting from increased use of water resources. A question was raised as to why the proposed General Plan separates established communities or otherwise ignores "historical" community boundaries. Commentors requested that environmentally friendly solutions to the problems of growth be assessed in the EIR, and compared to traditional development in terms of cost, efficiency, environmental, and health impacts.

Additional questions speakers requested to be addressed in the EIR included: impacts resulting from the loss of agricultural land and open space; the effect of increased usage of Colorado River water; a need for an analysis of groundwater, contaminated wells, and water supply; the reduced lung capacity of children in Mira Loma; impacts associated with the designation of the Mira Loma area as a transportation hub; and permitting an increase in population with a corresponding increase in the provision of services. Speakers stressed that the rural emphasis of the County should be maintained and that the aesthetic value of open space and natural features be considered during preparation of the EIR.

Public Scoping Comments: Tuesday, June 25, 2002

A total of two speakers offered public comment. Comments were limited to: a request that the EIR consider the unique economic, social and cultural contributions and needs of the Coachella Valley equestrian community; and an inquiry as to when and in what manner the Santa Rosa Community Plan would be integrated into the Riverside County General Plan.

1.45 Public Review of the Draft Program Environmental Impact Report

The Riverside County Existing Setting Report has been provided, in CD ROM format, and is located in the front pocket of the Draft Program EIR binder. In addition, a hard copy of the Existing Setting Report, Draft Program EIR and Technical Appendices and

the Draft Riverside County General Plan Volumes I-III are were made available for review at the following County facilities and library locations:

County Administrative Center (Riverside)
4080 Lemon Street
Public Counter, 2nd Floor
Planning Department, 9th Floor
Riverside, California 92502
Hours of Operation: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday
County Administrative Center (Indio)
82-675 Highway 111, Room 209
Indio, California 92201
Hours of Operation: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00
p.m.
Monday through Friday
Riverside County Permit Assistance Center (Murrieta)
39493 Los Alamos Road
Murrieta, California 92563
Hours of Operation: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday


Libraries in Riverside County
Anza Public Library
Anza
57430 Mitchell Road
Anza, California 92539
Beaumont Library District
Beaumont
125 East 8th Street
Beaumont, California 92223
Palo Verde Valley District Library
Blythe
125 West Chanslorway
Blythe, California 92225
Corona Public Library
Corona
650 South Main Street
Corona, California 92882-3417
Riverside County Public Library
Desert Hot Springs
11691 West Drive
Desert Hot Springs, California 92240
Riverside County Public Library
Glen Avon
9244 Galena
Riverside, California 92509
Riverside County Public Library
Idyllwild
54185 Pinecrest
Idyllwild, California 92549
Riverside County Public Library
Indio
200 Civic Center Mall
Indio, California 92201
Riverside County Public Library
Lake Tamarisk
43880 Lake Tamarisk
Desert Center, California 92239
Riverside County Public Library
Mecca
65-250 A Coahuilla
Mecca, California 92254
Riverside County Public Library
Mission Trail
34303 Mission Trail
Wildomar, California 92595
Riverside County Public Library
Moreno Valley
25480 Alessandro
Moreno Valley, California 92553
Riverside County Public Library
Nuview
29990 Lakeview
Nuevo, California 92567
Riverside County Public Library
Perris
163 East San Jacinto
Perris, California 92570
Riverside County Public Library
Riverside
Main Library
3581 Mission Inn Ave
Riverside, California 92501
Riverside County Public Library
San Jacinto
500 Idyllwild Dr.
San Jacinto, California 92583
Riverside County Public Library
Sun City
26982 Cherry Hills Boulevard
Sun City, California 92586
Riverside County Public Library
Temecula
41000 County Center
Temecula, California 92591
Riverside County Public Library
Thousand Palms
72-715 La Canada Way
Thousand Palms, California 92276
Riverside County Public Library
Woodcrest
17024 Van Buren Boulevard
Riverside, California 92504


This Program EIR was distributed to responsible and trustee agencies, other affected agencies, and interested parties, as well as to parties who requested a copy of the Draft Program EIR in accordance with Public Resources Code 21092(b)(3) for a 45-day public review period (August 20 through October 4, 2002). The Notice of Completion of the Draft EIR has been distributed as required by CEQA.

Written comments on this Draft Program EIR should be addressed to:

Mr. Jerry Jolliffe
County of Riverside
Transportation Land Management Agency
Planning Department
4080 Lemon Street, 9th Floor
Riverside, California 92502

Tel: (909) 955-3200
Fax: (909) 955-3157

1.56 Summary of Alternatives, Environmental Impacts and Mitigation Measures

1.56.1 Alternatives

CEQA mandates that an EIR analyze feasible alternatives to the proposed project, including a "No Project" alternative. This analysis can be found in Chapter 6 of this EIR, and is summarized here. The following provides a brief description of the alternatives to the proposed General Plan that were considered in this analysis.

Under the No Build Alternative, the proposed General Plan would not be adopted, and no further growth would be permitted in the unincorporated County. The Western Riverside County MSHCP, Coachella Valley MSHCP, CETAP corridors, and circulation system improvements are assumed not to occur. City annexations are assumed not to occur, and development within incorporated cities is assumed to continue as outlined in the General Plans.

Under the No Project Alternative, the proposed General Plan would not be adopted, and growth would continue as described in the existing General Plan. The Western Riverside County MSHCP, Coachella Valley MSHCP and CETAP corridors are assumed not to occur. City annexations are assumed not to occur, but development of existing General Plan circulation system and development within incorporated cities are assumed to continue.

Under the Rural Emphasis Alternative, the proposed General Plan would not be adopted, and the County would adopt a General Plan that would, to the extent feasible, eliminate further urban development within unincorporated areas. The adoption of a smaller version of the Western Riverside County and Coachella Valley MSHCPs is assumed. Development of CETAP corridors is assumed not to occur, though development of existing General Plan circulation system where it does not conflict with MSHCP areas is assumed to continue. City annexation and continued development according to city General Plans is assumed to continue.

Under the Less Intense Community Centers Alternative, the proposed General Plan would be adopted, but the scale, intensity, and numbers of community centers would be reduced. The Western Riverside County MSHCP and four CETAP corridors are assumed to occur, but the Coachella Valley MSHCP is assumed not to occur. City annexations are assumed not to occur, but city build out is assumed, and an enhanced arterial circulation system would be developed.

Under the More Intense Community Centers Alternative, the proposed General Plan would be adopted, but scale and intensity of community centers would be increased while the number of community centers would be reduced. The Western Riverside County MSHCP and four CETAP corridors are assumed to occur, although the Coachella Valley MSHCP is assumed not to occur. City annexations and city build out is assumed according to city General Plans, and an enhanced arterial circulation system would be developed.

Under the Density Bonus Alternative, a General Plan similar to the proposed General Plan would be adopted, but would allow a 100 percent density bonus in residential development within community centers and up to a 50 percent density bonus in community development areas. The Western Riverside County MSHCP and four CETAP corridors are assumed to occur, but the Coachella Valley MSHCP is assumed not to occur. City annexations are assumed not to occur, but city build out is assumed, and an enhanced arterial circulation system would be developed.

1.56.2 Impacts and Mitigation of Proposed General Plan

For the proposed project (2002 Riverside County General Plan), a summary of environmental impacts, mitigation measures, and the level of significance after mitigation is provided on the following pages (Table 1.A). The information in this summary is presented in a matrix format and briefly summarizes each of the General Plan's potentially significant environmental impacts, the proposed policies and mitigation measures recommended to reduce or avoid each potentially significant environmental impact, and the level to which the policies and mitigation measures are expected to reduce the potentially significant environmental impacts.

Table 1.A - Environmental Summary of the Proposed Riverside County General Plan EIR
Issues/ImpactsPolicies and/or Mitigation MeasuresLevel of Significance After Mitigation
4.2 Land Use/Agriculture
Less than Significant Impacts
Physically Divide an Established Community Unique settings, features, and communities are identified within each Area Plan. Where applicable, Policy Areas have been designated within Area Plans. These Policy Areas are important locales that have special significance to the residents of the County, or will have when their development potential is realized. The physical arrangement of proposed land use designations within unincorporated lands is proposed to be changed with implementation of the proposed General Plan. The General Plan is designed to protect existing communities. The proposed General Plan (including the Area Plans) will guide where and in what manner future development will occur. Because the proposed General Plan (in general) and each Area Plan (specifically) provide policies reflective of the unique combination of conditions in each Area Plan, implementation of the proposed General Plan will not disrupt or divide the physical arrangement of any established communities. No significant impact related to this issue will occur.No mitigation required.Less than significant.
Conflict with any Applicable Habitat Conservation Plan or Natural Community Conservation Plan Policies aimed at protecting biological resources will be are contained in the proposed General Plan. These policies will acknowledge existing habitat conservation plans within the County and ensure that land use plans be are consistent with the provisions of applicable conservation plans, including the Habitat Conservation Plan for the Stephens' kangaroo rat. Because the proposed General Plan includes policies accommodating existing habitat conservation plans within the County, no significant impact associated with this issue will occur upon implementation of the proposed General Plan.No mitigation required.Less than significant.
Conflict with any Applicable Airport Land Use Plan Under the proposed General Plan, economic development and population growth will continue to increase, requiring the construction of additional places of business and housing. As the land suitable for development becomes increasingly scarce, urban development may be forced to exploit land occur adjacent to airports. Such encroaching development may result in conflicts between new development and the goals and policies outlined in local Airport Land Use Plans. In addition to the discussion of airports provided in the proposed General Plan, specific areas influenced by airports, located in the County and/or in adjacent cities, are identified in the proposed Area Plans. Area Plans which identify specific areas influenced by airports provide policies to protect flight paths and minimize impacts to residents and employees within that area. These policies provided in the Area Plans are consistent with and support policies identified in the proposed General Plan.Policies: LU 1.9, 14.1-14.9 14.2, C 14.1-14.5 14.3Less than significant.
Potentially Significant Impacts
Impact 4.2.1 Implementation of the proposed General Plan would alter the amount of land designated for community development, rural, and open space uses. Changes in the pattern of land uses would result in the development of structures or facilities within areas that are currently undeveloped. Relative to adjacent land uses, this intensification of development may contribute to or create significant land use impacts.Policies: LU 1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 1.5, LU 2.1, LU 3.1-3.4, 3.5, LU 6.1, LU 6.36.5, LU 17.4, LU 22.6, LU 26.10.Less than significant.
Impact 4.2.2 The proposed General Plan update will result in the conversion of prime farmlands, unique farmlands, or farmlands of statewide importance or land actively utilized for agricultural production to a variety of non-agricultural uses.Policies: LU 16.1-16.2, LU 16.4-16.10, 16.11, OS 7.1-7.5.

4.2.2A The County shall establish an Agricultural Land Mitigation Bank. The formation, authority, and operation shall be established by the County of Riverside and shall adhere to applicable statutes of the State of California and Riverside County. The Agriculture Land Mitigation Bank shall be established no later than three years from the date of adoption of the 2002 Riverside County General Plan.

4.2.2B Subsequent to the establishment of an Agricultural Land Mitigation Bank, any development within any unincorporated area of the County resulting in the conversion of more than 160 acres (the approximate size of an average farm in Riverside County) of Prime, Unique, or Statewide Important farmland (farmland) as designated by the most recent version of the Important Farmland Map (as prepared by the California Department of Conservation, Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program) shall purchase credits in the Agricultural Land Mitigation Bank at the rate of 1 acre (credit) for every four acres (or portion thereof) of farmland converted to non-agricultural uses. The 160-acre threshold shall be met by any combination of Prime, Unique, or State Important Farmland acreage. All farmland within a project site shall be included in the threshold computation, regardless of the size, location within the project site, or current status (fallow or farmed). Development applications received by the County prior to operational date of the Agricultural Land Mitigation Bank shall be exempt from the provisions of this mitigation. In determining the amount of farmland converted to non-agricultural use, the total effect of the development shall be considered, including the total amount of farmland within the limits of the project site and any off-site land directly required for the construction and operation of the proposed development. The project proponent shall submit evidence to the County that all appropriate credits have been purchased prior to the issuance of grading permits.
Significant and unavoidable.
4.3 Population and Housing
Less than Significant Impacts
The policies of the General Plan do not cause significant impacts to population and housing. Implementation of the policies presented in the proposed General Plan will achieve the housing goals outlined in the Housing Element. Subsequent amendments to the General Plan will be reviewed to ensure consistency is maintained between General Plan and the Housing Element. The Housing Element and implementation of its policies will ensure that adequate housing opportunities are provided to County residents. This in addition to adherence to applicable County, State and Federal regulations will reduce potential impacts associated with the provision of adequate housing opportunities to a less than significant level.No mitigation required.Less than significant.
4.4 Aesthetics/Visual Resources
Potentially Significant Impacts
Affected Views to Scenic Vistas and Visual Resources

Impact 4.4.1
The proposed General Plan would increase the development of urban uses, causing a substantial loss in open space and aesthetic resources. This could significantly alter existing and future public views and view corridors, which include State and County designated Scenic Highways.
Policies: LU 2.1, LU 4.1, LU 8.1, LU 8.3-8.4, LU 11.1, LU 13.1-13.8, LU 16.1, LU 16.3, LU 17.1, LU 17.3, LU 17.6, LU 19.4, LU 21.2, LU 22.10, LU 22.11, LU 26.1, LU 26.3, LU 26.10, OS 21.1, OS 21.2, OS 22.1-22.5

4.4.1A Development projects shall be subject to the requirements of all relevant guidelines, including the community center guidelines (Appendix J of the proposed General Plan), Riverside County supervisorial district design and landscape guidelines, and all applicable standards, policies, guidelines, and/or regulations of the County of Riverside or other affected entities pertaining to scenic vistas/aesthetic resources. Factors considered in these guidelines include the scale, extent, height, bulk, or intensity of development; the location of development; the type, style, and intensity of adjacent land uses; the manner and method of construction, including materials, coatings, and landscaping; the interim and/or final use of the development; the type, location, and manner of illumination and signage; the nature and extent of terrain modification required; and the potential effects to the established visual characteristic of the project site and/or an identified scenic vista/aesthetic resource.
Less than significant.
Light and Glare Impacts

Impact 4.4.2
Implementation of the proposed General Plan would increase the effects of light and glare upon existing residential uses, as well as the Mount Palomar Observatory. New light and glare would be created by the addition of residences and commercial establishments within the proposed General Plan. The most significant glare would be generated by commercial uses throughout the proposed General Plan area, especially in association with outdoor parking that may be lit at night and that would be visible from roadways. This is a potentially significant impact.
County of Riverside Ordinance No. 655

4.4.2A Riverside County shall require that sources of lighting within the General Plan area be limited to the minimum standard required to ensure safe circulation and visibility.

4.4.2B Riverside County shall require street lighting to be limited to intersections and other locations that are needed to maintain safe access (e.g., sharp curves).

4.4.2C Riverside County shall require exterior lighting for buildings to be of a low profile and intensity.

4.4.2D The County shall establish a liaison with California Institute of Technology to ensure "dark skies" preservation procedures are incorporated, as necessary, to future County ordinances.

4.4.2E The County shall participate in Palomar Observatory's "dark sky" conservation area.
Less than significant.
Open Space Conversion Impacts Impact 4.4.3

Implementation of the proposed General Plan would result in conversion of open space areas to urban land use.
No feasible mitigation is available.Significant and unavoidable.
4.5 Air Quality
Less than Significant Impacts
Consistency with Air Quality Management Plan

The proposed General Plan is consistent with SCAG's Regional Growth Management Plan and SCAQMD's Air Quality Management Plan, and the vehicle miles traveled growth rate under the proposed General Plan is consistent with SCAG's projected population growth. In addition, with the planning and implementation of the proposed General Plan Circulation Element, it is anticipated that the proposed General Plan will be consistent with SCAG's Regional Mobility Plan, locally adopted Congestion Management Plan, as well as the Coachella Valley PM10 Plan.
Policies: AQ 1.1-1.11

No mitigation required.
Less than significant.
Potentially Significant Impacts
Particulate Emissions

Impact 4.5.1 Air quality impacts would occur during site preparation, including grading and equipment exhaust. Major sources of fugitive dust are a result of grading and site preparation during construction vehicles and equipment and generated by construction vehicles and equipment traveling over exposed surfaces, as well as by soil disturbances from grading and filling. Blowing dust is also of concern in the dry desert areas where PM10 standards are exceeded by soil disturbance during grading, and vehicular travel over unpaved roads.
Policies: AQ 4.9 -4.10, 17.2-17.5

4.5.1A Applicable Rule 403 Measures: Apply nontoxic chemical soil stabilizers according to manufacturers' specifications to all inactive construction areas (previously graded areas inactive for ten days or more).

• Water active sites at least twice daily. (Locations where grading is to occur will be thoroughly watered prior to earth moving).

• All trucks hauling dirt, sand, soil, or other loose materials are to be covered, or should maintain at least two feet of freeboard in accordance with the requirements of California Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 23114 (freeboard means vertical space between the top of the load and top of the trailer).

• Pave construction access roads at least 100 feet onto the site from main road.

• Traffic speeds on all unpaved roads shall be reduced to 15 mph or less.

4.5.1B Additional SCAQMD CEQA Air Quality Handbook Dust Measures:

• Revegetate disturbed areas as quickly as possible.

• All excavating and grading operations shall be suspended when wind speeds (as instantaneous gusts) exceed 25 mph.

• All streets shall be swept once a day if visible soil materials are carried to adjacent streets (recommend water sweepers with reclaimed water).

• Install wheel washers where vehicles enter and exit unpaved roads onto paved roads, or wash trucks and any equipment leaving the site each trip.

4.5.1C Mitigation Measures for Construction Equipment and Vehicles Exhaust Emissions:

• The Construction Contractor shall select the construction equipment used on site based on low emission factors and high energy efficiency.

• The Construction Contractor shall ensure that construction grading plans include a statement that all construction equipment will be tuned and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications.

• The Construction Contractor shall utilize electric- or diesel-powered equipment, in lieu of gasoline-powered engines, where feasible.

• The Construction Contractor shall ensure that construction grading plans include a statement that work crews will shut off equipment when not in use. During smog season (May through October), the overall length of the construction period will be extended, thereby decreasing the size of the area prepared each day, to minimize vehicles and equipment operating at the same time.

• The Construction Contractor shall time the construction activities so as to not interfere with peak hour traffic and minimize obstruction of through traffic lanes adjacent to the site; if necessary, a flagperson shall be retained to maintain safety adjacent to existing roadways.

• The Construction Contractor shall support and encourage ridesharing and transit incentives for the construction crew.

• Dust generated by the development activities shall be retained on-site, and kept to a minimum by following the dust control measures listed below.

   a. During clearing, grading, earthmoving, excavation, or transportation of cut or fill materials, water trucks or sprinkler systems shall be used to prevent dust from leaving the site and to create a crust after each day's activities cease.

   b. During construction, water trucks or sprinkler systems shall be used to keep all areas of vehicle movement damp enough to prevent dust from leaving the site. At a minimum, this would include wetting down such areas in the late morning, after work is completed for the day, and whenever wind exceeds 15 miles per hour.

   c. Immediately after clearing, grading, earthmoving, or excavation is completed, the entire area of disturbed soil shall be treated until the area is paved or otherwise developed so that dust generation will not occur.

   d. Soil stockpiled for more than two days shall be covered, kept moist, or treated with soil binders to prevent dust generation.

   e. Trucks transporting soil, sand, cut or fill materials, and/or construction debris to or from the site shall be tarped from the point of origin.
Significant and unavoidable.
Long-Term Air Emission Impacts: Stationary Emissions

Impact 4.5.2 Long-term air emission impacts will occur from stationary sources related to the estimated development proposed through implementation of the proposed General Plan.
Policies: AQ 4.1-4.8, AQ 5.1-5.3.Significant and unavoidable.
Long-Term Air Emission Impacts: Operational Emissions

Impact 4.5.3 The proposed General Plan would result in changes in regional vehicular traffic trips and associated VMT.
Policies: AQ 3.1-3.4, AQ 10.1-10.4, AQ 11.1-11.4, AQ 12.1-12.5, AQ 13.1-13.3, AQ 14.1-14.4Significant and unavoidable.
Sensitive Receptors

Impact 4.5.4 Development under the proposed General Plan may produce air pollution that may significantly affect sensitive receptors.
Policies: AQ 2.1-2.4Less than significant.
4.6 Biological Resources
Potentially Significant Impacts
Impact 4.6.1 Implementation of the proposed General Plan will result in the direct mortality of individuals of listed, proposed, or candidate species or loss of habitat occupied by such species.Policies: OS 5.1-5.3, OS 5.5-5.7, OS 6.1-6.2, OS 8.1, OS 9.3, OS 17.117.3, OS 18.1-18.2

4.6.1A Comply with Riverside County Planning Department Biological Report Guidelines to include an analysis of the potential for a proposed project to result in direct mortality of individuals of listed, proposed, or candidate species or loss of habitat occupied by such species and sensitive habitats. Under the Planning Department Guidelines, biological reports must be conducted as follows:

   a. Reports must be prepared by a biologist on the County's list of qualified consultants.

   b. The County Planning Department must be notified in advance that a report will be prepared for a specific project.

   c. The report must include a signed certification attesting to the report contents.

   d. The report must include specific information as to the type of survey (e.g., General Biological Resources Assessment, Habitat Assessment, etc.), site location, property owner, principal investigator, and contact information for participants in the field surveys.

   e. The report must include specified attachments (summary sheet, level of significance checklist, biological resources/project footprint map, and site photos).

   f. The report must include information on literature sources (e.g., California Natural Diversity Data Base, California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and environmental documents for nearby projects).

   g. The report must include a description of surveys, including timing, personnel, and weather conditions.

   h. The report must include a description of site conditions including plant and wildlife habitat, disturbances, and sensitive elements.

   i. The report must include an assessment of anticipated project impacts and a discussion of mitigation.

   j. The report must include a list of all species observed or detected and a recommendation for any additional focused surveys that may be necessary.

The above list is a summary of the County's guidelines, the actual guidelines available from the Planning Department shall be used in determining requirements for, and adequacy of, biological reports.

4.6.1B Preserve habitat at minimum of 1:1 replacement ratio in locations that provide long-term conservation value for impacted resource. This could involve acquisition of habitat occupied by the affected species, acquiring a key parcel that fills in a missing link or gap in a reserve that provides conservation for the species, or acquisition of credits in a mitigation bank (endorsed by the USFWS and/or CDFG) that has been established to provide conservation value for the species. Implementation of the mitigation measure shall include provisions for the preservation of such areas in perpetuity.

4.6.1C Comply with applicable HCPs.
Significant and unavoidable.
Impact 4.6.2 Alteration or loss of habitat of listed proposed, or candidate species that inhibits or compromises recovery efforts that could otherwise lead or contribute to the delisting of the species.Policies: OS 5.1-5.3, OS 5.5-5.7, OS 6.1-6.2, OS 8.1, OS 9.3, OS 17.117.3, OS 18.1-18.2

Implement Mitigation Measures 4.6.1B and 4.6.1C, above, along with the following mitigation measure.

4.6.2A Comply with Riverside County Planning Department Biological Report Guidelines to include an analysis of the potential for a proposed project to result in alteration or loss of habitat of listed proposed, or candidate species that inhibits or compromises recovery efforts that could otherwise lead or contribute to the delisting of the species. Under the Planning Department Guidelines, biological reports must be conducted as follows:

   a. Reports must be prepared by a biologist on the County's list of qualified consultants.

   b. The County Planning Department must be notified in advance that a report will be prepared for a specific project.

   c. The report must include a signed certification attesting to the report contents.

   d. The report must include specific information as to the type of survey (e.g., General Biological Resources Assessment, Habitat Assessment, etc.), site location, property owner, principal investigator, and contact information for participants in the field surveys.

   e. The report must include specified attachments (summary sheet, level of significance checklist, biological resources/project footprint map, and site photos).

   f. The report must include information on literature sources (e.g., California Natural Diversity Data Base, California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and environmental documents for nearby projects).

   g. The report must include a description of surveys, including timing, personnel, and weather conditions.

   h. The report must include a description of site conditions including plant and wildlife habitat, disturbances, and sensitive elements.

   i. The report must include an assessment of anticipated project impacts and a discussion of mitigation.

   j. The report must include a list of all species observed or detected and a recommendation for any additional focused surveys that may be necessary.

The above list is a summary of the County's guidelines, the actual guidelines available from the Planning Department shall be used in determining requirements for, and adequacy of, biological reports.
Significant and unavoidable.
Impact 4.6.3 Implementation of the proposed General Plan would cause direct loss of sensitive habitat.Policies: OS 5.1-5.3, OS 5.5-5.7, OS 6.1-6.2, OS 8.1, OS 9.3-9.4, OS 17.117.3, OS 18.1-18.2

Implement Mitigation Measures 4.6.1A and 4.6.1B, above, along with the following mitigation measure.

4.6.3A Construct treatment wetlands outside of natural wetlands, allowing treatment of runoff from developed surfaces prior to entering natural stream systems.
Significant and unavoidable.
Impact 4.6.4 Implementation of the proposed General Plan would cause habitat fragmentation resulting in isolation of sensitive habitat patches creating a "checkerboard" pattern of small habitat patches of limited biological value.Policies: OS 5.1-5.7, OS 6.1-6.2, OS 8.1, OS 9.3-9.4, OS 17.1-17.3,OS 18.1-18.2 Implement Mitigation Measure

4.6.1C, above, along with the following mitigation measures.

4.6.4A Comply with Riverside County Planning Department Biological Report Guidelines to include an analysis of the potential for a proposed project to result in habitat fragmentation leading to the isolation of sensitive habitat patches. Under the Planning Department Guidelines, biological reports must be conducted as follows:

   a. Reports must be prepared by a biologist on the County's list of qualified consultants.

   b. The County Planning Department must be notified in advance that a report will be prepared for a specific project.

   c. The report must include a signed certification attesting to the report contents.

   d. The report must include specific information as to the type of survey (e.g., General Biological Resources Assessment, Habitat Assessment, etc.), site location, property owner, principal investigator, and contact information for participants in the field surveys.

   e. The report must include specified attachments (summary sheet, level of significance checklist, biological resources/project footprint map, and site photos).

   f. The report must include information on literature sources (e.g., California Natural Diversity Data Base, California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and environmental documents for nearby projects).

   g. The report must include a description of surveys, including timing, personnel, and weather conditions.

   h. The report must include a description of site conditions including plant and wildlife habitat, disturbances, and sensitive elements.

   i. The report must include an assessment of anticipated project impacts and a discussion of mitigation.


   j. The report must include a list of all species observed or detected and a recommendation for any additional focused surveys that may be necessary.

The above list is a summary of the County's guidelines, the actual guidelines available from the Planning Department shall be used in determining requirements for, and adequacy of, biological reports.

4.6.4B Identify local and regional habitat patterns whereby sensitive habitats are connected or where opportunities exist to reconnect isolated patches of sensitive habitat. The baseline data of the Western Riverside County MSHCP provides a biologically sound depiction of habitat linkages that would provide regional connections between existing biological reserves and other conservation lands. Avoid impacts that would fragment sensitive habitat, or acquire land that would reconnect isolated habitat patches and create or restore habitat to reestablish the connection. Where on-site habitat preservation would not provide meaningful mitigation either for an affected sensitive species or for habitat connectivity, off-site mitigation shall be implemented through the acquisition of lands that provide for regional habitat connectivity. Implementation of the mitigation measure shall include provisions for the preservation of such areas in perpetuity.
Significant and unavoidable.
Impact 4.6.5 Implementation of the proposed General Plan would cause fragmentation of habitat that constricts, inhibits, or eliminates wildlife movement.Policies: OS 5.1-5.7, OS 6.1-6.2, OS 8.1, OS 9.3-9.4, OS 17.1-17.3, OS 18.1-18.2

Implement Mitigation Measure 4.6.1C, above, along with the following mitigation measures.

4.6.5A Comply with Riverside County Planning Department Biological Report Guidelines to include an analysis of the potential for a proposed project to result in fragmentation of habitat that constricts, inhibits, or eliminates wildlife movement. Under the Planning Department Guidelines, biological reports must be conducted as follows:

   a. Reports must be prepared by a biologist on the County's list of qualified consultants.

   b. The County Planning Department must be notified in advance that a report will be prepared for a specific project.

   c. The report must include a signed certification attesting to the report contents.

   d. The report must include specific information as to the type of survey (e.g., General Biological Resources Assessment, Habitat Assessment, etc.), site location, property owner, principal investigator, and contact information for participants in the field surveys.

   e. The report must include specified attachments (summary sheet, level of significance checklist, biological resources/project footprint map, and site photos).

   f. The report must include information on literature sources (e.g., California Natural Diversity Data Base, California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and environmental documents for nearby projects).

   g. The report must include a description of surveys, including timing, personnel, and weather conditions.

   h. The report must include a description of site conditions including plant and wildlife habitat, disturbances, and sensitive elements.

   i. The report must include an assessment of anticipated project impacts and a discussion of mitigation.

   j. The report must include a list of all species observed or detected and a recommendation for any additional focused surveys that may be necessary.

The above list is a summary of the County's guidelines, the actual guidelines available from the Planning Department shall be used in determining requirements for, and adequacy of, biological reports.

4.6.5B Identify local and regional habitat patterns that provide movement routes for wildlife or where opportunities exist to establish movement routes between isolated habitat patches. The baseline data of the Western Riverside County MSHCP provides a biologically sound depiction of habitat linkages that would provide wildlife movement routes between existing biological reserves and other conservation lands. Avoid impacts that would eliminate, substantially constrict, or substantially inhibit wildlife movement, or acquire land that would establish movement routes between isolated habitat patches and create or restore habitat to reestablish the connection. Where on-site habitat preservation would not provide meaningful mitigation either for affected species or for habitat connectivity, off-site mitigation shall be implemented through the acquisition of lands that provide for regional habitat connectivity. Implementation of the mitigation measure shall include provisions for the preservation of such areas in perpetuity.
Significant and unavoidable.
Impact 4.6.6 Implementation of the proposed General Plan would result in direct loss of oak trees or alteration of natural processes (e.g., hydrology) resulting in indirect loss of oak trees.Policies: OS 5.1-5.7, OS 6.1-6.2, OS 8.1, OS 9.3-9.4, OS 17.1-17.3, OS 18.1-18.2

4.6.6A Comply with Riverside County Planning Department Biological Report Guidelines to include an analysis of the potential for a proposed project to result in direct loss of oak trees or alteration of natural processes (e.g., hydrology) resulting in indirect loss of oak trees.

Under the Planning Department Guidelines, biological reports must be conducted as follows:

   a. Reports must be prepared by a biologist on the County's list of qualified consultants.

   b. The County Planning Department must be notified in advance that a report will be prepared for a specific project.

   c. The report must include a signed certification attesting to the report contents.

   d. The report must include specific information as to the type of survey (e.g., General Biological Resources Assessment, Habitat Assessment, etc.), site location, property owner, principal investigator, and contact information for participants in the field surveys.

   e. The report must include specified attachments (summary sheet, level of significance checklist, biological resources/project footprint map, and site photos).

   f. The report must include information on literature sources (e.g., California Natural Diversity Data Base, California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and environmental documents for nearby projects).

   g. The report must include a description of surveys, including timing, personnel, and weather conditions.

   h. The report must include a description of site conditions including plant and wildlife habitat, disturbances, and sensitive elements.

   i. The report must include an assessment of anticipated project impacts and a discussion of mitigation.

   j. The report must include a list of all species observed or detected and a recommendation for any additional focused surveys that may be necessary.

The above list is a summary of the County's guidelines, the actual guidelines available from the Planning Department shall be used in determining requirements for, and adequacy of, biological reports.

4.6.6B Comply with Oak Tree Management Guidelines, including the use of replacement plantings with acorns or oak saplings when it is determined to be biologically sound and appropriate to do so.
Less than significant.
Impact 4.6.7 Implementation of the proposed General Plan would result in alteration of habitat or natural processes that would result in the direct or indirect mortality of listed, proposed, or candidate species or that would result in loss, fragmentation, or isolation of sensitive habitat(s).Policies: OS 5.1-5.3, OS 5.5-5.7, OS 6.1-6.2, OS 8.1, OS 9.3-9.4, OS 17.117.3, OS 18.1-18.2

Implement Mitigation Measures 4.6.1C and 4.6.6B, above, along with the following mitigation measures.

4.6.7A Comply with Riverside County Planning Department Biological Report Guidelines to include analysis of the potential for a proposed project to result in alteration of habitat or natural processes that would result in the direct or indirect mortality of listed, proposed, or candidate species or that would result in loss, fragmentation, or isolation of sensitive habitat(s). Under the Planning Department Guidelines, biological reports must be conducted as follows:

   a. Reports must be prepared by a biologist on the County's list of qualified consultants.

   b. The County Planning Department must be notified in advance that a report will be prepared for a specific project.

   c. The report must include a signed certification attesting to the report contents.

   d. The report must include specific information as to the type of survey (e.g., General Biological Resources Assessment, Habitat Assessment, etc.), site location, property owner, principal investigator, and contact information for participants in the field surveys.

   e. The report must include specified attachments (summary sheet, level of significance checklist, biological resources/project footprint map, and site photos).

   d. f. The report must include information on literature sources (e.g., California Natural Diversity Data Base, California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and environmental documents for nearby projects).

   g. The report must include a description of surveys, including timing, personnel, and weather conditions.

   h. The report must include a description of site conditions including plant and wildlife habitat, disturbances, and sensitive elements.

   i. The report must include an assessment of anticipated project impacts and a discussion of mitigation.

   j. The report must include a list of all species observed or detected and a recommendation for any additional focused surveys that may be necessary.

The above list is a summary of the County's guidelines, the actual guidelines available from the Planning Department shall be used in determining requirements for, and adequacy of, biological reports.

4.6.7B Avoid or minimize interruption of natural processes in local ecosystems.

4.6.7C Identify local and regional habitat patterns whereby sensitive habitats are connected or where opportunities exist to reconnect isolated patches of sensitive habitat. Avoid impacts that would fragment sensitive habitat, or acquire land that would reconnect isolated habitat patches and create or restore habitat to reestablish the connection. Implementation of the mitigation measure shall include provisions for the preservation of such areas in perpetuity.

4.6.7D Construct facilities to treat non-point source runoff outside natural stream systems thereby allowing only treated runoff to enter natural stream systems. Treatment facilities may be mechanical (i.e., filtration devices within storm drain systems), biological (i.e., constructed wetlands at storm drain outfalls), or a combination of the two means.

4.6.7E The following measures will be implemented to mitigate the potential spread of invasive plant species from construction areas:

• Soil exposed during construction and maintenance activities shall be landscaped utilizing seeds, cuttings, and/or plant material from locally adapted species to preclude the invasion of noxious weeds. The use of site-specific materials, which are adapted to local conditions, increases the likelihood that revegetation will be successful and maintains the genetic integrity of the local ecosystem. Arrangements will be made well in advance of planting (nine months, if possible) to ensure that plant materials are located and available for the scheduled planting time. Sufficient time should be allocated for a qualified specialist to visit the project site during the appropriate season and collect the native plant material. If local propagules are not available or cannot be collected in sufficient quantities, materials collected or grown from other sources within Southern California shall be substituted. For widespread native herbaceous species that are more likely to be genetically homogeneous, site specificity is a less important consideration, and seed from commercial sources may be used.

• Seed purity shall be certified by planting seeds labeled under the California Food and Agricultural Code, or that have been tested within a year by a seed laboratory certified by the Association of Official Seed Analysts or by a seed technologist certified by the Society of Commercial Seed Technologists.

• Construction equipment will be cleaned of mud or other debris that may contain invasive plants and/or seeds and inspected to reduce the potential of spreading noxious weeds (before mobilizing to arrive at the site and before leaving the site).

• Vehicles with loads carrying vegetation shall be covered and vegetative materials removed from the site shall be disposed of in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.
Significant and unavoidable.
4.7 Cultural Resources
Potentially Significant Impacts
Impact 4.7.1 Build out within now vacant unincorporated areas of the County will result in a substantial increase in population and residential and non-residential structures, and associated infrastructure. Development associated with the proposed General Plan would require disturbance of vacant lands. Development allowed by implementation of the General Plan could have the potential to disturb buried human remains, including those interred outside of formal cemeteries, and buried cultural resources.Policies: OS 19.2-19.4, OS 19.8, OS 19.10

4.7.1A If human remains are encountered during a public or private construction activity, State Health and Safety Code 7050.5 states that no further disturbance shall occur until the Riverside County Coroner has made a determination of origin and disposition pursuant to Public Resources Code Section 5097.98. The Riverside County Coroner must be notified within 24 hours.

   a. If the coroner determines that the burial is not historic, but prehistoric, the Native American Heritage Commission (NAHC) must be contacted to determine the most likely descendent (MLD) for this area. The MLD may become involved with the disposition of the burial following scientific analysis.

4.7.1B Avoidance is the preferred treatment for cultural resources. Where feasible, project plans shall be developed to allow avoidance of cultural resources. Where avoidance of construction impacts is possible, capping of the cultural resource site and avoidance planting (e.g., planting of prickly pear cactus) shall be employed to ensure that indirect impacts from increased public availability to the site are avoided. Where avoidance is selected, cultural resource sites shall be placed within permanent conservation easements or dedicated open space.

4.7.1C If avoidance and/or preservation in place of cultural resources is not possible, the following mitigation measures shall be initiated for each impacted site:

   a. A participant-observer from the appropriate Indian Band or Tribe shall be used during archaeological testing or excavation in the project site.

   b. Prior to the issuance of a grading permit for the project, the project proponent shall develop a test level research design detailing how the cultural resource investigation shall be executed and providing specific research questions that shall be addressed through the excavation program. In particular, the testing program shall characterize the site constituents, horizontal and vertical extent, and, if possible, period of use. The testing program shall also address the California Register and National Register eligibility of the cultural resource and make recommendations as to the suitability of the resource for listing on either Register. The research design shall be submitted to the County of Riverside Regional Park and Open-Space District for review and comment. For sites determined, through the Testing Program, to be ineligible for listing on either the California or National Register, execution of the Testing Program will suffice as mitigation of project impacts to this resource.

   c. After approval of the research design and prior to the issuance of a grading permit, the project proponent shall complete the excavation program as specified in the research design. The results of this excavation program shall be presented in a technical report that follows the County of Riverside outline for Archaeological Testing. The Test Level Report shall be submitted to the County of Riverside Regional Park and Open-Space District for review and comment. If cultural resources that shall be affected by the project are found ineligible for listing on the California or National Register, test level investigations will have depleted the scientific value of the sites and the project can proceed.

   d. If the resource is identified as being potentially eligible for either the California or National Register, and project designs cannot be altered to avoid impacting the site, a treatment program to mitigate project effects shall be initiated. A Treatment Plan detailing the objectives of the Treatment Program shall be developed. The Treatment Plan shall contain specific, testable hypotheses relative to the sites under study and shall attempt to address the potential of the sites to address these research questions. The Treatment Plan shall be submitted to the County of Riverside Regional Park and Open-Space District for review and comment.

   e. After approval of the Treatment Plan, the Treatment Program for affected, eligible sites shall be initiated. Typically a treatment program involves excavation of a statistically those resource values that qualify the site as being eligible for the California or National Register. At the conclusion of the excavation or research program, a Treatment Report, following the outline of the County of Riverside for Archaeological Mitigation or Data Recovery, shall be developed. This data recovery report shall be submitted to the County of Riverside Regional Park and Open-Space District for review and comment.
Less than significant.
Impact 4.7.2 Build out within now vacant unincorporated areas of the County will result in a substantial increase in population and residential and non-residential structures, and associated infrastructure. Development associated with the proposed General Plan would require disturbance of vacant lands and possible conversion of existing structures into various land uses (e.g., historic homes into office space). Development allowed by implementation of the General Plan could cause the destruction of or loss of an historical resource, as defined in CEQA Guidelines, Section 15064.5.Policies: OS 19.5-19.7

Implementation of Mitigation Measures 4.7.1B and 4.7.1C.
Less than significant.
Impact 4.7.3 Build out within now vacant unincorporated areas of the County will result in a substantial increase in population and residential and non-residential structures, and associated infrastructure. Development associated with the proposed General Plan would require disturbance of vacant lands. Development allowed by implementation of the General Plan could cause the destruction of known archaeological resources, as defined in CEQA Guidelines, Section 15064.5.Policies: OS 19.2-19.4, 19.8, 19.10

Implementation of Mitigation Measures 4.7.1B and 4.7.1C.
Less than significant.
Impact 4.7.4 Build out within now vacant unincorporated areas of the County will result in a substantial increase in population and residential and non-residential structures, and associated infrastructure. Development associated with the proposed General Plan would require disturbance of vacant lands. Therefore, development as a result of implementation of the proposed General Plan could potentially destroy directly or indirectly an unique paleontological resource or site.Policy: OS 19.9Less than significant.
4.8 Energy
Potentially Significant Impacts
Impact 4.8.1 Build out within now vacant unincorporated areas of the County will result in a substantial increase in population and residential and non-residential structures, potentially increasing the use of and need for natural gas. Due to the growth involved in the proposed General Plan, this increase may potentially result in an impact on existing natural gas facilities.Policies: OS 10.1-10.2, OS 11.1-11.3, OS 12.1-12.4, OS 16.1-16.5, OS 16.7-16.10

4.8.1A The County shall review all development proposals prior to the approval of development plans to guarantee that sufficient energy resources and facilities are available to supply adequate energy to the proposed project and associated uses.

4.8.1B The County shall review all development plans prior to approval to guarantee that energy conservation and efficiency standards of Title 24 are met and are incorporated into the design of the proposed project.
Less than significant.
Impact 4.8.2 Build out within now vacant unincorporated areas of the County will result in a substantial increase in population and residential and non-residential structures, potentially increasing the use of and need for electricity. Due to the growth involved in the proposed General Plan, this increase may potentially result in an impact on existing electrical generating facilities.Policies: OS 10.1-10.2, OS 11.1-11.3, OS 12.1-12.4, OS 16.1-16.5, OS 16.7-16.10 Implement Mitigation Measures 4.8.1A and 4.8.1B.
4.9 Flood and Dam Inundation Hazards
Potentially Significant Impacts
Impact 4.9.1 Implementation of the proposed General Plan would result in the development of a significant amount of vacant unincorporated lands within the County. The addition of impervious surfaces would substantially increase the potential stormwater runoff from areas throughout the County. Existing drainage facilities may not be adequate to accommodate the future potential increase in stormwater runoff. Therefore, the implementation of development in accordance with the proposed General Plan may result in significant impacts related to existing drainage facilities.Policies: S 4.4-4.6, S 4.8, S 4.10-4.11, S 4.19

4.9.1A LOMA and LOMR-F are documents issued by FEMA that officially remove a property and/or structure from a special flood hazard area of a Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM). These letters shall be accepted by Riverside County where applicable.

4.9.1B Riverside County shall prohibit alteration of floodways and channelization unless alternative methods of flood control are not found to be technically, economically, and practicably infeasible.

4.9.1C Riverside County shall not necessarily require all land uses to withstand flooding. These may include land uses such as agricultural, golf courses, and trails. For these land uses, flows shall not be obstructed and upstream and downstream properties shall not be adversely affected by increased velocities, erosion backwater effects, or concentration of flows, and adverse impacts to water quality from point and non-point sources of pollution.

4.9.1.D Riverside County shall require the 10-year flood flows to be contained within the top of curbs and the 100-year flood flows within the street rights-of-way.
Less than significant.
Impact 4.9.2 Implementation of the proposed General Plan would contribute to an increase in development in vacant areas of unincorporated Riverside County. Development has the potential to increase the risk of flooding, which leads to damage to structures and risk to the health and safety of people. This is a potentially significant impact of the implementation of the proposed General Plan.Policies: S 4.1-4.3, S 4.9, S 4.20-4.23

4.9.2A Riverside County shall require that all structures (residential, commercial, and industrial) be flood-proofed from the 100-year storm flows. In some cases this may involve elevating the finished floor more than 1 foot.

4.9.2B Riverside County shall require that fully enclosed areas that are below finished floors have openings to equalize the forces on both sides of the walls.

4.9.2C Riverside County shall require that for agricultural, recreation, or other low-density uses, flows are not obstructed and that upstream and downstream properties are not adversely affected by increased velocities, erosion backwater effects, or concentration of flows.

4.9.2D Provided the applicant does hydrological studies, engineers structures to be safe from flooding, and provides evidence that the structures will not adversely impact the floodplain, Riverside County shall may allow development into the floodway fringe. if the proposed structures can be adequately flood-proofed.
Less than significant.
Impact 4.9.3 The implementation of the proposed General Plan may place habitable structures within dam inundation areas. This is a potentially significant impact of the implementation of the proposed General Plan.Policies: S 4.1, S 4.12, S 4.17-4.18

Existing County of Riverside Requirements The following existing County requirements will also reduce the risk of flood hazards on future development within the unincorporated areas of the County.

•Riverside County shall work with property owners and FEMA to revise the FIRM to correctly show the limits of the 100-year flood zone. Revisions to the FIRM will eliminate the need for flood insurance on properties that are protected from flood-related hazards.

• Riverside County shall continue to adopt and promote flood safety standards set forth by FEMA in areas susceptible to flooding and to identify and map areas that are prone to flooding and dam inundation.
Less than significant.
4.10 Geology and Soils
Potentially Significant Impacts
Impact 4.10.1 Future development permitted by the proposed General Plan may increase the potential for property loss, injury, or death resulting from development on or adjacent to known and/or as of yet undetected earthquake fault zones. Impacts associated with this issue are potentially significant.Policies: S 2.1, S 3.3, S 7.7d

4.10.1A Before a project is approved or otherwise permitted within an Alquist-Priolo Fault Hazard Zone, County Fault Zone, within 150 feet of any other active or potentially active fault mapped in a published United State Geologic Survey (USGS) or California Geologic Survey (CGS) reports, or within other potential earthquake hazard area (as determined by the County Geologist), a site-specific geologic investigation shall be prepared to assess potential seismic hazards resulting from development of the project site. Where and when required, the geotechnical investigation shall address the issue(s), hazard(s), and geographic area(s) determined by the County Geologist to be relevant to each development. The site-specific geotechnical investigation shall incorporate up-to-date data from government and non-government sources. Based on the site-specific geotechnical investigation, no structures intended for human occupancy shall be constructed across active faults. This site-specific evaluation and written report shall be prepared by a licensed geologist and shall be submitted to the County Geologist for review and approval prior to the issuance of building permits. If an active fault is discovered, any structure intended for human occupancy shall be set back at least 50 feet from the fault. A larger or smaller setback may be established if such a setback is supported by adequate evidence as presented to and accepted by the County Geologist.
Less than significant.
Impact 4.10.2 Like all of Southern California, Riverside County has and will continue to be subject to ground shaking resulting from activity on local and regional faults. Future development permitted by the proposed Riverside County General Plan may increase the potential for property loss, injury, or death resulting from this ground shaking hazard. Impacts associated with this issue are potentially significant.Policies: S 7.7-7.9, S 7.11, S 7.13, S 7.16, S 7.19.

4.10.2A The design and construction of structures and facilities shall adhere to the standards and requirement detailed in the California Building Code (California Code of Regulations, Title 24), County Building Code, and/or professional engineering standards appropriate for the seismic zone in which such construction may occur. Conformance with these design standards shall be enforced through building plan review and approval by the Riverside County Department of Building and Safety prior to the issuance of building permits for any structure or facility.

4.10.2B As determined by the County Geologist, a site-specific assessment shall be prepared to ascertain potential ground shaking impacts resulting from development. The site-specific ground shaking assessment shall incorporate up-to-date data from government and non-government sources and may be included as part of any site-specific geotechnical investigation required in Mitigation Measure 4.10.1A. The site-specific ground shaking assessment shall include specific measures to reduce the significance of potential ground shaking hazards. This site-specific ground shaking assessment shall be prepared by a licensed geologist and shall be submitted to the County Geologist for review and approval prior to the issuance of building permits.

4.10.2C The standards stated in Mitigation Measures 4.10.2A and 4.10.2B shall apply to any structure or facility that undergoes, expansion, remodeling, renovation, refurbishment or other modification.
Less than significant.
Impact 4.10.3 Portions of unincorporated Riverside County are susceptible to liquefaction, a destructive secondary effect of strong seismic shaking. Future proposed General Plan development within Riverside County would increase the potential for the placement of structures and facilities in or near areas susceptible to liquefaction. Impacts associated with this issue are potentially significant.Policies: S 2.2-2.4, S 7.7b

4.10.3A As determined by the County Geologist, a site-specific assessment shall be prepared to ascertain potential liquefaction impacts resulting from development. The site-specific liquefaction assessment shall incorporate up-to-date data from government and non-government sources and may be included as part of any site-specific geotechnical investigation required in Mitigation Measure 4.10.1A. This site-specific ground shaking assessment shall be prepared by a licensed geologist and shall be submitted to the County Geologist for review and approval prior to the issuance of building permits.

4.10.3B Where development is proposed within an identified or potential liquefaction hazard area (as determined by the County Geologist), adequate and appropriate measures such as (but not limited to) design foundations in a manner which limits the effects of liquefaction, the placement of an engineered fill with low liquefaction potential, and the alternative siting of structures in areas with a lower liquefaction risk, shall be implemented to reduce potential liquefaction hazards. Any such measures shall be submitted to the Riverside County Geologist and the County Department of Building and Safety for review prior to the approval of the building permits.
Less than significant.
Impact 4.10.4 Landslides and rockfalls can be expected to occur throughout Riverside County, as a result of seismic activity and other natural processes, or as the result of human activity. Future proposed General Plan development within the County would increase the potential for the placement of structures and facilities in areas susceptible landslides or rockfalls. Impacts associated with this issue are potentially significant.Policies: S 2.5, S 3.1-3.2, S 3.4-3.7, LU 11.1c, LU 11.1e, LU 11.1f.

No mitigation required
Less than significant.
Impact 4.10.5 Strong ground shaking can cause the densification of soils, resulting in local or regional settlement of the ground surface. Local differential settlement of soils can damage structures. Future proposed General Plan development within Riverside County would increase the potential for the placement of structures and facilities (including infrastructure) in areas susceptible to seismically induced settlement. Impacts related to this issue are potentially significant.Policies: S 2.2, S 2.6-2.8

No mitigation required.
Less than significant.
Impact 4.10.6 Soils susceptible to subsidence, hydroconsolidation, or soil collapse may be affected by a variety of natural or human activities, including earthquakes and the withdrawal of subsurface fluids. Future proposed General Plan development within Riverside County would increase the potential for the placement of structures and facilities in areas susceptible to subsidence and soil collapse. Impacts related to this issue are potentially significant.Policies: S 3.8-3.10, S 7.12

No mitigation required.
Less than significant.
Impact 4.10.7 Expansive soils are widely distributed throughout Riverside County. Future development within Riverside County would increase the potential for the placement of structures and facilities in areas susceptible to damage resulting from expansive soils. Impacts associated with expansive soils are considered potentially significant.4.10.7A Proponents of new development within Riverside County shall adhere to applicable policies and standards contained in the most recent version of the Uniform Building Code related to the construction of structures and facilities on expansive soils.Less than significant.
Impact 4.10.8 Erosion of soils by winds and windblown sand are an environmentally limiting factor throughout much of Riverside County, especially in the Coachella Valley and Eastern Riverside County. Future development within Riverside County would increase the potential for the placement of structures and facilities in areas susceptible to windblown erosion and blow-sand hazards. Impacts related to this issue are potentially significant.Policies: S 3.11-3.14

4.10.8A New development within identified or potential (as determined by the County Geologist) wind hazard areas shall adhere to applicable provisions of County of Riverside Ordinance 484.2 or other local, state, or federal requirements established to control or limit the windborne erosion of soil.

Prior to the approval of development permits, the County Building and Safety Department shall confirm that the design of any proposed structure, facility, or use incorporates appropriate features to control and/or limit the windborne erosion of soil.
Less than significant.
Impact 4.10.9 Areas exposed during development activities would be prone to erosion and/or the loss of topsoil. The potential for substantial soil erosion of the loss of topsoil is considered potentially significant.4.10.9A Riverside County, where required, and in accordance with issuance of a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, shall require the construction and/or grading contractor for individual developments to establish and implement specific Best Management Practices (BMPs) at time of project implementation.

4.10.9B Prior to any development within the County, a Grading Plan shall be submitted to the Riverside County Building and Safety Department and/or Riverside County Geologist for review and approval. As required by the County, the grading plan shall include erosion and sediment control plans. Measures included in individual erosion control plans may include, but shall not be limited to, the following:

• Grading and development plans shall be designed in a manner which minimizes the amount of terrain modification.

• Surface water shall be controlled and diverted around potential landslide areas to prevent erosion and saturation of slopes.

• Structures shall not be sited on or below identified landslides unless slides are stabilized.

• The extent and duration of ground disturbing activities during and immediately following periods of rain shall be limited, to avoid the potential for erosion which may be accelerated by rainfall on exposed soils.

• To the extent possible, the amount of cut and fill shall be balanced.

• The amount of water entering and exiting a graded site shall be limited though the placement of interceptor trenches or other erosion control devices.

• Erosion and sediment control plans shall be submitted to the County for review and approval prior to the issuance of grading permits.

4.10.9C Where required, drainage design measures shall be incorporated into the final design of individual projects on-site. These measures shall include, but will not be limited to:

• Runoff entering developing areas shall be collected into surface and subsurface drains for removal to nearby drainages.

• Runoff generated above steep slopes or poorly vegetated areas shall be captured and conveyed to nearby drainages.

• Runoff generated on paved or covered areas shall be conveyed via swales and drains to natural drainage courses.

• Disturbed areas that have been identified as highly erosive shall be (re)vegetated.

• Irrigation systems shall be designed, installed, and maintained in a manner which minimizes runoff.

• The landscape scheme for projects within the project site shall utilize drought-tolerant plants.

• Erosion control devices such as rip-rap, gabions, small check dams, etc., may be utilized in gullies and active stream channels to reduce erosion.
Less than significant.
4.11 Hazardous Materials
Less than Significant Impacts
Historical Use of Hazardous Materials and Waste Implementation of the proposed General Plan would not result in impacts associated with known and/or suspected hazardous materials. However, there is a potential that previously unknown hazardous materials contamination from historical use of a property may be encountered during future development activities. Should such contamination be found or disturbance occur, existing federal, state, and local policies and procedures would require action by the designated local enforcement agency. It is unlikely that any such contamination or disturbance would be extensive beyond the capacities of typical remediation measures. Therefore, no significant impacts from former uses of properties within Riverside County are anticipated as a result of implementation of the proposed General Plan.

Generation of Hazardous Waste Implementation of the proposed General Plan would introduce new land uses to the unincorporated areas of Riverside County that may result in the use of hazardous materials and the potential generation of hazardous waste. However, compliance with regulations, standards, and guidelines established by the EPA, State, Riverside County, and local agencies relating to the storage, use, and disposal of hazardous materials will reduce the potential risk of hazardous materials exposure to a level that is less than significant and no further mitigation is required.
Policies: S 6.1 S 7.1-7.3

No mitigation required. Less than significant.
Less than significant.
4.12 Mineral Resources
Less than Significant Impact
The increased growth and development associated with the implementation of the proposed General Plan would not significantly impact mineral resources located within the unincorporated Riverside County.Policies: LU 21.1-21.5, OS 14.1-14.6Less than significant.
4.13 Noise
Potentially Significant Impacts
Impact 4.13.1 Noise levels from grading and other construction activities would potentially result in noise levels reaching 91 dBA Lmax at off-site locations 50 feet from the site boundary. This would result in potentially significant noise impacts to off-site sensitive receptors adjacent to the individual construction site. Compliance with the County's noise ordinance construction hours would be required to reduce construction-related noise impacts to a less than significant level.Compliance with the County's noise ordinance construction hours. Policies: N 12.1-12.4

4.13.1A Prior to the issuance of any grading plans, the County shall condition approval of subdivisions adjacent to any developed/occupied noise-sensitive land uses by requiring applicants to submit a construction-related noise mitigation plan to the County for review and approval. The plan should depict the location of construction equipment and how the noise from this equipment will be mitigated during construction of the project through the use of such methods as:

• The construction contractor shall use temporary noise attenuation fences where feasible, to reduce construction noise impacts on adjacent noise-sensitive land uses.

• During all project site excavation and grading on site, the construction contractors shall equip all construction equipment, fixed or mobile, with properly operating and maintained mufflers, consistent with manufacturers' standards. The construction contractor shall place all stationary construction equipment so that emitted noise is directed away from sensitive receptors nearest the project site.

• The construction contractor shall locate equipment staging in areas that will create the greatest distance between construction-related noise sources and noise sensitive receptors nearest the project site during all project construction.

• The construction contractor shall limit all construction-related activities that would result in high noise levels to between the hours of 7:00

   a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. No construction shall be allowed on Sundays and public holidays.

4.13.1B The construction-related noise mitigation plan required shall also specify that haul truck deliveries be subject to the same hours specified for construction equipment. Additionally, the plan shall denote any construction traffic haul routes where heavy trucks would exceed 100 daily trips (counting those both to and from the construction site). To the extent feasible, the plan shall denote haul routes that do not pass sensitive land uses or residential dwellings. Lastly, the construction-related noise mitigation plan shall incorporate any other restrictions imposed by County staff.
Less than significant.
Impact 4.13.2 The implementation of the proposed General Plan would result in potential project-related long-term vehicular noise than would affect sensitive land uses along the roads. New development, particularly residential uses along and adjacent to major transit corridors, could be exposed to excessive traffic-related noise levels. To ensure that all new noise-sensitive proposals are carefully reviewed with respect to potential noise impacts, the County shall review new development using noise guidelines in combination with the land use compatibility standards.Policies: N 6.1-6.4, N 8.1-8.7

4.13.2A All new residential developments within the County shall conform to a noise exposure standard of 65 dBA Ldn for outdoor noise in noise-sensitive outdoor activity areas and 45 dBA Ldn for indoor noise in bedrooms and living/family rooms. New development, which does not and cannot be made to conform to this standard, shall not be permitted.

4.13.2B Acoustical studies, describing how the exterior and interior noise standards will be met, shall be required for all new residential developments with a noise exposure greater than 65 dBA Ldn. The studies shall also satisfy the requirements set forth in Title 24, Part 2, or the California Administrative Code, Noise Insulation Standards, for multiple family attached homes, hotels, motels, etc., regulated by Title 24. No development permits or approval of land use applications shall be issued until an acoustic analysis is received and approved by the County Planning Department.

4.13.2C The County shall require that proposed new commercial and industrial developments prepare acoustical studies, analyzing potential noise impacts on adjacent properties, when these developments abut noise-sensitive land uses. The County will require that all identified impacts to noise-sensitive land uses be mitigated to a less than significant level.

4.13.2D Ensure that all new schools, particularly in subdivisions and specific plans, are sited more than two miles away from an airport.
Less than significant.
Impact 4.13.3 New development associated with implementation of the proposed General Plan could expose existing and/or new sensitive uses to stationary noise sources, such as industrial and/or commercial uses.Policies: N 1.1-1.8, N 2.1-2.3, N 3.1-3.7, N 4.1-4.8, N 11.1-11.2

4.13.3A Acoustical studies shall be required for all new noise-sensitive projects that may be affected by existing noise from stationary sources.

4.13.3B To permit new development of residential and noise-sensitive land uses where existing stationary noise sources exceed the County's noise standards, effective mitigation measures shall be implemented to reduce noise exposure to or below the allowable levels of the zoning code/noise control ordinance.

4.13.3C No industrial facilities shall be constructed within 500 feet of any commercial land uses or within 2,800 feet of any residential uses without the preparation of a noise impact analysis. This analysis shall document the nature of the industrial facility as well as "noise producing" operations associated with that facility. Furthermore, the analysis shall document the placement of any existing or proposed commercial or residential land uses situated within the noted distances. The analysis shall determine the potential noise levels that could be received at these commercial and/or residential land uses and specify measures to be employed by the industrial facility to ensure that these levels do not exceed County noise requirements. Such measures could include, but are not limited to, the use of enclosures for noisy pieces of equipment, the use of noise walls and/or berms for exterior equipment and/or on-site truck operations, and/or restrictions on hours of operations. No development permits or approval of land use applications shall be issued until an acoustic analysis is received and approved by the County staff.
Less than significant.
Impact 4.13.4 Although the proposed General Plan update would not necessarily result in potential project-related increases in railroad noise, there could be new proposed sensitive land uses along and adjacent to the railroads that would be affected by high railroad noise.Policies: N 10.1-10.5

4.13.4A All new residential developments within the County shall conform to a noise exposure standard of 65 dBA Ldn for outdoor noise in noise-sensitive outdoor activity areas and 45 dBA Ldn for indoor noise in bedrooms and living/family rooms. New development, which does not and cannot be made to conform to this standard, shall not be permitted.

4.13.4B Acoustical studies, describing how the exterior and interior noise standards will be met, shall be required for all new residential developments with a noise exposure greater than 65 dBA Ldn. The studies should also satisfy the requirements set forth in Title 24, Part 2, of the California Administrative Code, Noise Insulation Standards, for multiple family attached homes, hotels, motels, etc., regulated by Title 24.
Less than significant.
4.14 Parks and Recreation
Potentially Significant Impacts
Impact 4.14.1 Build out within now vacant unincorporated areas of the County will result in a substantial increase in population and residential and non-residential structures, potentially increasing the use of existing parks and recreation facilities. Based on increased population figures and current staffing levels, development associated with the proposed General Plan would require additional neighborhood or community parkland and recreational facilities. Therefore, the proposed General Plan could result in significant impacts on existing parks and recreations services and facilities and will require the expansion of existing facilities and recreation programs or the construction of new parks and recreational facilities. An increase in staff and/or equipment will be needed to maintain the new parkland and recreational facilities.Policies: OS 20.3, OS 20.5-20.6, LU 19.1-19.3, LU 19.5Less than significant.
4.15 Public Services
Potentially Significant Impacts
Fire Protection

Impact 4.15.1 Build out of unincorporated areas of the County will result in a substantial increase in population and residential and non-residential structures, increasing the need for fire emergency services and facilities.

Based on increased population figures and current staffing levels, development associated with the proposed General Plan would require additional on-duty firefighters. Therefore, the proposed General Plan could result in significant impacts on existing fire protection services and require expansion of fire protection services.
Policies: S 5.2, S 5.4-5.95.10, LU 5.2, LU 9.1No mitigation required.Less than significant.
Sheriff Protection

Impact 4.15.2 Increases in population and employment anticipated with the proposed General Plan would increase the need for sheriff protection and sheriff services, requiring additional emergency responses and the need for additional sheriff personnel and related support facilities. This increased demand for officers and facilities is considered a significant impact.
Policies: LU 5.1-5.2, LU 9.1

4.15.2A The County shall require as a part of the development review process, proponents of new businesses, recreational, and commercial land uses such as shopping centers, health clubs, large hotels over 200 rooms, convention centers, and commercial recreational activities be required to provide on-site security.

4.15.2B The TLMA shall inform the Riverside County Sheriff's Department of the existence of all new homeowner associations within the County. The Riverside County Sheriff's Department shall coordinate with homeowners associations to establish a Neighborhood Watch Program.

4.15.2C Riverside County shall meet and maintain a goal of 1.5 sworn officers per 1,000 population, as recommended by the International City Managers' Association.

4.15.2D The County shall require the development applicant to pay the County Sheriff's established development mitigation fee prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy on any structure as they are developed. The fees are for the acquisition and construction of public facilities.
Less than significant.
Solid Waste Management

Impact 4.15.3 Increases in population and employment with the proposed General Plan could result in the incremental increase of solid waste throughout unincorporated Riverside County. This could increase the need for solid waste disposal, requiring additional landfill capacity and related support facilities. This increase is considered substantial and could result in a significant impact on existing solid waste facilities.
Policies: LU 5.1, LU 5.2

4.15.3A Riverside County shall work with its franchise hauling companies to expand curbside and commercial recycling services throughout the unincorporated area of the County.

4.15.3B Riverside County shall follow State regulations in implementing the goals, policies, and programs identified in the Riverside County Integrated Waste Management Plan in order to achieve and maintain a 50 percent reduction in solid waste disposal through source reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting.

4.15.3.C In accordance with State regulations, Riverside County shall prepare an annual report of progress for the CIWMB to determine the County's progress toward meeting its diversion goals and objectives, to project the County's waste disposal needs, and to determine if any of the elements that comprise the Riverside CIWMP require revision to include additional disposal capacity, reflect new or changed local and regional solid waste management issues, or reflect new or changed goals and objectives.

4.15.3D In accordance with CCR Section 18788, Riverside County shall review the Riverside CIWMP every five years to determine if the County's waste management practices remain consistent with waste diversion goals and objectives and to assess if revision is required.

4.15.3E The County shall require all future commercial, industrial and multifamily residential development to provide for adequate areas for the collection and loading of recyclable materials (i.e., paper products, glass, and other recyclables) in compliance with the State Model Ordinance, implemented on September 1, 1994, in accordance with AB 1327, Chapter 18, California Solid Waste Reuse and Recycling Access Act of 1991.

4.15.3F The County shall require all development projects to coordinate with appropriate County departments and/or agencies to ensure that there is adequate waste disposal capacity to meet the waste disposal requirements of the project, and the County shall recommend that all development projects incorporate measures to promote waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting.
Less than significant.
Wastewater

Impact 4.15.4.1 Implementation of the proposed General Plan would generate increases in population and housing, in addition to increases of commercial, and industrial land uses. This growth would incrementally generate wastewater, which will necessitate increased wastewater treatment capacity. Due to the large-scale projected growth, this increase is considered substantial and may result in a significant impact on existing wastewater service and facilities.
Policies: LU 5.1-5.2, LU 9.1, OS 3.1

No mitigation required.
Less than significant.
Impact 4.15.4.2 The proliferation of septic systems in rural communities may potentially contaminate groundwater with nitrates, ammonia, salts, metals, organic solvents, grease and oil, and other substances, impairing the beneficial uses of local water supplies. This is a potentially significant impact.Policy: OS 3.2

No mitigation required.

4.15.4A Conventional septic tanks/subsurface disposal systems shall be prohibited within any designated Zone A of an EPA wellhead protection area. Where a difference between Riverside County and EPA septic tank setback requirements exists, the EPA standard shall apply.
Less than significant.
Schools

Impact 4.15.5 Implementation of the proposed General Plan will result in increased development and associated student population throughout the unincorporated areas of the County. Most school districts either cannot meet their current need or will be unable to meet future needs resulting from projected growth.
Policy: LU 5.2

Implementation of Leroy F. Greene School Facilities Act of 1998 (SB 50).
Less than significant.
Libraries

Impact 4.15.6 The population increase anticipated in the proposed Riverside County General Plan would potentially increase the use of existing library facilities and services to the extent that the construction and/or expansion of facilities would be required.
Policy: LU 5.1

4.15.6A Riverside County shall provide a minimum of approximately 0.5 square foot of library space and 2.5 volumes per County resident.
Less than significant.
Medical Facilities

Impact 4.15.7 The population increase to 1.67 1.77 million people in the County over the next 40 years anticipated with the implementation of the proposed General Plan would increase the demand of existing medical facilities and services beyond what is currently available. Projected growth may have a significant impact to medical facilities and services in Riverside County.
Policies: LU 5.1

4.15.7A Riverside County shall perform a periodic medical needs assessment to evaluate the current medical demand and level of medical service provided within each Area Plan. A periodic medical needs assessment shall be conducted every three years.

4.15.7B Riverside County shall fund the new construction and/or expansion of existing medical facilities according to the level of demand for medical services. The level of demand will be based on and determined by the outcome of the periodic medical needs assessments.
Less than significant.
4.16 Transportation and Circulation
Potentially Significant Impacts
Impact 4.16.1 Future growth occurring as the result of implementing the proposed 2002 Riverside County General Plan will increase area-wide traffic volumes with the potential to degrade roadway and freeway performance below applicable performance standards.Policies: C.1.1-1.7, C 2.1-2.8, C 3.2, C 3.5-3.6, C 3.10, C 3.20, C 4.1-4.10, C 6.1-6.7, C 7.1, C 7.2-7.8 -7.6, C 8.4-8.6, C 8.8, C 9.1-9.2, C 10.1, C 11.1-11.7, C 12.1-12.6, C 13.1-13.7, C 14.1,C -14.3, C 15.1-15.2 15.5, C 16.1-16.7 -16.2, C 16.5, C 16.8, C 16.11, C 16.14-16.17, C 16.19-16.20, C 17.2, C17.1-17.4, C 18.1-18.3, C18.5-18.8, C 19.1-19.12, C 21.1-21.5, C 21.8-21.9, C 21.11-21.13, C 22.1-22.9, C 23.1-23.2, C 25.1

4.16.1A As part of its review of land development proposals, the County shall require project proponents to make a "fair share" contribution to required intersection and/or roadway improvements. The required intersection and/or roadway improvements shall be based on maintaining the appropriate level of service (LOS D within Community Development Areas designated by the 2002 Riverside County General Plan and within adjacent jurisdictions; LOS C within those portions of unincorporated Riverside County outside of Community Development Areas). The fair share contribution shall be based on the percentage of project-related traffic to the total future traffic.

4.16.1B As part of its review of land development proposals, the County shall ensure sufficient right-of-way is reserved on critical roadways and at critical intersections to implement the approach lane geometrics necessary to provide the appropriate levels of services.

4.16.1C The County shall add a transportation corridor to its General Plan Circulation Element, if feasible, showing a connection between I-15 and the Orange County freeway system, and complete that portion of the CETAP program involving the bi-County corridor to Orange County as a means of relieving traffic congestion along State Route 91. The transportation corridor shall provide an alternative route for traffic on State Route 91 between I-15 and State Route 241.
Significant and unavoidable.
4.17 Water Resources
Potentially Significant Impacts
Impact 4.17.1 The population increases projected for Riverside County will increase the demand for water beyond that which currently exists. A significant impact will occur when and where the demand for water exceeds supply.Policies: OS 1.1-1.3, OS 2.1-2.5, LU 5.3, LU 17.2

4.17.1A Proponents of new development within unincorporated areas of Riverside County that consist of: a residential development of more than 500 dwelling units; a shopping center or business establishment employing more than 1,000 persons or having more than 500,000 square feet of floor space; a commercial office building employing more than 1,000 persons or having more than 250,000 square feet of floor space; a hotel/motel development of more than 5,000 rooms; an industrial, manufacturing/processing plant, or industrial park employing more than 1,000 persons or occupying more than 650,000 square feet of floor space or 40 acres of land; a mixed-use development that includes any of the previously referenced projects; or a project with a water demand equivalent to that used by 500 residential units with projected water demand of more than 250 af per year shall be required to submit a water supply assessment report prior to approval of a project. The water supply assessment report shall include the following:

• Project description;

• Water resources environmental setting;

• Conservation and water recycling measures included in the project;

• The identification of existing water entitlements, water rights, or water service contracts relevant to the water supply identified for a proposed project, and the amount of water received pursuant to such entitlements, rights, or contracts;

• Project water demand;

• Water supply alternatives;

• Preferred water supply alternative;

• Impacts associated with use of the preferred water supply alternative;

• A evaluation of compliance with the applicable Urban Water Management Plan;

• Summary and conclusions; and

• Technical appendices and attachment of supporting documents. Said water supply assessment report shall be submitted to the County and applicable water supply agencies for review. Development shall not be permitted unless an adequate supply of water, available for use and sufficient to supply a proposed project, in wet and drought years, has been identified. Where water supply adequate to supply a project in its entirety does not exist, development of only those portions of a project with an adequate and available water supply shall be permitted. Evidence of the availability of adequate water supply shall be submitted to the County for review and approval prior to the issuance of development permits.

4.17.1B For projects smaller than those stated in Mitigation Measure

4.17.1A, with an estimated annual water use of 250 af or less, the County shall require evidence that the project is in compliance with the Urban Water Management Plan for the area in which the development is located, prior to the issuance of development permits. Evidence of such compliance shall take the form of written verification by the water provider that the project is in compliance with said plan. As determined necessary by the County, preparation of a water supply plan (as required in Mitigation Measure 4.17.1A, above) shall be required for a project that does not meet the aforementioned thresholds, is estimated to use less than 250 af per year, prior to the issuance of development permits.

4.17.1C Development within unincorporated areas of the County shall not use water of any source of quality suitable for potable domestic use for nonpotable uses, including cemeteries, golf courses, parks, highway landscaped areas, industrial and irrigation uses, or other non-domestic use if suitable water is available as provided in Sections 13550-13566 of the State Water Code and/or Sections 65591-65600 and 65601-65607 of the State Public Resource Code. Prior to the issuance of any land use permit, the County shall determine to what extent and in which manner the use of recycled water is required for individual water projects. Future development shall be designed, constructed, and maintained accordance with the recycled water measures mandated by the County.

4.17.1D Riverside County shall enforce compliance with federal, State, and local standards for water conservation within residential, commercial, or industrial projects. Prior to approval of any development within the County, the applicant shall submit evidence to Riverside County that all applicable water conservation measures have been met.

4.17.1E For any development within the Palo Verde Planning Area supplied with water from the Colorado River, the project applicant shall enter into a contract with the City of Needles, pursuant to the "Lower Colorado Water Supply Project" program. Evidence of such a contractual agreement shall be submitted to the County prior to the approval of any development entitlement for the project.
Significant and unavoidable.
Impact 4.17.2 Accommodation of the population increase anticipated at build out of the General Plan will likely require the increased reliance on groundwater sources. This is especially likely in the western part of Riverside County where most of the population growth is expected to occur. Increased and new uses may conflict with a groundwater management plan, monitoring program, or lead to groundwater extraction that either individually or cumulatively exceed the safe yields of groundwater basins and/or cause a net deficit in the aquifer volume or reduction in the local groundwater table level. Any such condition would be potentially significant.Policies: OS 1.1-1.3, OS 2.1-2.5, OS 4.1-4.7, LU 5.3, LU 17.2

4.17.2A In areas where it is not practical to conserve soils suitable for recharge (as determined by the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District), water harvesting and recharge facilities shall be built within the same groundwater basin in which the recharge area is lost. The construction of "replacement" recharge areas shall equal the amount of recharge area lost and/or shall incorporate equipment or facilities capable of replacing (at an equal volume) the amount of groundwater recharge capacity lost as a result of development. The identification, designation, location, or installation of "replacement" groundwater recharge capacity shall be reviewed and approved by the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District prior to the issuance of grading permits.
Less than significant.
Impact 4.17.3 The proposed General Plan will accommodate development in vacant areas that are currently available for groundwater recharge. Development of such areas will reduce the area available for aquifer recharge and could substantially interfere with the process of groundwater recharge. This is a potentially significant impact.Policies: OS 4.1-4.7

4.17.2A (above)

4.17.3A New development that includes more than one acre of impervious surface area (including roofs, parking areas, streets, sidewalk, etc.), shall incorporate features to facilitate the on-site infiltration of precipitation and/or runoff into groundwater basins. Such features shall include such as (but not be limited to): natural drainage systems (where economically feasible), detention basins incorporated into project landscaping; and the installation of porous areas within parking areas. Where natural drainage systems are utilized for groundwater recharge, they shall be managed using natural approaches (as modified to safeguard public health and safety). Groundwater recharge features shall be included on development plans and shall be reviewed by the Riverside County Building and Safety Department and/or Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District prior to the issuance of grading permits.
Less than significant.
Impact 4.17.4 The proposed General Plan has the potential to threaten or damage unique hydrologic characteristics or will change hydrologic baseline conditions over an extensive area or period of time, so that resultant conditions are highly controversial, highly uncertain, or involve unique or unknown risks.Policies: OS 5.1-5.3, OS 5.5, LU 28.1

4.17.4A Where development may interfere with, disrupt, or otherwise affect surface or subsurface hydrologic baseline conditions (as determined by the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the California Department of Fish and Game, and/or the Regional Water Quality Control Board), preparation of a project specific hydrologic study shall be required. The hydrologic study shall include (but shall not be limited to): an inventory of existing surface and subsurface hydrologic conditions existing at the time of the study; an analysis of how the proposed development would affect these hydrologic baseline conditions; and specific measures to limit or eliminate the interference or disruption of the on-site hydrologic process. The hydrologic study shall evaluate the feasibility of incorporating bioengineering measures into any project that may alter the hydrologic process. Where required by the County, the hydrologic study shall include analysis of, at an equal level of detail, potential impacts to tributary or downstream areas. The hydrologic study shall be submitted to the County or responsible entity for review and shall be approved prior to the issuance of any entitlement that would result in the physical modification of the project site.

4.17.4B The project applicant shall submit to the County for review and approval, evidence that the specific measures to limit or eliminate the disruption or interference to the hydrologic process resulting from the entire development process, will be implemented as set forth in the hydrologic study. Such evidence may take the form of (but shall not be limited to): a development agreement; land banking; the provision of adequate funds to guarantee the construction, maintenance or restoration of hydrologic features; or any other mechanism that will achieve said goals. Said evidence shall be submitted and approved prior to the issuance of any entitlement that would result in the physical modification of the project site.

4.17.4C Where determined feasible by the County or responsible entity, bioengineering measures shall be incorporated into any project that may alter the hydrologic process.
Less than significant.
Impact 4.17.5 Implementation of the proposed General Plan will result in reliance on a higher percentage of lower quality water sources either from the Colorado River or from marginal groundwater sources, and/or may increase the level of pollutants that occur in local/regional ground water reserves and/or local/regional surface water. Either of these conditions would result in the deterioration of the quality of the drinking water in Riverside County and would be a significant impact.Policies: OS 3.1-3.3, OS 6.3

4.17.5A The development of septic systems shall be in accordance with applicable standards established by Riverside County and other responsible authorities.

4.17.5B Point source pollution reduction programs shall fully adhere to applicable standards required by federal, State, and local agencies. Prior to the approval of individual projects, Riverside County shall verify that the provisions of applicable point source pollution programs have been satisfied.

4.17.5C Where development may contribute to a worsening of local or regional ground or surface water quality (as determined by the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health and/or RWQCB), a water quality analysis shall be prepared. The water quality analysis shall include (but shall not be limited to): an analysis of existing surface and subsurface water quality; an assessment of how the proposed development would affect such conditions existing water quality; an assessment of how the proposed development would affect beneficial uses of the water; and specific measures to limit or eliminate potential water quality impacts and/or impacts to beneficial uses of ground/surface water. Where determined necessary by the County or other responsible entity, the water quality analysis shall include, at an equal level of detail, potential impacts to tributary or downstream areas. The water quality analysis shall be submitted to the County and the RWCQB or responsible entity for review and shall be approved prior to the issuance of any entitlement that would result in the physical modification of the project site.

4.17.5D The project applicant shall submit to the County and the RWQCB, for review and approval, evidence that the specific measures to limit or eliminate potential water quality impacts resulting from the entire development process, will be implemented as set forth in the water quality analysis. Said evidence shall be submitted prior to the issuance of any entitlement that would result in the physical modification of the project site.

4.17.5E For each new development project, the following principles and policies shall be considered and implemented:

(1) Avoid or limit disturbance to natural water bodies and drainage systems (including ephemeral drainage systems) when feasible. Provide adequate buffers of native vegetation along drainage systems to lessen erosion and protect water quality.

(2) Appropriate best management practices (BMPs) must be implemented to lessen impacts to waters of the United States and/or waters of the State of California resulting from development. Drainages should be left in a natural condition or modified in a way that preserves all existing water quality standards where feasible. Any discharges of sediment or other wastes, including wastewater, to waters of the United States or waters of the State must be avoided to the maximum extent practicable. All such discharges will require an NPDES permit issued by the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB).

(3) Small drainages shall be preserved and incorporated into new development, along with adequate buffer zones of native vegetation, to the maximum extent practicable.

(4) Any impacts to waters of the United States require a Section 401 Water Quality Standards Certification from the RWQCB. Impacts to these waters shall be avoided to the maximum extent practicable. Where avoidance is not practicable, impacts to these waters shall be minimized to the maximum extent practicable. Mitigation of unavoidable impacts must, at a minimum, replace the full function and value of the affected water body. Impacts to waters of the United States also require a Clean Water Act Section 404 Permit from the United States Army Corps of Engineers and a Streambed Alteration Agreement from the California Department of Fish and Game.

(5) The County shall encourage the use of pervious materials in development to retain absorption and allow more percolation of stormwater into the ground. The use of pervious materials, such as grass, permeable/porous pavement, etc., for runoff channels and parking areas shall also be encouraged. Lining runoff channels with impermeable surfaces, such as concrete or grouted rip-rap, will be discouraged.

(6) The County shall encourage construction of detention basins or holding ponds and/or constructed wetlands within a project site to capture and treat dry weather urban runoff and the first flush of rainfall runoff. These basins should be designed to detain runoff for a minimum time, such as 24 hours, to allow particles and associated pollutants to settle and to provide for natural treatment.

(7) The County shall encourage development to retain areas of open space as natural or landscaped to aid in the recharge and retention of runoff. Native plant materials shall be used in replanting and hydroseeding operations, where feasible.

(8) The County shall require that environmental documents for proposed projects in areas tributary to Canyon Lake Reservoir, Lake Elsinore, sections of the Santa Ana River, Fulmar Lake, and Mill Creek (as a result of the proposed 2002 303 (d) listing of these water bodies) include discharge prohibitions, revisions to discharge permits, or management plans to address water quality impacts in accordance with the controls that may be applied pursuant to State and Federal regulation. Environmental documents shall acknowledge that additional requirements may be imposed in the future for projects in areas tributary to the water bodies listed above.

(9) The County shall ensure that in new development, post-development stormwater runoff flow rates do not differ from the pre-development stormwater runoff flow rates.

(10) All construction projects should be designed and implemented to protect, and if at all possible, to improve the quality of the underlying groundwater.

(11) The County shall encourage the enhancement of groundwater recharge wherever possible. Measures such as keeping stream/river channels and floodplains in natural conditions or with pervious surfaces, as well as keeping areas of high recharge as open space will be considered.

(12) The County shall prohibit the discharge of waste material resulting from any type of construction into any drainage areas, channels, streambeds, streams, lakes, wetlands, or rivers. Spoil sites shall be prohibited within any streams or areas where spoil material could be washed into a water body.

(13) The County shall require that appropriate BMPs be developed and implemented during construction efforts to control the discharge of pollutants, prevent sewage spills, and to avoid discharge of sediments into the streets, stormwater conveyance channels, or waterways.
Less than significant.


SECTION 2.0 - INTRODUCTION

2.1 Purpose of the Program Environmental Impact Report

This Program EIR (EIR No. 441, State Clearinghouse No. 2002051143) has been prepared according to California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requirements to evaluate the potential environmental impacts associated with the implementation of the proposed 2002 Riverside County General Plan (proposed General Plan, Comprehensive General Plan Amendment No. GPA00618), which covers the entire unincorporated portion of the County. It also discusses alternatives to the proposed General Plan, and proposes mitigation measures that will offset, minimize, or otherwise avoid significant environmental impacts. This EIR has been prepared in accordance with CEQA, California Resources Code Section 21000 et seq.; the Guidelines for California Environmental Quality Act (California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Chapter 3); and the rules, regulations, and procedures for implementing CEQA as adopted by the County of Riverside.

The objective of the Program EIR is to inform County of Riverside decision-makers, representatives of other affected/responsible agencies, the public, and other interested parties of the potential environmental effects that may be associated with the proposed General Plan. This Program EIR describes potential impacts relating to a wide variety of environmental issues and methods in which these impacts can be mitigated or avoided. It further analyzes the level of impact remaining after mitigation. Some impacts cannot be mitigated to below a level of significance.

2.1.1 Contents of the Final Program EIR

The Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the County of Riverside General Plan (State of California Clearinghouse No. 2002051143) has been prepared in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the guidelines for the implementation of CEQA. The Final EIR consists of two volumes containing following contents:

Revisions made to the Draft EIR (August 20, 2002), State of California Clearinghouse No. 2002051143 - Volume I;

A list of persons, organizations, and public agencies commenting on the Draft EIR (Section 1.4 of Volume II);

The responses of the Lead Agency to significant environmental points raised in the public review and consultation process (Section 2.0 of Volume II);

An addendum to the Draft EIR as a result of responses to comments on the Draft EIR (Section 3.0 of Volume II); and

The Mitigation Monitoring Plan (MMP) (Section 4.0 of Volume II).

The Final EIR (Volume I) also contains an analysis of revisions/changes made to the General Plan Land Use Map, land use designations and general plan components, 19 Area Plan Maps, and General Plan policies as a result of the County of Riverside Planning Commission and Board of Supervisor's public hearings on proposed General Plan through September 9, 2003.

The Final EIR incorporates by reference the Riverside County General Plan Program Draft EIR, August 20, 2002, and the Riverside County Integrated Plan Existing Setting Report (March 2000).

2.1.2 Findings of the Final Program EIR

As stated above, text and map changes have been made to the proposed General Plan since the Public Hearing Draft of the document was released in April 2002. The changes resulted from public review of the document and input to the Riverside County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.

The Final Program EIR (Volume I) evaluated the changes made to the land use designations, the County Land Use Map, 19 Area Plans, and General Plan policies as of September 26, 2003. As a result of the changes to the prosed General Plan, the traffic model was rerun and the outcome of the general plan traffic is analyzed in Volume I, Section 4.16 of the Final Program EIR. Changes to the General Plan policies and the Draft EIR are shown in strikeout (strikeout) and double underline (double underline) in the Final Program EIR.

The analysis in the Final EIR (Volume 1) determined that Section 15088.5(1)(b) of the State CEQA Guidelines have been met that states "recirculation of a Draft EIR is not required where new information added to the EIR merely clarifies or amplifies or makes insignificant modifications in an adequate EIR." Section 15088.5(1)(a) of the State CEQA Guidelines identifies the conditions that require recirculation of a Draft EIR if the following occurs:

A new significant environmental impact. A new significant environmental impact would result from the project or from a new mitigation measure proposed to be implemented.

A substantial increase in the severity of an impact. A substantial increase in the severity of an environmental impact would result unless mitigation measures are adopted that reduce the impact to a level of insignificance.

New mitigation measures and alternatives. Mitigation measures or alternatives previously found not to be feasible would in fact be feasible, and would substantially reduce one or more significant effects of the project, but the project proponent declines to adopt the mitigation measures or alternatives.

Draft EIR is fundamentally inadequate. The draft EIR was so fundamentally and basically inadequate and conclusory in nature that meaningful public review and comment were precluded.

If none of the above conditions is met, the County is not required to recirculate the Draft EIR.

The Final EIR evaluated the changes to the General Plan as an outcome of the public hearing process and determined that, although there were changes made to the Draft EIR, those changes did not result in a new significant environmental impact that was not disclosed in the Draft EIR; that there was not an increase in the severity of an impact that could not be mitigated; and that there are no new mitigation measures or alternatives that were previously found to be infeasible that are now feasible that would reduce one or more significant effects of the General Plan. As discussed for each topic area analyzed in the Draft EIR, the resulting changes to the General Plan did not change the conclusions of the Draft EIR. Implementation of the County's General Plan will have significant unavoidable adverse impacts that cannot be mitigated to below a level of significance for:

Conversion of State designated and/or land currently utilized for agricultural production to non-agricultural uses;

• Conversion of open space to urban uses resulting in an obstruction of views and loss of existing visual character;

• Air quality both short-term construction and long-term operational impacts;

• Water supply;

• Traffic impacts to the freeways; and

• Biological Resources as follows:

- A direct loss of sensitive natural communities, especially coastal sage scrub and meadow and marsh habitats;

- Fragmentation of sensitive habitats, resulting in isolation of habitat patches and creating a "checkerboard" pattern of small habitat patches of limited biological value; and

- The fragmentation of habitat that constricts, inhibits, or eliminates wildlife movement.

The Mitigation Monitoring Program in Volume II of the Final Program EIR reflects changes made to mitigation measures as a result of the analysis of the General Plan as of September 26, 2003.

2.1.1 2.1.3 California Environmental Quality Act

According to Section 15002 of CEQA Guidelines, the basic purposes of CEQA are to:

• Inform government decision-makers and the public about the potential significant environmental effects of proposed activities;

• Identify ways that environmental damage can be avoided or significantly reduced;

• Prevent significant, avoidable damage to the environment by requiring changes in projects through the use of alternatives or mitigation measures when the governing agency finds the changes to be feasible; and

• Disclose to the public the reasons why a governmental agency approved the project in the manner the agency chose if significant environmental effects are involved.

This EIR is intended to serve as an informational document for public agency decision-makers and the general public regarding the objectives and components of the proposed General Plan, which is the proposed project for the purpose of CEQA. This document will address the potential significant adverse environmental impacts that may be associated with build out of the proposed General Plan, as well as identify feasible mitigation measures and alternatives that may be adopted to reduce or eliminate these impacts.

This EIR is the primary reference document for the formulation and implementation of a mitigation monitoring program for the proposed General Plan. Environmental impacts cannot always be mitigated to a level that is considered less than significant. In accordance with Section 15093(b) of the CEQA Guidelines, if a lead agency approves a project that has significant impacts that are not substantially mitigated (i.e., significant unavoidable impacts), the agency shall state in writing the specific reasons for approving the project based on the final CEQA documents and any other information in the public record for the project. This is defined in Section 15093 of the CEQA Guidelines as a "statement of overriding considerations."

2.1.2 2.1.4 Program Environmental Impact Report

This EIR is a "Program EIR," which evaluates the broad-scale impacts of the proposed General Plan. Program EIRs are typically prepared for an agency plan program, or series of actions that can be characterized as one large project, such as a general plan. Tiering refers to the concept of a multilevel approach to preparing environmental documents (CEQA Guidelines, Section 15152). A General Plan EIR, addressing the impacts of countywide and local policy decisions, can be thought of as a "first tier" document. It evaluates the large-scale impacts on the environment that can be expected to result from the adoption of the General Plan, but does not necessarily address the site-specific impacts that each of the thousands of individual development projects that will follow and implement the General Plan may have. CEQA requires each of those subsequent development projects be evaluated for their particular site-specific impacts. These site-specific analyses are typically encompassed in second-tier documents, such as Project EIRs, Focused EIRs, or Negative Declarations on individual development projects subject to the General Plan, which typically evaluate the impacts of a single activity undertaken to implement the overall plan.

According to the CEQA Guidelines (Section 15168(a)), a State or local agency should prepare a Program EIR, rather than a Project EIR, when the lead agency proposes the following:

• Series of related actions that are linked geographically;

• Logical parts of a chain of contemplated events, rules, regulations, or plans that govern the conduct of a continuing program; or

• Individual activities carried out under the same authorizing statutory or regulatory authority and having generally similar environmental effects that can be mitigated in similar ways.

In this case, the Program EIR will address the General Plan, which is the proposed project. This EIR considers anticipates a series of actions needed to achieve the implementation of the proposed General Plan. Further actions or procedures required to allow implementation of the proposed General Plan include the processing of zoning plans, specific plans, tentative tract maps, site design plans, building permits, and grading permits.

In a Program EIR, CEQA allows the general analysis of broad environmental effects of the program with the acknowledgment that subsequent site-specific environmental review may be required for particular aspects of portions of the program at the time of project implementation. The Program EIR would serve a valuable purpose as a first-tier environmental analysis. The Program EIR can be incorporated by reference into subsequently prepared environmental documents to address issues, such as cumulative impacts and growth inducing impacts, allowing the subsequent documents to focus on new or site-specific impacts (CEQA Guidelines, Section 151168(d)).

Although the legally required contents of a Program EIR are the same as those of a Project EIR, in practice there are considerable differences in level of detail. Program EIRs are typically more conceptual and abstract. They contain a more general discussion of impacts, alternatives, and mitigation measures.

To keep the analysis of impacts in this Program EIR in perspective, the County of Riverside is approximately the size of the State of New Jersey (approximately 7,295 square miles). It includes well-established urban, suburban, and rural communities. It has an extensive array of agricultural lands, lands devoted to mineral extraction, and recreational areas. There are rugged mountains, flat valley areas, open desert, and expansive natural open space areas. The variety of geographic zones has an influence on climate which, in turn, affects biodiversity, energy usage (for air conditioning and heating), water usage (for agriculture and landscaping), wild fire hazards, flood hazards, air quality (heat, wind patterns, topography), water quality (natural salinity), and soil types (prime farmland) within the County. In addition, the County contains vast expanses of federal and Native American lands and 24 incorporated cities that are not under the land use control of the County. The analysis in a Program EIR for a county this size is not intended to be site-specific (e.g., determining the level of service for intersections within the County), but is a more broad analysis. For instance, the traffic analysis determines whether the roadway widths proposed in the General Plan Circulation Element will accommodate the planned land uses. The Program EIR does not, however, determine fair share roadway improvements for individual future development projects. These fair share improvements that development will be responsible to build or pay for will be determined during subsequent environmental review on a case-by-case basis.

Therefore, the Program EIR will help determine the need for subsequent environmental documentation. Parameters by which a lead agency can determine the need for additional environmental documentation are contained in the CEQA Guidelines (Sections 15160 to 15170).

2.2 Intended Use of the Program Environmental Impact Report

This Program EIR addresses the potential environmental effects of the implementation of the proposed General Plan. Riverside County is the Lead Agency for the purposes of CEQA because it has the principal responsibility for deciding whether or not to approve the General Plan, and how it will be implemented. As the Lead Agency, Riverside County is responsible for preparing the environmental documentation for the proposed project in compliance with CEQA.

The County of Riverside, as the Lead Agency, has the responsibility for preparing the General Plan Program EIR as well as the General Plan. The following discretionary actions are anticipated to be taken by Riverside County as part of the proposed project:

• Adoption of the 2020 Riverside County General Plan, which incorporates 19 Area Plans as part of the Riverside County General Plan, and

• Adoption of proposed boundary changes to zoning districts to coincide with the 19 Area Plan boundaries.

2.2.1 Previous Environmental Documentation

As stated in Section 15150 of the State CEQA Guidelines, "An EIR or negative declaration may incorporate by reference all or portions of another document which is a matter of public record or is generally available to the public." Section 15150(b) further states that all documents incorporated by reference shall be made available to the public for inspection at a public place or public building and requires that the EIR state where the incorporated documents will be made available for public inspection. Section 15150(d) requires the EIR to include the state identification number of any previous EIR or negative declaration which has been incorporated by reference. The following document has been incorporated by reference:

Riverside County Integrated Plan Existing Setting Report (LSA Associates, March 2000).

The Riverside County Integrated Plan (RCIP) Existing Setting Report is intended to provide a common factual basis for the preparation of the three components of the County's integrated planning effort: Riverside County General Plan, Western Riverside County MSHCP, and the Western Riverside County CETAP. This report also provides a single environmental baseline inventory that will be used in the preparation of subsequent environmental documents for each of the three plans comprising the RCIP.

The Existing Setting Report presents the results of an intensive research effort aimed at identifying the physical, social, and economic characteristics of Riverside County which need to be understood in order to formulate goals, objectives, and policies for the integrated planning effort. Along with the preparation of this report, an extensive and detailed computerized database was constructed. The Riverside County Integrated Plan Existing Setting Report has been provided, in CD-ROM format, along with the EIR and is located in the front pocket of the EIR folder. In addition, the hard copy of the report may be viewed at these locations:

County Administrative Center (Riverside)
4080 Lemon Street
Public Counter, 2nd Floor
Planning Department, 9th Floor
Riverside, California 92502
Hours of Operation: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday
County Administrative Center (Indio)
82-675 Highway 111, Room 209
Indio, California 92201
Hours of Operation: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00
p.m.
Monday through Friday
Riverside County Permit Assistance Center (Murrieta)
39493 Los Alamos Road
Murrieta, California 92563
Hours of Operation: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday


Libraries in Riverside County
Anza Public Library
Anza
57430 Mitchell Road
Anza, California 92539
Beaumont Library District
Beaumont
125 East 8th Street
Beaumont, California 92223
Palo Verde Valley District Library
Blythe
125 West Chanslorway
Blythe, California 92225
Corona Public Library
Corona
650 South Main Street
Corona, California 92882-3417
Riverside County Public Library
Desert Hot Springs
11691 West Drive
Desert Hot Springs, California 92240
Riverside County Public Library
Glen Avon
9244 Galena
Riverside, California 92509
Riverside County Public Library
Idyllwild
54185 Pinecrest
Idyllwild, California 92549
Riverside County Public Library
Indio
200 Civic Center Mall
Indio, California 92201
Riverside County Public Library
Lake Tamarisk
43880 Lake Tamarisk
Desert Center, California 92239
Riverside County Public Library
Mecca
65-250 A Coahuilla
Mecca, California 92254
Riverside County Public Library
Mission Trail
34303 Mission Trail
Wildomar, California 92595
Riverside County Public Library
Moreno Valley
25480 Alessandro
Moreno Valley, California 92553
Riverside County Public Library
Nuview
29990 Lakeview
Nuevo, California 92567
Riverside County Public Library
Perris
163 East San Jacinto
Perris, California 92570
Riverside County Public Library
Riverside
Main Library
3581 Mission Inn Ave
Riverside, California 92501
Riverside County Public Library
San Jacinto
500 Idyllwild Dr.
San Jacinto, California 92583
Riverside County Public Library
Sun City
26982 Cherry Hills Boulevard
Sun City, California 92586
Riverside County Public Library
Temecula
41000 County Center
Temecula, California 92591
Riverside County Public Library
Thousand Palms
72-715 La Canada Way
Thousand Palms, California 92276
Riverside County Public Library
Woodcrest
17024 Van Buren Boulevard
Riverside, California 92504


2.2.2 Environmental Procedures

To further the basic purposes of CEQA, the environmental review process requires the preparation and public circulation of several documents. These include, in addition to the General Plan Program EIR, a Notice of Preparation (NOP), and an Initial Study (IS).

Riverside County formally initiated the environmental process with circulation of an NOP, which was sent to responsible agencies and interested individuals for a 30-day review period from May 28, 2002 to June 30, 2002. An NOP is a brief notice that the Lead Agency plans to prepare an EIR for a project. The purpose of the NOP is to solicit guidance from agencies and individuals as to the scope and content of the environmental information to be included in the EIR. Within 30 days after receiving the NOP, responsible agencies are to provide the Lead Agency with specific detail about the scope and content of the environmental information related to the responsible agency's area of statutory responsibility. This information must be included in the draft Program EIR. The NOP and the responses to the NOP from agencies and individuals are included in Appendix A. Responses to the NOP are summarized in Section 1.3.

An IS for the proposed General Plan was presented to the public on May 28, 2002 and circulated with the NOP. If, as here, it is known that an EIR will be prepared, an IS, although not required, is helpful in identifying the likely potential environmental impacts that should be studied in the EIR. The full range of potential environmental effects associated with the implementation of the General Plan, as identified in the IS, is contained in Appendix A.

The public review period for the Draft EIR began on August 20, 2002, and ended on October 4, 2002, covering the CEQA-mandated 45-day public review period. A Notice of Completion of a Draft EIR was filed with the State Clearinghouse along with the required number of copies of the document for circulation to various State agencies. Copies of the Draft EIR were also mailed directly to local agencies, groups, and individuals for review (refer to Appendix A of the Draft EIR for the mailing list). In addition, copies of the document were made available to the public at various libraries and County offices.

The Riverside County Planning Commission held public hearings regarding the proposed Riverside County General Plan on April 27, May 8, May 21, June 5, June 19, September 12, September 25, October 10, October 30, November 13, December 4, December 11, and December 18, 2002, and January 8, 2003. Most of the hearings were held in Riverside, but hearings were also held in Indio on May 8 and September 12, in

Temecula on May 21, and in Hemet on October 10 in order to provide opportunity for comment from residents and landowners in southern and eastern Riverside County.

In addition to considering testimony regarding the designations of individual properties and the character of Riverside County's unincorporated communities, the Planning Commission considered and extensively discussed a number of the tenets and underlying principles that distinguish the proposed General Plan from the existing Riverside County Comprehensive General Plan. As a result of the Planning Commission hearings, the Commission made recommendations to the County Board of Supervisors for land use changes on individual parcels as well as changes to the certain policies in the proposed General Plan. Furthermore, the County Planning Staff in its report to the County of Board of Supervisors (March 6, 2003) recommended policy and land use designation changes to the proposed General Plan in addition to the recommendations made by the Planning Commission.

The Board of Supervisors conducted a three-day public hearing on March 10, 11, and 13, 2003, regarding the proposed adoption of the new General Plan for Riverside County and recommendations of the Planning Commission and staff. On March 13, the Board closed the public hearing. Since then, the Board has provided policy direction to staff regarding its intent for the content of the General Plan. Also, individual Board members and members of their staffs have provided Transportation and Land Management Agency (TLMA) staff with direction regarding policy matters and land use map changes affecting their supervisorial districts. Exhibits I and II and the 19 Area Plan maps attached to the County Board of Supervisors public hearing packet dated September 4, 2003, contained all proposed changes, to date, to the Public Hearing Draft of the General Plan, dated April 5, 2002.

Many text and map changes have been made to the proposed General Plan since the Public Hearing Draft of the document was released in April 2002. The changes resulted from public review of the document and input to the Riverside County Planning Commission during the course of the 14 public hearings conducted by that body between April 2002 and January 2003, and from public review and input during the three-day public hearing held by the Board in March 2003. On September 9, 2003, the County Board of Supervisors reopened the public hearing on the proposed General Plan to consider cumulatively all the changes made, to date, by the Board as a whole, or by individual Board members. It has been determined by staff and the RCIP consultant team that the changes can be accommodated in the General Plan and maintain internal consistency between the General Plan elements.

The Final Program EIR (Volume I) evaluates the changes made to the land use designations, the County Land Use Map, 19 Area Plans, and General Plan policies as of September 26, 2003. Changes to the General Plan policies are shown in strikeout (strikeout)and double underline (double underline) in the Final Program EIR.

2.2.3 Scoping Process

In compliance with State CEQA Guidelines, the County of Riverside has taken steps to optimize opportunities to participate in the environmental process. During the preparation of the Draft EIR, various Federal, State, regional, and local government agencies, and other interested parties were contacted to solicit comments and to inform the public of the proposed General Plan. Two public scoping meetings were held to solicit public comment on the General Plan EIR. These meetings were held on June 20, 2002 at the Perris Fairgrounds, and June 25, 2002 at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio.

Public comments made at the two public scoping meetings are summarized in Section 1.3 and a copy of the hearing transcript is provided in Appendix A.

2.3 Program Environmental Impact Report Focus

Riverside County has determined, based on findings of the IS/NOP, that an EIR is required to address potentially significant effects that may result from implementation of the proposed General Plan. The scope of the EIR also includes environmental issues identified by agencies and the general public in response to the IS/NOP. The following issues are addressed in this EIR:

• Land Use/Agricultural Resources

• Geology and Slope Stability

• Housing and Population

• Hazardous Materials

• Aesthetics/Visual Resources

• Mineral Resources

• Air Quality

• Noise

• Biological Resources

• Parks and Recreation

• Cultural Resources

• Public Services

• Energy

• Transportation and Circulation

• Flood and Dam Inundation Hazards

• Water Resources

2.4 Final EIR Document Format

To assist the reader's review of the document, the following describes the format of this Program EIR.

Section 1.0 is primarily a summary and contains an introduction to the Riverside County Integrated Plan process and related projects. It also contains a description of the proposed project, areas of controversy, public review procedures, and a summary table listing all project impacts, mitigation measures that have been recommended to reduce any significant impacts of the proposed General Plan, and the level of significance of each impact following mitigation. This section also provides a summary of the alternatives.

Section 2.0 describes this EIR's purpose and legal requirements, as well as its intended use. It contains an outline of the document and a list of the environmental issues that are discussed in this Program EIR.

Section 3.0 details the description for the proposed General Plan, including location and proposed General Plan objectives.

Section 4.0 elaborates on the environmental analysis of the proposed General Plan. Discussion of existing setting, impacts, and mitigation measures by environmental topic (e.g., aesthetics, air quality, noise) is organized according to the following framework:

Existing Setting. Information in the existing setting contains a discussion of the local and regional environment conditions (environmental and man-made) in existence at the time this Program EIR was prepared. Existing setting information provides the reader with the "baseline" from which future impacts are analyzed, and provides a standard against which to measure these impacts. More detailed discussion of the existing setting can be found in the Riverside County Existing Setting Report.

Thresholds of Significance. Determinations regarding the significance of potential impacts resulting from implementation of the proposed General Plan are provided. These thresholds represent the criteria used in this EIR to determine whether identified impacts are significant.

Impacts. An analysis of potential impacts of the proposed General Plan is presented in this section. This discussion focuses on the impacts of implementation of the proposed General Plan, and includes potential short-term/long-term and direct/indirect project impacts, and consistency with applicable planning documents or regulations.1

Proposed General Plan Policies. A list of the proposed General Plan policies are provided in this section and an analysis of the effectiveness of the policies contained in the proposed General Plan to reduce environmental impacts is discussed.

Mitigation Measures. The measures proposed to mitigate any potential impacts of the proposed General Plan are identified.

Revised General Plan Finding. Following preparation of the Draft EIR, changes were made to the policies and land use designations of the proposed General Plan. An additional discussion has been added to each impact analysis that discusses any effects these revisions may have had.

Level of Significance after Mitigation. Provides a conclusion as to whether implementation of the proposed General Plan policies and mitigation will reduce the proposed General Plan's impacts to a level that is less than significant.

Section 5.0 contains discussions of additional topics required by CEQA, including unavoidable effects of the proposed General Plan, significant irreversible environmental changes, growth inducing impacts, cumulative impacts, and consistency with regional plans.

Section 6.0 contains discussion of alternatives to development of the proposed General Plan. As allowed by CEQA, most of the impacts of these alternatives are evaluated at a more general level than the analyses of the proposed General Plan that is contained in Section 4.0. This section also evaluates the proposed effects of the No Build Alternative and the No Project Alternative (build out of the existing General Plan), and identifies the environmentally superior alternative.

Sections 7.0 through 10.0 contain listings of organizations and persons consulted in preparation of the EIR, the EIR preparers, references, and glossary and acronyms.

1 Analysis of the consistency of the proposed General Plan with Southern California's regional planning programs is provided in Chapter 5.

The Appendices to the Draft EIR contain copies of the IS, NOP, and NOP comment letters, technical reports, and other relevant correspondence received during the course of the analysis of the proposed General Plan.

2.5 Public Review of the Draft Environmental Impact Report

This The Draft Program EIR was distributed to responsible and trustee agencies, other affected agencies, and interested parties, as well as to parties who requested a copy of the draft Program EIR in accordance with Public Resources Code 21092(b)(3). The Notice of Completion and Availability of the Draft EIR has been distributed as required by CEQA. During the 45-day public review period (August 20 through October 4, 2002), the Draft EIR and technical appendices have been made available for review.

Written comments on this Draft Program EIR should be were addressed to:

Mr. Jerry Jolliffe
County of Riverside
Transportation Land Management Agency
Planning Department
4080 Lemon Street, 9th Floor
Riverside, California 92502

Tel: (909) 955-3200
Fax: (909) 955-3157

After the 45-day public review period, written responses to all significant environmental issues raised will be were prepared and made available for review for a minimum of 10 days prior to the public hearing before the Riverside County Board of Supervisors in March, at which time the certification of the Final EIR will be considered. The Draft EIR, comments on and responses to the Draft EIR, the Final EIR, and findings will be are included as part of the environmental record for consideration by the decision-makers for the 2002 Riverside County General Plan.

SECTION 3.0 - GENERAL PLAN PROJECT DESCRIPTION

3.1 Introduction to the Riverside County Integrated Project

In 2020, Riverside County will be home to approximately 2.8 million people, who will occupy approximately 918,000 dwelling units (Hoffman, 2001). This represents a doubling of the present population and housing stock of Riverside County. A study by the California Department of Finance estimates that Riverside County will continue to grow to 3.5 million people by 2030 and 4.5 million people by 2040. These residents will be located within 24 incorporated cities, as well as within numerous unincorporated areas.

Riverside County is large, encompassing 7,295 square miles, stretching across 200 miles from the eastern portion of the Los Angeles metropolitan area to the Colorado River. Bounded by Orange County on the west, San Bernardino County to the north, the State of Arizona to the east, and San Diego and Imperial Counties to the south, Riverside County is the fourth largest county in California (Figure 3.1).

Riverside is one of the most diverse counties in California. It includes well-established urban, suburban, and rural communities. It has an extensive array of agricultural lands, lands devoted to mineral extraction, and recreational areas. There are rugged mountains, flat valley areas, open desert, and expansive natural open space areas. The western portion of the County contains most of the County's non-desert areas, as well as most of its urbanized areas. Elevations within this area range from about 755 feet in the northwestern corner of the County to about 10,800 feet at San Jacinto Peak. Eastern Riverside County, which lies east of the crest of the San Jacinto Mountains, contains almost all the County's desert regions. Elevations in eastern Riverside County range from about 230 feet below mean sea level at the Salton Sea to about 9,800 feet in the San Jacinto Mountains.

The challenge of balancing the housing, transportation, and economic needs of existing and future populations with limited natural resources and the sensitivity of the natural environment required Riverside County to develop the Riverside County Integrated Plan (RCIP), which consists of three coordinated plans to determine future planning, transportation, and conservation needs for Riverside County. These plans include the 2002 Riverside County General Plan, the Western Riverside County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP), and the Community Environmental and Transportation Acceptability Program (CETAP). Each of the plans has independent utility, and each can be approved without approval of the others. They will, however, be coordinated such that if all three are adopted, no conflicts between the plans will occur.

2002 Riverside County General Plan

The 2002 Riverside County General Plan describes anticipated future growth over the long-term and is the subject of this Program EIR. The General Plan is meant to express the community's goals with respect to the man-made and natural environments, and to set forth the policies and implementation measures needed to achieve those goals for the welfare of those who live, work, and do business in Riverside County. The proposed General Plan is discussed in detail later in this Chapter.

State law requires all counties and cities in the State to prepare and maintain a general plan for the long-term growth, development, and management of the community. The general plan acts as a "constitution" for development, and is the County's lead legal document in relation to growth, development, and resource management issues. The County's development regulations (e.g., zoning subdivision standards) are required by law to be consistent with its General Plan. The 2002 Riverside County General Plan provides, in the form of text and maps, identification of County policy regarding the appropriate type and intensity of land use for every parcel within unincorporated Riverside County. In doing so, the proposed General Plan identifies lands for housing, business, industry, public facilities, recreation, and other uses.




The proposed General Plan also provides plans for a multi-model transportation system, including intensive improvements to the existing roadway and highway system, to facilitate mobility of people and goods throughout unincorporated Riverside County. The proposed General Plan also incorporates a detailed program to ensure adequate housing opportunities for all economic segments of the community, including provisions for the County to accept its "fair share" of its regional housing needs of low and moderate income households.

Other portions of the 2002 Riverside County General Plan are aimed at protecting open space and other environmental resources. These portions of the proposed General Plan aim at preserving lands needed for the managed production of resources (e.g., agricultural lands), protection of public health and safety (e.g., floodplains), outdoor recreation (e.g., parks), and protection of environmental resources (e.g., sensitive natural habitat areas). The proposed General Plan also addresses management of key environmental resources such as wildlife habitats, water resources, and air quality.

Portions of the proposed General Plan address issues of public health and safety in relation to such environmental hazards as earthquakes and associated seismically-induced hazards, flooding, wildland fire, soil erosion, and blow sand. The proposed General Plan sets standards for the protection of the public from these hazards. Finally, the proposed General Plan addresses noise-related hazards, and establishes standards to achieve and maintain noise-compatible land use relationships.

The proposed General Plan covers all unincorporated portions of the County. Lands within unincorporated areas that are owned by the federal government (e.g., Joshua Tree National Monument, military reservations, BLM lands, Indian Reservations, and lands owned by State government [e.g, Lake Perris]) are not subject to County jurisdiction.

The 2002 Riverside County General Plan describes anticipated future growth over the long-term and is the subject of this Program EIR. The proposed General Plan is meant to express the community's goals with respect to the man-made and natural environments, and to set forth the policies and implementation measures needed to achieve those goals for the welfare of those who live, work, and do business in Riverside County.

Western Riverside County Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP)

The Western Riverside County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP) involves the assembly and management of a reserve system for the conservation of natural habitats and their constituent wildlife populations. The MSHCP establishes a framework for complying with State and federal endangered species regulations, while accommodating future growth within the cities and unincorporated portions of western Riverside County. Thus, unlike the proposed General Plan, the MSHCP covers only

the western portion of the County, and covers not only unincorporated areas, but cities as well. The MSHCP is designed to be complementary to the Riverside County General Plan, but could also be adopted in the event that the Riverside County General Plan were not.

The MSHCP will serve as a habitat conservation plan (HCP) pursuant to the provisions of the Federal Endangered Species Act, as well as a Natural Community Conservation Plan (NCCP) under the California NCCP Act of 1991. The provisions of the MSHCP will provide mitigation for future impacts of planned urban and rural development on the species identified in the MSHCP. The MSHCP will allow participating jurisdictions (Riverside County and each of the cities in the western County) to "take" (permit the loss of) the plant and animal species identified in the MSHCP through the agencies' local land use planning and development review processes. The intent of the MSHCP is to permit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) to grant "take authorizations" pursuant to the federal and State endangered species acts for otherwise lawful actions (e.g., permitted development that may incidentally take or harm individuals of the species or their habitats covered by the MSHCP). These take authorizations would be granted in recognition of the mitigating effects of the coordinated reserve system planned by the MSHCP.

The MSHCP envisions habitat conservation within approximately 357,000 acres, and establishes land use and conservation criteria sufficient to ensure additional conservation on approximately 153,000 acres of land currently in private ownership. The MSHCP plans the assembly of this reserve through a combination of the following methods:

• Continued conservation of lands already within public ownership.

• Public acquisition of private lands from willing sellers.

• Private actions to conserve habitat within proposed development projects.

• Implementation of off-site mitigation for the impacts or proposed development projects.

• Public actions to conserve habitats or otherwise mitigate the direct habitat impacts of public works projects.

The County of Riverside Board of Supervisors approved and certified the Western Riverside County MSHCP and associated Final EIR/EIS on June 17, 2003. However, the USFWS and CDFG must make independent findings prior to issuing permits for take authorization and certifying the plan. At the time the Final EIR for the General Plan was completed, the USFWS and CDFG had not issued take permits and had not certified the Final EIS for the Western Riverside County MSHCP.

Community Environmental and Transportation Acceptability Program (CETAP)

The 2002 Riverside County General Plan describes anticipated future growth over the long-term and is the subject of this Program EIR. The General Plan is meant to express the community's goals with respect to the man-made and natural environments, and to set forth the policies and implementation measures needed to achieve those goals for the welfare of those who live, work, and do business in Riverside County.

The CETAP component of RCIP identifies transportation corridors to meet the future transportation needs of Riverside County. CETAP is a multi-modal planning effort that considers highway options, and also looks at transit and other forms of travel demand management and goods movement. CETAP is designed to be complementary to the

Riverside County General Plan, but could also be adopted in the event that the Riverside County General Plan were not.

CETAP corridors are intended to provide a four-lane freeway facility, along with rights-of-way for transit lines and utility corridors. The CETAP program proposes two different corridors within Riverside County and two "bi-County" corridors connecting Riverside County to adjacent counties. The two in-County CETAP corridors include a Winchester to Temecula corridor and a Hemet to Corona/Lake Elsinore corridor. At the time of this writing, selection of a specific alignment alternative for these corridors has not yet been made.

The two bi-County corridors include a connection to San Bernardino County and a connection to Orange County. Selection of a specific alignment for the San Bernardino County corridor has not been undertaken as of this writing. Current alternatives focus on a connection from the SR-60 freeway in the western portion of Moreno Valley to the I-10 freeway in the Loma Linda/Redlands area of San Bernardino County. Alternative alignments for an Orange County corridor have not been formulated at this time.

Relationships and Differences Between RCIP Components

The 2002 Riverside County General Plan recognizes the Western Riverside County MSHCP, and incorporates the MSHCP into its Area Plans as mitigation for the biological impacts that will result from development permitted by the proposed General Plan. The proposed General Plan also incorporates by reference the Coachella Valley MSHCP being prepared by the Coachella Valley Association of Governments parallel to, but separate from, RCIP. The proposed General Plan Circulation Element includes proposed CETAP corridors as part of its proposed roadway and highway system.

The MSHCP provides comprehensive mitigation for the development impacts that will result from development of the proposed General Plan land uses and transportation facilities (including CETAP corridors) within the western portion of the County, including development of proposed CETAP corridors. The MSHCP also includes CETAP corridors as permitted activities where they cross MSHCP preserve areas.

The RCIP consists of three coordinated plans: the Riverside County General Plan (which is the subject of this Program EIR), the Western Riverside County MSHCP, and the CETAP. Although coordinated, these three plans are independent components of RCIP. As an independent plan, the Riverside County General Plan is not reliant upon the approval of either MSHCP or CETAP. The proposed General Plan is, however, coordinated with the MSHCP and the CETAP, so that no substantive conflicts or inconsistencies exist among the three plans. The General Plan is consistent with the draftMSHCP in that some of the draft MSHCP policies for biological resource preservation and mitigation are incorporated into the proposed General Plan's Area Plans. The biological resource policies incorporated into the Area Plans provide partial mitigation for development impacts that would result from development proposed by the General Plan's identified land uses, infrastructure, and transportation facilities. The proposed General Plan also is consistent with the draft CETAP in that the proposed General Plan Circulation Element recognizes the potential for proposed CETAP corridors as part of its proposed roadway and highway system.

The three components of RCIP each cover different area areas of the County. The proposed General Plan covers unincorporated lands throughout Riverside County, but does not have jurisdiction over March Air Reserve Base (ARB)1 , Indian lands, and lands owned by the State and federal governments. The MSHCP covers all of western Riverside County, including County and City jurisdictions, since western County cities are participating in the program. CETAP addresses specific corridors only.

The 2002 Riverside County General Plan has been prepared pursuant to the provisions of the California Government Code, and requires approval only of the County of Riverside. Environmental documentation for the proposed General Plan is subject only to the provisions of CEQA. Certain actions and developments undertaken pursuant to the proposed General Plan may require approvals of outside agencies. The MSHCP is being prepared pursuant to both State and federal law, and requires approval of the County, each participating city, the CDFG, and the USFWS. Environmental documentation for the MSHCP is subject to the provisions of both CEQA and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Riverside County is the lead agency for CEQA purposes, while the USFWS is the lead agency for NEPA purposes. The CETAP program proposes using local, State, and federal sources to fund right-of-way acquisition and ultimate construction of CETAP corridors. Thus, environmental documentation for CETAP must comply with the provisions of both CEQA and NEPA. Riverside County is the lead agency for CEQA purposes, while the Federal Highway Administration is the lead agency for NEPA purposes.

Although they are clearly related projects, and are each part of an integrated planning program, as described above, each RCIP component covers a different physical area, is being prepared pursuant to different State and federal laws, involves different agencies in their approval, and has different lead agencies for their environmental documentation. In addition, each RCIP component is on a slightly different schedule. As a result of these differences, preparation of a single environmental document was found to be impractical. Such a document would prove to be overly complex and impossible difficult to understand. Instead, each environmental document prepared from components of the RCIP program contains a cumulative impact analysis, summarizing the overall impacts of RCIP. Finally, each RCIP component has independent utility, and could be adopted in the absence of adoption of the other components.

3.2 General Plan Organization

State law requires each city and County to adopt a General Plan that contains, at a minimum, the following seven "elements:"

• The LAND USE ELEMENT designates the general distribution and intensity of uses of the land for housing, business, industry, open space, education, public buildings and grounds, waste disposal facilities, and other categories of public and private uses.

• The CIRCULATION ELEMENT is correlated with the land use element, and identifies the general locations and extent of existing and proposed major thoroughfares, transportation routes, terminals, and other local public utilities and facilities.

• The HOUSING ELEMENT is a comprehensive assessment of current and projected housing needs for all economic segments of the community, as well as groups having special housing needs (e.g., homeless, farm workers, elderly, handicapped). In addition, it embodies policy for providing adequate housing and includes action programs for this purpose.

1 Although it is located within unincorporated territory, land use jurisdiction for March Air Reserve Base rests with a joint powers agency, of which Riverside County is a member. Lands within the March Air Reserve Base are subject to a General Plan prepared by the joint powers agency, and not to the Riverside County General Plan.

• The CONSERVATION ELEMENT addresses the conservation, development, and use of natural resources, including water, forests, soils, rivers, and mineral deposits.

• The OPEN SPACE ELEMENT details plans and measures for preserving open space for natural resources, the managed production of resources, outdoor recreation, public health and safety, and the identification of agricultural land.

• The NOISE ELEMENT identifies and appraises noise problems within the community and forms the basis for land use distribution.

• The SAFETY ELEMENT establishes policies and programs to protect the community from risk associated with seismic, geologic, flood, and fire hazards.

In the proposed General Plan, the Conservation and Open Space Elements have been combined into a Multipurpose Open Space Element. In addition to the seven mandatory General Plan elements, the proposed General Plan includes an Air Quality Element that addresses means to achieve and maintain good quality air throughout the County.

3.3 General Plan Characteristics

This Program EIR addresses the potential environmental effects associated with implementation of the proposed General Plan. The proposed General Plan is an attempt to promote a more focused and balanced pattern of growth that accommodates the demand for housing, employment opportunities, and public facilities and services while minimizing the potential adverse impacts that may result from increased urban development. The policies and land use design of the proposed General Plan have been developed using a set of key land use concepts. These key concepts fall under ten general categories and are summarized in Table 3.A.

Table 3.A - Key Land Use Concepts
CategoryKey Land Use Concepts
AgricultureAgricultural uses are expected to continue playing a vital role in the economy and character of Riverside County. Significant agricultural areas in the Coachella Valley, Palo Verde Valley, Southwest Area and smaller areas throughout western Riverside County will remain designated as such to help maintain the vitality and viability of agricultural operations in Riverside County.
Compact DevelopmentA number of areas will be designated for higher density residential development as well as mixed-use activity centers with a combination of residential, employment, and civic uses. Additionally, development incentive areas will be identified that encourage the creation of higher density residential uses. Infill development will also be encouraged. The provision of compact development will increase the viability of transit facilities, make more efficient use of public infrastructure and services, and help conserve open space.
Economic DevelopmentMore numerous employment centers will be established throughout Riverside County. These centers will be located near transportation facilities and higher density residential uses.
HousingA mix of diverse residential areas, ranging from large-lot rural estates to high-density residential uses within mixed-use areas will be available. This mix will provide housing opportunities for households of various sizes and income levels and a greater mix within neighborhoods and communities. Much of the residentially designated land will be near job centers, reducing the commuting distance to work.
Jobs and Housing BalanceTo reverse the present imbalance between jobs and housing, and address the traffic and air quality concerns associated with long commutes, a number of employment centers either within mixed-use centers or close to significant areas of low-density to high-density housing will be provided.
Mixed-Use and Activity CentersMixed-use and activity centers will provide a combination of employment, residential, commercial, and civic opportunities in immediate proximity to one another. These centers will be categorized as Neighborhood, Village, Town, Job, or Tourist/Entertainment.
Multi-Purpose Open SpaceThere will be an extensive multipurpose open space network preserved for perpetuity. These areas will conserve multiple species habitat, buffer development areas, conserve drainage areas, provide recreational opportunities, preserve visual character, and define communities.
Rural PreservationThe nature of rural communities and other outlying rural areas will be preserved by maintaining rural densities and improving development standards. The Rural Village designation will be applied to those unique rural communities.
Service ProvisionEmployment and residential uses will be focused in areas that can easily be served by public facilities and services. Employment centers, higher density residential, and mixed-use activity centers will be located along existing or proposed infrastructure corridors.
Variety of CommunitiesA variety of neighborhoods and communities from rural enclaves to suburban neighborhoods and sophisticated mixed-use urban villages will be encouraged. A network of residential neighborhoods will be provided, with a mix of varied-density residential areas, and community centers with a mix of uses.


Figure 3.2 illustrates the generalized land uses proposed by the General Plan, which include Agriculture, Rural, Open Space, Rural Community and Community Development. These land uses, considered to be the first tier of land uses, make up the General Plan Foundation Components and describe the overall nature and intent of the plan. These Foundation Components are general in nature and do not determine the specific land use on individual properties.

Land uses are further divided into the 19 Area Plans and the remaining unincorporated areas (Table 3.B). The locations of the Area Plans are depicted in Figure 3.3 and further detailed in Figures 3.4 through 3.22. The Area Plan land use designations are further divided into a second tier of land uses and include 24 30 land use designations, four Policy Area Overlays, and five land use overlays, each containing a specific description of allowable uses and development standards. Tables 3.C and 3.D provide allowable uses for each land use category. The majority of western Riverside County and a portion of eastern Riverside County are in Area Plans. For that area of eastern Riverside County that is not in an Area Plan the overlying Foundation Components of the General Plan are the land use designations. It should be noted that Riverside County does not have land use jurisdiction over the portion of western Riverside County referred to as March Air Reserve Base and federalized Indian lands. Each of the 19 Area Plans is described below.




Table 3.B - Unincorporated Riverside County Proposed Land Use in Acres (Revised)
General Plan Foundation ComponentArea Plan Land Use CategoryWestern Riverside CountyEastern Riverside CountyTotal
Area PlansRemaining Unincor-
porated
Area PlansRemaining Unincor-
porated
EastvaleElsinoreHarvest Valley/ WinchesterHigh-
grove
JurupaLake Mathews / WoodcrestLakeview/ NuevoMead ValleyThe PassReche Canyon/ BadlandsREMAP1San Jacinto ValleySouth-
West
Sun City / MenifeeTemescalOutside
of Area
Plans
Desert CenterEastern Coachella ValleyPalo VerdeWestern Coachella ValleyOutside
of Area
Plans
AgricultureAgriculture122--220662,031-2,2617627,5138,678475179492-86541,403114,613695-180,178
RuralRural Residential-2,8981,40840978,8334,8735,52364,301,91466,9772,17857,1801,574580-624,8431,87420,170-185,326
Rural Mountainous-14,9343,396590-3,2834,12271522,9717,88821,80313,05418,9152,6703,226-21--760-118,349
Rural Desert--------2,969--------4,8492,19212,609-22,619
Rural CommunityEstate Density Residential-1,8761,732--4,8441,044797001,2699,7295223,6932,448910--266965105-30,181
Very Low Density Residential-101---10,5842,0918,0933,8412472021532032,450296--81,867718-30,853
Low Density Residential-402380-6,2921,4033,0091,03119759-1,001234701601--6032--15,400
Estate Density Residential 2------406-----162164-------732
Rural Village Overlay----------1,500------674-116-2,290
Rural Village Study Area Overlay-986-----265--6,369----------7,620
Open SpaceOpen Space Conservation6572349151,1904651,7857944623,2164,1947046,4583,8126895,474-2447572,727-53,867
Open Space Conservation Habitat-51,3383,010-1,4429,7569471,428-15,755286,1973,27232,688-20,610--200,678-107,941468,1721,203,233
Open Space Water3993412,705221,2472,805212-162,2841,1963,8661,36760661--50,7264164,4152,08474,821
Open Space Recreation6363981,9292991,09077100152,1051,3052,2491,4801,4881,221794-2132,3331342,524-20,388
Open Space Rural-7,462--1,3091,101---10,211108,4774,9847,610-2,251-173,53094,524154,08069,1261,302,3611,937,024
Open Space Mineral Resources-1,398--224-148--290-511--2,565-613737-2,174-8,660
Community DevelopmentEstate Density Residential-251--414-126-23-237799386436-36288-1,905-5,179
Very Low Density Residential-4,7252,44297127968494-1,295-3,6511,2869345165-26728829446-16,418
Low Density Residential4322,4511,1472651,9531,1351,031-1,07916381,190562479175-11572-335-12,593
Glen Eden Policy Area-728-------------------728
Policy Area - Medium Density Residential------558--------------558
Vista Santa Rosa Policy Area-----------------3,941-1-3,942
Medium Density Residential4,3605,0267,1501,1733,3521,5513,3884141,542-1,4323,9098,12711,2592,413-4006,4385978,713-71,241
Medium High Density Residential2423399705859391370-178--2511,7711,693748-751,3841281,499-10,904
High Density Residential612018821303---104-13177200106134-22669311,143-3,190
Very High Density Residential-22021770-66-3--9117120526-7322-128-1,328
Highest Density Residential28--219---1--246-5------85
Commercial Retail2291,1069131421,34221244811039439369459781958356-1161,2601511,174-10,559
Commercial Tourist-17400-9-8-5163242260197-1371,416123398-3,132
Commercial Office-150251351--12--193185995--57-14-787
Light Industrial4681,0828463063,8111001,1414791767459-5926021,251-1773,1938954,507-19,759
Heavy Industrial--253-1,253-8-12-------104335436-2,059
Business Park7869257391,313-257935---515224106-1,291578280180-5,752
Public Facility (over 60 acres)741811,644495442,3581743001681,6151,0361,3531,468297366-7,8002,4153,7032,314-27,857
Community Center-171----131327------51--41---721
Community Center Overlays460100457-276-------511,286---466---3,096
Business Park Overlay----374----------------374
Commercial Retail Overlay----43----------------43
 City-27,781-----20,43141,15732,707-32,33434,964-24,187--13,44316,521165,539-409,083
 Major Roadways139507-129627---690249-151153325400-1,0841,4652411,780-7,938
 March ARB2---------------7,591-----7,591
 Indian Lands--------30,718-36,7014,7294,146----14,5381,0589,2282,740103,858
 Total8,385126,30632,1454,39128,88751,30127,74739,784140,13881,040548,55592,553182,86230,60068,9787,579186,841453,580300,040423,3041,775,3574,610,406
Notes:
1 REMAP = Riverside Extended Mountain Area Plan.
2 March ARB = March Air Reserve Base. The 2002 Riverside County General Plan does not include the land use planning of March ARB. A land use plan that is part of the adopted March Reuse Plan is already in place. The acreage numbers and land uses in this table reflect the interpretation of land uses at March ARB into the County's proposed land uses classification system. Though March ARB is Riverside County unincorporated land, it is under the direction of the March Joint Powers Authority. Land use policy will not be crafted for this area. The total acreage numbers for the County include March ARB to give a more complete picture of the County, especially in terms of employment.
Source: The Planning Center Riverside County Buildout Projections Statistical Land Use Tables dated 9-24-03.





Table 3.C - Foundation Component and Area Plan Designations
General Plan
Foundation Component
Area Plan
Land Use Designation
AgricultureAgriculture
RuralRural Residential
Rural Mountainous
Rural Desert
Open SpaceOpen Space Conservation
Open Space Conservation Habitat
Open Space Water
Open Space Recreation
Open Space Rural
Open Space Mineral Resources
Rural CommunityRural Community Estate
Rural Community Very Low Density Residential
Rural Community Low Density Residential
Rural Community Estate Density Residential 2
Rural Village Overlay & Rural Village Study Area Overlay
Community DevelopmentEstate Density Residential
Very Low Density Residential
Low Density Residential
Medium Density Residential
Medium High Density Residential
High Density Residential
Very High Density Residential
Highest Density Residential
Commercial Retail
Commercial Tourist
Commercial Office
Light Industrial
Heavy Industrial
Business Park & Business Park Overlay
Public Facilities (over 60 acres)

Community Centers & Community Centers Overlay
Glen Eden Policy Area

Medium Density Residential Policy Area
Vista Santa Rosa Policy Area


Table 3.D - Land Use Designations Summary Table
General Plan
Foundation
Component
Area Plan
Land Use
Designation
Building
Intensity
Range
Notes1,2
AgricultureAgriculture (AG)< 0.1
du/ac
• Agricultural land including row crops, groves, nurseries, dairies, poultry
Farms, processing plants, and other agricultural related uses.

• One (1) single-family residence allowed per 10 acres.
RuralRural Residential (RR)< 0.1 - 0.2
du/ac
• One (1) single-family residence allowed with a minimum lot size of 5 acres.

• Limited animal keeping and agricultural uses are allowed.
RuralRural Mountainous (RM)< 0.1
du/ac
• Single-family residential uses, limited animal keeping and agricultural uses are allowed, with a minimum lot size of 10 acres required for residential uses.

• Areas of at least 10 acres where a minimum 70% of the area has slopes of 25% or greater.
RuralRural Desert (RD)< 0.1
du/ac
• Single-family residential uses, limited animal keeping and agricultural uses are allowed, with a minimum lot size of 10 acres required for residential uses.

• Allows limited recreational uses, compatible resource development and governmental uses. renewable energy uses including solar, geothermal and wind energy uses as well as associated uses required to develop and operate these renewable energy sources; compatible resource development (which may include the extraction of mineral resources with approval of a surface mining permit); governmental and utility uses.
Rural CommunityEstate Density Residential (EDR-RC)0.2 - 0.5
du/ac
Allows development of detached single-family residences and ancillary structures on large parcels, equestrian and other animal keeping is encouraged. Agriculture is permitted.

2-acre min lot size.
Rural CommunityVery Low Residential (VLDR-RC)0.3 - 1
du/ac
Allows development of detached single-family residences and ancillary structures on large parcels, equestrian and other animal keeping is encouraged. Agriculture is permitted.

1-acre min lot size
Rural CommunityLow Density Residential (LDR-RC)0.4 - 2
du/ac
• Provides for the development of detached single-family residential dwelling units and ancillary structures on large parcels. Equestrian and other animal - keeping uses are expected and encouraged. Agriculture is per mitted in this designation. The density range is from 2 dwelling units per acre to 1 dwelling unit per acre.

• ½ acre min lot size.
Rural CommunityRural Village Overlay (RV) and Rural Village Study Area Overlay (RVSA)up to 8
du/ac
• Allow concentration of development within areas of rural character.

Allow a mixture of uses including residential, commercial retail, and commercial office.
Open SpaceOS-Conservation (OS-C)N/A• The protection of open space for natural hazard protection, and natural and scenic resource preservation.

• Existing agriculture is a permitted use.
Open SpaceOS-Conservation Habitat (OS-CH)N/A• Applies to public and private lands conserved and managed in accordance with adopted Habitat Conservation Plans, such as the Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP).
Open SpaceOS-Water (OS-W)N/A• Includes bodies of water and natural drainage corridors (i.e., lakes, reservoirs, rivers).
Open SpaceOS-Recreation (OS-R)N/A• Active or passive recreational uses such as parks, trails, athletic fields, golf courses.
,br>• Neighborhood parks are permitted within residential land use designations.
Open SpaceOS-Rural (OS-RUR)<0.05
du/ac
• One (1) single-family residence allowed per 20 acres, up to 5 dwelling units per parcel.
Open SpaceOS-Mineral ResourcesN/A• Mineral extraction and processing facilities.

• Areas held in reserve for future mineral extraction and processing.
Community DevelopmentEstate Density Residential (EDR)0.2 - 0.5
du/ac
Provides for the development of detached single family residential dwelling units and ancillary structures on large parcels.

• Intensive animal-keeping uses are discouraged or limited.

• Limited agriculture is permitted.
Community DevelopmentVery Low Density Residential (VLDR)0.3 - 1
0.4 - 2
du/ac
• Single-family detached residences with suburban amenities and services, and rural visual character.

• Limited animal keeping and agriculture is allowed.

• Lot sizes range from ˝ 1-acre to 2˝ acres.
Community DevelopmentLow Density Residential (LDR)0.4 - 2
2 - 5
du/ac
• Single-family detached residences.

Limited animal keeping and agriculture is allowed.

• Minimum lot sizes is ˝ -acre.
Community DevelopmentGlen Eden Policy Area - Low Density Residential (LDR2)2 - 2.5
du/ac
Encourages clustering of development where such clustering will help preserve open space.

• Located in Elsinore Area Plan.
Community DevelopmentPolicy Area - Medium Density Residential (MDR2-4)2 - 4
du/ac
Located in Lakeview/Nuevo Area Plan.

• Restricts density in the 100-year floodplain of the San Jacinto River.

• Provides transition from higher density to Very Low Density residential.
Community DevelopmentVista Santa Rosa Policy Area Medium Density Residential 3 (MDR3)2 - 3
du/ac
Provide a transition between Agriculture to Community Development.

• Possible future Village Center.

• Located in Eastern Coachella Valley Area Plan.
Community DevelopmentMedium Density Residential (MDR)2 - 5
5 - 8
du/ac
• Single-family detached residences.
Community DevelopmentMedium High Density Residential (MHDR)5 - 8
8 - 14
du/ac
• Single-family attached residences, including townhouses, stacked flats, courtyard homes.
Community DevelopmentHigh Density Residential (HDR)8 - 14
14 - 20
du/ac
• Single-family attached residences and multi-family dwellings.
Community DevelopmentVery High Density Residential (VHDR)14 - 20
20 - 40
du/ac
• Multifamily dwellings includes apartments
Community DevelopmentHighest Density Residential (HHDR)20 - 40
du/ac
Intense multifamily dwellings includes apartments and condominiums.
Community DevelopmentCommercial Retail (CR)0.20 - 0.35
FAR
• Local and regional serving retail and service uses.
Community DevelopmentCommercial Tourist (CT)0.20 - 0.35
FAR
• Includes hotels, golf courses, recreation/ amusement facilities.
Community DevelopmentCommercial Office (CO)0.30-1.0
0.25 - 1.0
FAR
• Includes financial, legal, insurance, other office services.
Community DevelopmentLight Industrial (LI)0.25 - 0.60
FAR
• Variety of industrial and related uses, including warehousing/distribution, assembly and light manufacturing, and repair facilities.
Community DevelopmentHeavy Industrial (HI)0.15 - 0.50
FAR
• Allows more intense industrial activities that generate significant impacts such as excessive noise, dust, and other nuisances.
Community DevelopmentBusiness Park (BP) and Business Park Overlay (BPO)0.25 - 0.60
FAR
• Allows for more employee-intensive employment uses, including research & development, technology centers, corporate offices, and “clean” industry.
Community DevelopmentPublic Facilities (PF)< 0.60
FAR
• Public/quasi-public uses such as landfills, airports, utilities, and other civic uses.
Community DevelopmentCommunity Center (CC) and Community Center Overlay (CCO)5 - 40
du/ac

0.10 - 3.0
FAR
• Includes some combination of smalllot single family residences, multifamily residences, commercial retail, office and business park uses, civic uses, transit facilities, and recreational open space within a unified planned development area.
NOTES:
1 The building intensity range noted is exclusive, that is the range noted provides a minimum and maximum building intensity.
2 Clustering of residential development is permitted per the Area Plan land use designation descriptions and policies.


Area Plans

Eastvale Area Plan

The unincorporated Eastvale area ranges in character from urban development to agricultural and open space uses. Recognizing that dairy activities are not likely to be viable long-term uses in Eastvale, the Eastvale Area Plan Land Use Plan seeks to provide new areas for development throughout the planning area, while preserving the open space character of the Santa Ana River corridor. Figure 3.4 shows the geographic distribution of land uses for Eastvale.

The Eastvale Area Plan Land Use Plan consists primarily of Community Development land uses, with Low Density Residential being the predominant land use designation. Commercial Retail, Commercial Office, Business Park, Light Industrial, and residential uses ranging from Very Low Density Residential to Medium High Density Residential, are depicted on the Plan. It allows for up to five Community Centers, providing activity centers with a mix of employment, civic and residential uses. The Santa Ana River corridor contains a mix of Open Space-Conservation, Open Space-Recreation, Open Space-Water, and Very Low Density Residential uses.

Agriculture uses are designated in the southwest corner of the planning area, north of the Prado Dam Basin. Light Industrial uses are designated in the northwest corner of Eastvale, reflecting appropriate uses allowed within the Chino Airport Safety Zone.

Elsinore Area Plan

The Elsinore Area Plan (Figure 3.5) reflects the proposed General Plan objectives for Riverside County in several ways. It does so by intensifying and mixing uses at nodes adjacent to transportation corridors, by more accurately reflecting topography and natural resources in land use designations, by avoiding high intensity development in natural hazard areas, and by considering compatibility with adjacent communities' land use plans as well as the desires of residents in the plan area. The land use designations maintain the predominantly rural character of the Meadowbrook and Warm Springs communities, the natural and recreational characteristics of the Cleveland National Forest, and mix of Rural and Community Development uses in Cleveland Ridge. Multipurpose Open Space should be incorporated into the design of new and existing communities. In addition to providing habitat and recreational value, the conservation linkages within the Area Plan help provide a separation between communities and provide additional definition for existing communities.

Harvest Valley/Winchester Area Plan

This Area Plan reflects a significant shift from the existing rural character to a more urban/suburban/rural mix focused around unique cores (Figure 3.6). The impetus for this shift is the Diamond Valley Lake and the recreational opportunities it presents. In addition, the transit opportunities presented by the rail line, State Route 74 (SR-74), and State Route 79 (SR-79) create natural crossroads to expand upon.

The communities of Romoland, Homeland, and Green Acres, together called Harvest Valley, make up the northern portion of the Harvest Valley/Winchester planning area. They contain dispersed commercial, business, and residential uses along SR-74. A Village Center is planned to be located at the intersection of SR-74 and Briggs Road to act as a focus for the communities of Homeland and Romoland. The Village Center is intended to be a pedestrian-oriented area that serves adjacent and nearby neighborhoods. This Village Center should reflect, in scale, a small town atmosphere and include parks, local serving retail, recreational uses, offices, and some higher density residential development in the core. The Village Center, in effect, becomes an additional focal point at the heart of Harvest Valley along SR-74 to serve as a local gathering spot for area residents. Low and Very Low Density Residential uses surround the more intense uses along the highway, with Rural and Mountainous designations extending north and south toward the Lakeview Mountains and Double Butte, respectively.










The community of Green Acres, located in the eastern portion of the planning area, is a Low Density Residential community that is buffered from the City of Hemet by rural and mountainous terrain. To the southeast of this community, a series of building restrictions apply due to the proximity to the Hemet Ryan Airport. The Rural and Mountainous land use designations east of Green Acres serve to separate and buffer the Green Acres community, as well as the rest of the planning area, from the City of Hemet. Green Acres also includes a policy area that allows for continued equestrian and animal keeping uses.

Western Riverside County has a special visual quality created by the numerous land forms at varying scales that rise from the valley floors. Such is the case with Double Butte. The Open Space-Recreation designated area is surrounded by mountainous terrain, which is a quality that characterizes much of the visual character within the Harvest Valley/Winchester area. Double Butte is also a separator between the lower density residential uses to the north and the higher density residential uses to the south.

The community of Winchester is located immediately south of Double Butte and north of Salt Creek. Winchester is ideally situated to become the "gateway to the Diamond Valley" and accommodate significant intensification of land usage. Winchester has the potential to serve as an important tourist and transit hub for the region due to its proximity to the Diamond Valley Lake, as well as the presence of the rail line, SR-79, and the Domenigoni Parkway. To most effectively take advantage of these opportunities, future development in Winchester should reflect a distinct character and identity. Typical strip commercial uses would diminish the community's potential significantly. Instead, a compact downtown core designed in an Old West Theme is envisioned. To help make this vision become a reality, the Community Center Overlay allows a mixture of commercial, office, and residential uses to be developed and provides guidance for future community design. Contrary to typical zoning that separates uses, the Community Center Overlay allows a mixture of commercial, office, and residential uses within the same project. Like a western town, Winchester should be developed around a series of walkable blocks with buildings oriented to the street. Western-themed building facades with detailed touches, such as covered and wooden sidewalks, could further enhance the theme experience.

A core of retail, shopping, office, and residential uses should stretch along Winchester Road from the rail line to Olive Avenue. Higher density residential uses should be located within and around the core area to provide convenient pedestrian access to services, shopping, and employment uses. Residential density should transition to a relatively lower density as one moves further from the core.

A transit station on the rail line should be incorporated into the fabric of Winchester and act as the northern anchor for the community. This transit station would act as the regional connection to the Diamond Valley Lake and its surrounding entertainment and recreational uses, as well as Temecula farther to the south.

Another Community Center Overlay can be found in the Winchester Hills Specific Plan that lies directly south of Salt Creek, west of SR-79. This Community Center Designation seeks changes in the adopted specific plan to intensify its commercial center and add a mixture of retail, office, and residential uses. The intent is to create a local-serving, intimate village core that acts as the focus for the surrounding community. The community center should employ a consistent design theme that establishes this core as a distinct place. The design must stimulate pedestrian use by employing sidewalks, reduced building setbacks, "safescape" features to provide security, and street trees and furniture to achieve a special environment. The use of automobiles in the core itself should be minimized by narrowing streets, and placing parking behind buildings and in parking structures.

The Diamond Valley Lake and surrounding recreation area provides a major tourist attraction and is the key to future growth in the area. The land uses that surround the Diamond Valley Lake are intended to preserve this facility's long-term outdoor recreational opportunities and to attract visitors by providing a quality experience for them.

To the south of the Diamond Valley Lake, the Open Space-Conservation Habitat and Open Space-Recreation Land Use Designations preserve the natural habitat of the Dawson Mountains and Shipley Reserve as well as providing areas for permanent outdoor recreation. To the west of the lake, the Open Space-Recreation Land Use Designation accommodates the intensive water-oriented recreation plans of the Metropolitan Water District, which include water sports and camping.

The Community Center land use designation immediately west of the Diamond Valley Lake accommodates an Entertainment Center that is intended to capitalize on the proximity of the lake and its intensive recreational opportunities. The Entertainment Center land use designation provides the opportunity to develop regional entertainment, recreation, and tourist related uses such as movie theaters, hotels, spas, and restaurants. The Domenigoni Community Center is classified as an Entertainment Center in the proposed General Plan and is not envisioned as a collection of strip commercial uses and big box retail, but instead a unified and themed pedestrian-oriented village. It should have a common design theme and be integrated with the active recreation uses to the east. The center should be designed to accommodate pedestrian movement, and the presence of the automobile should be minimized by reducing street widths, locating parking behind buildings, and/or combining parking in structures. Sidewalks should be wide with ample street furniture and shade trees to create a pleasant pedestrian environment.

A transit station should be incorporated into the Domenigoni Entertainment Center. This transit station can be connected to the Winchester Transit Station through a transit system. The transit line would then follow Winchester Avenue south into the Temecula Valley, providing a convenient tourism connection for the major attractions of the region.

Highgrove Area Plan

The primary purpose of the Highgrove Area Plan is to preserve the remote, rural, and small-town nature of the Highgrove area. Slope, habitat and other natural constraints severely limit opportunities to provide substantial areas for population or employment growth. Conservation of habitat, preservation of existing communities, and provision of areas for lower density residential areas in keeping with the rural character of the planning area are the primary objectives of this Land Use Plan (Figure 3.7).

West of Interstate 215 (I-215), in the vicinity of Main Street, the Land Use Plan designates the land as Light Industrial. Low Density Residential, Medium Density Residential, Commercial Retail, and Light Industrial lands are designated immediately west of I-215 in keeping with the area's existing patterns of development. The portion of Highgrove located immediately east of I-215 contains a mix of urban uses, including Low Density, Medium Density, and High Density Residential, Commercial Retail, and Light Industrial uses. The eastern half of this area contains land uses designed to preserve the rural nature of this area. These uses include Very Low Density Residential, Rural Residential, and Rural Mountainous. Light Industrial uses are designated for the area south of Palmyrita Avenue, which is compatible with adjacent industrial and distribution uses in the City of Riverside.




The central portion of the planning area, south of Highgrove, contains Open Space-Conservation areas associated with the Box Springs Mountains Park, along with Rural Mountainous, Rural Residential, and Very Low Density Residential uses. In the southern portion of the planning area, a mix of urban uses is planned in close proximity to SR-60, including a range of residential, employment-generating, and public land uses.

Jurupa Area Plan

The Jurupa Area Plan, Figure 3.8, provides for substantial areas devoted to rural and equestrian uses, as allowed by the Very Low Density Residential designation. The land use plan also allows for traditional urban residential densities as reflected by the Low Density and Medium Density Residential designations. Complementing these residential land uses are several Commercial Retail corridors, two Community Centers, several scattered Open Space-Conservation and Recreation areas, large chunks of Open Space-Conservation Habitat land in the Santa Ana River corridor and the Jurupa Mountains, and an abundance of employment opportunities within the Light Industrial and Business Park designations along Interstate 15 (I-15), State Route (SR-60), and Van Buren Boulevard. Mining uses are also identified within the Jurupa Mountains.

To help provide a focus for this entire sector of the County, the Community Center designation is applied adjacent to the Pedley Metrolink station on Limonite Avenue and Van Buren Boulevard, and within Rubidoux Village Center along Mission Boulevard. These designations are intended to function as Village Centers, with a mixture of residential, retail, office, and public uses in close proximity. The strategic location of these centers offers compelling reasons to focus attention on such a valuable economic resource. In Pedley, the concept draws heavily on establishing a typical transit-oriented development, taking advantage of the proximity to the Metrolink station. The Community Center land use designation in Rubidoux takes advantage of the existing pattern of development on Mission Boulevard by allowing for residential units next to commercial uses, thereby increasing the vitality of the Rubidoux Village core area.

The employment centers envisioned at the I-15/SR-60 junction, along Van Buren Boulevard, and in the Agua Mansa area would provide regional services with a mixture of business park and industrial uses. Typical employment uses within Business Park and Light Industrial designated areas include research and development, manufacturing, assembling, research institutions, academic institutions, medical facilities, and support commercial uses. Heavy Industrial designated areas would accommodate the most intensive types of industrial activities, including heavy manufacturing and processing plants. The proximity to a major freeway and railroad provides an opportunity for regional multi-modal transportation connections. Combined with the relatively compact activities envisioned in the Community Centers, these highly valuable access facilities offer the long-term potential to accommodate improved transit access.

Future multi-modal transportation options are a part of this Plan because of the need to ultimately take some of the pressure from the highway and freeway systems. This is particularly critical here because of the extensive truck traffic, which complicates vehicle flow despite its obvious linkage to economic development.

Large swaths of open space line the Santa Ana River corridor, providing an expansive natural buffer between Jurupa and the City of Riverside. Portions of the Jurupa Mountains also contain Open Space designations intended to preserve the rugged nature of this area and protect sensitive habitat areas. Recreational open space areas designed for relatively heavy use, such as golf courses and athletic fields, are located throughout Jurupa. The pattern and types of land uses described above are an extension of the existing land use patterns for Jurupa, and consequently help maintain the identity and character of its many distinctive communities. Selective additions to the land use choices refine the potential here without changing the basic character of these local communities. Additionally, preserving the natural features and unique landscape helps to distinguish this area from surrounding communities.




Lake Mathews/Woodcrest Area Plan

The Lake Mathews/Woodcrest Area Plan, Figure 3.9, provides for substantial areas devoted to rural and equestrian uses, as allowed by the Rural Residential, Rural Mountainous, and Very Low Density Residential designations. The land use plan also allows for traditional urban residential densities as reflected by the Low Density Residential and Medium Density Residential designations. Complementing these residential land uses are scattered commercial retail uses, including a commercial corridor along Van Buren Boulevard, a small community center, light industrial and office uses, several recreational areas, large chunks of habitat land in the Lake Mathews/Estelle Reserve area and the Gavilan Hills, and public facility uses associated with the Metropolitan Water District operations at the Lake Mathews facility. Continued agricultural uses are also designated within the Woodcrest area.

To help provide a focus for this sector of the County, the Community Center designation is applied at the intersection of Washington Street and Van Buren Boulevard, in the heart of the Woodcrest community. This designation is intended to function as a Village Center, with a mixture of residential, retail, office and public uses in close proximity to one another. The strategic location of this center offers compelling reasons to focus attention on such a valuable economic resource.

Large swaths of open space border Lake Mathews, providing an expansive natural buffer between the lake and adjacent development. Recreational open space areas designed for relatively active use, such as golf courses and athletic fields, are located throughout the Area Plan. The pattern and types of land uses described above are an extension of the existing land use patterns for Lake Mathews, and consequently help maintain the identity and character of its distinctive communities. Selective additions to the land use choices refine the potential here without changing the basic character of these local communities. Additionally, preserving the natural features and unique landscape helps to distinguish this area from surrounding communities.

Lakeview/Nuevo Area Plan

The Lakeview/Nuevo Area Plan reflects significant growth in its western half, near the City of Perris. Residential density gradually decreases east of the San Jacinto River until the Lakeview Mountains, where the Mountainous and Rural land use designations reflect the area's rugged nature (Figure 3.10). A series of adopted specific plans, concentrated east of the San Jacinto River, have influenced land use patterns and residential densities in this area. East of the San Jacinto River, the Area Plan generally reflects a pattern of predominantly very low density residential character with pockets of commercial uses interspersed within the communities of Lakeview and Nuevo. Continuing east past Lakeview Avenue, the land use pattern is primarily large lot and rural in nature with clusters of residential neighborhoods, public facilities, and commercial establishments.







Mead Valley Area Plan

The Mead Valley Area Plan, Figure 3.11, provides for a predominantly rural residential character with an equestrian focus. This is reflected by the Rural Residential and Very Low Density Residential land use designations that dominate the planning area. Pockets of open space, including the Motte-Rimrock Reserve and Steele Peak, are designated as Open Space Conservation Habitat to preserve their scenic and natural qualities.

A Rural Village Overlay is designated along a portion of the present alignment of the SR-74, which is located in the southern portion of the planning area. The Rural Village would serve as a focal point for the surrounding Good Hope community. This special overlay designation allows for a mixture of local serving commercial uses, educational, recreational/cultural opportunities, and limited residential development at a higher density than the underlying land use. The Land Use Element provides a further description of this land use designation and its intent.

Mobility within the open space system is not ignored, either. Multi-use trails are conceptually located throughout the planning area, providing the framework for future trail improvements and connections. Thus, there is a strong relationship in the Area Plan between land uses and associated transportation and mobility systems, no matter what the intensity of uses may be.

The Pass Area Plan

The Pass Area Plan, Figure 3.12, generally reflects the predominantly rural character of the unincorporated area. The considerable amount of natural open space historically provided by Riverside County plans over the years within the Pass is maintained. Most of the proposed development within the Pass remains focused within the cities.

Outlying areas such as Cherry Valley and the San Timoteo Canyon generally maintain their rural character, although Cherry Valley would continue its focus around an existing retail and service-oriented community core on Beaumont Avenue. Cabazon retains its tourist identity along Interstate 10 (I-10), as well as its existing residential and desert-oriented uses. The rugged terrain, open space, and scenic qualities of the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains that are so prominent in the area would continue to be preserved through the Mountainous, Open Space, and Rural land use designations. An interchange is proposed and funded at I-10 and Apache Trail. The exact location of this interchange is unknown at this time; however, the potential for tourist-serving commercial uses at this intersection is acknowledged as a policy area.

Reche Canyon/Badlands Area Plan

The primary purpose of this Area Plan, Figure 3.13, is to preserve the remote, rural nature of the Reche Canyon/Badlands area. Slope, habitat and other natural constraints severely limit opportunities to provide substantial areas for population or employment growth. Conservation of habitat, preservation of existing rural enclaves, and provision of areas for lower density residential areas in keeping with the rural character of the planning area are the primary objectives of this Area Plan.

The Reche Canyon/Badlands Area Plan designates much of the land in the northern portion of the planning area as Rural Mountainous and Open Space Rural, in keeping with the mountainous character of the region. Lands designated for Very Low Density Residential and Rural Residential are applied to areas adjacent to the City of Moreno Valley and along some of the area's major roadway corridors, including San Timoteo Canyon Road, Gilman Springs Road, Reche Canyon Road, and Pigeon Pass Road.










Open space areas for the preservation of publicly owned habitat and park land are designated for the Lake Perris State Recreational Area, the San Jacinto Wildlife Reserve, the Norton Younglove Reserve, and the Box Springs Mountains Reserve. Areas designated for Agriculture uses are located adjacent to the San Jacinto Wildlife Reserve. The Riverside County Badlands Landfill facility is designated for Public Facility use. Additional areas have been designated for Open Space Mining, Open Space Recreation, and Commercial Tourist, primarily reflecting those corresponding existing uses.

Riverside Extended Mountain Area Plan

The majority of the Riverside Extended Mountain Area Plan (REMAP) lies within Rural and Open Space Foundation Components (Figure 3.14). The amount of acreage already under public ownership (i.e., U.S. Forest Service, State of California, Bureau of Land Management) together with the constraints imposed by natural hazards, remoteness, and lack of infrastructure, preclude significant new growth in the area.

Rural Village overlays have been applied in strategic locations. These overlays allow a focused community core providing a mixture (however limited) of urban-type services and Community Development land uses complementing and blending with the natural environment and reinforcing existing community character.

Scattered rural residential areas are also present in the planning area, usually consisting of large lot residential homes with limited utilities and community services. REMAP reflects the desire by these communities to maintain the lifestyle currently associated with this predominantly remote and rugged territory. Limited development would be focused in established communities according to policies and guidelines that would sustain the special character of these places.

San Jacinto Valley Area Plan

The Area Plan, Figure 3.15, is designed to maintain the predominantly rural, agrarian, and open space character of the unincorporated portions of the San Jacinto Valley and to focus growth in ways that respect the existing urban fabric, slope, and natural hazard considerations. This is accomplished by providing an opportunity for community development in the East Hemet and Valle Vista areas, by preserving selected natural features (especially riparian), and protecting residents from natural hazards.

The East Hemet and Valle Vista areas are a mix of Low, Medium and Medium-High Density Residential development. Commercial and office uses dominate along Florida Avenue. This area steps down in density to Agriculture, Rural-Mountainous, and Open Space-Conservation designated areas. San Jacinto Valley contains numerous significant natural features and hazards. Land near the San Jacinto River in the northern portion of the plan is severely constrained for development due to steep slopes, the 100year floodplain, dam inundation hazards, seismic zones, and existing habitat. As such, the area within the flood plain along the river is designated as Open Space-Conservation. The truly limited development potential on the steep, inaccessible slopes of the San Jacinto Mountains is also recognized by the Open Space-Conservation designation.

This Area Plan has several consequences and benefits. Severely constrained lands subject to natural hazards are slated primarily for preservation. Community separators and greenbelts are provided by many of these conservation oriented designations. Finally, Community Development land uses are generally focused on areas adjacent to the existing urban fabric, while rural, agriculture and open space uses lie on the periphery.







Southwest Area Plan

The Southwest Area Plan Land Use Plan generally reflects the predominantly rural character of the area. In fact, approximately 80 percent of the Southwest Area Plan is devoted to Open Space, Agricultural, and Rural designations. The remaining 20 percent of the land is devoted to a variety of urban uses (Figure 3.16). Most of this urban development is focused near existing urban areas and the Cities of Temecula and Murrieta. By concentrating development patterns in this manner, future growth would be accommodated, and the unique rural and agricultural lifestyle found elsewhere in the Southwest Area Plan would be maintained. For the most part, the Open Space and Rural designations are applied in the mountains and foothills surrounding the Cities of Murrieta and Temecula. The Agricultural designation is largely applied to the existing vineyards and wineries east of Temecula and the groves in the Santa Rosa Plateau.

The Santa Rosa Ecological Reserve, the Cleveland National Forest, and Vail Lake are designated for open space uses to reflect the rich and significant habitat these areas provide. Glen Oaks Hills and the Santa Rosa Plateau are designated for rural uses to maintain the existing rural residential character of these areas. These Open Space, Agricultural, and Rural area plan land use designations reflect the existing and intended long-term land use patterns for these areas and help maintain the historic identity and character of the Southwest Area Plan. Such designations also provide an edge to urban development and a separation between the adjoining area plans and San Diego County. This edge strengthens the identity of the Southwest Area Plan and helps to distinguish it from other communities.

Future growth is largely accommodated northeast of the existing Cities of Temecula and Murrieta in the French Valley. Proposed land uses reflect, or are influenced by, adopted specific plans. These specific plans depict a largely residential community with local-serving commercial and employment uses located along the major roadways. The residential community is focused around SR-79 North (Winchester Road). Within that residential pattern the French Valley Airport acts as a hub for surrounding business and industrial park development, which contributes significantly to an employment and economic focus for the Southwest Area Plan. SR-79 North is the chief circulation route in the valley other than the I-15 and I-215 freeways. The adjacent areas accommodate regional uses and a large segment of potential commercial development. Despite this rather focused development, significant watercourses in the valley are maintained in adopted and proposed specific plans through open space designations. This stream system is depicted on the Southwest Area Plan Land Use Plan Watercourse Overlay designation.

Sun City/Menifee Valley Area Plan

The Sun City/Menifee Valley Area Plan reflects much of the existing Community Plan. To the extent possible, Community Development areas extend outward from the existing urbanized community areas (Figure 3.17). Furthermore, an effort is made, wherever existing and already approved land uses permit, to enhance existing concentrations of activity and distinguish them from other concentrations in and around the Area Plan.

For example, a Rural Mountainous designation in the northeast quadrant separates the McCall corridor from the developed Menifee Village north of Newport Road. The McCall corridor is anchored by Commercial Retail and Business Park designations near I-215, with Commercial Office, and Medium and High Density Residential designations to the east.







Light Industrial uses along the north edge of the Plan Area both east and west of I-215 relate to transportation corridors, including a rail corridor along the diagonal edge of the Area Plan in the north. To the west of I-215, the Low Density Residential designation extends the character of the existing Sun City development toward the edges of the Plan. At that point, a Rural Mountainous designation sets Quail Valley, with its rural character, apart from Sun City. The potential for Commercial Retail development serving Quail Valley is recognized along Goetz Road, allowing for a different scale of focus in keeping with the needs of this specialized community.

Both the channelized and natural portions of Salt Creek are designated Open Space-Recreation to allow the potential for the channel to serve both flood control and recreation purposes. This dominant feature offers another opportunity to distinguish development sectors from each other. Residential subdivisions characterize the area south of Salt Creek along Newport Road. Low, Medium, and Medium High Density Residential designations dominate here, together with Commercial Retail.

Temescal Area Plan

Open Space Foundation Component land uses comprise nearly 75 percent of the unincorporated planning area in th Temescal Area Plan (Figure 3.18). The Cleveland National Forest and Prado Basin account for much of this acreage. This emphasizes the importance of the remaining 25 percent of the land area to house and employ the existing population, to accommodate the growth pressures in Western Riverside County, to respect local interests, as well as observe hazard and circulation constraints.

The Area Plan focuses on preserving the integrity of existing communities and preserving irreplaceable open space resources, while recognizing this area's transition to urban uses by stimulating targeted infill development, as well as redevelopment projects. The land use plan also focuses on achieving a more balanced relationship between workers and jobs, offering options to the prevailing extended commute patterns to coastal job centers.

The Cleveland National Forest, as a priceless, natural open space resource area, is generally treated as a permanent open space preserve, with the exception of a few large-lot residential areas reflecting current uses or approved development. The Prado Basin will remain a significant habitat area and critical piece of the Santa Ana River Watershed, with its numerous critical functions in support of development within four counties.

Land use designations and policies maintain the general suburban character of Coronita and Home Gardens and the very low density residential character of El Cerrito. The I15 corridor represents the greatest opportunity for community development while achieving the RCIP objectives. Residential and employment uses would continue to be focused within this corridor through the extensive, though not exclusive, use of specific plans. Preserving the Temescal Wash, enhancing local and regional traffic conditions along I-15, and achieving a satisfactory interface with mineral extraction operations are of utmost importance in the guidance for this strategic area. The Community Center designation at Temescal Canyon Road and I-15 would provide a focused area for the development of a Job Center comprised of supporting retail services and residential units within this light industrial area.







Desert Center Area Plan

The Desert Center Land Use Plan generally reflects the very limited development potential here. As shown on Figure 3.19, the vast majority of land uses within the Area Plan are designated with the Open Space-Rural designation. These lands are generally remote, inaccessible, subject to natural hazards, or unable to support development due to the lack of facilities and necessary services for accommodating development. The uninhabited and natural character of the open space lands is expected to continue throughout the life of the plan.

Agricultural production areas are identified with the Agriculture land use designation. Land uses within the Community Development Foundation Component comprise only a small percentage (3%) of the total acreage within the planning area. Future development should be focused on infill and redevelopment of the existing communities at Desert Center, Lake Tamarisk, and Eagle Mountain. The distinct community separation between the highway commercial uses and the Lake Tamarisk community should be maintained. The Eagle Mountain landfill and townsite are designated to accommodate the proposed Class III non-hazardous waste landfill and nearby housing and services for its workers and their families.

Eastern Coachella Valley Area Plan

The Eastern Coachella Valley Area Plan is designed to maintain the predominantly rural, agricultural, and open space character of the Eastern Coachella Valley and to focus growth adjacent to where it currently exists. The plan integrates the existing urban fabric together with slope and natural hazard considerations. Importantly, the plan seeks to retain the agricultural practices and lands in the area that are so intrinsic to the character of this area and important to the County's economy.

As shown on Figure 3.20, the majority of the area within the Salton Trough, surrounding the Salton Sea to the west and stretching north toward the City of Coachella, is designated Agriculture. The majority of the area east of the All-American Canal is designated Open Space-Conservation Habitat and Open Space-Rural to reflect the area's remoteness and lack of services. At the same time, the Commercial Tourist designation northeast of the City of Coachella is retained. This allows for some development adjacent to the City of Coachella, while concurrently preserving open space, resulting in a coherent pattern of development.

In the Thermal area, the actual planned extent of the Light Industrial uses adjacent to the airport is depicted on the land use plan. The Heavy Industrial use proposed north of the airport has been replaced on the land use plan with Light Industrial, in keeping with the existing policy direction for the area. Higher density residential designations have been shown in this area that more correctly reflect the existing and potential land use.

Opportunities for Commercial Tourist development are shown around the State Route 111/State Route 86 (SR-111/SR-86) intersection, as well as west of SR-111, south of Mecca. Areas of potential residential development have been expanded around Mecca. Another Commercial Tourist designation is located adjacent to the Salton Sea, west of SR-111, and is intended to capitalize on the scenic and recreational opportunities of both the Salton Sea and the surrounding desert area. Its location near the North Shore allows for contiguous development in an effort to preserve the area's natural attributes and assets, and at the same time, avoids the areas of potential liquefaction north of the sea, which remain designated agriculture. Only those parcels currently in commercial use are designated Commercial Retail in this area.

The Open Space-Rural land use designation in the southwest corner of the Eastern Coachella Valley area is a compatible land use designation with the surrounding Agriculture and Open Space-Conservation Habitat designations. This land use designation is appropriate in this arid, under-serviced area in the coves along the Santa Rosa Mountains, which is subject to blowsand and flash flood hazards.




Palo Verde Area Plan

The eastern portion of the Palo Verde Area Plan is intended to preserve the agricultural character and the rich economic base of the Palo Verde Valley. Development patterns here are limited to portions of I-10, a few small pockets adjacent to the City of Blythe, and the community of Ripley (Figure 3.21). The Area Plan also allows for limited development of appropriately designed recreational resorts along the Colorado River to respond to expanded tourist and recreational draw.

The western half of the Area Plan maintains the sparsely populated, rugged desert and mountain character of the Palo Verde Mesa. There is some potential for limited commercial uses at the intersection of I-10 and Wiley's Well Road, which is the main access to the prisons. Blythe Airport is accommodated and enhanced to provide an economic magnet with the inclusion of the Business Park and Commercial Retail land use designations. The Nicholls Warm Springs/Mesa Verde community is accommodated immediately south of the airport.

Western Coachella Valley Area Plan

The Western Coachella Valley Area Plan ranges in character from suburban style development found in Bermuda Dunes, Thousand Palms, and Sun City, to remote rural enclaves such as Sky Valley and Indio Hills, to agricultural areas east of La Quinta and north of Bermuda Dunes, to the outlying mountainous and desert terrain typical of the Valley area. The Area Plan seeks to maintain the character of these areas, while allowing additional urban development in areas adjacent to the I-10 corridor and preserving the desert character of the Valley's remote desert and mountainous areas.

Figure 3.22 illustrates the geographic distribution of land uses in Western Coachella Valley. The Area Plan proposes a mix of lower density residential land uses ranging from Rural Residential to Low Density Residential uses near urban centers, except along Washington Street and Avenue 42 in Bermuda Dunes, which will continue to provide for areas of Medium High Density Residential development.

Ample land exists within Coachella Valley cities to accommodate most of the residential and commercial growth through the 2040. The Area Plan focuses Community Development land uses, including residential, commercial and industrial uses, along Interstate 10 and the Pierson Boulevard and Dillon Road corridors, while maintaining a mix of urban uses in Bermuda Dunes, Sun City, and Thousand Palms.

The Western Coachella Valley Area Plan identifies the area within the sphere of influence of the City of Rancho Mirage as having significant development potential, due in large part to the area's centralized Valley location, proximity to I-10, and large amount of vacant land, much of which is Indian-owned. This Area Plan creates a policy area designed to establish policies and guidelines for development in this area, in concert with a joint planning effort involving the City of Rancho Mirage and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.

Also identified within this Area Plan is the location of a Rural Village within the community of Sky Valley. With the Rural Village Overlay designation on the Area Plan, this village is designed to allow for a concentration of rural residential uses, a small neighborhood commercial center, public, and open space uses, thus allowing Sky Valley residents access to localized commercial and public services.

The vast majority of the Western Coachella Valley area is designated for rural and open space uses, reflective of the remote desert and mountainous nature of the area. These uses separate Community Development areas, creating distinct community edges and enhancing community identity. Open space areas for habitat conservation occupy approximately 25 percent of the total unincorporated area. These areas are predominant in the SR-74/Santa Rosa Mountains area south of Palm Desert and Indian Wells, along the eastern edge of the San Gorgonio Pass north and south of I-10, and north of Desert Hot Springs, throughout the Indio Hills and Coachella Valley Preserve, and areas east of Dillon Road.







Modifications to Zoning District Boundaries

Concurrent with the proposed General Plan, Riverside County proposed to modify the boundaries of existing zoning districts to correspond to the Area Plan boundaries contained in the proposed General Plan. Zoning Districts are a means used by Riverside County to organize its zoning maps. Whereas small and medium-sized cities, such as those within Riverside County, can typically display zoning throughout their jurisdictions on a single map, the County's large size (7,200 square miles) means that zoning must be presented on several different maps for zoning designations on individual properties to be readable. Each of these individual maps is identified as a zoning district area.

The actions proposed by Riverside County would reorganize the individual zoning maps (zoning districts) to correspond to the Area Plan boundaries proposed in the General Plan. If approved, the boundaries of individual zoning maps (zoning districts) would be co-terminus with the General Plan's Area Plan boundaries.

Although the County does not purpose to change the existing zoning of any individual property at this time, because each zoning district was adopted by separate ordinances by the County Board of Supervisors, modification of zoning district boundaries requires a discretionary action to be taken by the Board of Supervisors, even if zoning designations on individual properties are not affected by the County's action. As a result, the proposed modification of zoning district boundaries constitutes a "project" under CEQA, requiring environmental documentation.

As stated previously, although the County does not purpose to change the existing zoning of any individual property at this time, state law requires zoning to be consistent with the General Plan. Therefore, there will be changes to zoning subsequent to General Plan adoption.

3.4 Analysis Assumptions and Methodology

The 2002 Riverside County General Plan is intended to be a blueprint for the County's future. It describes the future growth and development within the County over the long-term. It acts as a constitution for public and private development, the foundation upon which County authorities will make growth and land use-related decisions. The proposed General Plan is meant to express the community's goals with respect to human-made and natural environments, and to set forth the policies and implementation measures to achieve them for the welfare of those who live, work, and do business in Riverside County.

The projections developed for the proposed General Plan estimate potential population, dwelling units, and employment for unincorporated areas of the County. It is projected that, at build out, a population of 1.67 1.77 million persons will reside in unincorporated areas of Riverside County. Based on past growth rates in Riverside County, population increases are anticipated to continue to average approximately 3.38 percent annually. Assuming a SCAG-projected population of 985,945 persons in 2025, the build out population of unincorporated Riverside County would be reached in 2040. About 79 69 percent of this population is projected for unincorporated western Riverside County with the remaining 21 31 percent projected for unincorporated eastern Riverside County. The proposed General Plan land uses serve as the basis for these projections. A key assumption in understanding the magnitude of these projections is that the projections reflect a theoretical build out of all unincorporated areas, rather than what is actually developed over the next 40 years. The actual rate of development is driven by the economy and is not under the total control of government officials.

While minimum, midrange, and maximum projections were prepared, for the purposes of environmental analysis, the midrange projections for population, dwelling units, and employment were utilized. Midrange projections were utilized because the installation of required infrastructure (e.g., roads and utilities) as well as the presence of environmental constraints (e.g., fault hazard zones, floodways, steep slopes, high fire hazard areas) generally preclude maximum development of vacant lands. Midrange projections are a more realistic approximation of the population, dwelling unit, and employment growth that will result from implementation of the proposed General Plan, while still reflecting a conservative approach that will not underestimate impacts. The methodology used for the generation of these projections and the assumptions are provided below.

The EIR analysis relies on GIS data, which is based on the proposed General Plan description. However, because of the nature of GIS calculations, some acreages reported in the EIR may be slightly different from those indicated in the Riverside County General Plan Area Plans. These minor discrepancies do not affect the adequacy or accuracy of the EIR's environmental analysis.

Dwelling Units

Land use designation acres were derived from Geographic Information System (GIS) based calculations for each of the County's proposed 19 Area Plans and the remaining unincorporated areas. A range of dwelling units per acre for each residential land use designation as well as other land use designations that allow for limited residential uses (e.g., Rural Mountainous) was identified. The dwelling unit per acre (du/ac) factor is based on actual product types and accounts for roads, rights-of-way, easements, and public facilities typically found in residential areas (e.g., elementary schools, parks, etc.) To determine the number of dwelling units within each residential land use designation, the number of gross acres was multiplied by the land use designation's respective du/ac factor. For example, 400 acres of Low Density Residential with a density range of 2.0 du/acre, 3.5 du/acre, and 5 du/acre would result in a range of 800 dwelling units, 1,400 dwelling, and 2,000 dwelling units, respectively. Table 3.E identifies the du/ac factors used for the environmental analysis.

Table 3.E - Dwelling Units per Acre
Land Use Designationdu/acre Factor
Agriculture (AG).05
Rural Residential (RR)0.15
Rural Mountainous (RM)0.05
Rural Desert (RD)0.05
Open Space - Rural (OS-RUR)0.025
Rural Community - Estate Density (EDR-RC)0.35
Rural Community - Very Low Density (VLDR-RC)0.5
Rural Community - Low Density (LDR-RC)1.2
Rural Community - Estate Density Residential 2 (EDR2-RC)0.35
Estate Density (EDR)0.35
Very Low Density (VLDR)0.5 1.2
Low Density (LDR)1.2 3.5
Medium Density (MDR)3.5 6.5
Medium High Density (MHDR)6.5 11
High Density (HDR)11 17
Very High Density (VHDR)17 30
Highest Density30


Population

To reflect the variations of household size among different regions of Riverside County, separate average household size figures were used to determine population. Population projections for western Riverside County, with the exception of the Riverside Extended Mountainous Area Plan (REMAP), utilized a factor of 3.01 persons per dwelling unit. A factor of 2.97 was used for REMAP, Western Coachella Valley, Eastern Coachella Valley, Desert Center, and Palo Verde Valley Community Plan areas. Population is determined by multiplying the projected number of dwelling units by the average persons per household. For example, a population projection for 400 acres of Low Medium Density Residential (in western Riverside County) would result in 4,214 (1,400 dwelling units x 3.01 persons per household) persons.

Employment

To determine the number of potential workers from total residential land uses, the estimated population is multiplied by the participation rate. The participation rate is the percent of the population that is either employed or not employed but actively seeking employment. The participation rate for the County, as defined in Riverside County Population and Employment Forecasts, is 44.86 percent. Using this participation rate, a population of 4,214 persons would yield 1,890 potential workers.

Determining the number of jobs resulting from commercial, industrial, office, or business park development is a multitask exercise that requires the computation of net acreage, gross square footage, and permitted square footage. For commercial, industrial, business park, and public facility uses, it was first necessary to determine the amount of land available for development. The net acres of each non-residential land use available for development was derived by subtracting from the gross acres (the total amount of land available) the amount of land required for roadways, rights-of-way, easements, and other required features. For Commercial, Heavy Industrial, and Business Park land uses, 25 percent of the gross acreage was assumed necessary for these features. For Light Industrial land uses, 20 percent of the gross acreage was assumed to be required for necessary infrastructure and other features. Based on this process, 200 gross acres of Commercial Retail land is equal to 150 net acres (200 acres x 0.75 net factor), while 200 gross acres of Light Industrial would equal 160 net acres (200 acres x 0.8 net factor).

To determine the number of net square feet, the net acres is multiplied by 43,560 (the number of square feet per acre). The examples stated above would translate into totals of 6,534,000 and 6,969,600 square feet of Commercial Retail and Light Industrial uses, respectively. Because the complete coverage of land by buildings is not permitted, floor-to-area ratios (FARs) have been developed to establish the total amount of square footage permitted on any particular parcel. The FARs for the various Commercial, Industrial, and Business Park uses identified in the proposed General Plan are shown in Table 3.F.

Table 3.F - Floor-to-Area Ratios
Land Use DesignationFloor-to-Area Ratios
Commercial Retail (CR)0.23
Commercial Tourist (CT)0.25
Commercial Office (CO)0.40 0.35
Light Industrial (LI)0.38
Heavy Industrial (HI)0.40
Business Park (BP)0.30


To determine the permitted square footage, the net square footage is multiplied by the FAR. Carrying the previously cited examples forward,1,502,820 square feet (6,534,000 square feet x 0.23 FAR) of Commercial Retail and 2,648,448 square feet (6,969,600 square feet x 0.38 FAR) of Light Industrial would be permitted.

The third step in this process is the identification of the number of jobs generated as a result of specific development. Employment factors for individual land uses vary and are based on the number of employees per square foot of developed use, or the number of employees per acre of designated land use. Factors utilized for the County's proposed General Plan analysis are summarized in Table 3.G.

Table 3.G - Employment Factors
Land Use DesignationEmployment Factor
Commercial Retail (CR)1 employee/500 square feet
Commercial Tourist (CT)1 employee/500 square feet
Commercial Office (CO)1 employee/300 square feet
Light Industrial (LI)1 employee/1,030 square feet
Heavy Industrial (HI)1 employee/1,500 square feet
Business Park (BP)1 employee/600 square feet
Agriculture0.05 employee/acre
Land Use DesignationEmployment Factor
Open Space - Mineral Resources0.03 employee/acre
Open Space - Recreation0.15 employee/acre


For the previously cited examples, the 1,502,820 square feet of Commercial Retail and 2,648,448 square feet of Light Industrial uses would generate 3,006 (1,502,820 square feet ÷ 500 employees/square feet) and 2,571 (2,648,448 square feet ÷ 1,030 employees/square feet) employees, respectively.

3.5 General Plan Objectives

The primary goal of the 2002 Riverside County General Plan is to provide residents of the County with a "blueprint" for public and private development. The General Plan will act as the foundation upon which County leaders will make growth and land use-related decisions. The proposed General Plan expresses the community's goals with respect to human-made and natural environments and sets forth the policies and implementation measures to achieve them. The objective of the proposed General Plan is to achieve the Vision Statement of the County residents in conformance with State planning law. The Vision Statement is detailed in Chapter 2 of the proposed General Plan and is provided in Appendix B of the EIR.

SECTION 4.0 - IMPACTS AND MITIGATION MEASURES

This Program EIR will review the potential environmental effects of the proposed project for each of the following areas:

• Land Use/Agricultural Resources

• Geology and Slope Stability

• Housing and Population

• Hazardous Materials

• Aesthetics/Visual Resources

• Mineral Resources

• Air Quality

• Noise

• Biological Resources

• Parks and Recreation

• Cultural Resources

• Public Services

• Energy

• Transportation and Circulation

• Flood and Dam Inundation Hazards

• Water Resources

Section 4.0 describes existing setting, impacts, effectiveness of General Plan policies, mitigation measures, and the level of significance after mitigation for each resource area. Thresholds of significance are also listed. Thresholds of significance provide criteria for determining the significance of any impacts associated with the 2002 Riverside County General Plan and the subsequent revisions. A discussion of assumptions and methodology used to analyze the proposed General Plan in this Program EIR is provided below.

4.1 Environmental Analysis Assumptions

The 2002 Riverside County General Plan is intended to be a blueprint for the County's future. It describes the future growth and development within the County over the long-term. It acts as a constitution for public and private development, the foundation upon which County authorities will make growth and land use-related decisions. The proposed General Plan is meant to express the community's goals with respect to human-made and natural environments, and to set forth the policies and implementation measures to achieve them for the welfare of those who live, work, and do business in Riverside County.

The environmental impacts that will result from the proposed General Plan will not occur at a single time, nor will they occur in a single location. Proposed General Plan impacts on the environment will occur as the result of thousands of individual private development and public works projects, undertaken in compliance with applicable provisions of the proposed General Plan, over an estimated 40-year period throughout unincorporated Riverside County. Thus, the proposed General Plan EIR summarizes the cumulative impacts that could result from these individual actions and projects. The projections developed for the proposed General Plan upon which the impact analysis contained in this EIR are based, represent an estimate of the population, dwelling units, and employment within unincorporated areas of the County that could exist at build out of the proposed County General Plan.

It is projected that at build out, a population of 1.77 million persons will reside in unincorporated areas of Riverside County. Based on past growth rates in Riverside County, population increases are anticipated to continue to average approximately 3.38 percent annually. Assuming a SCAG projected population of 985,945 persons in 2025, the build out population of unincorporated Riverside County would be reached in 2040. About 69 percent of this population is anticipated to live in unincorporated western Riverside County with the remaining 31 percent projected for unincorporated eastern Riverside County.

A key concept in this EIR General Plan analysis is that projections reflect a theoretical build out of all unincorporated areas, which is estimated to occur in 2040, rather than the 20- to 25-year projections maintained by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). The actual rate of development is driven by the economy, and is not under the total control of government officials.

Estimates Utilized in Environmental Analysis

The projections developed for the proposed General Plan estimate potential population, dwelling units, and employment for unincorporated areas of the County. The proposed General Plan land uses serve as the basis for these projections. A key assumption in understanding the magnitude of these projections is that the projections reflect a theoretical build out of all unincorporated areas, rather than what is actually developed over the next 40 years. As stated previously, the actual rate of development is driven by the economy and is not under the total control of government officials.

While minimum, midrange, and maximum projections were prepared, for the purposes of environmental analysis, the midrange projections for population, dwelling units, and employment were utilized. Midrange projections were utilized because the installation of required infrastructure (e.g., roads and utilities) as well as the presence of environmental constraints (e.g., fault hazard zones, floodways, steep slopes, high fire hazard areas) generally preclude maximum development of unincorporated lands. Midrange projections are a more realistic approximation of the population, dwelling unit, and employment growth that will result from implementation of the proposed General Plan, while still reflecting a conservative approach that will not underestimate impacts. Based on the referenced methodologies in Section 3.3, the number of residents, dwelling units, the amount of commercial/industrial space, and the number of jobs within unincorporated Riverside County at build out were identified. These projections are detailed by Area Plan and region, in Table 4.1.A. These projections were utilized throughout the Program EIR. As discussed in further detail below, following the preparation of the Draft EIR, revisions were made to the proposed General Plan which affected policies and land use designations. These revisions are reflected in the following table.

Table 4.1.A - Projections at Proposed Plan Build Out by Area Plan
Area PlanPopulationDwelling
Units
Workers1Square
Footage2
Jobs
Western County
Eastvale63,183
56,901
20,991
18,904
28,344
25,526
11,612,055
20,662,224
16,766
34,439
Elsinore111,004
86,175
36,878
28,629
49,796
38,658
22,364,454
28,010,287
32,298
43,919
Harvest Valley-Winchester123,405
137,459
40,998
45,667
55,360
61,664
31,340,936
31,028,354
54,715
45,218
Highgrove16,242
9,803
5,396
3,257
7,286
4,398
4,918,453
5,498,797
5,672
6,898
Jurupa111,607
98,158
37,079
32,611
50,067
44,034
88,535,580
95,696,789
98,907
110,989
Lake Mathews-Woodcrest61,560
73,432
20,452
24,396
27,616
32,941
2,546,866
3,363,485
5,163
6,622
Lakeview-Nuevo80,602
80,312
26,778
26,682
36,158
36,028
17,242,932
14,040,194
19,166
18,020
Mead Valley23,646
42,765
7,856
14,208
10,608
19,184
18,916,626
16,859,643
28,537
25,649
The Pass45,204
60,299
15,018
20,033
20,278
27,050
3,888,078
7,785,392
5,815
12,586
Reche Canyon-Badlands5,693
6,985
1,891
2,320
2,554
3,133
1,229,734
1,342,149
2,125
1,815
REMAP75,951
115,147
25,573
38,770
34,071
51,655
2,034,895
8,865,800
4,260
17,754
San Jacinto Valley76,965
76,192
25,570
25,313
34,527
34,180
5,565,485
1,797,503
15,113
4,484
Southwest179,731
152,021
59,711
50,505
80,627
68,197
19,611,464
27,962,645
33,053
54,808
Sun City-Menifee197,054
194,526
65,467
64,627
88,399
87,264
35,349,846
44,970,425
76,288
95,889
Temescal Valley53,980
56,208
17,933
18,674
24,215
25,215
20,217,544
18,036,528
23,394
22,819
Western County Subtotal1,227,432
1,246,381
408,129
414,595
549,906
559,127
283,375,448
325,920,215
459,861
501,909
Eastern County
Desert Center21,272
16,240
7,162
5,468
9,542
7,285
16,591,218
1,193,435
28,584
2,638
Eastern Coachella Valley189,437
84,381
63,744
28,411
84,891
37,853
71,066,665
68,073,085
94,250
87,087
Palo Verde44,157
41,508
14,868
13,976
19,809
18,620
16,766,022
16,505,842
26,223
25,818
Western Coachella Valley191,879
186,304
64,606
62,729
86,077
83,576
68,888,352
78,316,775
76,457
94,773
Non-Area Plan96,70032,55943,38000
Eastern County Subtotal543,867
328,433
183,080
110,584
243,789
147,334
173,312,257
164,089,137
225,514
210,316
Countywide Total1,771,299
1,574,814
591,209
525,179
793,695
706,461
458,687,705
490,009,352
685,375
712,224
Other
March Inland Port33411138,588
Remaining Unincorporated96,69932,55943,379
Countywide Total with Other1,741,960
1,671,848
581,286
557,849
781,242
749,840
444,240,967
490,009,352
657,178
750,812
Notes:
1 Based on a Riverside County employment participation rate of 44.86 percent.
2 Includes all projected development within the Commercial Retail, Commercial Tourist, Commercial Office, Light Industrial, Heavy Industrial, Business Park, and Community Center land use designations.
Source: Build out Projections County of Riverside General Plan RCIP, The Planning Center, September 24, 2003.


Methodology Utilized in the Environmental Analysis

For each issue area analyzed in this EIR, a brief summary of the local and regional environment conditions (environmental and man-made) in existence at the time this Program EIR was prepared has been provided. This data provides the reader with the "baseline" from which future impacts are analyzed, and provides a standard against which to measure these impacts. The existing setting provides a "snap shot" of the environment at a particular point in time.

Determinations regarding the significance of potential impacts resulting from implementation of the proposed General Plan are provided as Thresholds of Significance. These thresholds represent the criteria used in this EIR to determine whether or not the impacts identified are significant. The potential impacts that may result from implementation of the proposed General Plan were measured against the identified thresholds. The discussion of potential impacts focuses on the impacts of implementation of the build out of the proposed General Plan, and includes potential short-term/long-term and direct/indirect project impacts, and consistency with applicable planning documents or regulations. Impacts identified "Less than Significant" were discussed and because of their significance level, the provision of mitigation was not required. An in-depth analysis of potential impacts follows for those impacts identified as "Potentially Significant."

The impact analyzed is the build out of the proposed General Plan, not the difference between the existing setting and build out of the proposed General Plan. For air quality impacts, however, the difference between the existing setting and build out is discussed for construction impacts.

Following the impact analysis, a list of the proposed General Plan Policies relevant to each specific issue area is provided. Following this listing of proposed General Plan policies, a discussion of the effectiveness of the policies contained in the proposed General Plan to reduce environmental impacts is provided. Where the proposed General Plan policies did not provide adequate mitigation for potentially significant impacts, measures have been proposed to mitigate any potential impacts of the proposed General Plan.

Further, following preparation of the Draft EIR, changes were made to the policies and land use designations of the proposed General Plan. An additional discussion has been added to each impact analysis and other places within the EIR where appropriate that describes the effect, if any, these changes to the proposed General Plan have had on the analysis, conclusions, and significance of each impact.

A concluding statement as to whether implementation of the proposed General Plan policies and mitigation will reduce the proposed General Plan's impacts to a level that is less than significant is provided following the identification of mitigation measures.

4.2 Land Use/Agricultural Resources

4.2.1 Land Use/Agricultural Resources Existing Setting

The existing setting is summarized from the information contained within Sections 2.1 and 4.4 of the Riverside County Existing Setting Report prepared for the Riverside County General Plan (incorporated by reference).

Existing land use within Riverside County is a mosaic of varying types of uses, ownerships, character, and intensity. Figure 4.2.1 identifies generalized 1998 land use throughout Riverside County. This figure defines land uses into six broad categories (Residential, Commercial, Industrial/Office, Open Space, Public and Other), which are further divided in the underlying land use database into 19 land use classifications which more precisely describe land uses within each category.

Approximately 288 square miles of land are currently devoted to residential use in Riverside County, nearly 57 percent of which are within incorporated cities. Commercial land uses account for 15,675 acres of land within the County. A majority of this commercial land is located within cities, and is clustered along, adjacent to, or near major transportation routes, including SR-91, I-15, I-215, SR-60, SR-74, I-10, and SR-111. A total of over 24,000 acres are devoted to industrial uses, which may include heavy industry, warehousing, and mineral extraction. With the exception of land devoted to mineral extraction, (89 percent of which is within unincorporated territories), the majority of industrial land is located within the cities of Riverside County. Owing to the County's collection of physical, biological, and historical resources, a vast amount of land (1,313,073 acres or 28 percent of the County total) is in open space use, and provides for recreation, agriculture, scientific opportunity, and wild land preservation. A variety of public lands exist within Riverside County, and these lands are managed by a multitude of local, County, State, and federal agencies. Approximately 106 square miles of land are devoted to various public facilities (utilities, schools, government offices, police and fire facilities, correctional facilities, military installations, museums, convention centers, libraries, theater facilities, rehabilitation facilities, short-and long-term custodial facilities, cemeteries, etc.) through the County. More detailed descriptions of existing land uses are provided in Sections 2.2.1 through 2.2.3 of the Existing Setting Report.

Existing (1998) land use is summarized in Table 4.2.A, which identifies land uses within the County as a whole, cities and unincorporated areas, as well as the distribution of land uses between cities and unincorporated areas. As shown in this table, the majority of land within Riverside County has not been developed. Vacant and open lands are predominant in the eastern desert areas. Large areas of steep slopes and lands managed by State and Federal agencies also accounts for the predominance of open lands within the County.




Table 4.2.A
Distribution of Existing Land Use Cities and Unincorporated Areas
 Countywide
(acres)
Unincorporated
(acres)
Within Cities
(acres)
Residential184,37180,035104,335
Rural Residential42,98938,1714,817
Single Family Detached104,29532,52571,770
Attached Dwelling Units26,9254,33522,589
High Density67760
Mobile Homes10,0924,9955,096
Commercial15,672,42013,254
Retail/Office13,5301,79811,731
Tourist/Commercial Recreation2,1446211,523
Industrial24,66015,2169,443
Light Ind./Business Park7,4961,5785,918
Heavy Industrial457346110
Mineral Extraction11,76010,4161,344
Warehouse4,9452,8752,070
Recreation/Open Space1,263,2731,162,626100,645
Natural7,1325,9811,151
Natural (Reserve)54,38651,4892,896
Natural (USFS)775,987773,8342,151
Recreation26,9679,48917,477
Agriculture339,261266,92672,335
Water59,53754,9044,633
Public Facilities67,90836,96330,944
Utilities54,50232,11722,385
Other Public Facilities5,5793,1392,440
Schools7,8281,7076,118
Vacant3,071,6722,869,430202,242,67
Other31121496
TOTAL4,627,8714,166,908460,962


Specific Plans

A specific plan is a combined policy statement and implementation tool that can be used to address a single project such as infill development or large multiple use projects. As a result, emphasis is on concrete standards and development criteria in the review of subsequent site plans. The California Government Code (Section 65450) permits the use of specific plans to regulate site development, including permitted uses, density, building size, and building placement. Specific plans are predominantly used in the development of multi-use planned communities. Specific plans also govern the type and extent of open space, landscaping, roadway configuration, and the provision of infrastructure and utilities. Since the development guidelines established in a specific plan focus on the unique needs and characteristics of a specific area, specific plans allow for greater flexibility than is possible with conventional zoning.

In unincorporated Riverside County, 77 76 specific plans had been approved at the time the Existing Setting Report was drafted (Tables 4.2.B and 4.2.C). Specific plans have continued to be approved by the County since 1998. The size of approved specific plans range from a specific plan for a 25-acre commercial center (No. 177, Plaza del Sol near Sun City) to specific plans such as the Eagle Mountain Landfill Specific Plan (No. 305). The location of adopted specific plans is shown in Figure 2.5 of the Existing Setting Document. In 1998, specific plans encompassed 65,470 acres (or 1.4%) of unincorporated Riverside County, clustered primarily in the western and southwestern portions of the County.

Table 4.2.B
Riverside County Specific Plan Developments - February 2003
Specific PlanMaximum Dwelling UnitsBuilt Dwelling Units
"A" Street Corridor--
Highland Springs1,630993
Dutch Village1,500658
Mission Lakes2,358369
Frank Domeno71-
Tract Map4437 310259
The Farm1,934952
Mission De Anza3,4582,249
Red Mountain4948
Sky Country1,1591,159
Republic452216
El Niño203155
Sky Mesa11292
River City461-
Newport Estates856-
Lake Hills1,7571,012
North Star Ranch1,666-
Horsethief Canyon2,1321,959
Menifee Village5,2542,742
Green River Meadows507507
Walker Basin1,444-
Riverview Ranch172-
Wild Rose1,1811,013
Four Seasons896896
Rancho Nuevo508-
Rancho Bella Vista1,9981,137
Countryside1,154-
Belle Meadows141-
Cal Neva1,670676
Audie Murphy Ranch3,596-
Agua Mansa376-
Andreas Cove--
Mesa Grande200-
Winchester Properties2,6691,462
Redhawk4,1881,792
Coral Mountain1,360-
Mountain Springs1,571392
Woodcrest Country Club310-
Centerpointe280-
HB Ranches1,421-
Adams 34 Ranch939-
Crown Valley Village591-
Stoneridge2,236-
Rio Vista1,687-
Preissman3,088-
Menifee East1,283-
Newport Hub--
Gateway Center553-
Lakeview Nuevo185-
Sycamore Creek1,733-
Menifee North2,3885
Arbor Creek Estates56-
Borel Airpark--
I-15 Corridor2,400283
Victoria Grove1,144450
Canyon Heights775-
Del Webb5,0754,095
Canyon Cove485-
Quinta Do Lago1,318291
Winchester 18005,196486
The Crossroads at Winchester795-
Winchester Hills5,633-
Alta Cresta Ranch3,438-
Eastvale2,7691,635
Menifee Ranch4,067-
Kohl Ranch7,171-
Eagle Mountain--
Eagle Mountain Townsite432-
Gavilan Hills Golf Course--
Domenigoni-Barton4,600-
French Valley1,793-
Morgan Hill1,129-
The Retreat545-
Oak Valley4,356-
BSA Properties421-
Spring Mountain Ranches1,518-


Table 4.2.C - Proposed Specific Plans In Riverside County
Proposed Specific PlanDwelling Units in Proposal
Dutch Village1,450
Dutch Village1,550
Walker Basin77
Audie Murphy2,129
Mesa Grande499
Menifee North2,677
Canyon Heights439
Winchester 18004,870
Gavilan Hills644
The Highlands1,440
Sierra Highlands65
Murrieta Hills1,879
Vail Lake5,172
McAllister Hills321
Victoria Grove East1,345
Temescal Hills1,800
Creekside1,312
Springbrook Estates1,000
Eastvale 2473


Agriculture

In terms of dollar value, agriculture is today the largest industry in Riverside County, providing employment for a significant portion of the County's population. Currently, agriculture faces continuing pressure from urbanization, foreign competition, and rising production costs. Despite these pressures, those areas which remain in agricultural production represent a significant open space and economic resource for the County. As defined by State and federal agencies, the various important agricultural lands throughout unincorporated Riverside County area are identified in Figure 4.2.2.

The existing Riverside County General Plan defines productive agricultural lands as land "which is involved in a long-term, substantial investment to agricultural use, and which has a long-term economic viability for agricultural use." Some of the factors affecting the economic viability of these areas include weather, water prices, crop selection, management techniques, commodity prices, new technology, and proximity of developed lands. The total gross valuation of agricultural crops in the County in 2001 1997 was$1,087,920,000.$1,124,908,400. This amount represents an increase of $76,346,800 over the 2000 gross value. Although this represents a$53.9 million decrease from 1996 crop values, Within the Southern California region, the total value of agricultural production in the Riverside County is exceeded only by San Diego County. Statewide, Riverside County is ranked ninth in the value its agricultural production. Riverside County is the leading agricultural county in Southern California.

Agricultural statistics are maintained by the County in four districts: Riverside/ Corona, San Jacinto/Temecula Valley, Coachella Valley and Palo Verde Valley. The Coachella Valley District recorded highest valuation in non-livestock related agricultural production, followed by the San Jacinto/Temecula Valley District alo Verde Valley District, the Palo Verde Valley District San Jacinto/Temecula Valley District, and the Riverside/Corona District (Table 4.2.B 4.2.D).

Table 4.2.D - Crop Valuation (in millions)
 19931994199519961997
Riverside/Corona$71.1$47.4$46.7$40.7$29.0
San Jacinto/Temecula Valley$92.6$85.6$93.1$95.3$97.8
Coachella Valley$341.1$324.4$406.1$319.6$331.7
Palo Verde Valley$79.2$89.6$100.2$103.1$102.9
County Total$584.0$547.0$646.1$558.7$561.4
Note: Crop valuations do no include the value of livestock and poultry produced in the County. Source: Riverside County Agricultural Commissioner.


Table 4.2.D - Crop Valuation (in millions)
 19971998199920002001
Riverside/Corona$29.0$38.4$31.5$31.2$49.70
San Jacinto/Temecula Valley$97.8$112.0$94.4$102.3$138.8
Coachella Valley$331.7$398.1$427.6$324.7$450.7
Palo Verde Valley$102.9$92.0$90.4$93.9$99.0
County Total$561.4$640.5$643.9$552.1$738.2
Note: Crop valuations do no include the value of livestock and poultry produced in the County. Source: Riverside County Agricultural Commissioner.





Existing Policies and Regulations

Land Use

LAFCO The broad mission of the Local Agency Formation Commission of Riverside County is to provide for an orderly pattern of growth that reconciles the varied needs of the County. One of the fundamental principles of LAFCO is to ensure the establishment of an appropriate and logical municipal government structure for the distribution of efficient and appropriate public services. LAFCO Land Use Objectives include:

• The discouragement of urban sprawl;

• The preservation of the physical and economic integrity of agricultural lands;

• The preservation of open space within urban development patterns;

• The orderly formation and development of agencies by shaping local agency boundaries;

• The minimization of agencies providing services to a given area; and

• The utilization of Spheres of Influence to guide future development of agency boundaries.

Agriculture

Williamson Act Land Preserves In 1965, The California Land Conservation Act, also known as the Williamson Act, was adopted. This voluntary program allows property owners to have their property assessed on the basis of its agricultural production rather than at the current market value. The property owner is thus relieved of having to pay higher property taxes, as long as the land remains in agricultural production. The purpose of the Act is to encourage property owners to continue to farm their land, and to prevent the premature conversion of farmland to urban uses. Participation requires that the area consist of 100 contiguous acres of agricultural land under one or more ownerships.

Upon approval of an application by the Board of Supervisors, the agricultural preserve is established, and the land within the preserve is restricted to agricultural and compatible uses for 10 years. Williamson Act contracts are automatically renewed annually for an additional one-year period, unless the property owner applies for non-renewal or early cancellation. The Williamson Act also contains limited provisions for cancellation of contracts. Specific findings regarding the non-viability of the agricultural use must be made, and a substantial penalty for the cancellation is assessed.

Important Farmlands Important farmland maps are compiled by the California Department of Conservation (CDC) Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program (FMMP), pursuant to the provisions of Section 65570 of the California Government Code. These maps utilize data from the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) soil survey and current land use information using eight mapping categories and represent an inventory of agricultural resources within Riverside County. The maps depict currently urbanized lands and a qualitative sequence of agricultural designations. Maps and statistics are produced biannually using a process which integrates aerial photo interpretation, field mapping, a computerized mapping system, and public review.

Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act of 2000, California Government Code 56377 Policies of the Riverside County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO):

Through its responsibilities to govern the approval of annexations and Spheres of Influence, LAFCO considers soil quality and the availability of irrigation water when assessing the impacts of annexation proposals on agricultural land. LAFCO policies direct that development or use of land for other than open space shall be guided away from existing prime agricultural lands, unless that action would not promote the planned, orderly, efficient development of an area.

County of Riverside Ordinance No. 509 This ordinance establishes uniform rules which apply to agricultural preserves.

4.2.2 Land Use/Agricultural Resources Thresholds of Significance

The proposed General Plan would result in a significant land use impact if it:

Land Use

• Creates adverse changes in the functional role and/or predominant pattern of uses within a geographical area;

• Results in an intensification of development density that results in a negative change of an area's character;

• Results in an incremental loss of open space;

• Physically divides an established community; or

• Conflicts with any applicable airport land use plan, habitat conservation plan or natural community conservation plan.

Agriculture

The proposed General Plan would result in a significant agriculture impact if it:

• Results in the conversion of Prime Farmland, Unique Farmland, or Farmland of Statewide Importance, as shown on the maps prepared pursuant to the Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program of the California Resources agency, to non-agricultural use;

• Conflicts with existing zoning for agricultural use, or a Williamson Act contract;

• Involves other changes in the existing environment which, due to its location or nature, could result in conversion of Prime, Unique, or Statewide Important Farmland to non-agricultural use; or

• Expose future residents to nuisances associated with agricultural operations or expose farms to nuisances associated with urban uses.

4.2.3 Land Use/Agricultural Resources Impacts and Mitigation

Less than Significant Impacts

The following are in less than significant impacts associated with the proposed General Plan.

Physically Divide an Established Community

Analysis of Impact Unique settings, features, and communities are identified within each Area Plan. Where applicable, Policy Areas have been designated within Area Plans. These Policy Areas are important locales that have special significance to the residents of the County, or will have when their development potential is realized. The physical arrangement of proposed land use designations within unincorporated lands is proposed to be changed with implementation of the proposed General Plan. The proposed General Plan is designed to protect existing communities. The proposed General Plan (including the Area Plans) will guide where and in what manner future development will occur. Because the proposed General Plan (in general) and each Area Plan (specifically) provide policies reflective of the unique combination of conditions in each Area Plan, implementation of the proposed General Plan will not disrupt or divide the physical arrangement of any established communities. No significant impact related to this issue will occur.

Conflict with any Applicable Habitat Conservation Plan or Natural Community Conservation Plan

Analysis of Impact Policies aimed at protecting biological resources are contained in the proposed General Plan. These policies acknowledge existing habitat conservation plans within the County and ensure that land use plans be consistent with the provisions of applicable conservation plans, including the Habitat Conservation Plan for the Stephen's kangaroo rat. Because the proposed General Plan includes policies accommodating existing habitat conservation and natural community conservation plans within the County, no significant impact associated with this issue will occur upon implementation of the proposed General Plan.

Conflict with any Regional Plan

Analysis of Impact. CEQA Guidelines, Section 15125(d), requires that any inconsistencies between a regionally significant project and regional plans be discussed. Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) regional plans cover the proposed project area and five other counties in Southern California. SCAG's regional plans that require a consistency determination include the Regional Comprehensive Plan and the Regional Transportation Plan administered by SCAG. Discussions of the proposed General Plan's consistency with these two plans is included in Section 5.5.1 and 5.5.2 (respectively) of this EIR.

Airport Land Use Plans

Analysis of Impact Eight public-use general aviation airports are currently in use within unincorporated areas of Riverside County. The characteristics of these airports - Flabob Airport, French Valley Airport, Hemet-Ryan Airport, Bermuda Dunes Airport, Desert Resorts Regional Airport, Chiriaco Summit Airport, Desert Center Airport, and Blythe Airport - are summarized in Section 3.2.5.2 of the Riverside County Existing Setting Report. Additionally, March Air Reserve Base (MARB) (formerly March Air Force Base), located between the Cities of Moreno Valley, Perris, and Riverside, accommodates both military aircraft and civilian aircraft. Runway 14-32 at MARB is one of the longest civilian runways in Southern California at 13,300 feet. While located within the incorporated limits of the City of Palm Springs, Palm Springs International Airport serves both general aviation and commercial aircraft. The primary runway (Runway 13R-31L) measures 8,500 feet long and 75 feet wide. This airport provides many navigational aides to approaching aircraft and is overseen by the airports traffic control tower and terminal approach control facility. Unincorporated areas are further influenced by flight operations at air facilities located in incorporated cities including: Corona Municipal Air (Corona), Chino Airport (Chino, San Bernardino County), Sklylark Airport (Lake Elsinore), Riverside Municipal Airport (Riverside), and Banning Municipal Airport (Banning).

Airports in Riverside County provide an important function for passengers as well as for local and regional economies. Future population increases will create an additional demand for air transportation. The State of California has adopted the Airport Land Use Law (Public Utilities Code, §21670-21679.5) in order to ensure the orderly expansion of airports and the adoption of land use measures that minimize the public's exposure to excessive noise and safety hazards. The proposed General Plan is intended to implement and be consistent with the purposes of the Airport Land Use Law. The Airport Land Use Law provides for the creation of the Riverside County Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC) and the adoption of airport land use compatibility plans by the Commission to assist the County and affected cities in land use planning in the vicinity of public use airports located in the County. The Commission has adopted land use compatibility plans.

The Riverside Airport Land Use Commission has established guidelines for use in comprehensive land use planning within airport influence areas. These guidelines are intended to provide a common approach for identifying potential areas of incompatibility and for establishing land use criteria at each of the County's airports. While providing a basis for common analytical approach, the guidelines allow for some flexibility in making specific determinations related to airport-specific land use issues.

Under the proposed General Plan, economic development and population growth will continue to increase, requiring the construction of additional places of business and housing. As the land suitable for development becomes increasingly scarce, urban development may be forced to exploit land occur adjacent to airports. Such encroaching development may result in conflicts between new development and the goals and policies outlined in local Airport Land Use Plans.

Aircraft noise is often the most disturbing environmental impact associated with the operation of an airport. Legislative bodies have developed programs and guidelines to promote aircraft noise abatement and compatible development within noise-impacted areas.

Airport height restrictions are required for two reasons. The first is to protect the public health, safety and welfare by ensuring that aircraft can fly safely in the airspace around an airport. Secondly, height limitations are required to protect the operating capability of airports; thereby, preserving an important component of the State's transportation system.

In addition to the discussion of airports provided in the proposed General Plan , specific areas influenced by airports, located in the County and/or in adjacent cities, are identified in the proposed Area Plans. Area Plans which identify specific areas influenced by airports provide policies to protect flight paths and minimize impacts to residents and employees within that area. These policies provided in the Area Plans are consistent with and support policies identified in the proposed General Plan.

Any new development within the General Plan area proposed within two miles of an airport will utilize the California Department of Transportation, Division of Aeronautics' Airport Land Use Planning Handbook as a resource in the preparation of environmental documents.

Proposed General Plan Policies The proposed General Plan includes the following policies to reduce or minimize the effects of future development on adjacent airport land use plans. The effectiveness of the policies at reducing the effect of direct and indirect impacts that may result in land use conflicts with airport land use plans is analyzed below. Implementation of the proposed General Plan policies related to airport land use plans would reduce the effects of future development encroaching upon land adjacent to airports.

Land Use Policy 1.9 As required by the Airport Land Use Law, submit certain proposed actions to the Riverside County Airport Land Use Commission for review. Such actions includes proposed amendments to the general plan, areas plans, or specific plans, as well as proposed revisions to the zoning ordinance and building codes.

Land Use Policy 14.1 Allow airport facilities to continue operating in order to meet existing and future needs respecting potential noise and safety impacts.

Land Use Policy 14.2 Minimize impacts to those areas surrounding airports by careful planning, including compliance with the following:

a. Airport Land Use Plan for Riverside County;

b. Comprehensive Land Use Plan for adjacent airports; and

c. Relevant Area Plans.

Review all proposed projects and require consistency with any applicable airport land use compatibility plan as set forth in Appendix L and as summarized in the Area Plan's Airport Influence Area section for the airport in question.

Land Use Policy 14.3 Review all subsequent amendments to any airport land use compatibility plan and either adopt the plan as amended or overrule the Airport Land Use Commission as provided by law (Government Code Section 65302.3).

Land Use Policy 14.4 Prior to the adoption or amendment of this General Plan or any specific plan, or the adoption or amendment of a zoning ordinance or building regulation within the planning boundary of any airport land use compatibility plan, refer such proposed actions for determination and processing as provided by the Airport Land Use Law.

Land Use Policy 14.5 Allow the use of development clustering and/or density transfers to meet airport compatibility requirements as set forth in the applicable airport land use compatibility plan.

Land Use Policy 14.6 In accordance with FAA criteria, avoid locating sanitary landfills and other land uses that are artificial attractors of birds within 10,000 feet of any runway used by turbine-powered aircraft and within 5,000 feet of other runways. Also avoid locating attractors of other wildlife that can be hazardous to aircraft operations in locations adjacent to airports.

Land Use Policy 14.7 Ensure that no structures or activities encroach upon or adversely affect the use of navigable airspace.

Land Use Policy 14.8 ADVISORY REVIEWS: The County may from time to time elect to voluntarily submit proposed actions or projects that are not otherwise required to be submitted to the ALUC under the Airport Land Use Law in the following circumstances:

a. Clarification: If there is a question as to the purpose, intent or interpretation of an airport land use compatibility plan (CLUP) or its provisions; or

b. Advisory: If assistance is needed concerning a proposed action or project relating to Airport Land Use matters.

Land Use Policy 14.9 All development proposals within an Airport Influence Area will be submitted to the affected airport.

Circulation Policy 14.1 Ensure the development of appropriate land uses near County airports, as specified in the Riverside County Airport Land Use Plan. Promote coordinated long-range planning between the County, airport authorities, businesses and the public to meet the County and the region's aviation needs.

Circulation Policy 14.2 Implement and maintain Airport Land Use Plans for public use airports to address compatible land use designations, noise issues, environmental impacts and safety considerations within and adjacent to each airport facility. Apply a variety of land use planning techniques to maintain the viability of the County's airports.

Circulation Policy 14.3 Enforce federal and state regulations related to land use planning around airport facilities with the cooperation of the County Economic Development Agency. Encourage the use of noise-reducing flight procedures for airplanes and helicopters, such as maintaining flight altitudes or using flight patterns that avoid noise-sensitive neighborhoods to the extent permitted by Federal Aviation Administration regulations.

Circulation Policy 14.4 Recognize and support policies contained in the March Joint Powers Authority General Plan, the Desert Resorts Regional Airport Plan, and the Inland Ground Access Plan.

Circulation Policy 14.5 Encourage the use of noise-reducing flight procedures for airplanes and helicopters, such as maintaining flight altitudes or using flight patterns that avoid noise-sensitive neighborhoods.

Effectiveness of Proposed General Plan Policies Implementation of the proposed General Plan policies related to land uses adjacent to airports would reduce the effects of future growth and development within the County anticipated under the proposed General Plan. Because the proposed General Plan and Area Plan policies mandate compliance with applicable requirements outlined in various airport land use plans, potential impacts resulting from development adjacent to or within airport land use plan areas would be reduced to a less than significant level. No further mitigation is required.

Revised General Plan Finding Revisions to the proposed General Plan since the preparation of the Draft EIR have resulted in the inclusion of additional policies pertaining to airport land use. However, these policies all serve to increase the level of compatibility between airport land use plans and the surrounding land uses. None of the policies would result in a conflict between future growth and airport land use. Thus, no changes to the analysis and conclusions pertaining to this topic are necessary.

Potentially Significant Impacts

Land Use

The following impacts that would result from implementation of the proposed General Plan were evaluated and considered potentially significant without mitigation.

Impact 4.2.1 Implementation of the proposed General Plan would alter the amount of land designated for community development, rural, and open space uses. Changes in the pattern of land uses would result in the development of structures or facilities within areas that are currently undeveloped. Relative to adjacent land uses, this intensification of development may contribute to or create significant land use impacts.

Analysis of Impact One of the primary purposes of land use planning is the generation of a land use plan that represents the County's vision of the future. The proposed General Plan categorizes land uses into one of five four Foundation Components (Agriculture, Rural, Rural Community, Open Space, and Community Development). The General Plan Foundation Components describe the overall nature and intent of each of the four proposed General Plan land uses, yet are general in nature and do not determine the specific land use on individual properties. Land uses are further divided into the 19 Area Plans and the remaining unincorporated areas. Each Area Plan contains guidelines for development, the implementation of which, will ensure compatibility between various land uses. Parcel-specific land uses are located on the individual Area Plan land use maps. The Area Plan land use designations are further divided into a second tier of land uses and include 30 land use designations, five land use overlays, and three Policy Area Overlays. Each land use designation contains specific descriptions of allowable uses and development standards. The Foundation Components are further divided into 24 Area Plan Land Use Designations. Each of the 24 land use designations establish specific requirements governing development permitted within each land use designation. Parcel-specific land uses are located on the individual Area Plan land use maps. The proposed General Plan establishes 19 Area Plans, which, when combined, encompass the whole of western Riverside County and significant portions of eastern Riverside County. Each Area Plan contains guidelines for development, the implementation of which, will ensure compatibility between various land uses.

Direct Impacts

Development of the land uses in the proposed General Plan is dependent upon a number of variables, including site-specific constraints and market forces. Maximum development would occur in instances where a proposed project provides public amenities or benefits. Potential land use compatibility impacts will be determined on a case-bycase basis as development occurs. The intent of the proposed General Plan policies is to provide guidance regarding compatibility, including reducing negative impacts on adjacent uses and the sensitive siting and design of uses. To ensure that land use compatibility issues are limited or reduced, development will be subject to the policies outlined in the proposed General Plan, other County standards, applicable provisions of State law (including CEQA), and Federal law.

The amount of land and the distribution or pattern of land use envisioned under the proposed General Plan has been altered from that which currently exists. An analysis of County-wide land use undertaken during preparation of the Riverside County Existing Setting Report, revealed that approximately 3.7 million acres of vacant land, 29,639 acres of "Natural", 269,012 acres of "Agriculture", and 10,777 acres of "Recreation-Open Space" were scattered throughout the County. Land identified as "vacant" during the 1999 existing land use analysis consisted of undeveloped parcels located within developed areas, desert and mountainous areas, and abandoned vineyards, orchards, and agricultural areas. "Vacant" land was designated as such regardless of its underlying land use designation, status (e.g., public or private), or level of protection (e.g., habitat reserve, National Forest, BLM wilderness area, etc.). The approximate 4.0 million acres of "Vacant", "Natural", "Agriculture" and "Recreation-Open Space" land included areas located within the National Forests, reserve lands, tribal lands, water bodies, and other areas where development would not generally be permitted. By removing the acreage devoted to these uses from the approximate 4.0 million acre total, the amount of land available for development was identified. Approximately 2.64 million acres of "undeveloped" land was identified as available for development in unincorporated areas County-wide. Of the 4.0 million acre total, a balance of approximately 1.36 million acres were designated for open or natural space use.

Because the land use designations utilized in the 1999 land use analysis and the proposed General Plan land use are not synonymous, a precise comparison of the amount or distribution of various land uses is not possible. The following discussion details existing conditions and identifies increases in the amount land designated for specific uses that will occur upon implementation of the proposed General Plan.

Residential

Under the proposed General Plan, approximately 2.48 million acres are designated as to allow some form of residential development. The overwhelming majority (1.94 million acres) of this is land designated "Open Space Rural," which allows development of rural residential uses on lots with a minimum size of 20 acres.

Under the Community Development Foundation Component, the proposed General Plan envisions the development of 126,166 acres of residential uses under a variety of densities. Currently, residential uses (excluding "rural" residential) occupy 41,862 acres within unincorporated Riverside County. Compared to the existing uses, build out of the proposed General Plan would expand the amount of land utilized for non-rural residential development by 84,304 acres.

Currently, "rural" residential uses occupy 38,171 acres throughout unincorporated Riverside County. Under the Rural Foundation Component, the construction of residential uses would be permitted on up to 326,294 acres of land under the proposed Rural Residential, Rural Desert, and Rural Mountainous designations. These residential uses would be permitted on lots minimally sized at 5 acres (Rural Residential) or 10 acres (Rural Desert and Rural Mountainous). Residential development within the Rural Community Foundation Component (which includes residential land uses and the Rural Village Overlay/Rural Village Study Overlay - both of which incorporate higher density and commercial uses) would be permitted on up to 87,076 acres. Of this acreage, 2,290 acres are Rural Village Overlay and 7,620 are Rural Village Study Overlay.

Additionally, under the Open Space Foundation component, the "Open Space Rural" designation would permit the development of residential uses on approximately 1.94 million acres. Residential uses developed under this land use designation could occur on lots minimally sized at 20 acres. The 1999 land use analysis did not identify underlying land use on "vacant" lands; it is not possible to determine if the amount of land under this designation increased, decreased, or remained the same.

Residential uses (excluding Rural Residential) presently occupy 41,684 acres within unincorporated Riverside County. Under the proposed General Plan, 112,389 acres of land that is currently undeveloped would be permitted to develop with residential uses of various densities. Combined with residential uses that have already been constructed and occupied, full build out of the proposed General Plan would result in the development of residential uses on 125,876 acres throughout unincorporated County areas. Implementation of the proposed General Plan would increase the acreage dedicated to residential uses by 84,183 acres1 .

Existing Rural Residential uses occupy 38,171 acres. Under the proposed General Plan, the construction of residential uses would be permitted on 306,593 acres of "undeveloped" land under the proposed Rural Residential, Rural Desert, and Rural Mountainous designations (not including the Rural Community component, which is discussed below), increasing the total amount land designated Countywide for Rural residential uses to 328,356 acres. This amount represents a Countywide increase of 290,185 acres beyond the existing condition.

Additionally, the proposed General Plan would permit the development of residential uses on 1.94 million acres of land under the proposed Open Space-Rural designation. Development of residential uses under this designation consists of one single-family dwelling unit on a minimally sized 20-acre lot. Because the 1999 land use analysis did not identify underlying land use on "vacant" lands, it is not possible to determine if the amount of land under this designation increased, decreased, or remained the same.

Commercial

Existing commercial uses occupy 2,420 acres within unincorporated Riverside County. Under the proposed General Plan, 20,604 acres of land that are currently undeveloped would be permitted to develop with Commercial-Retail, Commercial-Office, Commercial-Tourist, and Business Park uses. This acreage includes 374 acres within the Business Park Overlay. Implementation of the proposed General Plan would increase (over existing uses) the amount of land dedicated to commercial uses by 18,1840 acres.

Existing commercial uses occupy 2,420 acres within unincorporated Riverside County. Under the proposed General Plan, 9,445 acres of land that is currently undeveloped would be permitted to develop with Commercial-Retail, Commercial-Office, and Commercial-Tourist uses. When combined; existing commercial uses, and land within developed and "undeveloped" areas designated for commercial uses, would, at full build out of the proposed General Plan, total 14,538 acres throughout unincorporated County areas. Implementation of the proposed General Plan would increase the acreage dedicated to commercial uses by 12,118 over existing conditions.

1 Differences in the additional amount of developable land and total amount of land designated for the various uses may result from the redesignation of land on which development has already occurred. For example, an area that is presently designated as "residential" but is located within a predominantly commercial area, may be redesignated as "commercial" in the proposed General Plan.

Industrial

Combined, the proposed General Plan designates 30,478 acres for industrial (21,818 acres) or mineral extraction (8,660 acres) uses.

Existing heavy industrial uses occupy 346 acres within unincorporated Riverside County. Under the proposed General Plan, 2,059 acres of land are designated for heavy industrial uses. As compared to existing conditions, build out of the proposed General Plan would increase the acreage dedicated to heavy industrial uses by 1,713 acres. Light Industrial-Business Park and Warehouse uses occupy 4,453 acres throughout unincorporated County areas. Approximately 19,759 acres are designated to be developed with Light Industrial uses under the proposed General Plan. The area devoted to Light Industrial uses would increase by 15,306 acres over that which currently exists. Mineral extraction uses currently operate on 10,416 acres. Under the proposed General Plan, the amount of land designated for mineral extraction uses (under the Open Space-Mineral Extraction designation) would total 8,660 acres, a decrease of 1,756 acres.

Existing heavy industrial uses occupy 346 acres within unincorporated Riverside County. Under the proposed General Plan, 1,425 acres of land that is currently undeveloped would be permitted to develop with heavy industrial uses. When combined; existing heavy industrial land uses, and land within developed and "undeveloped" areas designated for heavy industrial uses, would, at full build out of the proposed General Plan total 2,058 acres throughout unincorporated County areas. Implementation of the proposed General Plan would increase the acreage dedicated to industrial uses by 1,712 acres over existing conditions.

Light Industrial-Business Park and Warehouse uses occupy 4,453 acres throughout unincorporated County areas. Approximately 20,579 acres of "undeveloped" land are designated to be developed with Light Industrial and Business Park (including Business Park Overlay) uses under the proposed General Plan. At build out, the amount of Light Industrial and Business Park uses permitted under the proposed General Plan totals 24,802 acres, and increase of 20,349 acres beyond that which currently exists.

Open Space

Under existing conditions, approximately 2.64 million acres of undeveloped land (out of approximately 4.0 million acres) have been designated for the development of residential, commercial, industrial, or public facility uses. Approximately 1.36 million acres would remain designated for natural or open space uses. The Open Space-Conservation, Open Space-Conservation Habitat, Open Space-Recreation, and Open Space-Water designations outlined in the proposed General Plan encompass approximately 1,352,309 acres of land within unincorporated areas of the County. Implementation of the proposed General Plan would, therefore, result in a slight decrease (approximately 7,691 acres) in the amount of designated open/natural space.

Under existing conditions, approximately 2.64 million acres of undeveloped land (out of approximately 4.0 million acres) have been designated for the development of residential, commercial, industrial, or public facility uses. Approximately 1.36 million acres would remain designated for natural or open space uses. The Open Space-Conservation, Open Space-Conservation Habitat, and Open Space-Mineral Resource, Open Space-Recreation, and Open Space-Water designations outlined in the proposed General Plan, encompass approximately 1,361,747 acres of land within unincorporated areas of the County. Implementation of the proposed General Plan would, therefore, result in approximately the same amount of designated open/natural space.

Agriculture

Changes in the amount of agricultural land are addressed in discussion under Impact 4.2.2 (follows).

Community Center

The proposed General Plan includes the new land use designation, "Community Center," which will include a combination of small-lot single- and multi-family residences, commercial retail, office and business park uses, civic uses, transit facilities, and recreational open space within a unified planned development. The Community Center designation will permit the planned development of large areas, allowing land use compatibility issues to be identified and addressed before they occur. Under the proposed General Plan, 721 acres have been assigned the Community Center designation. Additionally, several areas have been designated as Community Center Overlay (approximately 3,096 acres). These areas have the potential to be developed as either Community Center or as the underlying land use designation.

The proposed General Plan includes the new land use designation, "Community Center," which will include a combination of small-lot single- and multi-family residences, commercial retail, office and business park uses, civic uses, transit facilities, and recreational open space within a unified planned development. The Community Center designation will permit the planned development of large area, allowing land use compatibility issues to be identified and addressed before they occur. Under the proposed General Plan, 721 2,821 acres have been assigned the Community Center designation.

Additionally, several areas have been designated as Community Center Overlay (approximately 2,874 acres). These areas have the potential to be developed as either Community Center or as the underlying land use designation.

Rural Community

The proposed General Plan includes the Rural Community Foundation Component, which includes residential land uses and the Rural Village Overlay/Rural Village Study Overlay (both of which incorporate higher density and commercial uses). Approximately 76,447 acres are included in the Rural Community component, of which 2,290 are Rural Village Overlay and 7,619 are Rural Village Study Overlay.

Indirect Impacts

The proposed General Plan will accommodate and guide the growth anticipated to occur within the unincorporated areas of the County. The construction and occupation of structures and facilities as permitted under the proposed General Plan may result in conflicts and/or incompatibilities with existing land or between proposed land uses. The indirect impacts associated with land use compatibility (e.g., noise, traffic, air quality, light and glare, impacts to adjacent natural areas, etc.) are discussed in greater detail in respective sections of this document.

Proposed General Plan Policies The proposed General Plan includes the following policies to reduce or minimize potential adverse impacts that may result from alterations to the extent or distribution of land uses within unincorporated areas of the County. The proposed General Plan also includes Community Center Guidelines (Appendix J of the General Plan) to complement and reinforce policies identified in the proposed General Plan. The effectiveness of the policies at reducing the effect of direct and indirect impacts that may result from changes in land use designation, changes in the amount of a particular land use, or changes to the extent or distribution of a specific land use is analyzed below. As the proposed General Plan policies will provide adequate assurance that potential land use impacts will be reduced to a less than significant level, no additional mitigation is required.

Land Use Element Policy 1.1 Allow for the continued occupancy, operation, and maintenance of legal uses and structures that exist at the time of the adoption of the General Plan and become non-conforming due to uses, density, and/or development requirements.

Land Use Element Policy 1.2 Encourage existing non-conforming uses to transition into conformance with the new land use designation and/or policy.

Land Use Element Policy 1.3 Coordinate planning activities within the sphere-of-influence areas with the respective cities and LAFCO.

Land Use Element Policy 1.4 Notify city planning departments of any discretionary projects within their respective spheres-of-influence in time to allow for coordination and to comment at public hearings.

Land Use Element Policy 1.5 The County shall participate in coordinate regional efforts to address issues of mobility transportation, traffic congestion, economic development, air and water quality, and watershed and habitat management with cities, local and regional agencies, stakeholders, Indian Nations, and surrounding jurisdictions.

Land Use Element Policy 2.1 The County shall accommodate land use development in accordance with the patterns and distribution of use and density depicted on the General Plan Land Use Map (Figure Land Use-1) and the Area Plan Land Use Maps, in accordance with the following:

• Provide a land use mix at the Countywide and Area Plan levels based on projected need and supported by evaluation of impacts to the environment, economy, infrastructure and services.

• Accommodate a range of community types and character, from agricultural and rural enclaves to urban and suburban communities.

• Provide for a broad range of land uses, intensities and densities, including a range of residential, commercial, business, industry, open space, recreation and public facilities uses.

• Concentrate growth near community centers that provide a mixture of commercial, employment, entertainment, recreation, civic and cultural uses to the greatest extent possible.

• Concentrate growth near or within existing urban and suburban areas to maintain the rural and open space character of Riverside County to the greatest extent possible.

• Site development to capitalize upon multi-modal transportation opportunities and promote compatible land use arrangements that reduce reliance on the automobile.

• Prevent inappropriate development in areas that are environmentally sensitive or subject to severe natural hazards.

Land Use Element Policy 3.1 The County shall accommodate land use development in accordance with the patterns and distribution of use and density depicted on the General Plan Land Use Maps (Figure Land Use-1) and the Area Plan Land Use Maps in accordance with the following concepts:

• Accommodate communities that provide a balanced mix of land uses, including employment, recreation, shopping and housing.

• Assist in and promote the development of infill and underutilized parcels which are located in Community Development areas, and identified on the General Plan Land Use Map.

• Re-plan existing urban cores and specific plans for higher density, compact development.

Land Use Element Policy 3.3 Promote the development and preservation of unique communities in which each community exhibits a special sense of place and quality of design.

Land Use Element Policy 3.4 Allow techniques, such as incentives or transfer of development credit programs or other mechanisms, to achieve more efficient use of land.

Land Use Element Policy 3.5 Prepare a community separator's map or overlay that will illustrate the intent of the County of Riverside and its residents that the County's distinctive community identities be maintained and not be absorbed in a sea of continuous suburban development. The map should be a "bubble" diagram rather than attempting to delineate policy boundaries. Topographical and geographical features such as mountains, hills, rivers, and floodplains should constitute the community separators in most cases. The map should be used as a tool for the County's use in inter-governmental matters, such as commenting on proposals submitted to or by LAFCO, cities, or tribal authorities.

Land Use Element Policy 6.1 The County shall require land uses to develop in accordance with the General Plan and Area Plans to ensure compatibility and minimize impacts.

Land Use Element Policy 6.3 Consider the positive characteristics and unique features of the project site and surrounding community during the design and development process.

Land Use Element Policy 6.4 Retain and enhance the integrity of existing residential, employment, agricultural and open space areas by protecting them from encroachment of land uses that would result in impacts from noise, noxious fumes, glare, shadowing and traffic.

Land Use Element Policy 6.5 Require buffering to the extent possible between urban uses and adjacent rural/equestrian oriented land uses.

Land Use Element Policy 17.4 Permit Encourage clustered development where appropriate on lots smaller than the underlying land use designation would allow. While lot sizes may vary, the overall project density must not exceed that of the underlying land use designation unless associated with the incentive program.

Land Use Element Policy 22.6 Require setbacks and other design elements that buffer residential units to the extent possible from the impacts of abutting agricultural, roadway, commercial, and industrial uses.

Land Use Element Policy 26.10 Require that mixed-use developments be designed to mitigate potential conflicts between uses, considering such issues as noise, lighting, security, trash, and truck, and automobile access.

Effectiveness of Proposed General Plan Policies While several proposed General Plan land use policies allow the County to "encourage," "promote," or "coordinate" efforts to minimize potential land use impacts, they do not definitively mandate the scope of action required by the County. Several more do provide concrete and specific requirements with the intent to reduce potential impacts that may result from the development of land uses as envisioned in the proposed General Plan. Specifically, LU 2.1, 3.1, and

6.1 state that development within the County will occur in conformance with the proposed General Plan and Area Plans. Other policies, LU 6.4, 6.5, 22.6, and 26.10 require the use of buffering, setbacks and design features to ensure compatibility between adjacent uses and to mitigate/minimize potential impacts.

A main purpose of the proposed General Plan is to ensure future development follows a consistent and orderly pattern. As development occurs, it would be required to be consistent with the goals and policies of the proposed General Plan. Because the aforementioned policies will ensure compliance with the proposed General Plan and provide for the implementation of measures to buffer adjacent uses from potentially adverse impacts of neighboring uses, potential impact associated with the alteration of land use designations will be reduced to a less than significant level. No additional mitigation is required.

Revised General Plan Finding The Draft EIR has been revised to reflect a more current inventory of Specific Plans within unincorporated Riverside County, as well as to update agricultural production statistics. Additionally, revisions to the proposed General Plan since the preparation of the Draft EIR have resulted in the inclusion of additional policies pertaining to land use and have resulted in changes in the amount of acreage designated for commercial, residential, rural residential, rural community, and open space land use. Changes to the policies do not substantially alter the meaning or effectiveness of the policies.

The anticipated increase in the acres of residential and rural residential land resulting from the proposed General Plan is approximately 17,288 acres less than what was stated in the Draft EIR. The addition of the Rural Community Foundation Component (87,076 acres) accounts for much of the redesignated residential area (the Rural Community component includes low-density residential and 9,910 acres village center overlay/study overlay, which consists of residential and commercial land uses). The addition of residential land use under the Rural Community Foundation Component was partially offset by decreases in residential land use in other foundation components.

The amount of land designated for industrial use increased approximately 320 acres. The amount of designated open space land in the proposed General Plan is now approximately the same as the amount of existing designated open space land. The Draft EIR had acknowledged a potential increase in designated open space; thus, this represents a lesser impact.

Because none of the acreage changes or policy changes results in a substantial increase in an environmental impact, neither the policy changes nor the changes in the acreage of designated land uses constitutes a significant change from the conclusions of the Draft EIR.

Agriculture

The following impacts that would result from implementation of the proposed Plan were evaluated and considered potentially significant without mitigation.

Impact 4.2.2 The proposed General Plan update will result in the conversion of prime farmlands, unique farmlands, or farmlands of statewide importance, or land actively utilized for agricultural production to a variety of non-agricultural uses.

Analysis of Impact Currently, the amount of land actively utilized for agricultural uses totals 266,926 acres. Of this 132,183 acres, 42,096 acres, and 37,726 acres are designated as "Prime," "Statewide Important," or "Unique" farmland, respectively. The 212,005 acres designated under these three farmland categories represent 79 percent of the total land that is presently utilized for agricultural production.

In a report by Jones & Stokes Associates completed for the California Department of Conservation, it was found that prime farmland is being lost to urban expansion near existing cities. For farmers, urban encroachment adversely affects the efficiency of remaining farming operations due to "increased air pollution, livestock predation by pets, crop diseases resulting from inadequate care of off-farm ornamental plants, restrictions on pesticide use and burning, and requirements to set aside on-farm buffer zones." At the same time, production costs increase due to rising land values, water scarcity, theft and vandalism of farm equipment, crop pilferage, road congestion, and personal injury liability resulting from trespassing on farms. By reducing the profitability of remaining farming operations, urban encroachment tends to have a spiraling effect, encouraging further losses of farms to urban development. As stated in Section 4.4.3 of the Riverside County Existing Setting Report, the number of full-time farms in Riverside County decreased 9 percent over a five-year period (1992-1997). The average size of farms increased from 121 to 167 acres over the same time period (an increase of 38%).

The proposed General Plan states that 180,178 acres in unincorporated Riverside County would be designated for agricultural uses under the "Agriculture" Foundation Component. The amount of land utilized for agricultural production currently totals 266,926 acres. Assuming all land designated for agricultural use under the proposed General Plan was actively farmed at the time of build out, implementation of the proposed General Plan would result in the loss of 86,748 acres (32.5%) of agricultural land. the loss of 64,170 acres represents a nearly 24 percent reduction in actively utilized farmland. As the total amount of land designated for agricultural uses under the proposed General Plan (180,178 acres) is less than the amount of agricultural land currently designated as Prime, Unique, and Statewide Important (212,005 acres), it is apparent that implementation of the proposed General Plan would result in a significant loss of Prime, Unique or Statewide Important farmland.

In addition to the direct loss of agricultural land, build out of the proposed General Plan will permit the development of residential and employment generating uses adjacent to agricultural designated land. Indirect impacts associated with the agricultural uses include: the generation of dust, odors, and noise from agricultural operation; the proliferation of flies and other pest species; the potential for groundwater contamination (from large-scale feed lots and dairies), and aerial application of agricultural chemicals. Build out of the proposed General Plan will increase the likelihood of having residential and other community development uses in closer proximity to agricultural uses.

The draft policies within the proposed General Plan help to retain agricultural resources within in the County.

Proposed General Plan Policies The proposed General Plan includes the following policies and implementation measures to reduce or minimize the effects of future development on agricultural resources. The effectiveness of the policies at reducing the effect of direct and indirect impacts that may result from the loss of land designated for agricultural uses is analyzed below. Implementation of the proposed General Plan policies related to agricultural resources would help reduce the effects of development, but would not reduce the significant impact associated with the conversion of agricultural land to non-agricultural uses.

Land Use Policy 16.1 Encourage retaining Retain agriculturally designated lands where agricultural activity can be sustained at an operational scale, where it accommodates lifestyle choice and in locations where impacts to and from potentially incompatible uses, such as residential uses are minimized, through incentives such as tax credits.

Land Use Policy 16.2 Protect agricultural uses, including those with industrial characteristics (diaries, poultry, hog farms, etc.) by discouraging inappropriate land division in the immediate proximity and allowing only uses and intensities that are compatible with agricultural uses.

Land Use Policy 16.4 Encourage conservation of productive agricultural lands. Preserve prime agricultural lands for high-value crop production.

Land Use Policy 16.5 Continue to participate in the California Land Conservation Act (The Williamson Act) of 1965.

Land Use Policy 16.6 Require consideration of State agricultural land classification specifications when a 2 ½-year five-year Foundation Component amendment to the General Plan is reviewed that would result in a shift from an agricultural to a non-agricultural use.

Land Use Policy 16.7 Adhere to Riverside County's Right-to-Farm Ordinance in accordance with the California Civil Code.

Land Use Policy 16.8 Support and participate in ongoing public education programs by organizations such as the County Agricultural Commissioner's Office, University of California Cooperative Extension, Farm Bureau, and industry organizations to help the public better understand the importance of the agricultural industry.

Land Use Policy 16.9 Weigh the economic benefits of surface mining with the preservation/conservation of agriculture when considering mineral excavation proposals on land classified for agricultural uses.

Land Use Policy 16.10 Allow agriculture-related uses activities, such as feed stores and permanent produce fruit stands, in all agriculturally designated areas and land use designations. with the approval of a discretionary permit. It is not the County's intent pursuant to this policy to subject agricultural-related uses to any discretionary permit requirements other than those in existence at the time of adoption of the General Plan. Where a discretionary permit or other discretionary approval is required under County zoning ordinances in effect as of December 2, 2002, then allow such retail uses with the approval of such a discretionary permit or other approval. The following criteria shall be considered in approving any discretionary permit or other discretionary approval required for these uses. Approval of these and similar uses in areas designated Agriculture will be subject to the following criteria:

a. Whether the use provides a needed service to the surrounding agricultural area that cannot be provided more efficiently within urban areas or requires location in a non-urban area because of unusual site requirements or operational characteristics;

b. Whether the use is sited on productive agricultural lands and less productive land is available in the vicinity;

c. Whether the operational or physical characteristics of the use will have a detrimental impact on water resources or the use or management of surrounding properties within at least ¼ mile radius; and

d. Whether a probable workforce is located nearby or is readily available.

Allow for proposed agriculturally-related processing uses whether or not in conjunction with a farming operation, such as commercial canning, packing, drying, and freezing operations, in all areas and land use designations. Where a discretionary permit or other discretionary approval is required under the County zoning ordinances in effect as of December 2, 2002, then allow such processing uses with the approval of such a discretionary permit or other approval. The following criteria shall be considered in approving any discretionary permit required for these uses:

a. Whether the uses are clustered in centers instead of single uses;

b. Whether the centers are located a sufficient distance from existing or approved agricultural or rural residential commercial centers or designated commercial areas of any city or unincorporated community;

c. Whether sites are located on a major road serving the surrounding area;

d. Whether the road frontage proposed for the uses and the number of separate uses proposed is appropriate; and

e. For proposed value-added uses such as canneries and wineries with on-premises retail uses, the evaluation under the criteria above shall consider the service requirements of the uses and the capability and capacity of cities and unincorporated communities to provide the required services.

a. The use shall provide a needed service to the surrounding agricultural area that cannot be provided more efficiently within urban areas or requires location in a non-urban area because of unusual site requirements or operational characteristics;

b. The use should not be sited on productive agricultural lands if less productive land is available in the vicinity;

c. The operational or physical characteristics of the use shall not have a detrimental impact on water resources or the use or management of surrounding properties within at least ¼ mile radius;

d. A probable workforce should be located nearby or be readily available;

e. For proposed agricultural commercial uses the following additional criteria shall apply:

1. Commercial uses should be clustered in centers instead of single uses.

2. To minimize their proliferation, commercial centers should be located a minimum of 4 miles from any existing or approved agricultural or rural residential commercial center or designated commercial area of any city or unincorporated community.

3. New commercial uses should be located within or adjacent to existing centers.

4. Sites should be located on a major road serving the surrounding area.

5. Commercial centers should not encompass more than ¼ mile of road frontage, or c mile if both sides of the road are involved, and should not provide potential for developments exceeding 10 separate business activities, exclusive of caretakers' residences;

6. For proposed value-added agricultural processing facilities such as canneries and wineries with on-premise retail uses, the evaluation under the criteria above shall consider the service requirements of the use and the capability and capacity of cities and unincorporated communities to provide the required services.

Land Use Policy 16.11 The County shall pursue the creation of new incentiveprograms, such as tax credits, that encourage the continued viability of agricultural activities.

Open Space Policy 7.1 Work with State and federal agencies to periodically update the Agricultural Resources map to reflect current conditions.

Open Space Policy 7.2 In cooperation with individual farmers, farming organizations, and farmland conservation organizations, the County shall employ a variety of agricultural land conservation programs to improve the viability of farms and ranches, and thereby ensure the long-term conservation of viable agricultural operations within Riverside County. The County shall seek out available funding for farmland conservation. Examples of programs which may be employed include land trusts; conservation easements (under certain circumstances, these may also provide Federal and estate tax benefits to farmers); dedication incentives; Land Conservation Contracts; Farmland Security Act contracts; the Agricultural Land Stewardship Program Fund; agricultural education programs; transfer and purchase of development rights; providing adequate incentives (e.g., clustering and density bonuses) to encourage conservation of productive agricultural land in the County's Incentive Program; and providing various resource incentives to landowners (e.g., establish a reliable and/or less costly supply of irrigation water). Consider the use of agricultural land conservation programs that improve the viability of farms and ranches, thereby ensuring long-term conservation of viable agricultural operations. Examples of programs to be considered include: land trusts; conservation easements; dedication incentives; Farmland Security Act contracts; the Agricultural Land Stewardship Program Fund; agricultural education programs; and transfer and purchase of development rights.

The County of Riverside shall establish a Farmland Protection and Stewardship Committee and the Board of Supervisors shall appoint its members. The Committee shall include members of the farming community as well as other individuals and organizations committed to farmland protections and stewardship. The Committee shall develop a strategy to preserve agricultural land within Riverside County and shall identify and prioritize agricultural lands for conservation. This strategy shall not only address the preservation of agricultural land but shall also promote sustainable agriculture within Riverside County. In developing its strategy, the Committee shall consider an array of proven techniques and, where necessary, adapt these techniques to address the unique conditions faced by the farming community within Riverside County. County staff shall assist the Committee in accomplishing its task. County Departments that may be called upon to assist the Committee include, but are not limited to the following: the Agricultural Commissioner, Planning Department, Assessor's Office, and County Counsel. In developing its strategy, the Committee shall consult government and private organizations with expertise in farmland protection. These organizations may include, but are not limited to, the following: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; State Department of Conservation and its Division of Land Resource Protection; University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program; the University of California Cooperative Extension; The Nature Conservancy; American Farmland Trust; The Conservation Fund; the Trust for Public Land; and the Land Trust Alliance.

The Committee shall, from time to time, recommend to the Board of Supervisors the adoption of policies and/or regulation that it finds will further the goals of the farmland protection and stewardship. The Committee shall also advise the Board of Supervisors regarding proposed policies that curb urban sprawl and the accompanying conversion of agricultural land to urban development, and that support and sustain continued agriculture. Planning policies that may benefit farmland conservation and fall within the purview of the Committee for review include measures to promote efficient development in and around existing communities including clustering, incentive programs, transfer of development rights, and other planning tools.

Open Space Policy 7.3 Encourage conservation of productive agricultural lands and preservation of prime agricultural lands. Preserve prime agricultural lands for high-value crop production.

Open Space Policy 7.4 Encourage landowners to participate in programs that reduce soil erosion, improve, improve soil quality, and address issues that relate to pest management. The County shall promote coordination between the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Resource Conservation Districts, UC Cooperative Extension, and other agencies and organizations.

Open Space Policy 7.5 Encourage the combination of agriculture with other compatible open space uses in order to provide an economic advantage to agriculture. Allow by right, in areas designated Agriculture, activities related to the production of food and fiber, and support uses incidental and secondary to the on-site agricultural operation.

Effectiveness of Proposed General Plan Policies Implementation of the proposed General Plan will result in the significant conversion of active agricultural land and agricultural soils to non-agricultural uses. The proposed General Plan includes policies that will encourage the conservation of productive agricultural land; require consideration of State agricultural designation when amending General Plan Foundation Components; and support and participate in agriculture education programs. However, these policies do not set specific requirements that will limit the conversion of agricultural lands to non-agricultural uses. Therefore, the following mitigation has been identified to reduce (though not to a less than significant level) potential impacts associated with this issue.

Mitigation Measures

4.2.2A The County shall establish an Agricultural Land Mitigation Bank. The formation, authority, and operation shall be established by the County of Riverside and shall adhere to applicable statutes of the State of California and Riverside County. The Agriculture Land Mitigation Bank shall be established no later than two three years from the date of adoption of the 2002 Riverside County General Plan.

4.2.2B Subsequent to the establishment of an Agricultural Land Mitigation Bank, any development within any unincorporated area of the County resulting in the conversion of more than 80 acres (the approximate size of an average farm in Riverside County) of Prime, Unique, or Statewide Important farmland (designated farmland), as designated by the most recent version of the Important Farmland Map as prepared by the California Department of Conservation, Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program, shall purchase credits in the Agricultural Land Mitigation Bank at the rate of 1 acre (credit) for every four acres (or portion thereof) of designated farmland converted to non-agricultural uses. The 80-acre threshold shall be met by any combination of designated farmland. Prime, Unique, or State Important. All designated farmland within a project site shall be included in the threshold computation, regardless of the size, or location within the project site, or current status (fallow or farmed).

4.2.2C Subsequent to the establishment of an Agricultural Land Mitigation Bank, any development within unincorporated Riverside County resulting in the conversion of more than 40 acres of land actively utilized for agricultural production (active farmland), shall purchase credits in the Agricultural Land Mitigation Bank at

the rate of one acre (credit) for every acre (or portion thereof) of active farmland converted to non-agricultural uses. To be considered "active farmland," land must have been utilized for agricultural production for two of the previous five years (prior to application). The 40-acre threshold shall be met only by the footprint of land on which crops are grown or livestock raised regardless of whether the land is State designated or not; and shall not include roadways, residential or production areas, equipment storage areas, or other non-production areas.

Revised General Plan Finding The primary revision to the proposed General Plan (as reflected by revisions to the Draft EIR) is the reduction in the amount of agricultural land within unincorporated Riverside County. Revisions to the General Plan policies include provisions for the continued use and operation of agriculturally-related ancillary uses; the employ of a variety of agricultural land conservation programs; and the establishment of a Farmland Protection and Stewardship Program. The intent of the new policies is to identify and implement programs that will limit the conversion of agricultural land to non-agricultural uses. The mitigation measures authorizing theestablishment and operation of an Agricultural Land Mitigation Bank have been excised from the Draft EIR.

The revised policies "support" and "encourage" the conservation of agricultural land and the continuation of agriculture-related uses. While a cooperative effort between agricultural interests and the County is referenced, the revised policies do not identify the amount, extent, or location of agricultural land to be conserved. It is impossible to determine if the establishment of a Farmland Protection and Stewardship Committee and the development and/or implementation of its agricultural land conservation strategy will effectively reduce potentially significant impacts associated with the conversion of agricultural land to non-agricultural uses. The Draft EIR established that impacts to agricultural land resulting from implementation of the General Plan would be significant and unavoidable. Revisions to the proposed General Plan policies (as reflected by revisions to the Draft EIR) and the elimination of Mitigation Measures 4.4.4A-C, will not substantially alter this conclusion.

4.2.4 Land Use/Agricultural Resources Level of Significance after Mitigation

Implementation of the policies in the proposed General Plan would reduce land use impacts to a less than significant level. There is no reasonable or feasible mitigation to reduce impacts the significant impacts resulting from the loss of agricultural land to a less than significant level. While the implementation of proposed General Plan policies and mitigation measures would encourage the conservation of agricultural land reduce the conversion of agricultural lands to urban uses, the potential conversion loss of State-designated farmland and/or actively utilized agricultural land to non-agricultural uses Prime, Unique, or Statewide Important farmland remains a significant and unavoidable impact.

4.3 Population and Housing

An accurate assessment of existing and future residents' housing needs in the County of Riverside is included in Section 6.0 of the Riverside County Integrated Plan Existing Setting Report, and the County of Riverside Housing Element Update, (incorporated by reference). The Riverside County Board of Supervisors adopted the Housing Element as an amendment to the existing General Plan on December 4, 2001. As required, the Housing Element will be amended to achieve internal consistency with the proposed General Plan.

4.3.1 Population and Housing Existing Setting

Riverside County, California, encompasses approximately 7,295 7,296 square miles (4,668,800 4,669,173 acres). While approximately 10 percent of the land area of the County lies within 24 incorporated cities, the majority (6,564 6,565 square miles or 4,201,120 4,201,323 acres) of the land within the County is unincorporated. Only privately held lands within unincorporated areas are under the jurisdiction of Riverside County. Lands controlled by the State or federal government or by the various Indian Nations are under the jurisdiction of government, military or tribal authorities.

Population

The year 2000 population of the unincorporated areas of Riverside County totaled 429,029 persons. As illustrated in Table 4.3.A, during the period between the 1990 and 2000 Censuses, the population of the unincorporated areas of the County increased by 11.3 percent. This increase is approximately one-third the rate of the entire County.

Table 4.3.A - Population Growth Trends 1990-2000
Region19902000Change
   NumberPercent
Unincorporated Riverside County385,386429,029+43,643+11.3
Riverside County11,170,4131,545,387+374,974+32.0
Note: 1 Includes both unincorporated Riverside County and the Cities within the County.
Source: County of Riverside Housing Element Update, The Planning Center, June 15, 2001.


Housing and Employment

Table 4.3.B displays the estimated population, households, and employment for unincorporated areas of Riverside County (1997). As detailed, western Riverside County holds approximately 82 percent of the unincorporated area's population and households, and 88 percent of the employment. The most populated unincorporated area of the County is the Jurupa Area Plan, with approximately 22 percent of the population and 30 percent of the employment. Within Eastern Riverside County, the Western

Coachella Valley Area Plan maintains the highest percentage of population, households, and employment.

Table 4.3.B
Population, Households and Employment within Unincorporated Riverside County, 1997
Planning Areas1Population%Households%Employment%
Western Riverside County
Eastvale2,5580.77510.67651.4
Greater Elsinore34,2299.011,4518.94,6368.2
Highgrove/Northside7,3781.92,4261.91,6262.9
Highway 74/7912,5483.34,8413.81,3812.4
Jurupa81,83621.524,57819.216,92330.0
Lakeview/Nuevo9,0012.42,8852.31,3252.3
March Air Force Base3,5170.91,1860.99601.7
Mead Valley17,2434.55,0904.01,0021.8
Reche Canyon/ Badlands1,7650.55960.52040.4
REMAP1,3390.44830.42020.4
San Gorgonio Pass11,7363.14,5133.51,8823.3
Southwest Area (SWAP)15,2534.05,1774.02,6794.8
Sun City/Menifee Valley31,4438.213,81710.85,66310.0
Temescal Canyon24,9776.57,5335.93,7896.3
San Jacinto Valley35,3939.313,31810.43,0345.4
Woodcrest/Lake Mathews22,4455.96,7255.23,5646.3
Western Coachella Valley39,74710.413,78310.84,3187.7
Subtotal312,66082.0105,37382.249,63588.0
Eastern Riverside County
Coachella - Eastern11,7253.14,0663.21,2732.3
Coachella - Western39,74710.413,78310.84,3187.7
Desert Center7,8662.11,2611.03750.7
Palo Verde Valley9,5032.53,6352.87961.4
Subtotal68,84118.022,74417.86,76312.0
TOTAL381,501100.0128,117100.056,398100.0
Note: 1 While they may share similar names and may occupy a similar geographic locale, the "Planning Areas" designated in this table should not be confused with the "Area Plans" as detailed in the proposed General Plan.
Source: County of Riverside Housing Element Update, Draft, The Planning Center, June 15, 2001.


Housing Needs

California's Housing Element law requires that each city and county develop local housing programs designed to meet its "fair share" of housing needs for all income groups. This "fair share" allocation seeks to ensure that each jurisdiction accepts responsibility for the housing needs of not only its current residents, but also for those households who might be reasonably expected to reside within the jurisdiction. A jurisdiction's "fair share" of regional housing need is the number of additional dwelling units that would be required to accommodate the anticipated growth in households, replace expected demolitions and conversion of housing units to non-housing uses, and achieve a future vacancy rate that allows for the healthy functioning of the housing market. The County's Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) indicates the need for the addition of 30,677 housing units (for the 1998-2005 planning period). The housing need is further divided by four income categories with 7,917, 4,968, 5,583 and 11,963 housing units assigned to the Very Low (up to 50 percent of county median income), Low (up 80 percent), Moderate (up to 120 percent), and Above Moderate (more than 120 percent) income categories, respectively.

The 30,677 additional residential units Housing Needs Assessment identified as necessary for the provision of adequate housing will not be evenly distributed throughout the County. Approximately 24,542 (or 80 percent of the 30,677 required units) will be developed within the Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG) region. The remaining 6,135 residential units will be developed within the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG) region. The physical, natural and human environments of the eastern and western portions of the County vary drastically. Similarly, potential environmental impacts which may occur as a result of development of new residential units would vary depending on where in the County such units are developed.

Existing Policies and Regulations

California Government Code (Section 65580-65589.8) requires the preparation of a Housing Element as part of each jurisdictions General Plan. While General Plan Housing Elements were mandated by state legislation enacted in 1967, the State undertook a major revision of Housing Element law in response to rapidly increasing housing prices. As a result, each city and county must analyze local housing needs, and provide a realistic set of programs to meet those needs.

The residential character of the County is, to a large extent, determined by the variety of its housing and the locations and maintenance of the housing. The Housing Element is an official response to the need to provide housing for all economic segments of the population. It establishes policies that will guide County decision-making, and sets forth an action plan to implement housing goals through 2005. Section 65588 of the California Government Code requires that housing elements be updated not less frequently than every five years. Each revision must describe the progress made on achieving the goals and objectives of the previous housing element.

As previously stated, the existing Riverside County Housing Element was adopted as an amendment to the existing General Plan on December 4, 2001. As required, the Housing Element will be amended to achieve internal consistency with the proposed General Plan.

4.3.2 Population and Housing Thresholds of Significance

Potential impacts related to housing and population shall be considered significant if implementation of the proposed General Plan results in any of the following conditions:

• Existing population and housing projections are substantially exceeded;

• The displacement of substantial numbers or residential units, requiring the construction of replacement housing elsewhere; and/or

• The displacement of a substantial number of persons, necessitating the construction of replacement housing.

• Exacerbate (make worse) the jobs to housing balance in Riverside County.

4.3.3 Population and Housing Impacts and Mitigation

Less than Significant Impacts

The following potential impacts related to housing and population were found to be less than significant.

Displacement of Residential Units and or Persons Upon build out of the proposed General Plan, approximately 557,849 591,2091 residential units and 490 458 million square feet of commercial/industrial space will exist within unincorporated areas of Riverside County. Development of vacant land would not displace residential units or persons; therefore, no impact would occur. A significant impact would occur only where residential uses and residents were displaced by development or redevelopment. Without the exact location of new development, it is not possible to determine whether it will displace residential units or persons. Prior to any such displacement, and as required by State and federal law, a relocation analysis must be prepared and adequate and appropriate compensations provided. Adherence to applicable County, State and/or federal regulations related to the provision of replacement housing will reduce potential impacts associated with this issue to a less than significant level.

Growth in Population Exceeding Regional Projections Projections for population, employment, and residential dwellings were identified to reflect the theoretical build out of unincorporated Riverside County, utilizing land use designations and assumptions detailed in the proposed General Plan. Based on past growth rates in Riverside County, population increases are anticipated to continue to average approximately 3.38 percent annually. Assuming a SCAG-projected population of 985,945 persons in 2025, the build out population of unincorporated Riverside County would be reached in 2040. Approximately 79 69 percent of this population is projected for unincorporated western Riverside County with the remaining 21 31 percent projected for unincorporated eastern Riverside County. A comparison of these forecasts compared to that forecast by SCAG is provided in Table 4.3.C.

Table 4.3.C - Unincorporated Riverside County Projections
Forecast CategorySCAG (2025)Proposed General Plan Build Out (2040)1Number DifferencePercentage Difference
Population985,9451,671,848
1,771,299
+685,903
+785,354
+70
+80
Dwelling Units334,472557,286
591,209
+223,377
+256,737
144
Jobs215,919750,812
685,375
+534,893
+469,456
465
Note: 1 Includes March Inland Port
Source: Southern California Association of Governments, May 2001. The Planning Center Land Use Summary Tables, September 24, 2003.


New employees from commercial and industrial development and new population from residential development represent direct forms of growth. These direct forms of growth have a secondary effect of expanding the size of local markets and inducing additional economic activity in the area. Examples of development that would indirectly facilitate growth include the installation of new roadways or the construction or expansion of water delivery/treatment facilities. Potential growth inducing impacts resulting from the extension of circulation facilities and expansion of utility infrastructure are addressed in Sections 4.16 (Transportation and Circulation) and 4.15 (Public Services), respectively.

The projected population is based on the land use categories and density assumptions included in the proposed General Plan. Because the build out year (2040) is based on projected annual SCAG population increases, annual and build out population increases associated with proposed General Plan would be consistent with SCAG projections. Therefore, no impact associated with this issue would occur.

Inadequate Provision of Housing As stated in the County's Housing Element Update, an additional 30,677 housing units are required during the 1998-2005 planning period within unincorporated areas of the County. The Regional Housing Needs Assessment divides this housing need among four income categories. As detailed in Section 4.2, the amount of land within the unincorporated areas where residential development would be permitted is decreased by 214,182 acres from that where such uses are currently permitted. The additional residential units identified in the Housing Needs Assessment will not be evenly distributed throughout the County. Approximately 24,542 (or 80 percent of the 30,677 required units) will be developed within the WRCOG region. The remaining 6,135 residential units will be developed within the CVAG region. The development of residential uses will only occur in areas and at intensities permitted by the proposed General Plan.

The existing Housing Element was adopted as an amendment to the County General Plan on December 4, 2001. The Housing Element contains policies designed to meet the housing needs of the County. State law requires that each jurisdiction evaluate its housing element every five years to determine its effectiveness in achieving County and State goals and objectives, and to adopt an Updated Housing Element that reflects the results of this evaluation. The Housing Element contains a detailed program to assure the adequate provision of housing opportunities for all economic segment of the County. The California Government Code requires that General Plans contain an integrated, consistent set of goals and policies. Therefore, the Housing Element is affected by development policies contained in the Land Use Element, which establishes the location, type, intensity, and distribution of land uses within the County. Implementation of the policies presented in the proposed General Plan will achieve the housing goals outlined in the Housing Element. Subsequent amendments to the General Plan will be reviewed to ensure consistency is maintained between the proposed General Plan and the Housing Element. Future Housing Elements and implementation of its policies will ensure that adequate housing opportunities are provided to County residents. Maintenance of such consistency, implementation of the proposed General Plan and Housing Element policies, and adherence to applicable County, State and Federal regulations will reduce potential impacts associated with the provision of adequate housing opportunities to a less than significant level.

Exacerbate (Make Worse) the Jobs to Housing Balance Dwelling units at build out for unincorporated Riverside County are projected at 557,849 591,2091 . Similar to population, about 79 69 percent of these dwelling units are forecast to occur in the unincorporated western Riverside County with the remaining 21 31 percent in unincorporated eastern Riverside County. Household projections represent occupied housing units and do not account for vacant units or second homes that are not occupied full-time.

As for employment projections, the SCAG projections and the proposed General Plan projections at build out reveal different trends. The employment projection of 750,812 685,375 for unincorporated Riverside County exceeds SCAG projections by about 2.5 3 times. Putting aside the difference in timing, this is also a reflection of the policy of SCAG to concentrate employment in existing municipal centers. The proposed General Plan employment projection accounts for about 72 69 percent of total unincorporated Riverside County employment at build out with the remaining 28 31 percent in eastern Riverside County.

Table 4.3.D compares proposed General Plan build out for unincorporated areas and SCAG 2025 jobs-to-housing ratios.

Table 4.3.D - Jobs-to-Housing Ratios
 Riverside County Proposed General Plan Build Out (2040)SCAG (2025)
Riverside County1.35 1.160.65
Western Riverside County1.21 1.130.76
Eastern Riverside County1.47 1.230.28
SCAG Region (theoretical balance)1.34
Source: SCAG Population and Housing and Employment Projections, May 2001.


1 Includes March Inland Port

The jobs-to-housing ratio measures the extent to which job opportunities in a given geographic area are sufficient to meet the employment of area residents. This ratio identifies the number of jobs available in a given region compared to the number of housing units in the same region, and determines potential imbalances between housing and employment opportunities. In theory, if households have job opportunities closer to where they live, this can potentially reduce overall commuting. In keeping with the generally higher forecast for the number of jobs in the area discussed previously, the jobs-to-housing ratios are higher for the proposed General Plan build out than for SCAG. However, the projected unincorporated jobs-to-housing ratio for the proposed General Plan is similar closer to the SCAG regional ratio.

Currently, Riverside County is rich in housing and poor in jobs. This means that residents of Riverside County are traveling to surrounding counties to work. This is evident in western Riverside County with a large number of commuters on the SR-91 traveling west (Orange County) to work everyday. The "commute" has led to increased congestion on the freeways and city arterials (Corona), which in turn equates to longer commute times, increased air quality impacts, and a lower quality of life. The proposed General Plan, as discussed above, would provide for an increase in employment opportunities closer to where people are and will be living; therefore, the proposed General Plan has a beneficial impact on the jobs/housing balance for the SCAG region.

Potentially Significant Impacts No potentially significant housing/population impacts resulting from implementation of the proposed General Plan were identified.

Revised General Plan Finding Revisions to the proposed General Plan since the preparation of the Draft EIR have not substantially altered the applicability of the analysis above that pertains to population and housing. While changes to land use designations have altered the total population, dwelling units, and jobs predicted at General Plan build out, these changes overall reflect a more favorable jobs-to-housing ratio. The jobs-to-housing ratio was 1.35 and, with the proposed plan, it is 1.16, which is closer to SCAG's projected balance of 0.65. Therefore, the conclusion that no significant housing or population impacts would occur is accurate for the revised proposed General Plan.

4.3.4 Population and Housing Level of Significance After Mitigation

All impacts associated with housing and population remain less than significant.

4.4 Aesthetics/Visual Resources

4.4.1 Aesthetics/Visual Resources Existing Setting

Riverside County comprises over 7,200 square miles extending roughly 200 miles in width from the Colorado River (Arizona border) to within 14 miles of the Pacific Ocean. Riverside County shares borders with Orange, San Diego, Imperial, and San Bernardino Counties. Within Riverside County, there are 24 incorporated cities with individual identities set among a mixture of rural communities, small towns, deserts, and open space areas. The various communities within the unincorporated areas are defined by the built environment and the surrounding topography, which includes river valleys, lakes, low deserts, mountains, foothills, and rolling plains.

Riverside County is divided into eastern and western regions by the San Jacinto Mountains. A deep valley known as the San Gorgonio Pass, formed by the San Jacinto and San Gorgonio Mountains, serves as a natural link between these two vast areas. The San Bernardino, Little San Bernardino, and Pinto Mountains form a portion of the County's northern boundary while numerous mountain ranges, including those in the Santa Rosa Wilderness and Cleveland National Forest, serve as boundaries along the southern and western edges of the County.

Western Riverside County

Western Riverside County is bounded by the Santa Ana Mountains and Cleveland National Forest on the west and the San Jacinto Mountains and the San Bernardino National Forest on the east. Topography varies dramatically in this region, ranging from low-lying valleys to rolling hillsides and steep mountainous terrain with large rock outcroppings. Major features of this area include the Santa Ana River basin, Lake Mathews, Lake Perris, Lake Elsinore, Lake Skinner, Vail Lake, the San Jacinto River, Murrieta Creek, the Santa Margarita River, and the vineyard/citrus region near Temecula. The Diamond Valley Reservoir south of Hemet is the largest reservoir in Southern California. Western Riverside County includes numerous unincorporated communities as well as the Cities of Corona, Riverside, Beaumont, Banning, Norco, Lake Elsinore, Perris, Hemet, San Jacinto, Moreno Valley, Calimesa, Canyon Lake, Murrieta, and Temecula.

Eastern Riverside County

Eastern Riverside County is bounded by the Colorado River on the east and the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains on the west. This area includes the Joshua Tree National Park, Whitewater River, and a portion of the Salton Sea. The most urbanized areas in this portion of the County are contained in the Coachella Valley. This area includes the incorporated cities of Desert Hot Springs, Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Indio, Coachella and Blythe. The area near Palm Springs is noted for its golf resorts nestled among the Santa Rosa Mountains and date palm groves. The vast mountainous terrain of Joshua Tree National Park and the desert topography of the Chuckwalla Valley lie between the Coachella Valley, Blythe, and the Colorado River.

Due to the size of the County, a comprehensive analysis of every visual asset and feature is not feasible. However, the visual character of Riverside County is depicted and described in a general manner to provide a basic understanding of the major physical features, landmarks, and characteristics of the County. In the Riverside County Integrated Plan Existing Setting Report, the visual character of the County is described on two levels: the County as a whole and by region or area. Fifteen Visual Analysis Areas were identified to facilitate a greater understanding of the unique aspects, features, and visual characteristics common in the various regions of the County. The boundaries of the regions are selected to capture areas of common physical characteristics and similar development patterns. Table 4.4.A provides a summary of the visual characteristics of each area.

Table 4.4.A - Summary of Visual Character
Visual Analysis AreaGeneral Visual Character
1: Jurupa Valley- EastvaleLarge-lot and low density single-family residential among rolling hills; some suburban residential tracts, increasing industrial uses in Mira Loma, concentrated commercial along Mission Boulevard and Limonite Avenue, commercial uses otherwise scattered; agricultural uses (e.g., dairies and grazing lands); the Santa Ana River flows along the southern boundary of the area.
2: Temescal ValleyFramed by the Santa Ana Mountains and the Gavilan Hills, predominantly rural land and suburban single-family residences set among open space; mountainous areas are filled with rock outcroppings, scattered oak trees and riparian areas.
3. Greater ElsinoreThe Santa Ana Mountains form the western boundary of this area in which oak and pine forests, scattered residential uses, and campgrounds are present; large lot residential amount steep peak and rolling hills east of I-15; lakeside resorts and campgrounds; semi-urbanized in the communities of Sedeco Hills and Wildomar; large scale Specific Plans (e.g., Horsethief Canyon); mineral extraction north of Lake Elsinore.
4. Southwest AreaFramed by the Santa Ana Mountains, Santa Margarita, Agua Tibia ranges, and the Black Hills; consists of a series of valleys separated by rolling hills; eastern slopes of the Santa Ana Mountains characterized by steep slopes and valleys, citrus and avocado orchards, and the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Preserve; large residential lots; rural communities east of Temecula; Vail Lake; equestrian uses on rolling hills, agricultural uses.
5. Lake MathewsRegion consists primarily of rolling hills, large-lot residential, citrus and vineyards uses; includes Lake Mathews, significant amounts of natural open space, natural rock outcroppings, and Mockingbird Canyon Archeological Site.
6. Highway 74-79Large-lot residential uses, agricultural and equestrian uses among low-lying flatlands and rocky peaks; includes Diamond Valley Lake, some scattered single-family residences on smaller lots/mobile homes; some commercial-industrial and community serving uses.
7. Menifee ValleyLocated within a valley ringed by ridges; rugged rock outcroppings; pockets of residential uses on edges of the valley; estate development throughout the mountains and hillside areas; some commercial and industrial development; golf courses and residential development; some agriculture use.
8. Perris ValleyFlatlands and adjacent foothills; rural residential and agricultural uses.
9. Lakeview and NuevoWide variety of geographical features, low-lying valleys, rolling hills, and rock mountainous terrain; primarily large-lot rural residential; some public facilities; the San Jacinto River runs through the northern portion of the area.
10. San Jacinto ValleyEncompasses San Jacinto Valley and adjacent foothills and mountains; urban development within cities, otherwise medium-density residential development, scattered commercial uses; agricultural uses; dairies; the San Jacinto River traverses the area in a northwest-southeast direction; riparian areas along the river; views of mountains, rock outcroppings, and sparse, low-lying vegetation.
11. Reche Canyon and Lake PerrisReche Canyon consists primarily of mountainous terrain with low-lying vegetation, rock outcroppings; and large-lot rural residential uses; rural, agricultural and suburbanizing uses in Highgrove; Badlands and San Timoteo Creek along eastern boundary.
12. San Gorgonio PassBordered by the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains; small town urban uses; San Gorgonio River; Morongo Band of Mission Indians Reservation lands, wind energy facilities, large-lot rural residential and agricultural uses; desert and hillside vegetation.
13. REMAPEncompasses the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa Mountains; mountain peaks, rock outcroppings; numerous springs and streams; vegetation ranging from desert scrub to alkaline forests; rural residential enclaves; scattered community and tourist related commercial uses; public recreation areas; wilderness areas; panoramic views of the Coachella Valley to the east and low-lying areas of western Riverside County to the west.
14. Coachella ValleyEast of the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa Mountains; golf-oriented and tourist resort communities; date groves and agricultural uses; desert oasis areas; cove-like communities at base of Santa Rosa Mountains; Whitewater River; Salton Sea State Recreation Area; desert and mountain vistas.
15. Eastern Riverside CountyVast expanses of desert scrub; Joshua Tree National Park; desert mountain ranges; desert wilderness areas; agricultural uses in the palo Verde Valley; Colorado River; residential and commercial in Blythe.


A more detailed examination of County aesthetic resources for each region or area is included in Section 4.8 of the Riverside County Integrated Plan Existing Setting Report (incorporated by reference), which includes a detailed photo essay.

Existing Policies and Regulations

Caltrans Scenic Highways Caltrans defines a State Scenic Highway as any freeway, highway, road, or other public right-of-way, that traverses an area of exceptional scenic quality. Suitability for designation as a State Scenic Highway is based on vividness, intactness, and unity (Caltrans Guidelines for Official Designation of Scenic Highways, 1995):

• Vividness is the extent to which the landscape is memorable. This is associated with the distinctiveness, diversity, and contrast of visual elements. A vivid landscape makes an immediate and lasting impression to the viewer.

• Intactness is the integrity of visual order in the landscape and the extent to which the natural landscape is free from visual intrusions (i.e., buildings, structures, equipment, grading).

• Unity is the extent to which development is sensitive to and in visual harmony with the natural landscape.

Ordinance Number 655 County of Riverside Regulating Light Pollution The intent of Riverside County Ordinance Number 655 is to restrict the permitted use of certain light fixtures emitting into the night sky undesirable light rays, which have a detrimental effect on astronomical observation and research.

4.4.2 Aesthetics/Visual Resources Thresholds of Significance

A determination that a change in visual character and aesthetics would occur as a result of the proposed General Plan is subjective. For the purpose of analysis, an impact on the visual and aesthetic nature of the project area is considered to be significant if the proposed General Plan would:

• Have a substantial adverse effect on a scenic vista;

• Substantially degrade the existing visual character or aesthetic quality of the site and its surroundings;

• Substantially increase the effect of light and glare upon existing residential uses, as well as the Mount Palomar Observatory;

• Result in substantial terrain modifications; and/or

• Conflict with policies regarding community design.

4.4.3 Aesthetics/Visual Resources Impacts and Mitigation

Potentially Significant Impacts

Affected Views to Scenic Vistas and Visual Resources

Impact 4.4.1. The proposed General Plan would increase the development of urban uses, causing a substantial loss in open space and aesthetic resources. This could significantly alter existing and future public views and view corridors, which include State and County designated Scenic Highways.

Analysis of Impact Build out of the proposed General Plan would result in a substantial increase in urban uses throughout the proposed General Plan area. The development of structures and facilities would occur on vacant properties within unincorporated areas of the County and would be consistent with the policies outlined in the proposed General Plan. Similarly, the replacement, expansion, or refurbishment of existing development would occur pursuant to the proposed General Plan policies. The proposed General Plan includes the new land use designation, "Community Center," which will include a combination of small-lot single- and multi-family residences, commercial retail, office and business park uses, civic uses, transit facilities, and recreational open space within a unified planned development. Development within the Community Center designation will permit the planned development of large areas, allowing the intensification of development beyond that which may currently exist.

Visual resources may include undisturbed natural areas (e.g., riparian areas, oak woodlands), open space, scenic vistas and designated scenic routes, points of historic or cultural significance, and agricultural areas (e.g., vineyards, citrus groves) and other human-made features. Based on its location, extent, density, and configuration, future development within unincorporated areas of the County may alter the characteristics of a local or regional significant visual resources. Individual projects under the proposed General Plan will be subject to design review, as appropriate to their nature and location.

The proposed General Plan includes policies that will: concentrate growth near or within existing urban and suburban areas; preserve the existing rural and open space character of the County; provide for the permanent preservation of important natural and scenic resources; incorporate open space within developed areas; ensure the compatibility of existing and new development; maintain or enhance the character of the project site and its immediate area; conserve view corridors, skylines, and scenic vistas; and impose restrictions on development activities that may adversely affect the existing visual characteristics of sites within the County. Furthermore, Appendix J of the proposed General Plan contains Community Center Guidelines, that address landscape, streetscape, building, layout, and other aspects of the community centers. Adherence to these guidelines would reduce or eliminate aesthetic impacts relating to community center development.

Proposed General Plan Policies

Land Use Policy 2.1 The County shall Accommodate land use development in accordance with the patterns and distribution of use and density depicted on the General Plan Land Use Map (included as Figure 3.2 of the EIR) and the Area Plan Land Use Maps, and concentrate growth near or within existing urban and suburban areas to maintain the rural and open space character of Riverside County. in accordance with the following:

Provide a land use mix at the Countywide and Area Plan levels based on projected need and supported by evaluation of impacts to the environment, economy, infrastructure, and services.

Accommodate a range of community types and character, from agricultural and rural enclaves to urban and suburban communities.

Provide for a broad range of land uses, intensities and densities, including a range of residential, commercial, business, industry, open space, recreation, and public facilities uses.

Concentrate growth near community centers that provide a mixture of commercial, employment, entertainment, recreation, civic, and cultural uses to the greatest extent possible.

Concentrate growth near or within existing urban and suburban areas to maintain the rural and open space character of Riverside County to the greatest extent possible.

Site development to capitalize upon multi-modal transportation opportunities and promote compatible land use arrangements that reduce reliance on the automobile.

Prevent inappropriate development in areas that are environmentally sensitive or subject to severe natural hazards.

Land Use Policy 4.1 Require that new developments be located and designed to visually enhance and not degrade the character of the surrounding area through consideration of the following concepts:

• Mitigate noise, odor, lighting and other impacts on surrounding properties.

• Preserve natural features, such as unique natural terrain, drainage ways, and native vegetation, wherever possible, particularly where they provide continuity with more extensive regional systems.

• Require that new development be designed to provide adequate space for pedestrian connectivity and access, recreational trails vehicular access and parking, supporting functions, open space, and other pertinent elements.

Land Use Policy 8.1 Provide for permanent preservation of open space lands that contain important natural resources, hazards, water features, watercourses and scenic and recreational values.

Land Use Policy 8.3 Incorporate open space, community greenbelt separators, and recreational amenities into Community Development areas to enhance recreational opportunities and community aesthetics, and improve the quality of life.

Land Use Policy 8.4 Allow development clustering and/or density transfers to preserve open space, natural resources, and/or biologically sensitive resources.

Land Use Policy 11.1 Apply the following policies to areas where development is allowed and that contain natural slopes, canyons, or other significant elevation changes, regardless of land use designation:

• Require that hillside development minimize alteration of the natural landforms and natural vegetation.

• Allow development clustering to retain slopes in natural open space whenever possible.

• Require that areas with slope be developed in a manner to minimize the hazards from erosion and slope failures.

• Restrict development on visually significant ridgelines, canyon edges, and hilltops through sensitive siting and appropriate landscaping to ensure development is visually unobtrusive.

Require hillside-adaptive construction techniques, such as post and beam construction, and special foundations for development when the need is identified in a soils and geology report which has been accepted by the County.

Encourage the limitation of grading and cut and fill to the amount necessary to provide stable areas for structural foundations, street rights-of-way, parking facilities, and other intended uses.

Land Use Policy 13.1 Preserve and protect outstanding scenic vistas and visual features for the enjoyment of the traveling public.

Land Use Policy 13.2 Incorporate riding, hiking and bicycle trails and other compatible public recreational facilities within scenic corridors.

Land Use Policy 13.3 Ensure that the design and appearance of new landscaping, structures, equipment, signs or grading within Designated and Eligible State and County Scenic Highways corridors are compatible with the surrounding scenic setting or environment.

Land Use Policy 13.4 Maintain at least a 50-foot setback from the edge of the right-of-way for new development adjacent to Designated and Eligible State and County Scenic Highways.

Land Use Policy 13.5 Require new or relocated electric or communication distribution lines, which would be visible from official Designated and Eligible State and County Scenic Highways, to be placed underground.

Land Use Policy 13.6 Prohibit off-site outdoor advertising displays that are visible from Designated and Eligible State and County Scenic Highways a scenic highway.

Land Use Policy 13.7 Require that the size, height and type of on-premise signs visible from Designated and Eligible State and County Scenic Highways scenic highways be the minimum necessary for identification. The design, materials, color and location of the signs shall blend with the environment, utilizing natural materials where possible.

Land Use Policy 13.8 Avoid the blocking of public views by solid walls.

Land Use Policy 16.1 Encourage retaining Retain agriculturally designated lands where agricultural activity can be sustained at an operational scale, where it accommodates lifestyle choice, and in locations where impacts to and from potentially incompatible uses, such as residential uses are minimized, through incentives such as tax credits.

Land Use Policy 16.3 Ensure that development does not adversely affect the open space and rural character of the surrounding area.

Land Use Policy 17.1 Require grading to be designed to blend with undeveloped natural contours of the site and avoid an unvaried unnatural, or manufactured appearance.

Land Use Policy 17.3 Ensure that development does not adversely affect the open space and rural character of the surrounding area.

Land Use Policy 17.6 Provide programs and incentives that allow rural areas to maintain and enhance their existing and desired character.

Land Use Policy 19.4 Require Encourage that structures be designed to maintain the environmental character in which they are located.

Land Use Policy 21.2 Protect lands designated as Open Space-Mineral resource from encroachment of incompatible land uses through buffer zones or visual screening.

Land Use Policy 22.10, 22.11, and 26.1 Require that residential units/projects, mixed-use development, and special needs housing be designed to consider their surroundings and to visually enhance and not degrade, the character of the immediate area.

Land Use Policy 26.3 Provide open space areas within Community Centers to provide visual relief from the urban environment, form linkages to other portions of the urban areas, and serve as buffers, where necessary.

Land Use Policy 26.10 Require that mixed-use developments be designed to mitigate potential conflicts between uses, considering such issues as noise lighting, security, trash, and truck, and automobile access.

Open Space Policy 21.1 Restore no-longer-productive County cut-and-fill waste disposal areas to blend in with their natural surroundings.

Open Space Policy 21.12 Identify and conserve the skylines, view corridors, and outstanding scenic vistas within the County.

Open Space Policy 22.1 Design developments within designated scenic highway corridors to balance the objectives of maintaining scenic resources with accommodating compatible land uses.

Open Space Policy 22.2 Study potential scenic highway corridors for possible inclusion in the Caltrans Scenic Highways Plan.

Open Space Policy 22.3 Encourage joint efforts among Federal, State, and County agencies, and citizen groups to ensure compatible development within scenic corridors.

Open Space Policy 22.4 Impose conditions on development within scenic highway corridors requiring dedication of scenic easements consistent with the Scenic Highways Plan, when it is necessary to preserve unique or special visual features.

Open Space Policy 22.5 Utilize contour grading and slope rounding to gradually transition graded road slopes into a natural configuration consistent with the topography of the areas within scenic highway corridors.

Effectiveness of Proposed General Plan Policies A main purpose of the proposed General Plan is to ensure future development does not occur in a manner that would adversely impact adjacent uses. As development occurs, it would be required to be consistent with the goals and policies of the proposed General Plan. The proposed General Plan policies listed above provide guidance and some mitigation to reduce impacts to aesthetic and scenic resources, particularly as concerns the terrain and location of new development. However, they do not provide development design standards which would ensure that aesthetic impacts relating to design would be less than significant. Therefore, the following mitigation measure has been added.

Mitigation Measures

4.4.1A Development projects shall be subject to the requirements of all relevant guidelines, including the community center guidelines (Appendix J of the proposed General Plan), Riverside County supervisorial district design and landscape guidelines, and all applicable standards, policies, guidelines, and/or regulations of the County of Riverside or other affected entities pertaining to scenic vistas/aesthetic resources. Factors considered in these guidelines include the scale, extent, height, bulk, or intensity of development; the location of development; the type, style, and intensity of adjacent land uses; the manner and method of construction, including materials, coatings, and landscaping; the interim and/or final use of the development; the type, location, and manner of illumination and signage; the nature and extent of terrain modification required; and the potential effects to the established visual characteristic of the project site and/or an identified scenic vista/aesthetic resource.

Revised General Plan Finding Revisions to the proposed General Plan since the preparation of the Draft EIR have not substantially altered the meaning and applicability of the policies that pertain to scenic vistas and visual resources. The policies and mitigation measure address impacts to scenic vistas and visual resources on a project-level basis, and would thus not be affected by changes in land use designations associated with the revised proposed General Plan. Therefore, the policies and mitigation will remain effective in reducing visual impacts to a less than significant level.

Light and Glare Impacts

Impact 4.4.2 Implementation of the proposed General Plan would increase the effects of light and glare upon existing residential uses, as well as the Mount Palomar Observatory. New light and glare would be created by the addition of residences and commercial establishments within the proposed General Plan. The most significant glare would be generated by commercial uses throughout the proposed General Plan area, especially in association with outdoor parking that may be lit at night and that would be visible from roadways. This is a potentially significant impact, but would be reduced to a less than significant level with implementation of mitigation measures.

Analysis of Impact Light and glare would be created by the proposed General Plan with the lighting of parking lots, commercial landscaped areas, interior building lighting, and/or the use of exterior building materials that could be reflective. The most significant impacts would occur from new development occurring adjacent to undeveloped land and commercial, industrial, and public facility uses adjacent to residential areas.

Generally, to ensure that nighttime skies will not be brightened, observatories need to be sited 30 to 40 miles from large lighted areas. The Palomar Observatory is located approximately 5.5 miles south of the Riverside-San Diego County boundary. Originally, the observatory was located in an area that was generally non-urbanized. The proposed General Plan would permit the development of urban uses and the accompanying installation of lighting. While not located within Riverside County, astronomical observations at the observatory would be affected by an increase in lighting sources that may occur as a result of build out of the proposed General Plan. Although additional light sources would not be individually significant, the cumulative increase could be a potentially significant impact.

Existing County of Riverside Requirements

County of Riverside Ordinance No. 655 The intent of this ordinance is to restrict the permitted use of certain light fixtures emitting into the night sky undesirable light rays which have a detrimental effect on astronomical observation and research. This ordinance is not intended to restrict the use of low pressure sodium lighting of single-family dwellings for security purposes. Ordinance No. 655 defines lighting sources, establishes the type and manner of installation and operation of lighting, and details lighting prohibitions.

The following mitigation measures are proposed to reduce the impact of light and glare to a level that is less than significant.

Mitigation Measures

4.4.2A Riverside County shall require that sources of lighting within the General Plan area be limited to the minimum standard required to ensure safe circulation and visibility.

4.4.2B Riverside County shall require street lighting to be limited to intersections and other locations that are needed to maintain safe access (e.g., sharp curves).

4.4.2C Riverside County shall require exterior lighting for buildings to be of a low profile and intensity.

4.4.2D The County shall establish a liaison with California Institute of Technology to ensure "dark skies" preservation procedures are incorporated, as necessary, in future County ordinances.

4.4.2E The County shall participate in Palomar Observatory's "dark sky" conservation area.

Revised General Plan Finding Revisions to the proposed General Plan since the preparation of the Draft EIR have not added any policies that pertain to light and glare, nor has any modification been made to County Ordinance No. 655. The mitigation measures address impacts to light and glare on a project-level basis, and would thus not be affected by changes in land use designations associated with the revised proposed General Plan. Therefore, the mitigation will remain effective in reducing these impacts to a less than significant level.

Open Space Conversion Impacts

Impact 4.4.3 Implementation of the proposed General Plan would result in conversion of open space areas to urban land use.

Analysis of Impact As discussed in Impact 4.4.1, build out of the proposed General Plan would result in a substantial increase in urban uses throughout the proposed General Plan area. The development of structures and facilities would occur on vacant properties within unincorporated areas of the County and would be consistent with the policies outlined in the proposed General Plan. The conversion of open space to urban uses would result in a significant unavoidable impact by causing the obstruction of existing open views as well potentially obstructing distant panoramic views from existing development; therefore, implementation of the proposed General Plan will contribute significantly to the loss of visual character of the County. While the proposed General Plan policies and mitigation measures outlined in Impact 4.4.1 address the aesthetic impact of the new development, no mitigation is available to address the conversion of open space to urban land uses. This impact is significant and unavoidable.

Mitigation Measures No feasible mitigation measures exist to address the conversion of open space to urban land.

Revised General Plan Finding Revisions to the proposed General Plan since the preparation of the Draft EIR have not added any policies that pertain to open space conversions. Although the changes in land use designations associated with the revised proposed General Plan may alter the location of development, the net effect of the conversion of open space to urban land remains the same. Therefore, this impact remains significant and unavoidable.

4.4.4 Aesthetics/Visual Resources Level of Significance After Mitigation

Implementation of the proposed General Plan policies, existing County ordinances, and the mitigation identified above, will reduce potential aesthetic resource and light/glare impacts to a less than significant level. Impacts resulting from the conversion of open space to urban land uses would remain significant and unavoidable.

4.5 Air Quality

4.5.1 Air Quality Existing Setting

Although air quality in Southern California continues to improve, Southern California still experiences the worst air quality in the nation, requiring continued diligence to meet air quality standards. Continuing the progress toward clean air is a challenging task, not only to recognize and understand complex interactions between emissions and resulting air quality, but also to pursue the best possible set of strategies to improve air quality while maintaining a healthy economy.

Air Basins and Air Quality Management Districts

The project site is located in Riverside County, which is located in three distinct air basins: South Coast Air Basin, Mojave Desert Air Basin, and Salton Sea Air Basin (Figure 4.5.1).

Western Riverside County (west of San Gorgonio Pass) is located within the South Coast Air Basin (SCAB), which includes all of Orange County and the non-desert portions of Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. Air quality conditions in the SCAB are under the jurisdiction of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD).

The far eastern end of Riverside County (approximately east of Joshua Tree National Park) belongs to the Mojave Desert Air Basin (MDAB), which also includes the portions of Los Angeles, Kern, and San Bernardino Counties that were previously within the Southeast Desert Air Basin (SEDAB). Air quality conditions in the Riverside County MDAB are partly (i.e., the western portion of the Riverside County MDAB in the Coachella Valley Planning Area) under the jurisdiction of the SCAQMD and partly (i.e., the eastern portion of the Riverside County MDAB in the Southeast Desert Nonattainment Area) under the jurisdiction of the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD).

The middle part of the Riverside County (between San Gorgonio Pass and Joshua Tree National Monument), included as part of Coachella Valley Planning Area, belongs to the Salton Sea Air Basin (SSAB), which also includes Imperial County. Air quality conditions in this portion of the Riverside County, although in SSAB, are also administered by the SCAQMD.

Each of these regional air quality agencies regulates stationary sources of pollution throughout its jurisdiction area. Direct emissions from motor vehicles are regulated throughout the state by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).




Climate/Meteorology

Air quality is not only affected by various emission sources (mobile, industry, etc.) but is also affected by atmospheric conditions such as wind speed, wind direction, temperature, rainfall, etc. The following describes the climate and meteorology in the Riverside County portion of each of the three air basins.

South Coast Air Basin The combination of topography, low mean mixing height, abundant sunshine, and emissions from the second largest urban area in the United States gives the SCAB the worst air pollution problem in the nation.

Climate in the SCAB is determined by its terrain and geographical location. The Basin consists of a coastal plain with connecting broad valleys and low hills. The Pacific Ocean forms the southwestern border, and high mountains surround the rest of the SCAB. The SCAB lies in the semi-permanent high pressure zone of the eastern Pacific. The resulting climate is mild, and is tempered by cool ocean breezes. This climatological pattern is rarely interrupted. However, periods of extremely hot weather, winter storms, or Santa Ana wind conditions can occur.

Annual average temperature varies little throughout the SCAB, ranging from the low-to-middle 60s, measured in degrees Fahrenheit. With a more pronounced oceanic influence, coastal areas show less variability in annual minimum and maximum temperatures than inland areas. The majority of annual rainfall in the SCAB occurs between October and March. Summer rainfall is minimal and generally limited to scattered thundershowers in coastal regions and slightly heavier showers in the eastern portion of the SCAB and along the coastal side of the mountains.

Although the SCAB has a semi-arid climate, air near the surface is generally moist because of the presence of a shallow marine layer. With very low average wind speeds, there is a limited capacity to disperse air contaminants horizontally. The dominant daily wind pattern is an onshore 8 to 12 mph daytime breeze and an offshore 3 to 5 mph nighttime breeze. The typical wind flow pattern fluctuates only with occasional winter storms or strong northeasterly Santa Ana winds from the mountains and deserts northeast of the SCAB. Summer wind flow patterns represent worst-case conditions, as this is the period of higher temperatures and more sunlight, which results in ozone formation.

During spring and early summer, pollution produced during any one day is typically blown out of the SCAB through mountain passes or lifted by warm, vertical currents adjacent to mountain slopes. Air contaminants can be transported 60 miles or more from the SCAB by ocean air during the afternoons. From early fall to winter, the transport is less pronounced because of slower average wind speed and the appearance of drainage winds earlier in the day. During stagnant wind conditions, offshore drainage winds may begin by late afternoon. Pollutants remaining in the SCAB are trapped and begin to accumulate during the night and the following morning. A low morning wind speed in pollutant source areas is an important indicator of air stagnation and the buildup potential for primary air contaminants.

Temperature normally decreases with altitude, and a reversal of this atmospheric state, where temperature increases with altitude, is called an inversion. The height from the earth to the inversion base is known as the mixing height. With persistent low inversions and cool coastal air, morning fog and low stratus clouds are common. Cloudy days are less likely in the eastern portions of the SCAB and about 25 percent more likely along the coast. The vertical dispersion of air pollutants in the SCAB is limited by temperature inversions in the atmosphere close to the earth's surface.

Inversions are generally lower in the nighttime, when the ground is cool, than during daylight hours when the sun warms the ground and, in turn, the surface air layer. As this heating process continues, the temperature of the surface air layer approaches the temperature of the inversion base, causing heating along its lower edge. If enough warming takes place, the inversion layer becomes weak and opens up to allow the surface air layers to mix upward. This can be seen in the middle to late afternoon on a hot summer day when the smog appears to clear suddenly. Winter inversions typically break earlier in the day, preventing excessive contaminant build-up.

The combination of stagnant wind conditions and low inversions produces the greatest pollutant concentrations. On days of no inversion or high wind speeds, ambient air pollutant concentrations are lowest. During periods of low inversions and low wind speeds, air pollutants generated in urbanized areas are transported predominantly onshore into Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. In the winter, the greatest pollution problems are carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen because of extremely low inversions and air stagnation during the night and early morning hours. In the summer, the longer daylight hours and the brighter sunshine combine to cause a reaction between hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen to form photochemical smog.

Mojave Desert Air Basin The MDAB is an assemblage of mountain ranges interspersed with long broad valleys that often contain dry lakes. Many of the lower mountains that dot the vast terrain rise from 1,000 to 4,000 feet above the valley floor. Prevailing winds in the MDAB are out of the west and southwest. These prevailing winds are due to the proximity of the MDAB to coastal and central regions and the blocking effect of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the north. Air masses pushed onshore in Southern California by differential heating are channeled through the MDAB. The MDAB is separated from the Southern California coastal and central California Valley regions by mountains (highest elevation approximately 10,000 feet), whose passes form the main channels for these air masses. The Mojave Desert is bordered in the southwest by the San Bernardino Mountains, separated from the San Gabriel Mountains by the Cajon Pass (4,200 feet). A lesser channel lies between the San Bernardino Mountains and the Little San Bernardino Mountains, the Morongo Valley. The Palo Verde Valley portion of the Mojave Desert lies in the low desert, at the eastern end of a series of valleys (notably the Coachella Valley) whose primary channel is the San Gorgonio Pass (2,300 feet) between the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains.

During the summer, the MDAB is generally influenced by a Pacific Subtropical High cell that sits off the coast, inhibiting cloud formation and encouraging daytime solar heating. The MDAB is rarely influenced by cold air masses moving south from Canada and Alaska, as these frontal systems are weak and diffuse by the time they reach the desert. Most desert moisture arrives from infrequent warm, moist and unstable air masses from the south. The MDAB averages between three and seven inches of precipitation per year (from 16 to 30 days with at least 0.01 inch of precipitation). The MDAB is classified as a dry-hot desert climate (Bwh), with portions classified as dry-very hot desert (Bwhh), to indicate at least three months have maximum average temperatures over 100.4EF.

Salton Sea Air Basin The SSAB portion of the Riverside County is separated from the SCAB region by the San Jacinto Mountains and from the MDAB region by the Little San Bernardino Mountains.

Similar to the MDAB region, during the summer the SSAB is generally influenced by a Pacific Subtropical High cell that sits off the coast, inhibiting cloud formation and encouraging daytime solar heating. The SSAB is rarely influenced by cold air masses moving south from Canada and Alaska, as these frontal systems are weak and diffuse by the time they reach the desert. Most desert moisture arrives from infrequent warm, moist and unstable air masses from the south. The SSAB averages between three and seven inches of precipitation per year.

Criteria Air Pollutants and Attainment Status

The following describes the six criteria air pollutants and the attainment status of each of the three air basins.

Ozone Ozone (O3), or smog, is formed by photochemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen and reactive organic gases rather than being directly emitted. O3 is a pungent, colorless gas typical of Southern California smog. Elevated O3 concentrations result in reduced lung function, particularly during vigorous physical activity. This health problem is particularly acute in sensitive receptors such as the sick, elderly, and young children. O3 levels peak during the summer and early fall.

The SCAB is designated as a nonattainment area for both federal and State O3 standards, meaning that air quality standards are being exceeded. The EPA has classified the SCAB as an "extreme" nonattainment area, and has mandated that the SCAB achieve attainment by 2010.

The MDAB and SSAB are designated as nonattainment areas for both federal and State O3 standards.

Carbon Monoxide Carbon monoxide (CO) is formed by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, and is almost entirely from automobile exhaust. It is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause dizziness, fatigue, and impairments to central nervous system functions.

The SCAB is designated as a nonattainment area for federal CO standards and attainment for the State CO standards. Riverside County has not exceeded either the federal or State CO standards in the past five years.

The MDAB and SSAB are designated as attainment areas for both federal and State CO standards.

Nitrogen Dioxide Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a reddish brown gas, and nitric oxide (NO), a colorless, odorless gas, are formed from fuel combustion under high temperature or pressure. These compounds are referred to jointly as nitrogen oxides, or NOx. NOx is a primary component of the photochemical smog reaction. They also contribute to other pollution problems, including a high concentration of fine particulate matter, poor visibility, and acid deposition. NO2 decreases lung function and may reduce resistance to infection.

The SCAB has not exceeded either federal and State standards for NO2 in the past five years, according to published monitoring data. It is designated as a maintenance area under federal standards, and as an attainment area under State standards.

The MDAB and SSAB are designated as attainment areas for both federal and State NO2 standards.

Sulfur Dioxide Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is a colorless irritating gas formed primarily from incomplete combustion of fuels containing sulfur. Industrial facilities also contribute to gaseous SO2 levels. SO2 irritates the respiratory tract, can injure lung tissue when combined with fine particulate matter, and reduces visibility and the level of sunlight.

The SCAB is in attainment with both federal and State SO2 standards.

The MDAB and SSAB are designated as attainment areas for federal and State SO2 standards.

Particulate Matter Particulate matter is the term used for a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. Coarse particles (all particles smaller than 10 micrometers, or PM10) come from a variety of sources, including windblown dust and grinding operations. Fine particles (less than 2.5 micrometers, or PM2.5) often come from fuel combustion, power plants, and diesel buses and trucks. Fine particles can also be formed in the atmosphere through chemical reactions.

PM10 can accumulate in the respiratory system and aggravate health problems such as asthma. EPA's scientific review concluded that fine particles (PM2.5), which penetrate deeply into the lungs, are more likely than coarse particles to contribute to the health effects listed in a number of recently published community epidemiological studies at concentrations that extend well below those allowed by the current PM10 standards. These health effects include premature death and increased hospital admissions and emergency room visits (primarily the elderly and individuals with cardiopulmonary disease); increased respiratory symptoms and disease (children and individuals with cardiopulmonary disease such as asthma); decreased lung functions (particularly in children and individuals with asthma); and alterations in lung tissue and structure and in respiratory tract defense mechanisms.

The SCAB, MCAB and SSAB are nonattainment areas for federal and State PM10 standards.

The attainment statuses of PM2.5 in the SCAB, MDAB, and SSAB have not been established by the EPA or the CARB.

Lead Lead is found in old paints and coatings, plumbing, and a variety of other materials. Once in the bloodstream, lead (Pb) can cause damage to the brain, nervous system and other body systems. Children are highly susceptible to the effects of lead.

The SCAB, MDAB, and SSAB are all in attainment for federal and State standards for lead.

Existing Policies and Regulations

Air Quality Standards

Air quality has been regulated at the federal level under the Clean Air Act (CAA) since 1970. This act authorized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for air pollutants of nationwide concern. The EPA has established standards for six criteria air pollutants. Table 4.5.A shows both federal and State standards for these criteria pollutants. Primary standards for air pollutants were established to protect public health, while secondary standards were established to protect the public welfare by preventing impairment of visibility and damage to vegetation and property. In addition to more stringent ambient air quality standards than the corresponding NAAQS for the six criteria air pollutants, the CARB has set State standards for sulfates, hydrogen sulfide, vinyl chloride, and visibility reducing particles. These standards are designed to protect the health and welfare of the populace with a reasonable margin of safety. These criteria refer to episode levels representing periods of short-term exposure to air pollutants that actually threaten public health. Health effects are progressively more severe as pollutant levels increase from Stage One to Stage Three. Table 4.5.B lists the sources and primary health effects of these six criteria pollutants. These health effects would not occur unless the standards are exceeded by a large margin or for a prolonged period of time. The State AAQS are more stringent than the federal AAQS.

Federal Regulations/Standards The NAAQS are two-tiered: primary, to protect public health; and secondary, to prevent degradation of the environment (e.g., impairment of visibility, damage to vegetation and property, etc.). Data collected at permanent monitoring stations are used by the EPA to classify regions as "attainment" or "nonattainment," depending on whether the regions met the requirements stated in the primary NAAQS. Nonattainment areas are imposed with additional restrictions as required by the EPA. The EPA has designated the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) responsible for ensuring compliance with the requirements of the CAA for the SCAB, MDAB, and the SSAB areas of the Riverside County.

The EPA established new national air quality standards for ground-level O3 and fine particulate matter in 1997. On May 14, 1999, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a decision ruling that the CAA, as applied in setting the new public health standards for O3 and particulate matter, was unconstitutional as an improper delegation of legislative authority to the EPA. On February 27, 2001, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the way the government sets air quality standards under the CAA. The Court unanimously rejected industry arguments that the EPA must consider financial cost as well as health benefits in writing standards. The Court also rejected arguments that the EPA took too much lawmaking power from Congress when it set tougher standards for O3 and soot in 1997. Nevertheless, the Court threw out the EPA's policy for implementing new O3 rules, saying the agency ignored a section of the law that restricts its decision-making authority. It ordered the agency to come up with a more "reasonable" interpretation of the law.

Table 4.5.A - Ambient Air Quality Standards
PollutantAveraging TimeSTATEFEDERAL
ConcentrationPrimarySecondary
Ozone (O3)1-Hour0.09 ppm
(180 µg/m3)
0.12 ppm
(235 µg/m3)
Same as
Primary Standard
8-Hour-0.08 ppm
(157 µg/m3)
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)Annual Average-0.053 ppm
(100 µg/m3)
Same as
Primary Standard
1-Hour0.25 ppm
(470 µg/m3)
- 
Carbon Monoxide (CO)8-Hour9 ppm
(10 mg/m3)
9 ppm
(10 mg/m3)
-
1-Hour20 ppm
(23 mg/m3)
35 ppm
(40 mg/m3)
-
Suspended Particulate Matter (PM10)Annual Geometric
Mean
30 µg/m3-Same as
Primary Standard
24-Hour50 µg/m3150 µg/m3Same as
Primary Standard
Annual Arithmetic
Mean
-50 µg/m3-
Suspended Particulate Matter (PM2.5)24-HourNo separate
State standard
65 µg/m3Same as
Primary Standard
Annual Arithmetic
Mean
-15 µg/m3Same as
Primary Standard
Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)Annual Average-0.03 ppm
( 80 µg/m3)
-
24-Hour0.04 ppm
(105 µg/m3)
0.14 ppm
(365 µg/m3)
-
3-Hour--0.5 ppm
(1,300 µg/m3)
1-Hour0.25 ppm
(655 µg/m3)
--
Lead30-Day Average1.5 µg/m3--
Calendar Quarter-1.5 µg/m3Same as
Primary Standard
Sulfates24-Hour25 µg/m3--
Hydrogen Sulfide1-Hour0.03 ppm
(42 µg/m3)
--
Vinyl Chloride (chloroethene)24-Hour0.010 ppm
(26 µg/m3)
--
Visibility-Reducing Particles8-Hour
(10 am-6 pm PST)
1--
Notes: ppm = parts per million
mg/m3 = milligrams per cubic meter
µg/m3 = micrograms per cubic meter
1 In sufficient amounts to produce an extinction coefficient of 0.23 per kilometer due to particles when the relative humidity is less than 70 percent. Measurement in accordance with CARB Method V.
Source: California Air Resources Board (CARB), 2001.


Table 4.5.B - Health Effects Summary of the Major Criteria Air Pollutants
PollutantsSourcesPrimary Effects
Ozone (O3)Atmospheric reaction of organic gases with nitrogen oxides in sunlight.Aggravation of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
Irritation of eyes.
Impairment of cardiopulmonary function.
Plant leaf injury.
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)Motor vehicle exhaust.
High temperature stationary combustion.
Atmospheric reactions.
Aggravation of respiratory illness.
Reduced visibility.
Reduced plant growth.
Formation of acid rain.
Carbon Monoxide (CO)Incomplete combustion of fuels and other carbon containing substances, such as motor exhaust.
Natural events, such as decomposition of organic matter.
Reduced tolerance for exercise.
Impairment of mental function.
Impairment of fetal development.
Death at high levels of exposure.
Aggravation of some heart diseases (angina).
Fine Particulate Matter (PM10)Stationary combustion of solid fuels.
Construction activities.
Industrial processes.
Atmospheric chemical reactions.
Reduced lung function.
Aggravation of the effects of gaseous pollutants.
Aggravation of respiratory and cardiorespiratory diseases.
Increased cough and chest discomfort.
Soiling.
Reduced visibility.
Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)Combustion of sulfur containing fossil fuels.
Smelting of sulfur bearing metal ores.
Industrial processes.
Aggravation of respiratory diseases (asthma, emphysema).
Reduced lung function.
Irritation of eyes.
Reduced visibility.
Plant injury.
Deterioration of metals, textiles, leather, finishes, coatings, etc.
Lead (Pb)Contaminated soil.Impairment of blood function and nerve construction.
Behavioral and hearing problems in children.
Source: CARB, 1998.


State Regulations/Standards The State of California began to set California ambient air quality standards (CAAQS) in 1969 under the mandate of the Mulford-Carrell Act. The CAAQS are generally more stringent than the NAAQS. Originally, there were no attainment deadlines for the CAAQS. However, the California Clean Air Act (CCAA) of 1988 provided a time frame and a planning structure to promote their attainment. The CCAA required nonattainment areas in the State to prepare attainment plans and proposed to classify each such area on the basis of the submitted plan, as follows: moderate, if CAAQS attainment could not occur before December 31, 1994; serious, if CAAQS attainment could not occur before December 31, 1997; and severe, if CAAQS attainment could not be conclusively demonstrated at all.

The attainment plans are required to achieve a minimum 5 percent annual reduction in the emissions of nonattainment pollutants unless all feasible measures have been implemented. The Riverside County is currently classified as a nonattainment area for two criteria pollutants (O3 and PM10) for the State standards.

Regional Air Quality Planning Framework

The 1976 Lewis Air Quality Management Act established air districts throughout the State of California. The Federal Clean Air Act Amendments of 1977 required that each state adopt an implementation plan outlining pollution control measures to attain the federal standards in nonattainment or maintenance areas of the state. This requirement led to the local air quality planning processes in areas like the SCAB, MDAB, and SSAB.

The CARB coordinates and oversees both State and federal air pollution control programs in California. The CARB oversees activities of local air quality management agencies, and is responsible for incorporating air quality management plans for local air basins into a State Implementation Plan (SIP) for federal EPA approval. The SIP provides for implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the AAQS. The CARB maintains air quality monitoring stations throughout the State in conjunction with local air districts. Data collected at these stations are used by the CARB to classify air basins as "attainment" or "nonattainment" with respect to each pollutant and to monitor progress in attaining air quality standards. The CARB has divided the State into 15 air basins. Significant authority for air quality control within them has been given to local air districts that regulate stationary source emissions and develop local nonattainment plans. The CCAA provides local air districts such as SCAQMD and MDAQMD with the authority to manage transportation activities at indirect sources and regulate stationary source emissions. Indirect sources of pollution are generated when minor sources collectively emit a substantial amount of pollution. Examples of this would be the motor vehicles at an intersection, a mall, and on highways. As a State agency, the CARB regulates motor vehicles and fuels for their emissions.

Regional Air Quality Management Plan The federal CAA prohibits federal departments and agencies or other agencies from acting on behalf of the federal government, and the MPO from engaging in, supporting in any way, providing financial assistance for, licensing, permitting or approving any activity that does not conform to the SIP. SCAG is the MPO for Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Federal law requires that a proposed project conform with the SIP. The AQMP must be reviewed and approved by the EPA before it becomes part of the SIP. SIP status in the region is complex because of a combination of EPA proposed action on the SIP and legal action by various parties.

South Coast Air Basin and Salton Sea Air Basin The SCAQMD and SCAG are responsible for formulating and implementing the Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP) for the SCAB and SSAB portions of Riverside County. Regional AQMPs were adopted for the SCAB region for 1979, 1982, 1991, 1994, and 1997. In January 1999, the EPA rejected the provisions of the 1997 AQMP designed to attain the federal O3 standard for the SCAG region. Separate parts of the 1997 AQMP related to CO and NO2 have previously been approved, and EPA has yet to act on that portion of the 1997 AQMP re-lated to PM10. Therefore, the following SIP and AQMP are the currently approved plans for the SCAB region:

• 1994 SIP for O3.

• 1997 SIP for CO.

• 1997 AQMP for O3, PM10, CO, and NO2.

• For those pollutants without an approved SIP, the 1990 inventory should be used for general conformity.

The SCAQMD Governing Board approved the 1997 AQMP on November 15, 1996. After approval, the AQMP was submitted to the CARB for its review and approval. The CARB approved the O3 and PM10 portions of the 1997 AQMP on January 23, 1997, and submitted the plan to the EPA as proposed revisions to the SIP. The EPA rejected the District's revision of its 1997 AQMP in January 1999. The rejection, however, covers only the provisions of the AQMP designed to attain the federal O3 standard. As a result of the rejection, SCAQMD prepared a draft "Proposed 1999 Amendment to the 1997 Ozone SIP Revision for the South Coast Air Basin;" on October 7, 1999, for public review and comment. The 1999 Amendment proposed to revise the O3 portion of the 1997 AQMP that was submitted to the EPA as a revision to the SCAB portion of the 1994 California Ozone SIP. The SCAQMD Governing Board adopted the "1999 Amendment to the 1997 Ozone SIP Revision for the South Coast Air Basin;" on December 10, 1999. In addition, the SCAQMD Governing Board settled with three environmental organizations on its litigation of the 1994 Ozone SIP.

Mojave Desert Air Basin The MDAQMD and SCAG are responsible for formulating and implementing the Air Quality Attainment Plan (AQAP) for the MDAB portion of Riverside County. Regional AQAPs were adopted in 1991, 1994 and 1997. The following SIP and AQAP are the currently approved plans for the MDAB region:

• 1997 SIP for O3, PM10, and NO2.

• 1997 AQAP for O3, PM10, and NO2.

Existing Local Air Quality

The SCAQMD maintains ambient air quality monitoring stations throughout the SCAB. There are seven air quality monitoring stations in the SCAB area of Riverside County: Norco, Riverside-Rubidoux, Riverside-Magnolia, Banning-Allesandro, Banning-Hathaway, Perris, and Lake Elsinore. These seven air monitoring stations cover the western Riverside County area (See Tables 4.5.C through 4.5.K).

The SCAQMD also maintains two ambient air quality monitoring stations in the SSAB portion of Riverside County: Palm Springs and Indio.

There are no air quality monitoring stations in the MDAB portion of Riverside County.



Table 4.5.C - Ambient Air Quality at Norco Air Monitoring Station
Carbon MonoxideOzone
 Max. 1-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
Max. 8-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
Max. 1-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
State Standards> 20 ppm/1 hr> 9.0 ppm/8 hr> 0.09 ppm/1 hr
2001NM1NMNMNMNMNM
2000NMNMNMNMNMNM
1999NMNMNMNMNMNM
1998NMNMNMNMNMNM
1997NMNMNMNMNMNM
MaximumNM NM NM 
Federal Standards> 35 ppm/1 hr> 9.0 ppm/8 hr> 0.12 ppm/1 hr
2001NMNMNMNMNMNM
2000NMNMNMNMNMNM
1999NMNMNMNMNMNM
1998NMNMNMNMNMNM
1997NMNMNMNMNMNM
MaximumNM NM NM 
Coarse ParticulatesNitrogen Dioxide
 Max. 24-Hour
Concentration
(µg/m3)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
Max. 1-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
State Standards> 50 µg/m3, 24 hrs> 0.25 ppm/1 hr
20011099NMNM
200012928NMNM
199913631NMNM
19989323NMNM
199715825NMNM
Maximum158 NM 
Federal Standards> 150 µg/m3, 24 hrs0.053 ppm, annual average
20011090NMNM
20001290NMNM
19991360NMNM
1998930NMNM
19971581NMNM
Maximum158 NM 
Notes:
1 Not monitored at this monitoring station.
µg/m3 = microgram per cubic meter
ppm = parts per million
Source: CARB Air Quality Data, 1997 to 2001.


Table 4.5.D - Ambient Air Quality at Riverside-Rubidoux Air Monitoring Station
Carbon MonoxideOzone
 Max. 1-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
Max. 8-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
Max. 1-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
State Standards> 20 ppm/1 hr> 9.0 ppm/8 hr> 0.09 ppm/1 hr
20013.903.200.1440
20005.304.200.1442
19997.004.400.1438
19985.504.800.2070
19976.605.600.1989
Maximum7.0 5.6 0.20 
Federal Standards> 35 ppm/1 hr> 9.0 ppm/8 hr> 0.12 ppm/1 hr
20013.903.200.147
20005.304.200.143
19997.004.400.143
19985.504.800.2032
19976.605.600.1913
Maximum7.0 5.6 0.20 
Coarse ParticulatesNitrogen Dioxide
 Max. 24-Hour
Concentration
(µg/m3)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
Max. 1-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
State Standards> 50 µg/m3, 24 hrs> 0.25 ppm/1 hr
2001107410.150
2000139680.090
1999153460.130
1998116420.100
1997163410.120
Maximum163 0.15 
Federal Standards> 150 µg/m3, 24 hrs0.053 ppm, annual average
200110710.0220
200013900.0220
199915310.0250
199811600.0220
199716310.0260
Maximum163 0.026 
Notes:
µg/m3 = microgram per cubic meter
ppm = parts per million
Source: CARB Air Quality Data, 1997 to 2001.


Table 4.5.E - Ambient Air Quality at Riverside-Magnolia Air Monitoring Station
Carbon MonoxideOzone
 Max. 1-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
Max. 8-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
Max. 1-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
State Standards> 20 ppm/1 hr> 9.0 ppm/8 hr> 0.09 ppm/1 hr
20015.704.50NM1NM
20008.804.20NMNM
19997.404.10NMNM
19986.404.60NMNM
199710.705.50NMNM
Maximum10.7 5.5 NM 
Federal Standards> 35 ppm/1 hr> 9.0 ppm/8 hr> 0.12 ppm/1 hr
20015.704.5   
20008.804.20NMNM
19997.404.10NMNM
19986.404.60NMNM
199710.705.50NMNM
Maximum10.7 5.5 NM 
Coarse ParticulatesNitrogen Dioxide
 Max. 24-Hour
Concentration
(µg/m3)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
Max. 1-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
State Standards> 50 µg/m3, 24 hrs> 0.25 ppm/1 hr
2001NMNMNMNM
2000NMNMNMNM
1999NMNMNMNM
1998NMNMNMNM
1997NMNMNMNM
MaximumNM NM 
Federal Standards> 150 µg/m3, 24 hrs> 0.12 ppm/1 hr
2001NMNMNMNM
2000NMNMNMNM
1999NMNMNMNM
1998NMNMNMNM
1997NMNMNMNM
MaximumNM NM 
Notes:
1 Not monitored at this monitoring station.
µg/m3 = microgram per cubic meter
ppm = parts per million
Source: CARB Air Quality Data, 1997 to 2001.


Table 4.5.F - Ambient Air Quality at Banning-Allesandro Air Monitoring Station
Carbon MonoxideOzone
 Max. 1-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
Max. 8-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
Max. 1-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
State Standards> 20 ppm/1 hr> 9.0 ppm/8 hr> 0.09 ppm/1 hr
2001NM1NMNMNMNMNM
2000NMNMNMNMNMNM
1999NMNMNMNMNMNM
1998NMNMNMNM0.124
1997NMNMNMNM0.1336
MaximumNM NM 0.13 
Federal Standards> 35 ppm/1 hr> 9.0 ppm/8 hr> 0.12 ppm/1 hr
2001NMNMNMNMNMNM
2000NMNMNMNMNMNM
1999NMNMNMNMNMNM
1998NMNMNMNMNMNM
1997NMNMNMNMNMNM
MaximumNM NM 0.13 
Coarse ParticulatesNitrogen Dioxide
 Max. 24-Hour
Concentration
(µg/m3)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
Max. 1-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
State Standards> 50 µg/m3, 24 hrs> 0.25 ppm/1 hr
2001NMNMNMNM
2000NMNMNMNM
1999470NMNM
1998765NMNM
199722714NMNM
Maximum227 NM 
Federal Standards> 150 µg/m3, 24 hrs0.053 ppm, annual average
2001NMNMNMNM
2000NMNMNMNM
1999470NMNM
1998760NMNM
19972271NMNM
Maximum227 NM 
Notes:
1 Not monitored at this monitoring station.
µg/m3 = microgram per cubic meter
ppm = parts per million
Source: CARB Air Quality Data, 1997 to 2001.


Table 4.5.G - Ambient Air Quality at Banning Airport Air Monitoring Station
Carbon MonoxideOzone
 Max. 1-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
Max. 8-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
Max. 1-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
State Standards> 20 ppm/1 hr> 9.0 ppm/8 hr> 0.09 ppm/1 hr
2001NM1NMNMNM0.1562
2000NMNMNMNM0.1453
1999NMNMNMNM0.1455
1998NMNMNMNM0.1753
1997NMNMNMNM0.18100
MaximumNM NM 0.18 
Federal> 35 ppm/1 hr> 9.0 ppm/8 hr> 0.12 ppm/1 hr
2001NMNMNMNM0.1562
2000NMNMNMNM0.1453
1999NMNMNMNM0.1455
1998NMNMNMNM0.1753
1997NMNMNMNM0.18100
MaximumNM NM 0.18 
Coarse ParticulatesNitrogen Dioxide
 Max. 24-Hour
Concentration
(µg/m3)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
Max. 1-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
State Standards> 50 µg/m3, 24 hrs> 0.25 ppm/1 hr
20016710.240
20006950.210
19998640.311
19986220.261
1997NMNM0.200
Maximum86 0.31 
Federal> 150 µg/m3, 24 hrs0.053 ppm, annual average
2001670ND2ND
20006900.0220
19998600.0230
19986200.0200
1997NMNMNM0
Maximum86 0.023 
Notes:
1 Not monitored at this monitoring station.
2 No data provided.
µg/m3 = microgram per cubic meter
ppm = parts per million
Source: CARB Air Quality Data, 1997 to 2001.


Table 4.5.H - Ambient Air Quality at Perris Air Monitoring Station
Carbon MonoxideOzone
 Max. 1-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
Max. 8-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
Max. 1-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
State Standards> 20 ppm/1 hr> 9.0 ppm/8 hr> 0.09 ppm/1 hr
2001NM1NMNMNM0.1573
2000NMNMNMNM0.1665
1999NMNMNMNM0.1110
1998NMNMNMNM0.1538
1997NMNMNMNM0.080
MaximumNM NM 0.16 
Federal Standards> 35 ppm/1 hr> 9.0 ppm/8 hr> 0.12 ppm/1 hr
2001NMNMNMNM0.1519
2000NMNMNMNM0.1615
1999NMNMNMNM0.110
1998NMNMNMNM0.158
1997NMNMNMNM0.080
MaximumNM NM 0.16 
Coarse ParticulatesNitrogen Dioxide
 Max. 24-Hour
Concentration
(µg/m3)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
Max. 1-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
State Standards> 50 µg/m3, 24 hrs> 0.25 ppm/1 hr
2001798NMNM
20008713NMNM
199911230NMNM
19989814NMNM
199713919NMNM
Maximum139 NM 
Federal Standards> 150 µg/m3, 24 hrs0.053 ppm, annual average
2001790NMNM
2000870NMNM
19991120NMNM
1998980NMNM
19971390NMNM
Maximum139 NM 
Notes:
1 Not monitored at this monitoring station.
µg/m3 = microgram per cubic meter
ppm = parts per million
Source: CARB Air Quality Data, 1997 to 2001.


Table 4.5.I - Ambient Air Quality at Lake Elsinore Air Monitoring Station
Carbon MonoxideOzone
 Max. 1-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
Max. 8-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
Max. 1-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
State Standards> 20 ppm/1 hr> 9.0 ppm/8 hr> 0.09 ppm/1 hr
2001NM1NMNMNM0.1562
2000NMNMNMNM0.1345
1999NMNMNMNM0.1451
1998NMNMNMNM0.1752
1997NMNMNMNM0.101
MaximumNM NM 0.17 
Federal Standards> 35 ppm/1 hr> 9.0 ppm/8 hr> 0.12 ppm/1 hr
2001NMNMNMNM0.1512
2000NMNMNMNM0.131
1999NMNMNMNM0.144
1998NMNMNMNM0.1722
1997NMNMNMNM0.100
MaximumNM NM 0.17 
Coarse ParticulatesNitrogen Dioxide
 Max. 24-Hour
Concentration
(µg/m3)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
Max. 1-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
State Standards> 50 µg/m3, 24 hrs> 0.25 ppm/1 hr
2001NMNM0.060
2000NMNM0.080
1999NMNM0.110
1998NMNM0.080
1997NMNM0.110
MaximumNM 0.11 
Federal Standards> 150 µg/m3, 24 hrs0.053 ppm, annual average
2001NMNMND2ND
2000NMNM0.0170
1999NMNM0.0190
1998NMNM0.0170
1997NMNM0.0160
MaximumNM 0.019 
Notes:
1 Not monitored at this monitoring station.
2 No data provided.
µg/m3 = microgram per cubic meter
ppm = parts per million
Source: CARB Air Quality Data, 1997 to 2001.


Table 4.5.J - Ambient Air Quality at Palm Springs Air Monitoring Station
Carbon MonoxideOzone
 Max. 1-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
Max. 8-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
Max. 1-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
State Standards> 20 ppm/1 hr> 9.0 ppm/8 hr> 0.09 ppm/1 hr
20012.201.400.1453
20002.701.600.1240
19992.901.800.1327
19983.101.700.1740
19972.701.300.1645
Maximum3.1 1.8 0.17 
Federal Standards> 35 ppm/1 hr> 9.0 ppm/8 hr> 0.12 ppm/1 hr
20012.201.600.146
20002.701.600.120
19992.901.800.131
19983.101.700.178
19972.701.300.164
Maximum3.1 1.8 0.17 
Coarse ParticulatesNitrogen Dioxide
 Max. 24-Hour
Concentration
(µg/m3)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
Max. 1-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
State Standards> 50 µg/m3, 24 hrs> 0.25 ppm/1 hr
20014300.080
20004400.060
199910430.070
19987230.070
19976310.070
Maximum104 0.07 
Federal Standards> 150 µg/m3, 24 hrs0.053 ppm, annual average
2001430ND2ND
20004400.0160
199910400.0180
19987200.0160
19976300.0160
Maximum104 0.018 
Notes:
1 Not monitored at this monitoring station.
2 No data provided.
µg/m3 = microgram per cubic meter
ppm = parts per million
Source: CARB Air Quality Data, 1997 to 2001.


Table 4.5.K - Ambient Air Quality at Indio Air Monitoring Station
Carbon MonoxideOzone
 Max. 1-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
Max. 8-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
Max. 1-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
State Standards> 20 ppm/1 hr> 9.0 ppm/8 hr> 0.09 ppm/1 hr
2001NM1NMNMNM0.1121
2000NMNMNMNM0.117
1999NMNMNMNM0.1313
1998NMNMNMNM0.1316
1997NMNMNMNM0.101
MaximumNM NM 0.13 
Federal Standards> 35 ppm/1 hr> 9.0 ppm/8 hr> 0.12 ppm/1 hr
2001NMNMNMNM0.110
2000NMNMNMNM0.110
1999NMNMNMNM0.131
1998NMNMNMNM0.132
1997NMNMNMNM0.110
MaximumNM NM 0.13 
Coarse ParticulatesNitrogen Dioxide
 Max. 24-Hour
Concentration
(µg/m3)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
Max. 1-Hour
Concentration
(PPM)
Number
of Days
Exceeded
State Standards> 50 µg/m3, 24 hrs> 0.25 ppm/1 hr
200124529NMNM
200020155NMNM
199911930NMNM
199815833NMNM
199718225NMNM
Maximum245 NM 
Federal Standards> 150 µg/m3, 24 hrs0.053 ppm, annual average
20012453NMNM
20002013NMNM
19991190NMNM
19981581NMNM
19971822NMNM
Maximum245 NM 
Notes:
1 Not monitored at this monitoring station.
µg/m3 = microgram per cubic meter
ppm = parts per million
Source: CARB Air Quality Data, 1997 to 2001.


Tables 4.5.C through 4.5.K list the air quality data monitored at these nine air quality monitoring stations. The ambient air quality data in these tables show that NO2 and CO levels are either not monitored, or are below the relevant State and federal standards at most of the nine air monitoring stations, except at the Banning Airport station where the monitored NO2 level exceeded the State standard in both 1998 and 1999. The federal standard for NO2 was not exceeded at any of the nine monitoring stations. O3 levels exceeded State and federal standards in almost every year of the past five years at all eight monitoring stations where O3 concentration was monitored (except Riverside-Magnolia). However, the general trend at all monitoring stations was that the maximum level of O3 was decreasing and the number of days federal and State O3 standards were exceeded was also decreasing.

The PM10 level monitored at these air monitoring stations exceeded the State standard in almost every year of the past five years at all monitoring stations that monitor this pollutant. However, the federal standard was exceeded less frequently at each monitoring station in all five years.

4.5.2 Air Quality Thresholds of Significance

A General Plan would be considered to have a significant effect on air quality if it would violate any Ambient Air Quality Standards (AAQS), contribute substantially to an existing air quality violation, expose sensitive receptors to substantial pollutant concentrations, or conflict with adopted environmental plans and goals of the community in which it is located.

In addition to the federal and State AAQS, as listed in Table 4.5.A, there are daily and quarterly emissions thresholds for construction and operation of a proposed project established by the SCAQMD for the SCAB and the original SEDAB. The MDAQMD has not established daily emissions thresholds for CEQA review purposes.

The Riverside County area of the SSAB is administered by the SCAQMD, and guidelines and emissions thresholds previously established by the SCAQMD in its CEQA Air Quality Handbook (April 1993) for the SEDAB area are used in this analysis for that area. For simplicity, emissions thresholds for SEDAB are also used in the Riverside County MDAB area. Consistency with the SCAG Regional Plan is discussed in Chapter 5.

Thresholds for Construction Emissions

The following CEQA significance thresholds for construction emissions have been established for the SCAB and SEDAB (MDAB and SSAB) areas:

• 75 pounds per day or 2.5 tons per quarter of reactive organic compounds (ROC).

• 100 pounds per day or 2.5 tons per quarter of NOX.

• 550 pounds per day or 24.75 tons per quarter of CO.

• 150 pounds per day or 6.75 tons per quarter of PM10.

• 150 pounds per day or 6.75 tons per quarter of sulfur oxides (SOX).

Projects in SCAB and SEDAB with construction-related emissions that exceed any of the emission thresholds should be considered to be significant under CEQA.

Thresholds for Criteria Pollutants Emissions with Regional Effects

The proposed General Plan would have a significant effect on air quality if any of the following thresholds are exceeded:

1. The daily operational emissions "significance" thresholds for criteria pollutants with regional effects for the SCAB area are exceeded:

• 55 pounds or 0.0275 tons per day of ROC.

• 55 pounds or 0.0275 tons per day of NOX.

• 550 pounds or 0.275 tons per day of CO.

• 150 pounds or 0.075 tons per day of PM10.

• 150 pounds or 0.075 tons per day of SOX.

2. The daily operational emissions "significance" thresholds for criteria pollutants with regional effects for the SSAB and MDAB area are exceeded:.

• 75 pounds or 0.0375 tons per day of ROC.

• 100 pounds or 0.05 tons per day of NOX.

• 550 pounds or 0.275 tons per day of CO.

• 150 pounds or 0.075 tons per day of PM10.

• 150 pounds or 0.075 tons per day of SOX.

3. The proposed General Plan is inconsistent with the AQMP or Coachella Valley PM10 Plan, Regional Growth Management Plan, Regional Mobility Plan, or the locally adopted Congestion Management Plan.

Local Micro-scale Concentration Standards

The significance of localized project impacts under CEQA depends on whether ambient CO levels in the vicinity of the project are above or below State and federal CO standards. If ambient levels are below the standards, a project is considered to have a significant impact if project emissions result in an exceedance of one or more of these standards. If ambient levels already exceed a State or federal standard, project emissions are considered significant if they increase one hour CO concentrations by 1.0 part per million (ppm) or more or eight hour CO concentrations by 0.45 ppm or more. The following are applicable local emission concentration standards for carbon monoxide.

• California State one-hour CO standard of 20.0 ppm

• California State eight-hour CO standard of 9.0 ppm

Thresholds for Odor Impacts

Assessing odor impacts depends upon such variables as wind speed, wind direction, and the sensitivity of receptors to different odors. The American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM, Standard Method D 1391) has devised a method that considers how many times an air sample must be diluted with "clean" air before the odor is no longer detectable to an average adult with average odor sensitivity. The number of dilutions needed to reach this threshold level is referred to as a "dilution to threshold" (D/T) factor. An odor with a D/T of 2 (2 parts of fresh air to one part of odorous air) becomes faintly detectable to almost all receptors. At 5 D/T, people become consciously aware of the presence of an odor, and at 5 to 10 D/T, the odor is strong enough to evoke registered complaints. The standard to utilize in assessing off-site odor exposure is preferably below 5 D/T and acceptable below 10 D/T.

Toxic Air Pollutant Thresholds

The SCAQMD regulates levels of air toxics through a permitting process that covers both construction and operation. The SCAQMD has adopted Rule 1401 for both new and modified sources that use materials classified as air toxics. The SCAQMD CEQA Guidelines for permit processing consider the following types of projects significant:

• Any project involving the emission of a carcinogenic or toxic air contaminant identified in SCAQMD Rule 1401 that exceeds the maximum individual cancer risk of one in one million or 10 in one million if the project is constructed with best available control strategy for toxics (T-BACT) using the procedures in SCAQMD Rule 1401;

• Any project that could accidentally release an acutely hazardous material or routinely release a toxic air contaminant posing an acute health hazard; and

• Any project that could emit an air contaminant that is not currently regulated by SCAQMD rule, but that is on the federal or State air toxics list.

4.5.3 Air Quality Impacts and Mitigation

Air pollutant emissions associated with the project would occur over the short-term from individual construction activities, such as fugitive dust from site preparation and grading and emissions from equipment exhaust. Long-term local CO emissions at intersections in the County would be affected by project traffic. Future sources and types of air pollutants generated at build out of the proposed General Plan will be similar to those presently produced although the amounts generated will be greater.

The vast majority of long-term air pollutants produced at build out of the proposed General Plan will be from vehicular traffic, the rest will be generated from stationary sources such as power plants and industrial facilities. Short-term air quality impacts would be expected during site grading (earthmoving activities) and the construction of residential units, commercial, industrial, and public facilities and associated infrastructure such as roadways.

Less than Significant Impacts

Consistency with Air Quality Management Plan

Analysis of Impact Based on past growth rates in Riverside County, population increases are anticipated to continue to average approximately 3.38 percent annually. Assuming a SCAG-projected population of 985,945 persons in 2025, the build out population of unincorporated Riverside County would be reached in 2040. The projected 2020 population resulting from implementation of the General Plan update is anticipated to meet the SCAG-projected 2020 population for Riverside County. Since the AQMP and the SIP are based on SCAG population projections, an exceedance of SCAG projections is also an exceedance of the population values used in the AQMP and SIP. If population growth is greater than assumed in the AQMP emission inventory, then population based emissions also are likely to be greater than assumed in the AQMP. Consequently, attainment of the State and Federal air quality standards would be delayed. Therefore, the proposed General Plan would be consistent with regional air quality plans since population growth is projected to be at the same rate as projected by SCAG.

The 1988 CCAA, Section 40919(d) requires regions to implement "transportation control measures to substantially reduce the rate of increase in passenger vehicle trips and miles traveled." A plan showing a vehicular miles traveled (VMT) growth rate that is greater than the population growth rate is considered to be hindering progress towards achieving this performance objective, and thus, be inconsistent with regional air quality planning. The proposed General Plan shows a VMT growth rate that is consistent with the projected population growth rate; therefore the proposed General Plan will not be inconsistent with the AQMP.

The proposed General Plan is consistent with SCAG's Regional Growth Management Plan and SCAQMD's Air Quality Management Plan, and the vehicle miles traveled growth rate under the proposed General Plan is consistent with SCAG's projected population growth. In addition, with the planning and implementation of the proposed General Plan Circulation Element, it is anticipated that the proposed General Plan will be consistent with SCAG's Regional Mobility Plan, locally adopted Congestion Management Plan, as well as the Coachella Valley PM10 Plan.

Proposed General Plan Policies Air pollutants are not limited to jurisdictional boundaries. Local land use patterns, emission sources, and airflow patterns throughout Southern California contribute to the air quality of Riverside County. While the County can enact policies that limit emissions within its boundaries, it is necessary to support efforts to decrease region-wide pollution emissions as surrounding jurisdictions significantly impact Riverside County's air quality. The following policies are designed to establish a regional basis for improving air quality.

Air Quality Policy 1.1 Promote and participate with regional and local agencies, both public and private, to protect and improve air quality.

Air Quality Policy 1.2 Support the SCAG's Regional Growth Management Plan by developing intergovernmental agreements with appropriate governmental enti-ties such as the Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG), the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG), sanitation districts, water districts, and those subregional entities identified in the Regional Growth Management Plan.

Air Quality Policy 1.3 Participate in the development and update of those regional air quality management plans required under federal and state law, and meet all standards established for clean air in these plans.

Air Quality Policy 1.4 Coordinate with the SCAQMD and MDAQMD to ensure that all elements of air quality plans regarding reduction of air pollutant emissions are being enforced.

Air Quality Policy 1.5 Establish and implement air quality, land use and circulation measures that improve not only the County's environment but the entire region's.

Air Quality Policy 1.6 Establish a level playing field by working with local jurisdictions to simultaneously adopt policies similar to those in this Air Quality Element.

Air Quality Policy 1.7 Support legislation which promotes cleaner industry, clean fuel vehicles and more efficient burning engines and fuels.

Air Quality Policy 1.8 Support the introduction of federal, State or regional enabling legislation to permit the County to promote inventive air quality programs, which otherwise could not be implemented.

Air Quality Policy 1.9 Encourage, publicly recognize and reward innovative approaches that improve air quality.

Air Quality Policy 1.10 Coordinate Work with regional and local agencies to evaluate the feasibility of implementing establish a system of charges (e.g., pollution charges, user fees, congestion pricing and toll roads) that requires individuals who undertake polluting activities to bear the economic cost of their actions, where possible.

Air Quality Policy 1.11 Involve environmental groups, the business community, special interests, and the general public in the formulation and implementation of programs that effectively reduce airborne pollutants.

Effectiveness of Proposed General Plan Policies Impacts pertaining to the consistency with the AQMP and Regional Plans will be less than significant. Adherence to the air quality policies listed above would further reduce the level of impact. No additional mitigation is required.

Revised General Plan Finding Revisions to the proposed General Plan since the preparation of the Draft EIR have not substantially altered the meaning and applicability of the policies that pertain to consistency with air quality management plans. Impacts pertaining to the consistency with the AQMP and Regional Plan will be less than significant. Adherence to the air quality policies listed above would further reduce the level of impact. No additional mitigation is required.

Odors and Toxic Air Contaminants

Analysis of Impact The proposed project will not in and of itself generate odor or toxic air contaminants. Individual development within the project area that has the potential to generate odors or toxic air contaminants will be evaluated when project specific information is available. The SCAQMD Rule 1401 will need to be followed for permit application for any facility that has the potential to emit toxic air contaminants. No additional control measures are required.

Potentially Significant Impacts

Particulate (PM10) Emissions

Impact 4.5.1 Air quality impacts would occur during site preparation, including grading and equipment exhaust. Major sources of fugitive dust are a result of grading and site preparation during construction by vehicles and equipment and generated by construction vehicles and equipment traveling over exposed surfaces, as well as by soil disturbances from grading and filling. Blowing dust is also of concern in the dry desert areas where PM10 standards are exceeded by soil disturbance during grading, and vehicular travel over unpaved roads.

Analysis of Impact The proposed General Plan covers a wide area within the County, and its impacts are actually a summary of thousands of individual actions that will be undertaken as part of its implementation. As opposed to an individual project with project-specific construction information available for emissions estimate, it is not feasible to accurately quantify the proposed General Plan-related construction emissions because these air quality construction impacts would actually result from hundreds of different development projects that might occur at any give time throughout unincorporated Riverside County. In addition, detailed construction information (e.g., size, timing, location, and equipment being used) for any individual development project cannot be known at this stage of the planning process for the entire County.

It is known, however, that a typical grading project will involve moving 15,000 to 30,000 cubic yards of earth daily. Temporary air quality impacts would result from grading activities for on-site uses and any off-site facilities and the construction of proposed on-site uses. Air pollutants would be emitted by construction equipment operating on the site and fugitive dust would be generated during grading and site preparation. Construction activities for large development projects are estimated by the

U.S. EPA (according to the 1993 CEQA Handbook, emission factor for disturbed soil is 0.40 tons of PM10 per month per acre). If water or other soil stabilizers are used to control dust as required by SCAQMD Rule 403, the PM10emissions can be reduced by 50 percent. The calculations include a 50 percent reduction for PM10 emissions due to watering.

Applying the above factor to a site of 50 acres of graded area, assuming a six-month grading cycle and an estimated two-year construction period, would result in an average estimate of 184 pounds of PM10 per day, and a daily peak estimate of 735 pounds of PM10. To grade an area of this size, 12 pieces of heavy equipment may be expected to operate at one time. The equipment assumed includes two scrapers, two tractors, two graders, two dozers, two water trucks, and two pieces of miscellaneous equipment. If all of the equipment operated for eight hours per day, the following emissions would result: approximately 67 pounds per day of CO, 10 pounds per day of ROC, 176 pounds per day of NOX, 22 pounds per day of PM10, and 22 pounds per day of SOX. PM10 emissions greater than 150 pounds per day are considered significant as would be the case for the hypothetical project.

Keeping in mind this is an estimate for one project on a 50-acre site, on any given day in the County, there may be different numbers of sites under construction or graded. For a generalized scenario to estimate construction emissions, it is assumed that there are ten grading activities taking place in western Riverside County and five in eastern Riverside County on any given day. When there are 15 sites graded on the same day in western and eastern Riverside County, construction emissions would be 15 times those mentioned above and shown in Table 4.5.L. Daily emissions thresholds for all five pollutants would be exceeded by these construction activities. Impacts due to grading are very localized. Additionally, this material is inert silicates (PM10) rather than the complex organic particulate matter released from combustion sources, which are more harmful to health. In some cases, grading may be near existing development. Care should be taken to minimize the generation of dust. Common practice for minimizing dust generation is watering before and during grading. Without watering, PM10 emission generation would be double the amount mentioned previously.

Table 4.5.L - Construction Emissions for a 50-Acre Site
PollutantEmployee TravelGrading Activities1Equipment EmissionsTotal EmissionsSCAB ThresholdsSSAB and MDAB Thresholds
CO9.55-67.1477550550
ROC1.51-10.14127575
NOX0.91-176.38177100100
PM1020.1373522.21757150150
SOX0.06-22.2223150150
1 PM10 only.
2 Calculations for PM10 emissions include a reduction of 50 percent with the use of dust suppression techniques.


There will also be some emissions generated by construction workers traveling to and from the job site. However, information is not available to estimate these emissions, and they are usually minimal in comparison to the other construction-related air emissions.

Riverside County will require individual development projects to comply with all applicable regional rules, which would assist in reducing the short-term air pollutant emissions. Fugitive dust from a construction site must be controlled with best available control measures so that the dust does not remain visible in the atmosphere beyond the property line of the emission source. Dust suppression techniques will be implemented to prevent fugitive dust from creating a nuisance off site. Implementation of these dust suppression techniques can reduce the fugitive dust generation (and thus the PM10 component) by 50 percent or more.

Blowing dust from agricultural operations and unpaved roads, especially prevalent in Coachella Valley and eastern Riverside County, also causes an increase in PM10. The policies in the proposed General Plan contains standard dust suppression methods that will help reduce PM10 emissions. Additional mitigation measures are provided below to reduce the effects of fugitive dust during construction.

Proposed General Plan Policies The proposed General Plan policies related to air quality would generally result in better planning and projects that proactively address any adverse air quality impacts that could result. Implementation of the proposed General Plan policies related to air quality would help reduce air pollutant emissions and improve the air quality.

Riverside County can implement simple control measures to reduce the amount of particulates produced within its borders. Strict enforcement of these and current regulations can then lead to a substantial decrease in particulate concentrations in the County and neighboring areas. The polices provided address issues relating to particulate matter from agriculture, construction, demolition, debris hauling, street cleaning, utility maintenance, railroad rights-of-way, and off-road vehicles.

Air Quality Policy 4.9 Enforce Require compliance with SCAQMD Rules 403 and 403.1, and support appropriate future measures to reduce fugitive dust emanating from construction sites.

Air Quality Policy 4.10 Coordinate with the SCAQMD and MDAQMD to create a communications plan to alert those conducting grading operations in the County of first, second, and third stage smog alerts, and when wind speeds exceed 25 miles per hour. During these instances all grading operations should be suspended.

Air Quality Policy 17.2 Enforce regulations against illegal fires.

Air Quality Policy 17.3 Identify and create a control plan for areas within the County prone to wind erosion of soil.

Air Quality Policy 17.4 Adopt incentives, regulations and/or procedures to manage paved and unpaved roads and parking lots so they produce the minimum practicable level of particulates.

Air Quality Policy 17.5 Adopt incentives and/or procedures , in addition to existing regulations, to limit dust from agricultural lands and operations, where applicable.

Effectiveness of Proposed General Plan Policies While the proposed General Plan Policies listed above would provide guidance to potentially reduce impacts relating to PM10 emissions, significant short-term construction impacts would remain. Additional, more specific mitigation measures are provided below to further reduce these impacts.

Mitigation Measures Projects implemented as a result of the proposed General Plan will be required to comply with regional rules that assist in reducing short-term air pollutant emissions. Rule 403 of SCAQMD and MDAQMD requires that fugitive dust be controlled with best available control measures, so that the presence of such dust does not remain visible in the atmosphere beyond the property line of the emission source. In addition, Rule 402 of SCAQMD and MDAQMD requires implementation of dust suppression techniques to prevent fugitive dust from creating a nuisance off-site. Applicable dust suppression techniques from Rule 403 are summarized below. Additional dust suppression measures in the SCAQMD CEQA Air Quality Handbook are included below as part of the project's mitigation. Implementation of these dust suppression techniques can reduce the fugitive dust generation (and thus the PM10 component). Compliance with these rules would reduce impacts on nearby sensitive receptors.

4.5.1A Applicable Rule 403 Measures: Apply nontoxic chemical soil stabilizers according to manufacturers' specifications to all inactive construction areas (previously graded areas inactive for ten days or more).

• Water active sites at least twice daily. (Locations where grading is to occur will be thoroughly watered prior to earthmoving).

• All trucks hauling dirt, sand, soil, or other loose materials are to be covered, or should maintain at least two feet of freeboard in accordance with the requirements of California Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 23114 (freeboard means vertical space between the top of the load and top of the trailer).

• Pave construction access roads at least 100 feet onto the site from main road.

• Traffic speeds on all unpaved roads shall be reduced to 15 mph or less.

4.5.1B Additional SCAQMD CEQA Air Quality Handbook Dust Measures:

• Revegetate disturbed areas as quickly as possible.

• All excavating and grading operations shall be suspended when wind speeds (as instantaneous gusts) exceed 25 mph.

• All streets shall be swept once a day if visible soil materials are carried to adjacent streets (recommend water sweepers with reclaimed water).

• Install wheel washers where vehicles enter and exit unpaved roads onto paved roads, or wash trucks and any equipment leaving the site each trip.

4.5.1C Mitigation Measures for Construction Equipment and Vehicles Exhaust Emissions:

• The Construction Contractor shall select the construction equipment used on site based on low emission factors and high energy efficiency.

• The Construction Contractor shall ensure that construction grading plans include a statement that all construction equipment will be tuned and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications.

• The Construction Contractor shall utilize electric- or diesel-powered equipment, in lieu of gasoline-powered engines, where feasible.

• The Construction Contractor shall ensure that construction grading plans include a statement that work crews will shut off equipment when not in use. During smog season (May through October), the overall length of the construction period will be extended, thereby decreasing the size of the area prepared each day, to minimize vehicles and equipment operating at the same time.

• The Construction Contractor shall time the construction activities so as to not interfere with peak hour traffic and minimize obstruction of through traffic lanes adjacent to the site; if necessary, a flagperson shall be retained to maintain safety adjacent to existing roadways.

• The Construction Contractor shall support and encourage ridesharing and transit incentives for the construction crew.

• Dust generated by the development activities shall be retained on-site, and kept to a minimum by following the dust control measures listed below.

a. During clearing, grading, earthmoving, excavation, or transportation of cut or fill materials, water trucks or sprinkler systems shall be used to prevent dust from leaving the site and to create a crust after each day's activities cease.

b. During construction, water trucks or sprinkler systems shall be used to keep all areas of vehicle movement damp enough to prevent dust from leaving the site. At a minimum, this would include wetting down such areas in the late morning, after work is completed for the day, and whenever wind exceeds 15 miles per hour.

c. Immediately after clearing, grading, earthmoving, or excavation is completed, the entire area of disturbed soil shall be treated until the area is paved or otherwise developed so that dust generation will not occur.

d. Soil stockpiled for more than two days shall be covered, kept moist, or treated with soil binders to prevent dust generation.

e. Trucks transporting soil, sand, cut or fill materials, and/or construction debris to or from the site shall be tarped from the point of origin.

Revised General Plan Finding Revisions to the proposed General Plan since the preparation of the Draft EIR have not substantially altered the meaning and applicability of the policies that pertain to particulate emissions. Furthermore, policies and mitigation measures will be applied to individual development projects, and are not dependent on the timing or location of these projects to be effective. Therefore, the policies and mitigation as proposed would have the same effect with the revised General Plan as they would for the General Plan as originally proposed.

Long-Term Air Emission Impacts

Stationary Emissions

Impact 4.5.2 Long-term air emission impacts will occur from stationary sources related to the estimated development proposed through implementation of the proposed General Plan.

Analysis of Impact Stationary pollution sources are generally divided into two subcategories: "point sources" (such as power plants and refinery boilers) and "area sources" (including small emission sources such as residential water heaters and architectural coatings). Agricultural and industrial land uses are generally the main stationary pollution sources in Riverside County, though most urbanized land areas and their associated activities also contribute to poor air quality in the region. While industrial sources are addressed here, agricultural source impacts, due to their primary emissions of PM10, are addressed in the Particulate Matter section of this air quality analysis.

Because of the characteristics of the proposed project, i.e., a General Plan, it is not possible to determine the location, size, and characteristics of future stationary pollution sources. It is, therefore, not feasible to quantify the proposed General Plan-related stationary sources emissions associated with the usage of electricity and natural gas. Similarly, the quantification of mitigation measures on emissions associated with these stationary sources is not feasible at a General Plan-level review document. Long-term stationary source emissions will occur as a result of build out of the proposed General Plan, and will be substantial. However, the proposed General Plan provides policies to reduce the effects on stationary source emissions.

Proposed General Plan Policies The proposed General Plan policies related to air quality would generally result in better planning and projects that proactively address any adverse air quality impacts that could result. Implementation of the proposed General Plan policies related to stationary sources would help reduce air pollutant emissions and improve the air quality.

Air Quality Policy 4.1 Encourage the use of building materials/methods which reduce emissions.

Air Quality Policy 4.2 Encourage the use of efficient heating equipment and other appliances, such as water heaters, swimming pool heaters, cooking equipment, refrigerators, furnaces and boiler units.

Air Quality Policy 4.3 RequireEncourage centrally heated facilities to utilize automated time clocks or occupant sensors to control heating.

Air Quality Policy 4.4 Require residential building construction to comply with energy use guidelines detailed in Title 24 of the California Administrative Code.

Air Quality Policy 4.5 Require stationary pollution sources to prevent minimize the release of toxic pollutants through:

• Design features;

• Operating procedures;

• Preventive maintenance;

• Operator training; and

• Emergency response planning

Air Quality Policy 4.6 Require stationary air pollution sources to comply with applicable air district rules and control measures.

Air Quality Policy 4.7 To the greatest extent possible, Rrequire every project to mitigate any of its anticipated emissions which exceed allowable emissions as established by the SCAQMD, MDAQMD, SOCAB, the EPA and the CARB.

Air Quality Policy 4.8 Expand, as appropriate, measures contained in the County's Fugitive Dust Reduction Program for the Coachella Valley to the entire County.

Air Quality Policy 5.1 Utilize source reduction, recycling and other appropriate measures to reduce the amount of solid waste disposed of in landfills.

Air Quality Policy 5.2 Adopt incentives and/or regulations to enact energy conservation requirements for private and public developments.

Air Quality Policy 5.3 Update, when necessary, the County's Policy Manual for Energy Conservation to reflect revisions to the County Energy Conservation Program.

Effectiveness of Proposed General Plan Policies Implementation of policies 4.3 through 4.7 provided in the proposed General Plan and adherence to existing air quality regulations will reduce the projected long-term increase in air pollutants resulting from stationary sources; however, they do not guarantee compliance with applicable air quality standards. Thus, significant unavoidable impacts may remain.

Revised General Plan Finding Revisions to the proposed General Plan since the preparation of the Draft EIR have not substantially altered the meaning and applicability of the policies that pertain to stationary emissions. Implementation of Policies 4.3 through 4.7 provided in the proposed General Plan and adherence to existing air quality regulations will reduce the projected long-term increase in air pollutants resulting from stationary sources; however, they do not guarantee compliance with applicable air quality standards. Thus, significant unavoidable impacts may remain. Therefore, no changes to the analysis and conclusions are necessary.

Vehicular Emissions

Impact 4.5.3 The proposed General Plan would result in changes in regional vehicular traffic trips and associated VMT.

Analysis of Impact Although not specifically identified with land uses and their corresponding vehicular trips, mobile source emissions from vehicle use associated with the proposed General Plan can be estimated from VMT at the particular average speed projected for the project within the project study area. Tables 4.5.M through 4.5.P present emissions of CO, ROC, NOX, and PM10 for the build out of the proposed General Plan and cumulative vehicular emission for build out of the cities in the County and the County and cities together. The emissions, in tons, were calculated for four different time periods in a day: morning peak hour (AM), mid-day (MD), afternoon peak hour (PM), and nighttime (NT). Emissions estimated for these four time periods were then combined to show the daily total. Transcore (January 2002) calculated the emissions based on the VMT on the affected roadway links, average speed on each link, and the EMFAC7G emission factors (2020 data with Riverside vehicle mix provided by SCAG).



Table 4.5.M - Daily Emissions of the Proposed General Plan for Western Riverside County
Build Out ConditionVehicle Miles TraveledWestern Riverside County
Emissions (Tons/Day)
COROCNOXPM10
Cumulative Increase Within Unincorporated Areas Attributable to the Proposed Riverside County General Plan17,512,358
12,162,000
20.49
36.39
0.40
1.22
10.21
11.95
0.17
0.27
Exceeds SCAQMD Thresholds?-YesYesYesYes
Build Out of Cities Only262,016,000186.425.2671.621.36
Cumulative Build Out of Cities Plus County369,528,358
74,178,000
206.91
222.81
5.66
6.48
81.83
83.57
1.53
1.63
Notes:
1 Includes only unincorporated Western Riverside County without the Cities.
2 Includes both County existing Land Uses and Cities in Western Riverside County based on the Existing Cities General Plans.
3 Includes both County and Cities in Western Riverside County based on the proposed Riverside County and Existing Cities General Plans.
Source: Transcore, January 2002 and September 2003.


Table 4.5.N - Daily Emissions of the Proposed General Plan for the Central Mountains Area
Build Out ConditionVehicle Miles TraveledCentral Mountains Area
Emissions (Tons/Day)
COROCNOXPM10
Cumulative Increase Within Unincorporated Areas Attributable to the Proposed Riverside County General Plan1845,8510.680.030.300.01
Exceeds SCAQMD Thresholds?-YesYesYesNo
Existing Land Use2289,6750.160.010.070.28
Projected General Plan Build Out3845,8510.840.040.370.29
Note:
1 Includes unincorporated areas within REMAP.
2 Includes existing land uses, assuming no future development.
3 Includes build out of the proposed General Plan.
Source: Transcore, January 2002.


Table 4.5.O - Daily Emissions of the Proposed General Plan for the Eastern Desert Area
Build Out ConditionVehicle Miles TraveledEastern Desert Area
Emissions (Tons/Day)
COROCNOXPM10
Cumulative Increase Within Unincorporated Areas Attributable to the Proposed Riverside County General Plan13,964,62718.480.354.410.09
Exceeds SCAQMD Thresholds?-YesYesYesYes
Build Out of Blythe22,200,4360.040.192.540.05

Cumulative Build Out of Cities Plus County36,165,06318.520.546.950.14

Note:
1 Includes only unincorporated Eastern Desert areas without the City of Blythe.
2 Includes build out of Blythe with no future development of unincorporated land.
3 Includes County and Blythe based on the proposed County and existing Blythe General Plans. Source: Transcore, January 2002.


Table 4.5.P - Daily Emissions of the Proposed General Plan for the Coachella Valley Area
Build Out ConditionVehicle Miles TraveledCoachella Valley
Emissions (Tons/Day)
COROCNOXPM10
Cumulative Increase Within Unincorporated Areas Attributable to the Proposed Riverside County General Plan15,522,077
3,459,422
7.40
7.36
0.30
0.28
4.60
3.27
0.10
0.08
Exceeds SCAQMD Thresholds?-YesYesYesYes
Build Out of Cities Only 212,811,40934.230.9914.160.28

Cumulative Build out of Cities Plus18,333,486
16,270,831
41.63
41.59
1.29
1.27
18.76
17.43
0.38
0.36
Note:
1 Includes only unincorporated Coachella Valley Eastern without the Cities.
2 Includes both County existing Land Uses and Cities in Coachella Valley based on the Existing Cities General Plans.
3 Includes both County and Cities in eastern Riverside County based on the proposed Riverside County and Existing Cities General Plans.
Source: Transcore, January 2002 and September 2003.


Based on the emissions inventory analysis for vehicular emission changes within the project study area, the proposed General Plan at build out would result in significant air quality impacts.

Proposed General Plan Policies The proposed General Plan policies related to air quality would generally result in better planning and projects that proactively address any adverse air quality impacts that could result. Implementation of the proposed General Plan policies related to air quality would help reduce air pollutant emissions and improve the air quality. Policies are also provided to reduce vehicular trips. Those policies are as follows:

Mobile Sources

Air Quality Policy 3.1 Allow the marketplace, as much as possible, to determine the most economical approach to relieve congestion and cut emissions.

Air Quality Policy 3.2 Seek new cooperative relationships between employers and employees to reduce vehicle miles traveled.

Air Quality Policy 3.3 Encourage large employers and commercial/industrial complexes to create Transportation Management Associations. (AI 115)

Air Quality Policy 3.4 Encourage employee rideshare and transit incentives for employers with more than 25 employees at a single location.

Trip Reduction

Air Quality Policy 10.1 Encourage trip reduction plans to promote alternative work schedules, ridesharing, telecommuting and work-at-home programs, employee education and preferential parking.

Air Quality Policy 10.2 Use incentives, regulations and Transportation Demand Management in cooperation with surrounding jurisdictions when possible to eliminate vehicle trips which would otherwise be made.

Air Quality Policy 10.3 Assist merchants in encouraging their customers to shift from single occupancy vehicles to transit, carpools, bicycles, or foot.

Air Quality Policy 10.4 Continue to enforce the County's Transportation Demand Management Ordinance and update as necessary.

Special Events

Air Quality Policy 11.1 Establish requirements for special event centers to provide off-site parking and park-n-ride facilities at remote locations. Remote parking should be as close as practicable to the event site and the operator should supply shuttle services.

Air Quality Policy 11.2 Promote the use of peripheral parking by increasing on-site parking rates and offering reduced rates to peripheral parking with tickets sold for non-ridesharing patrons.

Air Quality Policy 11.3 Encourage special event center operators to advertise and offer discounted transit passes with event tickets.

Air Quality Policy 11.4 Encourage special event center operators to advertise and offer discount parking incentives to carpooling patrons, with two or more persons per vehicle, for on-site parking facilities

Traffic Flow

Air Quality Policy 12.1 Manage traffic flow through signal synchronization, while coordinating with and permitting the free flow of mass transit vehicles, when possible. as a way to achieve mobility.

Air Quality Policy 12.2 Synchronize signals throughout the County with those of its cities, adjoining counties and the California Department of Transportation.

Air Quality Policy 12.3 Construct and improve traffic signals with channelization and Automated Traffic Surveillance and Control systems at appropriate intersections.

Air Quality Policy 12.4 Eliminate traffic hazards and delays through highway maintenance, rapid emergency response, debris removal, and elimination of at-grade railroad crossings when possible.

Air Quality Policy 12.5 Encourage business owners to schedule deliveries off-peak traffic periods.

Transportation Demand Systems

Air Quality Policy 13.1 Manage the County of Riverside transportation fleet fueling standards to achieve an appropriate the best alternate fuel fleet mix possible.

Air Quality Policy 13.2 Cooperate with local, regional, State, and federal jurisdictions to better manage transportation facilities and fleets.

Air Quality Policy 13.3 Encourage the construction of high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes whenever possible necessary to relieve congestion, safety hazards and air pollution as described in the AQMP.

Transportation System Management

Air Quality Policy 14.1 Emphasize the use of HOV lanes, light rail and bus routes, and pedestrian and bicycle facilities when using transportation facility development to improve mobility and air quality.

Air Quality Policy 14.2 Utilize facility development programs only when the County cannot substitute Transportation Demand Management, Transportation Systems Management, or job/housing balance strategies. When developing new capital facility improvement plans, also consider measures such as Transportation Demand Management, Transportation Systems Management, or job/housing balance strategies.

Air Quality Policy 14.3 Monitor traffic and congestion to determine when and where the County needs new transportation facilities to achieve increased mobility efficiency.

Air Quality Policy 14.4 Preserve transportation corridors with the potential of high demand or of regional significance for future expansion to meet project demand.

Effectiveness of Proposed General Plan Policies Implementation of the policies provided in the proposed General Plan will reduce the projected long-term increase in air pollutants; however, significant impacts would remain. This impact is significant and unavoidable, and as the policies represent the best available mitigation measures, no further feasible mitigation measures are provided.

Revised General Plan Finding Revisions to the proposed General Plan since the preparation of the Draft EIR have not substantially altered the meaning and applicability of the policies that pertain to vehicular emissions. Implementation of the policies provided in the proposed General Plan will reduce the projected long-term increase in air pollutants; however, significant impacts would remain. This impact is significant and unavoidable, and as the policies represent the best available mitigation measures, no further feasible mitigation measures are provided.

Sensitive Receptors

Impact 4.5.4 Development under the proposed General Plan may produce air pollution that may significantly affect sensitive receptors.

Analysis of Impact Sensitive receptors are those segments of the local population that are especially sensitive to poor air quality. Such receptors include young children, the sick and the elderly, and the facilities that house them including schools, hospitals, and convalescent homes. Development as a result of implementation of the proposed General Plan will result in short-term construction emissions and fugitive dust from grading activities. Continued and new agricultural activities may increase the amount of fugitive dust (PM10) in the air. Stationary sources of air pollutants may result from increased energy production and industrial sources. The projected increase in vehicular traffic and projected VMTs will result in an increase in air pollutants. Sensitive receptors will be exposed to an increase in air pollutants as a result of the growth and development projected in the proposed General Plan.

Proposed General Plan Policies The proposed General Plan policies related to air quality and sensitive receptors would generally result in better planning and projects that proactively address any adverse air quality impacts that could result. Implementation of the proposed General Plan policies related to air quality would help reduce air pollutant emissions and improve the air quality. Policies are also provided to reduce vehicular trips as discussed in Impact 4.5.3. Those policies are as follows:

Air Quality Policy 2.1 The County land use planning efforts shall assure that sensitive receptors are separated and protected from polluting point sources to the greatest extent possible.

Air Quality Policy 2.2 Require site plan designs to protect provide the maximum feasible protection to people and land uses sensitive to air pollution through the use of barriers and/or distance from emissions sources when possible.

Air Quality Policy 2.3 Encourage the use of pollution control measures at sensitive land uses such as landscaping, vegetation and other materials, which wrap particulate matter or control pollution.

Air Quality Policy 2.4 Protect sensitive receptors by creating an urban tree planting program to plant trees that remove pollutants from the air or provide shade which increases the negative impacts of heat on the air. Consider creating a program to plant urban trees on an Area Plan basis that removes pollutants from the air, provides shade and decreases the negative impacts of heat on the air.

Effectiveness of Proposed General Plan Policies Implementation of the policies provided in the proposed General Plan will reduce the exposure of sensitive receptors to increase air pollutants. No additional mitigation measures have been identified.

Revised General Plan Finding Revisions to the proposed General Plan since the preparation of the Draft EIR have not substantially altered the meaning and applicability of the policies that pertain to sensitive receptors. Implementation of the policies provided in the proposed General Plan will reduce the exposure of sensitive receptors to increased air pollutants. Therefore, no changes to the analysis and conclusions are necessary.

4.5.4 Air Quality Level of Significance after Mitigation

The proposed General Plan update would result in significant, unavoidable air quality impacts caused by construction and long-term stationary and mobile emissions, after all feasible mitigation measures are implemented. Air quality impacts on sensitive receptors is reduced to less than significant with implementation of the proposed General Plan policies.

4.6 Biological Resources

This section assesses the potential impacts on biological resources that could occur withthe development pursuant to the proposed General Plan. On June 17, 2003, the Countyof Riverside adopted the Western Riverside County MSHCP and certified the EIR/EIS.At the time the Final EIR was published for the Riverside County General Plan, theUSFWS had not issued its "take authorization" permit or finalized the Final EIS for theWestern Riverside County MSHCP. The County of Riverside and the Coachella Valley Association of Governments is currently preparing a Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan for western Riverside County and a similar plan is being prepared by theCoachella Valley Association of Governments for the Coachella Valley. However, since neither plan has been adopted by the USFWS to date, they are not included in theexisting setting description and the impacts and mitigation section assumes only thoseconservation measures currently available (i.e., only adopted habitat conservation plans). Thus, this portion of the proposed General Plan EIR analyzes the potential biological impacts that would occur in the absence of the Western Riverside County andCoachella Valley MSHCPs. The proposed General Plan and this EIR recognize theongoing MSHCP programs. In fact, the proposed General Plan relies heavily on adoption of these programs for its biological mitigation. Because the proposed General Plan is moving ahead of these programs, and their adoption cannot be ensured; therefore, the implementation of MSHCP provisions cannot be assumed. Thus, certain mitigationmeasures are proposed in the document that would apply only to areas not subject to anMSHCP (i.e., Riverside County east of Coachella Valley, western Riverside County,and the Coachella Valley prior to adoption of MSHCPs for those areas).

The Riverside County Existing Setting Report was used as baseline information for a description of biological resources within Riverside County and as a basis for assessment of impacts of the proposed General Plan. The Riverside County Existing SettingReport provides a comprehensive review of biological resources within the county. Nofield studies were conducted for purposes of the analysis of biological resources.

4.6.1 Biological Resources Existing Setting

Following is summary of the existing setting of biological resources within RiversideCounty. A detailed examination of Riverside County biological resources is includedin Section 4-2 of the Riverside County Existing Setting Report (incorporated by reference), refer to Figure 4.6.1 for a map of vegetation communities within the County. In Riverside County, variation in topography, elevation, soil, and climate create conditionsfor a wide variety of natural communities, each with its own assemblage of native plantand animal species. This section focuses on those communities and species that, because of their legal status, rarity, or vulnerability, are of greatest concern to State andfederal agencies, and consequently to land use planners. Within this section, natural communities, species, and existing conservation areas are discussed.

Western Riverside County is approximately the portion of the County west of the crestof the San Jacinto Mountains. Even though it constitutes less than one-third of theCounty, western Riverside County contains most of the County's non-desert areas, aswell as most of its urbanized areas. Prior to development, most of western RiversideCounty was covered by chaparral and coastal sage scrub, with coniferous and oakwoodlands at higher elevations. Elevations within western Riverside County rangefrom about 755 feet in the northwestern corner of the County to about 10,800 feet atSan Jacinto Peak.




Eastern Riverside County is approximately the portion of the County which lies east ofthe crest of the San Jacinto Mountains. Almost all of the desert region of the County iscontained within eastern Riverside County. Most of eastern Riverside County is covered by desert scrub, with chaparral at the western edge, and woodlands and forests athigher elevations in the San Jacinto Mountains and desert mountains. Elevation of eastern Riverside County ranges from about 230 feet below mean sea level at the SaltonSea to about 9,800 feet in the San Jacinto Mountains.

Variation in topography, soil, and climate across the landscape of Riverside Countycreates habitats for a wide variety of animals and plants, including many that are rare orendemic to Southern California. Tables 4.6.A and 4.6.B provide general descriptionsof natural communities of western and eastern Riverside County and identify associatedlisted, proposed, and candidate species.

Table 4.6.A
Generalized Natural Communities of Western Riverside County
and Associated Listed, Proposed, and Candidate Species
Natural CommunityDescriptionFederal and State Listed, Proposed, and Candidate Species
Urban and DisturbedThis category includes areas where naturalvegetation has been largely destroyed by human activity, other than agriculture. It includes land covered by concrete, asphalt,buildings, lawns, golf courses, etc., as well asareas cleared of vegetation or otherwise significantly disturbed by machinery. Urban and disturbed areas occur throughout lowerelevations in western Riverside County, andto a much lesser degree in mountainous areas.mountain plover
(Charadrius montanus) - may utilize golf courses and sod farms
AgricultureAgricultural land may be defined broadly as land used primarily for production of food and fiber. Agricultural land includes field croplands, orchards, groves, vineyards, and dairy and livestock feed yards. In western Riverside County, agricultural land is predominantly in the Perris and Menifee Valleys.mountain plover
(Charadrius montanus)

Swainson’s hawk
(Buteo swainsonii)
WaterThis category consists of areas permanently or generally flooded, including lakes, reservoirs, ponds, rivers, and streams. This category occurs throughout western Riverside County.Santa Ana sucker
(Catastomus santaanae)

southwestern arroyo toad
(Bufo microscaphus californicus)

California red-legged frog
(Rana aurora draytonii)

American peregrine falcon
(Falco peregrinus anatum)

Bald eagle
(Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
Coastal Sage ScrubThis plant community consists of low, soft woody shrubs and subshrubs. Characteristic species include California Buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum), white sage (Salvia apiana), and California broom (Lotus scoparius), with scalebroom (Lepidospartum squamatum) in occasionally flooded areas. Coastal sage scrub is widespread at lower elevations in western Riverside County.Munz’ onion
(Allium munzii)

Nevin’s barberry
(Berberis nevinii)

slender-horned spineflower
(Dodecahema leptoceras)

Santa Ana River woollystar
(Eriastrum densifolium ssp. sanctorum)

Quino checkerspot butterfly
(Euphydryas editha quino)

Delhi sands flower-loving fly
(Rhaphiomidas terminatus abdominalis)

California gnatcatcher
(Polioptila californica californica)

San Bernardino kangaroo rat
(Dipodomys merriami parvus)

Stephens’ kangaroo rat
(Dipodomys stephensi)
Sonoran Desert ScrubThis plant community is dominated by widely spaced shrubs and occurs on welldrained desert soils of low salinity in areas where temperatures rarely fall below freezing. Characteristic species include burroweed (Ambrosia dumosa), creosote bush (Larrea tridentata), brittlebush (Encelia farinosa), ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens), catclaw (Acacia greggii), agave (Agave desertii), and various species of cactus. Sonoran desert scrub occurs in western Riverside County at low elevations at the northern and southern ends of the San Jacinto Mountains.Swainson’s hawk
(Buteo swainsonii)
Sagebrush ScrubThis plant community consists mostly of widely spaced soft-woody shrubs. Big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) is the dominant species. In western Riverside County, sagebrush scrub occurs around Anza, around Temecula, and at sparsely scattered locations in the San Jacinto Mountains.Swainson’s hawk
(Buteo swainsonii)
ChaparralThis plant community is dominated by dense, evergreen shrubs up to 10 feet tall. Characteristic species include chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum), red shank (Adenostoma sparsifolium), scrub and live oaks (Quercus spp.), manzanita (Arctostaphylos spp.), ceanothus (Ceanothus spp.), sugar bush (Rhus ovata), and mountain-mahogany (Cercocarpus spp.) . Chaparral is widely distributed throughout western Riverside County.Nevin’s barberry
(Berberis nevinii)

Vail Lake ceanothus
(Ceanothus ophiochilus)

slender-horned spineflower
(Dodecahema leptoceras)

Mojave tar plant
(Hemizonia mohavensis)

Quino checkerspot butterfly
(Euphydryas editha quino)

southern rubber boa
(Charina bottae umbratica)

California gnatcatcher
(Polioptila californica californica)
GrasslandGrasslands are dominated by native and exotic grasses to a height of about two feet. In western Riverside County, native grasslands occur at only a few scattered locations, including the Santa Rosa Plateau; while nonnative grasslands are widely distributed.Munz’ onion
(Allium munzii)

San Jacinto Valley crownscale
(Atriplex coronata var. notatior)

thread-leaved brodiaea
(Brodiaea filifolia)

Quino checkerspot butterfly
(Euphydryas editha quino)

southern rubber boa
(Charina bottae umbratica)

Swainson’s hawk
(Buteo swainsonii)

mountain plover
(Charadrius montanus)

California gnatcathcer
(Polioptila californica californica)

Stephens’ kangaroo rat
(Dipodomys stephensi)
Playa and Vernal PoolThe playa plant community is composed primarily of low, grayish, widely spaced shrubs on poorly drained soils of high salinity and/or alkalinity due to evaporation of water that accumulates in closed basins, often with high water table and with salt crust on the surface. Total cover is usually low due to wide spacing between shrubs and minimally developed understory. This community is similar to chenopod scrub, but with more succulent species. Dominant species include saltbush (Atriplex spp.), iodine bush (Allenrolfea occidentalis), and bush seepweed (Sueda moquinii) . In western Riverside County, this community occurs primarily in the San Jacinto and Perris Valleys. The vernal pool plant community consists primarily of amphibious annul herbs and grasses that begin their lives as aquatic juveniles in winter rain-filled pools, then flower and die as the pools dry in spring and summer. Soil salinity is generally much lower than in playas. Typical dominants include mesa mint (Pogogyne spp.), navarretia (Navarretia spp.), downingia (Downingia spp.), mouse-tail (Myosurus spp.), popcorn flower (Plagiobothrys spp.), woolly marbles (Psilocarphus spp.), and button-celery (Eryngium spp.) . In western Riverside County, vernal pools are located on the Santa Rosa Plateau, at Skunk Hollow, in the Hemet Plain, and in Moreno Valley at the edge of Sycamore Canyon Park. Small pools may also be present at other locations where suitable conditions exist.Munz’s onion
(Allium munzii)

San Jacinto Valley crownscale
(Atriplex coronata var. notatior)

thread-leaved brodiaea
(Brodiaea filifolia)

San Diego button-celery
(Eryngium aristulatum var. parishii)

Parish’s meadowfoam
(Limnanthes gracilis var. parishii)

spreading navarretia
(Navarretia fossalis)

California Orcutt grass
(Orcuttia californica)

vernal pool fairy shrimp
(Branchinecta lynchii)

Riverside fairy shrimp
(Streptocephalus woottoni)
Meadow and MarshThese plant communities have soils that are saturated continually or at least during a significant portion of the year. They differ from vernal pools in retaining enough soil moisture to support perennial plant growth. Plant growth is often dense and consists primarily of perennial monocots, including sedges (Carex), nutsedges (Cyperus), rushes (Juncus), bulrushes (Scirpus), and cattails (Typha) . In western Riverside County, these communities occur in montane meadows and around the margins of lakes, rivers, and streams.Parish’s meadowfoam
(Limnanthes gracilis var. parishii)

California red-legged frog
(Rana aurora draytonii)

southern rubber boa
(Charina bottae umbratica)

American peregrine falcon
(Falco peregrinus anatum)
Riparian and BottomlandThis category occurs in bottomlands, canyons, desert washes, floodplains, gravel bars, banks of perennially wet streams, and other places with high water tables. These areas are characteristically dominated by droughtor winter-deciduous trees, tall shrubs, or palms, including cottonwoods (Populus spp.), willows (Salix spp.), mule fat (Baccharis salicifolia), tamarisk, (Tamarix spp.), giant reed (Arundo donax), western sycamore (Platanus racemosa), California fan palm (Washingtonia filifera), arrow weed (Pluchea sericea), mesquite (Prosopis spp.), smoke tree (Psorothamnus spinosus), desert willow (Chilpsis linearis), catclaw (Acacia greggii), and palo verde (Cercidium floridum) . In western Riverside County, riparian and bottomlands are widespread and occur along major waterways and their tributaries, and in canyon bottoms.slender-horned spineflower
(Dodecahema leptoceras)

Santa Ana River woollystar
(Eriastrum densifolium ssp. sanctorum)

Mojave tar plant
(Hemizonia mohavensis)

southwestern arroyo toad
(Bufo microscaphus californicus)

California red-legged frog
(Rana aurora draytonii)

southern rubber boa
(Charina bottae umbratica)

western yellow-billed cuckoo
(Coccyzus americanus occidentalis)

southwestern willow flycatcher
(Empidonax traillii extimus)

American peregrine falcon
(Falco peregrinus anatum)

bald eagle
(Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

least Bell’s vireo
(Vireo bellii pusillus)

San Bernardino kangaroo rat
(Dipodomys merriami parvus)
Oak Woodland/ ForestThis category consists of woodlands and forests dominated by oaks (Quercus spp.), and is found throughout western Riverside County on mountain and foothill slopes and in canyons.southern rubber boa
(Charina bottae umbratica)
Coniferous Woodland/ ForestThis category consists of woodlands and forests dominated by conifers, including pines (Pinus spp.), junipers (Juniperus spp.), white fir (Abies concolor), incense cedar (Calocedrus decurrens) and bigcone douglas fir (Pseudotsuga macrocarpa) . In western Riverside County, coniferous woodlands and forests occur at upper elevations in the San Jacinto and San Bernardino Mountains, and to a lesser extent at other scattered locations.southern rubber boa
(Charina bottae umbratica)

bald eagle
(Haliaeetus leucocephalus)


Table 4.6.B
Generalized Natural Communities of Eastern Riverside County
Natural CommunityDescriptionFederal and State Listed, Proposed, and Candidate Species
Urban and DisturbedThis category includes areas where natural vegetation has been largely destroyed by human activity, other than agriculture. It includes land covered by concrete, asphalt, buildings, lawns, golf courses, etc., as well as areas cleared of vegetation or otherwise significantly disturbed by machinery. In eastern Riverside County, urban and disturbed areas occur predominantly in the Coachella and Palo Verde Valleys.California least tern
(Sterna antillarum brownii) – utilizes landfills and paved areas

peninsula bighorn sheep
(Ovis canadensis cremnobates) – may utilize lawns and golf courses adjacent to natural habitat

mountain plover
(Charadrius montanus) – may utilize golf courses and sod farms
AgricultureAgricultural land may be defined broadly as land used primarily for production of food and fiber. This community includes field croplands, orchards, groves, vineyards, and dairy and livestock feedyards. In eastern Riverside County, agricultural land is predominantly in the Coachella and Palo Verde Valleys.mountain plover
(Charadrius montanus)

– may utilize sod farms
WaterThis category consists of areas permanently or generally flooded, including lakes, reservoirs, ponds, rivers, creeks, and springs. The Salton Sea and the Colorado River are the major water bodies in eastern Riverside County. Most permanent creeks are in the San Jacinto and San Bernardino Mountains, most ponds are in agricultural areas, canals and aqueducts transport water to agricultural lands and the Salton Sea, and springs are scattered in mountain and desert areas.desert pupfish
(Cyprinodon macularius)

bonytail chub
(Gila elegans)

razorback sucker
(Xyrauchen texanus)

brown pelican
(Pelecanus occidentalis californicus)

American peregrine falcon
(Falco peregrinus anatum)

bald eagle
(Haliaeetus leucocephalus) - nesting and wintering.

California black rail
(Laterallus jamaicensis colturniculus)

Yuma clapper rail
(Rallus longirostris yumanensis)

California least tern
(Sterna antillarum browni)

California red-legged frog
(Rana aurora draytonii)
Desert DuneDesert dunes occur in desert areas where windblown sand has accumulated. Dunes may be actively moving or partially or fully stabilized by shrubs, scattered low annuals and perennial grasses. In eastern Riverside County, dunes are widely scattered throughout the desert.Coachella Valley milk-vetch
(Astragalus lentiginosus var. coachellae)

Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard
(Uma inornata)

desert tortoise
(Xerobates agassizii)
Coastal Sage ScrubThis plant community consists of low, softwoody shrubs and subshrubs. Typical stands in eastern Riverside County are fairly open and dominated by California sagebrush (Artemesia californica), California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum), and red brome (Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens) . In eastern Riverside County, this community occurs primarily at the southern end of the San Bernardino Mountains.thread-leaved brodiaea
(Brodiaea filifolia)

slender-horned spineflower
(Dodecahema leptoceras)
Sonoran Desert ScrubThis plant community is dominated by widely spaced shrubs and occurs on welldrained desert soils of low salinity, in areas where temperatures rarely fall below freezing in the winter. Characteristic species include burro-weed (Ambrosia dumosa), creosote bush (Larrea tridentata), brittlebush (Encelia farinosa), ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens), catclaw (Acacia greggii), agave (Agave desertii), and various species of cactus. This is the predominant natural community in eastern Riverside County.Coachella Valley milk-vetch
(Astragalus lentiginosus var. coachellae)

triple-ribbed milk-vetch
(Astragalus tricarinatus)

desert slender salamander
(Batrachoseps aridus)

desert tortoise
(Xerobates agassizii)

gilded flicker
(Colaptes chrysoides)

Gila woodpecker
(Melanerpes uropygialis)

Peninsula bighorn sheep
(Ovis canadensis cremnobates)
Mojavean Desert ScrubThis plant community is the Mojave Desert counterpart to Sonoran desert scrub. It is dominated by widely spaced shrubs and occurs on well-drained desert soils of low salinity. It differs from Sonoran desert scrub in occurring in areas where winter temperatures are often below freezing in the winter, and in its characteristic species, which include burro-weed (Ambrosia dumosa), creosote bush (Larrea tridentata), burrobush (Hymenoclea salsola), box thorn (Lycium spp.), ephedra (Ephedra nevadensis), blackbush (Coleogyne ramosissima), saltbush (Atriplex spp.), Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia), and various species of cactus (mostly Opuntia spp.) . This is the predominant natural community in and around Joshua Tree National Park.Parish’s daisy
(Erigeron parishii)

triple-ribbed milk-vetch
(Astragalus tricarinatus)

desert tortoise
(Xerobates agassizii)

peninsula bighorn sheep
(Ovis canadensis cremnobates)
Sagebrush ScrubThis plant community consists mostly of widely spaced soft-woody shrubs. Big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) is the dominant species. In eastern Riverside County, sagebrush scrub occurs at the northern end of the Santa Rosa Mountains and perhaps in sparsely scattered locations in the desert mountains.peninsula bighorn sheep
(Ovis canadensis cremnobates)
Chenopod ScrubThis community is composed primarily of low, grayish, widely spaced shrubs on poorly drained soils of high salinity and/or alkalinity, often surrounding playas but on slightly higher ground. It is strongly dominated by saltbush
(Atriplex spp.)

, sometimes of a single species. In eastern Riverside County, this community occurs primarily in the Coachella Valley and around playas in the Sonoran Desert.
desert tortoise
(Xerobates agassizii)
ChaparralThis plant community is dominated by dense, evergreen shrubs up to 10 feet tall. Characteristic species include chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum), red shank (Adenostoma sparsifolium), scrub and live oaks (Quercus spp.), manzanita (Arctostaphylos spp.), ceanothus (Ceanothus spp.), sugar bush (Rhus ovata), and mountain-mahogany (Cercocarpus spp.) . In eastern Riverside County, Chaparral is found on slopes and foothills of the San Bernardino, San Jacinto, and Santa Rosa Mountains.slender-horned spineflower
(Dodecahema leptoceras)

Mojave tarplant
(Hemizonia mohavensis)
GrasslandGrasslands are dominated by native and exotic grasses to a height of about two feet. In eastern Riverside County, grasslands occur mostly in the San Jacinto and San Bernardino Mountains and in disturbed areas.thread-leaved brodiaea
(Brodiaea filifolia)

Mojave tarplant
(Hemizonia mohavensis)

desert tortoise
(Xerobates agassizii)

peninsula bighorn sheep
(Ovis canadensis cremnobates)

mountain plover
(Charadrius montanus)
PlayaThis community is composed primarily of low, grayish, widely spaced shrubs on poorly drained soils of high salinity and/or alkalinity due to evaporation of water that accumulates in closed basins. Often with high water table and with salt crust on the surface. Total cover usually low due to wide spacing between shrubs and minimally developed understory. This community is similar to chenopod scrub, but with more succulent species. Dominant species include saltbush (Atriplex spp.), iodine bush (Allenrolfea occidentalis), and greasewood (Sarcobatus vermiculatus), and bush seepweed (Sueda moquinii) . In eastern Riverside County, this community occurs in closed basins on the Mojave and Sonoran deserts.thread-leaved brodiaea
(Brodiaea filifolia)

desert tortoise
(Xerobates agassizii)

California least tern
(Sterna antillarum browni)
Riparian and BottomlandThis category occurs in bottomlands, canyons, desert washes, floodplains, gravel bars, banks of perennially wet streams, and other places with high water tables. These areas are characteristically dominated by droughtor winter-deciduous trees, tall shrubs, or palms. Characteristic dominant species include cottonwoods (Populus spp.), willows (Salix spp.), mule fat (Baccharis salicifolia), tamarisk, (Tamarix spp.), giant reed (Arundo donax), California fan palm (Washingtonia filifera), arrow weed (Pluchea sericea), mesquite (Prosopis spp.), smoke tree (Psorothamnus spinosus), desert willow (Chilpsis linearis), catclaw (Acacia greggii), and palo verde (Cercidium floridum) . In eastern Riverside County, riparian and bottomland is widespread and occurs in mountain canyons, along waterways, and in desert washes.Coachella Valley milk-vetch
(Astragalus lentiginosus var. coachellae)

triple-ribbed milk vetch
(Astragalus tricarinatus)

Mojave tarplant
(Hemizonia mahavrnsis)

desert slender salamander
(Batrachoseps aridus)

arroyo toad
(Bufo microscaphus californicus)

California red-legged frog
(Rana aurora draytonii)

desert tortoise
(Xerobates agassizii)

Gila woodpecker
(Melanerpes uropygialis)

elf owl
(Micrathene whitneyi)

western yellow-billed cuckoo
(Coccyzus americanus occidentalis)

gilded flicker
(Colaptes chrysoides)

southwestern willow flycatcher
(Empidonax traillii extimus) - nesting.

American peregrine falcon
(Falco peregrinus anatum)

bald eagle
(Haliaeetus leucocephalus) - nesting and wintering
,br>Yuma clapper rail
(Rallus longirostris yumanensis)

Arizona Bell’s vireo
(Vireo bellii arizonae) - nesting

least Bell’s vireo
(Vireo bellii pusillus) - nesting Peninsula bighorn sheep
(Ovis canadensis cremnobates)
Oak Woodland/ ForestThis category consists of woodlands and forests dominated by oaks (Quercus spp.), and is found in eastern Riverside County mostly in the San Jacinto and San Bernardino Mountains.Southern rubber boa
(Charina bottae umbratica)
Coniferous Woodland / ForestThis category consists of woodlands and forests dominated by conifers, including pines (Pinus spp.), junipers (Juniperus spp.), white fir (Abies concolor), incense cedar (Calocedrus decurrens) and bigcone douglas fir (Pseudotsuga macrocarpa) . In eastern Riverside County, coniferous woodlands and forests occur on the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains, and at higher elevations in the desert mountains.Parish’s daisy
(Erigeron parishii)

Hidden Lake bluecurls
(Trichostema austromomtanum ssp. compactum)

Southern rubber boa
(Charina bottae umbratica)

Bald eagle
(Haliaeetus leucocephalus) - nesting and wintering

Tahquitz ivesia
(Ivesia callida)


Conservation Areas of Western Riverside County

Conservation areas have been established in numerous areas around the western County and are managed by a variety of entities for a wide range of conservation purposes. Conservation areas are assigned a management status to reflect the degree to which they are managed for biodiversity and preservation of land in its natural state. The management status definitions and designations below are from the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) GIS coverage and metadata.

Management Status 1. An area having permanent protection from conversion of natural land cover and a mandated management plan in operation to maintain a natural state within which natural disturbance events are allowed to proceed without interference or are mimicked through management (fire is usually suppressed in most managed areas in California, however). Areas of Management Status 1 in western Riverside County include U.S. Forest Service (USFS) research natural areas and wilderness areas (Cahuilla Mountain and Hall Canyon Research Natural Areas, and Agua Tibia, San Gorgonio, San Jacinto, and San Mateo Canyon Wilderness Areas), the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) Lake Matthews Ecological Reserve, Mount San Jacinto State Wilderness, University of California natural reserves (Box Springs Reserve, Emerson Oaks), water district land within the Lake Mathews Ecological Reserve, Nature Conservancy land within the Santa Rosa Plateau Preserve, and Riverside County Habitat Conservation Agency reserves for the Stephens' kangaroo rat (Lake Skinner, Lake Mathews, San Jacinto, Sycamore Canyon, Steele Peak, and Portrero area of critical environmental concern (ACEC), and Motte Rimrock Core Reserves).

Management Status 2. An area having permanent protection from conversion of natural land cover and a mandated management plan in operation to maintain a primarily natural state, but which may receive use or management practices that degrade the quality of existing natural communities. Areas of Management Status 2 in western Riverside County include BLM ACECs (Beauty Mountain, Potrero, and Santa Margarita ACECs), the USFS Black Mountain Special Interest Area, CDFG wildlife areas and undesignated lands (Coal Canyon, Hidden Valley, CDFG land within the Santa Rosa Plateau Preserve), and State Parks (Anza-Borrego State Park, Chino Hills State Park, Mount San Jacinto State Park).

Management Status 3. An area having permanent protection from conversion of natural land cover for the majority of the area, but subject to extractive uses of either a broad, low-intensity type or localized intense type. Areas of Management Status 3 in western Riverside County include the Cleveland and San Bernardino National Forests, Army Corps of Engineers and BLM undesignated lands, Lake Elsinore and Lake Perris State Recreation Areas, state land within the Santa Margarita ACEC, and county regional parks (Prado Basin Park, Santa Ana River Regional Park, Box Springs Mountain Park, Lake Skinner Park).

Management Status 4. All remaining lands, including most private, military, and Native American lands.

Conservation Areas of Eastern Riverside County

Conservation areas have been established in numerous areas around the eastern County and are managed by a variety of entities for a wide range of conservation purposes. Conservation areas are assigned a management status to reflect the degree to which they are managed for biodiversity and preservation of land in its natural state. The management status definitions and designations below are from UCSB GIS coverage and metadata.

Management Status 1. An area having permanent protection from conversion of natural land cover and a mandated management plan in operation to maintain a natural state within which natural disturbance events are allowed to proceed without interference or are mimicked through management (fire is usually suppressed in most managed areas in California, however). Areas of Management Status 1 in eastern Riverside County include BLM wilderness areas (Big Maria Mountains, Chuckwalla Mountains, Little Chuckwalla Mountains, Mecca Hills, Orocopia Mountains, Palen/McCoy, Palo Verde Mountains, Rice Valley, Riverside Mountains, and Santa Lucia Wilderness Areas), U.S. Forest Service (USFS) research natural areas and wilderness areas (Hall Canyon and Millard Canyon Research Natural Areas, and San Gorgonio, San Jacinto, and Santa Rosa Wilderness Areas), Joshua Tree National Park and Wilderness, CDFG ecological reserves (Carrizo Canyon, Coachella Valley, Hidden Palms, and Magnesia Spring Ecological Reserves), Mt. San Jacinto State Wilderness, the University of California's Boyd Deep Canyon Desert Research Center, the Nature Conservancy's Coachella Valley Preserve, and three Coachella Valley Habitat Conservation Plan fringe-toed lizard preserves.

Management Status 2. An area having permanent protection from conversion of natural land cover and a mandated management plan in operation to maintain a primarily natural state, but which may receive use or management practices that degrade the quality of existing natural communities. Areas of Management Status 2 in eastern Riverside County include BLM ACECs and preserves (Alligator Rock, Big Morongo Canyon, Chuckwalla Bench, Corn Spring, Dune Thicket, Palen Drylake, Dos Palmas, White-water Canyon, and Mule Mountains ACECs, and Desert Lily and Coachella Valley Preserves), the USFS Black Mountain Special Interest Area, the CDFG Santa Rosa Wildlife Area, and the Anza-Borrego State Park.

Management Status 3. An area having permanent protection from conversion of natural land cover for the majority of the area, but subject to extractive uses of either a broad, low-intensity type or localized intense type. Areas of Management Status 3 in eastern Riverside County include the San Bernardino National Forest, state lands within ACECs and wilderness areas (Dos Palmas and Chuckwalla Bench ACECs, and Orocopia Mountains, Chuckwalla Mountains, and Little Chuckwalla Mountains Wilderness Areas), the Salton Sea State Recreational Area, and undesignated BLM lands.

Management Status 4. All remaining lands, including most private, military, and Native American lands.

Existing Policies and Regulations

Federal Policies and Regulations

Endangered Species Act The Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) was promulgated to protect any species of plant or animal which is endangered or threatened with extinction. "Take" of endangered species is prohibited under Section 9 of the ESA. Take as defined under the ESA means to "harass, harm, pursue, hunt, wound, kill, trap, capture, collect, or attempt to engage in any such conduct" [16 U.S.C. § 1532(19)].

Section 7 of the Act requires federal agencies to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on proposed federal actions (actions authorized, funded, or carried out by federal agencies) which may affect threatened or endangered species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat. Section 7 also requires federal agencies to confer with the USFWS if the agency determines that its action is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any proposed species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of proposed critical habitat.

Section 10 of the ESA provides the regulatory mechanism which allows the incidental take of a listed species by private interests and non-federal government agencies during lawful land, water, and ocean use activities. Under these conditions, habitat conservation plans (HCPs) for the impacted species must be developed, approved by the USFWS, and implemented by the permitted. It is the goal through the HCP to minimize impacts to the species and develop viable mitigation measures to offset the unavoidable impacts.

Clean Water Act, Section 404 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) regulates discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the U.S. These waters include wetlands and non-wetland bodies of water that meet specific criteria. Corps regulatory jurisdiction pursuant to Section 404 of the Federal Clean Water Act is founded on a connection or nexus between the water body in question and interstate commerce. This connection may be direct, through a tributary system linking a stream channel with traditional navigable waters used in interstate or foreign commerce, or may be indirect, through a nexus identified in the Corps regulations. The following definition of waters of the U.S. is taken from the discussion provided at 33 CFR 328.3:

"The term waters of the U.S. means:

(1) all waters which are currently used, or were used in the past, or may be susceptible to use in interstate or foreign commerce...;

(2) all interstate waters including interstate wetlands;

(3) all other waters such as intrastate lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent streams) ...the use, degradation or destruction of which could affect interstate or foreign commerce...;

(4) all impoundments of waters otherwise defined as waters of the U.S. under the definition; and

(5) tributaries of waters defined in paragraphs (a) (1)-(4) of this section."

The Corps typically regulates as waters of the U.S. any body of water displaying an ordinary high water mark (OHWM). Corps jurisdiction over non-tidal waters of the

U.S. extends laterally to the OHWM or beyond the OHWM to the limit of any adjacent wetlands, if present. The OHWM is defined as "that line on the shore established by the fluctuations of water and indicated by physical characteristics such as a clear natural line impressed on the bank, shelving, changes in the character of soil, destruction of terrestrial vegetation, the presence of litter and debris, or other appropriate means that consider the characteristics of the surrounding area." Jurisdiction typically extends upstream to the point where the OHWM is no longer perceptible.

Clean Water Act, Section 401 The California Regional Water Quality Control Board is responsible for the administration of Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. The site of the proposed General Plan is within the jurisdiction of the Santa Ana Regional Board. Typically, the areas subject to jurisdiction of the Regional Board coincide with those of the Corps (i.e., waters of the United States including any wetlands). The Regional Board's responsibility is to ensure that the quality of down stream areas ("receiving waters") are not adversely impacted.

State Policies and Regulations

California Endangered Species Act The State of California has promulgated the California Endangered Species Act. This Act is similar to the Federal ESA in that its intent is to protect species of fish, wildlife, and plants that are in danger of, or threatened with, extinction because their habitats are threatened with destruction, adverse modification, or severe curtailment, or because of overexploitation, disease, predation, or other factors.

The threshold for take under the Federal ESA is lower than that under the California ESA. "Take" as defined under the California ESA means hunt, pursue, capture, or kill, or attempt to hunt, pursue, capture, or kill. Under certain conditions, the California ESA has provisions for take through a 2081 permit or a 2081 Memorandum of Understanding. The impacts of the authorized take must be minimized and fully mitigated. No permit may be issued if the issuance of the permit would jeopardize the continued existence of the species.

California Fish and Game Code, Section 1603 The CDFG, through provisions of the California Fish and Game Code (Section 1603), is empowered to issue agreements for any alteration of a river, stream, or lake where fish or wildlife resources may be adversely affected. Streams (and rivers) are defined by the presence of a channel bed and banks, and at least an intermittent flow of water.

CDFG regulates wetland areas only to the extent that those wetlands are a part of a river, stream, or lake as defined by CDFG. While seasonal ponds are within the CDFG definition of wetlands, they are not part of a river, stream, or lake and are not subject to jurisdiction of CDFG under Section 1603 of the Fish and Game Code.

County of Riverside Policies and Regulations

Stephens' Kangaroo Rat Habitat Conservation Plan In 1996, the USFWS issued a permit for the Long Term Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for the Stephens' kangaroo rat (SKR). The HCP covers an area of 540,000 acres and authorizes "take" of the SKR and resulted in the establishment of habitat reserves providing for the long-term conservation of the SKR.

Coachella Valley Fringe-Toed Lizard Habitat Conservation Plan In 1985 the USFWS and the CDFG authorized the Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard (CVFTL) Habitat Conservation Plan. The HCP authorizes "take" of the CVFTL and establishes a preserve providing for the long-term conservation of the species.

Western Riverside County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan On June 17, 2003, the County of Riverside adopted the Western Riverside County MSHCP and certified the EIR/EIS. At the time the Final EIR was published the USFWS has not issued its "take authorization" permit or finalized the Final EIS for the Western Riverside County MSHCP. This MSHCP (also a component of RCIP), if approved by the USFWS and CDFG, will provide mitigation for development impacts to threatened and endangered species throughout western Riverside County by way of a development fee and property acquisition. Participation in the plan may provide some or all mitigation for many CEQA-significant impacts, including habitat fragmentation and impacts to non-listed species (additional mitigation may be required, as determined on a project-by-project basis).

Riverside County Oak Tree Management Guidelines In March 1993, the County of Riverside issued Oak Tree Management Guidelines intended to address the treatment of oak woodlands in areas where zoning and/or general plan density restrictions will allow the effective use of clustering. The guidelines are generally considered to be the most effective where minimum lot sizes of 2.5 acres or larger or where oak woodlands are concentrated in a relatively small portion of a project site. The guidelines include recommendations for oak inventories, land use designs to cluster home sites in order to reduce impacts to oaks, and mitigation measures for oak conservation.

Biological Resources Reports Guidelines The County of Riverside Planning Department maintains a policy that prior to the submittal of any biological reports to the County, the Consultant preparing the report meet certain qualifications and must follow the County's standard procedures for conducting biological surveys, documenting the results in a technical report, and submitting the report to the Planning Department.

4.6.2 Biological Resources Thresholds of Significance

The effects of a development project on biological resources are considered to be significant if the proposed project will:

a) Have a substantial adverse effect, either directly or through habitat modifications, on any species identified as a candidate, sensitive, or special status species in local or regional plans, policies, or regulations, or by the CDFG or USFWS.

b) Have a substantial adverse effect on any riparian habitat or other sensitive natural community identified in local or regional plans, policies, regulations or by the CDFG or USFWS.

c) Have a substantial adverse effect on federally protected wetlands as defined by Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (including, but not limited to, marsh, vernal pool, coastal, etc.) through direct removal, filling, hydrological interruption, or other means.

d) Interfere substantially with the movement of any native resident or migratory fish or wildlife species or with established native resident or migratory wildlife corridors, or impede the use of native wildlife nursery sites.

e) Conflict with any local policies or ordinances protecting biological resources, such as a tree preservation policy or ordinance.

f) Conflict with the provisions of an adopted Habitat Conservation Plan, Natural Community Conservation Plan, or other approved local, regional, or State habitat conservation plan.

Note: CEQA Guidelines Section 15065 identifies conditions warranting "mandatory findings of significance" that are to be used in preliminary review of projects, conducting initial studies, and in determining if an EIR is required. The mandatory findings of significance are not used as thresholds of significance for purposes of the proposed General Plan analysis as: 1) it has already been determined that an EIR is required and 2) a more comprehensive analysis is provided herein than would be done for a preliminary review or an initial study.

4.6.3 Biological Resources Impacts and Mitigation

Methodology

The biological resources impacts discussion is primarily qualitative with some quantitative data generated through GIS analysis.

The mitigation measures identified for potential impacts to biological resources are based on standard professional practice. During subsequent project-level environmental analysis and review of individual development projects, compliance with applicable regulations may require coordination with resource agencies (e.g.,USFWS, CDFG, or Corps) to determine specific mitigation for impacts to waters of the U.S. (including wetlands), riparian habitats, and state and federally listed species. Resource agency permits for project-level approvals may require mitigation measures in addition to those outlined herein for the proposed General Plan.

For purposes of impact assessment and General Plan level mitigation, sensitive and nonsensitive habitat types are considered to be the following:



Western CountyEastern County
Sensitive Habitats
Coastal Sage Scrub
Playa and Vernal Pool
Meadow and Marsh
Riparian and Bottomland
Oak Woodland/Forest
Grassland (Valley and Foothill Grassland)
Sensitive Habitats
Desert Dune
Coastal Sage Scrub
Playa
Oak Woodland/Forest
Non-Sensitive Habitats
Urban and Disturbed
Agriculture
Water
Sonoran Desert Scrub
Big Sagebrush Scrub
Chaparral
Grassland (non-native grassland)
Coniferous Woodland/Forest
Non-Sensitive Habitats
Coniferous Woodland/Forest
Urban and Disturbed
Agriculture
Water
Sonoran Desert Scrub
Mojavean Desert Scrub
Big Sagebrush Scrub
Chenopod Scrub
Chaparral
Grassland
Riparian and Bottomland


Any habitat may be considered sensitive (including those identified above as non-sensitive) should it be found to support a listed, proposed, or candidate species or should it provide a viable habitat linkage between areas of sensitive habitat(s).

This impact analysis assumes that biological resources could be directly or indirectly impacted by implementation ("build out") of the proposed General Plan land uses and associated public works projects. Biological resources could be impacted as follows:

Direct mortality of individuals of listed, proposed, or candidate species or loss of habitat occupied by such species.

• Alteration or loss of habitat of listed, proposed, or candidate species that inhibits or compromises recovery efforts that could otherwise lead or contribute to the delisting of the species.

• Direct loss of sensitive natural communities.

• Fragmentation of sensitive habitats resulting in isolation of habitat patches creating a "checkerboard" pattern of small habitat patches of limited biological value.

• Fragmentation of habitat that constricts, inhibits, or eliminates wildlife movement.

• Direct loss of oak trees or alteration of natural processes (e.g., hydrology) resulting in indirect loss of oak trees.

• Alteration of habitat or natural processes that would result in the direct or indirect mortality of listed, proposed, or candidate species or that would result in loss, fragmentation, or isolation of sensitive habitat(s).

For purposes of this analysis, it is presumed that all natural habitat within Agriculture, Rural, and Community Development areas would be impacted (i.e., removed or degraded to such an extent as to be of no biological value). It is also presumed that all natural vegetation within Open Space areas would be retained. Due to the countywide scale of vegetation mapping, the smallest vegetation patch size depicted is 10 acres. Thus, certain habitat types that typically occur in small patches (i.e., vernal pools) are likely under-represented in the tables and figures depicting vegetation on a countywide scale. However, the depiction is considered to be sufficient for the program-level EIR review and it is anticipated that subsequent analyses for site-specific projects will include the small habitat patches.

Table 4.6.C identifies proposed General Plan impacts to all habitat and vegetation types. Figure 4.6.2 depicts how the total area of all existing natural habitat types would be "overlain;" by proposed General Plan land uses based on the Foundation Components (Agriculture, Community Development, Open Space, and Rural). Figure 4.6.3 depicts how the total area of all existing sensitive habitat types would be overlain by proposed General Plan land uses based on the Foundation Components. Table 4.6.D summarizes proposed General Plan impacts to sensitive habitats.

To determine if the impact is significant, at the level of site-specific projects that are proposed in accordance with the proposed General Plan, land uses will require analysis as part of the subsequent evaluation of such projects. The potential for such impacts to be considered significant will depend upon various factors including, but not limited to, the site conditions at the time of project evaluation, the extent of the area potentially affected, and the value of the affected habitat at local and regional scales.

During subsequent project-level environmental analysis and review of individual development projects, compliance with applicable regulations may require coordination with resource agencies (e.g., USFWS, CDFG, or Corps) to determine specific mitigation for impacts to waters of the U.S. (including wetlands), riparian habitats, and State and federally listed species. Resource agency permits for project-level approvals may require mitigation measures in addition to those outlined in the proposed General Plan.

Table 4.6.C
Proposed General Plan Impacts to Habitat and Vegetation Types
Habitat TypeExisting Vegetation TypeAcresFoundation CategoryTotal ImpactsPercentRetained
AgRural and
Rural Com.
Com. Dev.Open SpacePercent
WaterOpen Water/Reservoir/Pond8,906
11,477
99
88
90
83
466
410
655
579
7
5
8,251
10,898
93
95
Water44,884
45,007
038552590144,294
44,417
99
Subtotal53,790
56,484
99
86
128
121
1,018
962
1,245
1,169
252,545
55,315
98
Desert DuneDesert Dune71,561
85,013
151
538
1,245
1,895
3,137
13,449
4,533
15,882
6
19
67,028
69,130
94
81
Coastal Sage ScrubCoastal Sage Scrub7,668
7,615
8
3
1,344
1,297
5,790
5,789
7,142
7,089
93525
526
7
Coastal Scrub6,583
6,977
32,087
2,138
1,574
1,949
3,664
4,090
56
59
2,920
2,997
44
41
Diegan Coastal Sage Scrub15,025
15,242
16
53
6,180
7,312
810
962
7,006
8,327
47
55
8,020
6,915
53
45
Riversidean Alluvial Fan Sage Scrub4,934
6,345
179
219
1,817
1,874
1,310
1,730
3,306
3,823
67
60
1,627
2,522
33
40
Riversidean Sage Scrub116,400
141,979
881
2,029
53,898
54,028
16,725
34,592
71,504
90,649
61
64
44,896
51,331
39
36
Subtotal150,610
178,158
1,087
2,307
65,326
66,649
26,209
45,022
92,622
113,978
61
64
57,988
64,181
39
36
Sonoran Desert ScrubColorado Desert Wash Scrub1,476000001,476100
Semi-desert Succulent Scrub2,425
2,420
30
29
2,395
2,391
02,425
2,420
10000
Sonoran Desert Scrub1,885,491
1,925,785
17,881
13,828
28,629
33,532
35,248
45,826
81,758
93,186
4
5
1,803,732
1,832,598
96
95
Subtotal1,889,392
1,929,681
17,911
13,857
31,024
35,923
35,248
45,826
84,183
95,606
4
5
1,805,208
1,834,074
96
95
Mojavean Desert ScrubMojavean Desert Scrub400,310
399,106
0904
804
14
185
918
989
0399,392
398,117
100
Big Sagebrush ScrubBig Sagebrush Scrub11,762
11,706
1
2
4,223
3,617
5,297
5,843
9,521
9,462
812,241
2,244
19
Chenopod ScrubChenopod Scrub4,202
5,154
596
3,295
157
265
3,294
1,446
4,047
5,006
96
97
155
148
4
3
ChaparralChaparral422,186
438,081
3,520
4,715
107,408
105,849
34,178
44,874
145,106
155,438
34
35
277,080
282,643
66
65
Red Shank Chaparral83,528
83,386
874
983
17,239
16,042
13,465
14,562
31,578
31,587
38
38
51,949
51,800
62
Semi-desert Chaparral15015
3
0
12
1510000
Subtotal505,729
521,482
4,394
5,698
124,662
121,894
47,643
59,448
176,699
187,040
35
36
329,029
334,443
65
64
GrasslandGrassland1000001100
Non-native Grassland102,489
122,669
3,704
6,320
44,669
35,302
27,938
51,466
76,311
93,088
74
76
26,178
29,582
26
24
Valley and Foothill Grassland2,73304210421152,31185
Subtotal105,223
125,403
3,704
6,320
45,090
35,723
27,938
51,466
76,732
93,509
73
75
28,490
31,894
27
25
Playa and Vernal PoolAlkali Playa5,218
4,629
482
213
236
192
749
1,117
1,467
1,522
28
33
3,751
3,107
72
67
Playa and Vernal Pool23,950
23,754
28
352
01,753
1,483
1,781
1,835
7
8
22,169
21,918
93
92
Southern Interior Basalt Vernal Pool0
48
00
4
0
13
0
17
0
35
0
31
0
65
Vernal Pool26
38
03
0
3
19
6
19
23
50
19
20
73
53
Subtotal29,194
28,469
510
565
239
196
2,505
2,632
3,254
3,393
11
12
25,939
25,076
89
88
Meadow and MarshCismontane Alkali Marsh1,263
1,235
2
0
114
73
1,120
1,135
1,236
1,208
98272
Coastal and Valley Freshwater Marsh337
362
0012
49
12
49
4
14
325
313
96
86
Marsh94
31
50
0
6
5
5
2
61
7
65
23
32
24
34
77
Meadow (Montane)150
191
018274530
24
106
146
71
76
Wet Montane Meadow48697135
33
133
131
27354
356
73
Subtotal2,330
2,305
149
97
139
97
1,199
1,246
1,487
1,440
64
62
844
866
36
38
Riparian and BottomlandArundo/Riparian Forest348
490
000
2
0
2
0348
488
100
Disturbed Alluvial674
943
27
4
235
234
168
352
430
590
64
63
244
353
36
37
Montane Riparian Forest249
294
03473
2
243
287
98
Montane Riparian Scrub6000006100
Riparian Forest6,580
7,970
33
125
591
555
463
670
1,087
1,351
175,493
6,619
83
Riparian Scrub4,363
5,036
52
85
1,411
1,094
572
1,636
2,035
2,815
47
56
2,327
2,221
53
44
Riparian and Bottomland349,133
344,902
16,268
15,238
1,821
1,594
6,933
5,485
25,022
22,317
7
6
324,111
322,585
93
94
Southern Sycamore/Alder Riparian Wood00000000
Tamarisk Scrub27200000272100
Subtotal361,625
359,913
16,380
15,453
4,061
3,480
8,140
8,149
28,581
27,082
8333,044
332,831
92
Oak Woodland/ForestBlack Oak Forest9
5
000008
5

89
100
Broadleaved Upland Forest2,760
2,759
03612516162,599
2,598
94
Dense Engelmann Oak Woodland4,055
3,993
02,542
2,399
8
12
2,550
2,411
63
60
1,504
1,583
37
40
Oak Woodland31,997
32,514
249
326
5,505
5,584
1,664
2,134
7,418
8,044
23
25
24,578
24,470
77
75
Oak Woodland Forest00000000
Subtotal38,821
39,271
249
326
8,083
8,019
1,797
2,271
10,129
10,616
26
27
28,689
28,656
74
73
Coniferous Woodland/ForestConiferous Woodland/Forest87,039
94,659
01,083
2,525
1,172
2,660
2,255
5,185
3
5
84,784
89,474
97
95
Jeffrey Pine13,834
14,735
671
834
889
449
151
588
1,711
1,871
12
14
12,124
11,863
88
86
Lodgepole Pine1,656000001,656100
Lower Montane Coniferous Forest7,700
7,931
97
138
389
554
274
229
760
921
10
12
6,940
7,010
90
88
Mixed Evergreen Forest7,852
7,850
15147
151
0162
166
27,690
7,684
98
Peninsular Juniper Woodland and Scrub0
1,120
00
709
0
44
0
753
0
67
0
367
0
33
Southern California White Fir6,7360115
250
36151
286
2
4
6,585
6,450
98
96
Subalpine Coniferous54100000541100
Subtotal125,358
134,228
783
987
2,623
4,638
1,633
3,557
5,039
9,182
4
7
120,320
125,045
96
93
GRAND TOTAL 3,749,907
3,876,373
46,014
49,531
287,904
283,321
165,072
241,502
498,990
574,354
13
15
3,250,912
3,302,020
87
85








Impact 4.6.1 Implementation of the proposed General Plan will result in the direct mortality of individuals of listed, proposed, or candidate species or loss of habitat occupied by such species.

Table 4.6.D - Potential Impacts and Retention of Sensitive Habitat Types
Sensitive Habitat TypeExisting(acres)Proposed General Plan Impacts
by Foundation Category
Total Proposed ImpactsTotal Proposed Retained
Agriculture
(impacted)
Rural and Rural Community
(impacted)
Community Development
(impacted)
Total Impacted%Open Space
(retained)
%
Desert Dune71,561
85,013
151
538
1,245
1,895
3,137
13,449
4,533
15,882
6%
19%
67,028
69,131
94%
81%
Coastal Sage Scrub150,610
178,158
1,087
2307
65,326
66,649
26,209
45,022
92,622
113,978
61%
64%
57,988
64,180
39%
36%
Grassland2,7330421042115%2,311
2,312
85%
Playa & Vernal Pool29,194
28,469
510
565
239
196
2,505
2,632
3,254
3,393
11%
12%
25,939
25,076
89%
88%
Meadow & Marsh2,330
2,305
149
97
139
97
1,199
1,246
1,489
1,440
64%
62%
844
865
36%
38%
Riparian & Bottomland12,492
15,011
112
215
2,240
1,886
1,207
2,664
3,559
4,765
28%
32%
8,933
10,246
72%
68%
Oak Woodland / Forest38,821
39,271
249
326
8,083
8,019
1,797
2,271
10,129
10,616
26%
27%
28,689
28,655
74%
73%
Total307,741
350,960
2,258
4,048
77,693
79,163
36,054
67,284
116,005
150,495
38%
43%
191,732
200,465
62%
57%
Note: Totals exclude land within Cities and major roadways.


Analysis of Impact A total of 51 species that are listed, proposed, or candidates for listing under the California and/or the Federal Endangered Species Act are known to occur in Riverside County. Every habitat type identified in Table 4.6.C is known to be occupied or used by at least one such species. Some species are restricted to a single habitat type (e.g., fairy shrimp in playa and vernal pools) while other species occupy variety of habitat types (e.g., slender-horned spineflower in coastal sage scrub, chaparral, and riparian habitats). Every habitat type identified in Table 4.6.C will be impacted to at least some degree by implementation of the proposed General Plan. Thus, implementation of the proposed General Plan will result in the direct mortality of individuals of listed, proposed, or candidate species or loss of habitat occupied by such species. This impact is considered to be significant at the General Plan level.

Proposed General Plan Policies The proposed General Plan includes the following policies to address effects of prospective development on biological resources. The following proposed General Plan policies will directly or indirectly address the direct mortality of individuals of listed, proposed, or candidate species or loss of habitat occupied by such species. The effectiveness of the policies at reducing such impacts is analyzed below and additional mitigation measures are provided to reduce the effects of future development in the County on biological resources.

Open Space Policy 5.1 Substantially alter floodways or implement other channelization only as a "last resort," and limit the alteration to: (a) that necessary for the protection of public health and safety only after all other options are exhausted; (b) essential public service projects where or other feasible construction method or alternative project location exists; or (c) projects where primary function is improvement of fish and wildlife habitat.

Open Space Policy 5.2 If substantial modification to a floodway is proposed, design it to reduce adverse environmental effects to the maximum extent feasible, considering the following factors: (a) stream scour; (b) erosion protection and sedimentation; (c) wildlife habitat and linkages; (d) groundwater recharge capability; (e) adjacent property; (f) design (a natural effect, examples could include soft riparian bottoms and gentle bank slopes, wide and shallow floodways, minimization of visible use of concrete, and landscaping with native plants to the maximum extent possible). A site-specific hydrologic study may be required.

Open Space Policy 5.3 Set back all developed uses, except for non-motorized trails and existing agriculture, from the floodway boundary a distance equal to 15 percent of the floodway width unless modified by a site-specific study that determines a more appropriate setback width due to: Based upon site-specific study, all development shall be set back from the floodway boundary a distance adequate to address the following issues:

(a) pPublic safety;

(b) eErosion;

(c) rRiparian or wetland buffer;

(d) wWildlife movement or MSHCP corridor or linkage; and

(e) sSlopes.

Open Space Policy 5.5 Require new private or public developments to New development shall preserve and enhance existing native riparian habitat and prevent obstruction of natural watercourses. Incentives shall be utilized to the maximum extent possible.

Open Space Policy 5.6 Identify and, to the maximum extent feasible, conserve remaining upland habitat areas adjacent to wetland and riparian areas that are critical to the feeding, hibernation, or nesting of wildlife species associated with those these wetland and riparian areas.

Open Space Policy 5.7 Where land is prohibited from development due to its retention as natural floodways, floodplains and water courses, incentives should be available to the owner of such the land including density transfer and other mechanisms as may be adopted. These incentives will be provided for the purpose of encouraging the preservation of natural watercourses without creating undue hardship on the owner of properties following these policies property owners.

Open Space Policy 6.1 During the development review process, ensure compliance with the Clean Water Act's Section 404 in terms of wetlands mitigation policies and policies concerning fill material in jurisdictional wetlands.

Open Space Policy 6.2 Preserve buffer zones around wetlands where feasible and biologically appropriate.

Open Space Policy 8.1 Cooperate with Federal and State agencies to achieve the sustainable conservation of forest land as a means of providing open space and protecting natural resources and MSHCP habitat lands included in the MSHCPs.

Open Space Policy 9.3 Maintain and conserve superior examples of native trees, natural vegetation, stands of established trees, and other features for ecosystem, aesthetic, and water conservation purposes.

Open Space Policy 17.1 Enforce the provisions of applicable County MSHCPs, if adopted, Implementing Agreements when conducting review of development applications for discretionary activities.

Open Space Policy 17.2 Enforce the provisions of applicable County MSHCPs, if adopted, Implementing Agreements when developing transportation or infrastructure projects that have been designated as permitted covered activities in the applicable MSHCPs.

Open Space Policy 17.3 Enforce the provisions of applicable County MSHCPs, if adopted, Implementing Agreements when conducting review of possible general plan amendments and/or zoning changes.

Open Space Policy 18.1 Preserve multi-species habitat resources in the County of Riverside through the enforcement of the provisions of applicable MSHCPs, if adopted multi-species habitat conservation planning process.

Open Space Policy 18.2 Provide incentives to landowners that will encourage the protection of significant resources in the County beyond the preservation and/or conservation required to mitigate project impacts by policy.

Staff-suggested Changes to the Open Space and Conservation Policies:

Open Space Policy 17.1 Enforce the provisions of applicable MSHCPs, if adopted, when conducting review of development applications.

Open Space Policy 17.2 Enforce the provisions of applicable MSHCPs, if adopted, when developing transportation or other infrastructure projects that have been designated as permitted activities in the MSHCP.

Open Space Policy 17.3 Enforce the provisions of applicable MSHCPs, if adopted, when conducting review of possible general plan amendments and/or zoning changes.

Open Space Policy 17.4 Require the preparation of biological reports in compliance with Riverside County Planning Department Biological Report Guidelines for development related uses that require discretionary approval to assess the impacts of such development and provide mitigation for impacts to biological resources until such time as the CVAG MSHCP and/or Western Riverside County MSHCP are adopted or should one or both MSHCP's not be adopted.

Open Space Policy 17.5 Establish baseline ratios for mitigating the impacts of development related uses to rare, threatened and endangered species and their associated habitats to be used until such time as the CVAG MSHCP and/or Western Riverside County MSHCP are adopted or should one or both MSHCP's not be adopted.

Open Space Policy 18.1 Preserve multi-species habitat resources in the County of Riverside through adopted MSHCP's.

Open Space Policy 18.2 Provide incentives to landowners that will encourage the protection of significant resources in the County beyond the preservation and/or conservation required to mitigate project impacts.

Effectiveness of the Proposed General Plan Policies The proposed General Plan policies focus primarily on avoidance and minimization of impacts to floodplain, riparian, and wetland habitats; maintaining and conserving superior examples of native vegetation; and complying with applicable MSHCPs. The policies provide for avoidance and minimization of impacts to natural habitats but do not specify a means for identifying habitats that warrant such measures. Nor do the policies specify parameters for compensating for the loss of habitats when avoidance or minimization of impacts is considered to be infeasible. The policies do not fully mitigate for the direct mortality of individuals of listed, proposed, or candidate species or loss of habitat occupied by such species. In conjunction with the proposed General Plan policies, the following mitigation measures will be implemented.

Mitigation Measures

4.6.1A Comply with Riverside County Planning Department Biological Report Guidelines to include an analysis of the potential for a proposed project to result in direct mortality of individuals of listed, proposed, or candidate species or loss of habitat occupied by such species and sensitive habitats.

Under the Planning Department Guidelines, biological reports must be conducted as follows:

a. Reports must be prepared by a biologist on the County's list of qualified consultants.

b. The County Planning Department must be notified in advance that a report will be prepared for a specific project.

c. The report must include a signed certification attesting to the report contents.

d. The report must include specific information as to the type of survey (e.g., General Biological Resources Assessment, Habitat Assessment, etc.), site location, property owner, principal investigator, and contact information for participants in the field surveys.

e. The report must include specified attachments (summary sheet, level of significance checklist, biological resources/project footprint map, and site photos).

f. The report must include information on literature sources (e.g., California Natural Diversity Data Base, California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and environmental documents for nearby projects).

g. The report must include a description of surveys, including timing, personnel, and weather conditions.

h. The report must include a description of site conditions including plant and wildlife habitat, disturbances, and sensitive elements.

i. The report must include an assessment of anticipated project impacts and a discussion of mitigation.

j. The report must include a list of all species observed or detected and a recommendation for any additional focused surveys that may be necessary.

The above list is a summary of the County's guidelines, the actual guidelines available from the Planning Department shall be used in determining requirements for, and adequacy of, biological reports.

4.6.1B Preserve habitat at minimum of 1:1 replacement ratio in locations that provide long-term conservation value for impacted resource. This could involve acquisition of habitat occupied by the affected species, acquiring a key parcel that fills in a missing link or gap in a reserve that provides conservation for the species, or acquisition of credits in a mitigation bank (endorsed by the USFWS and/or CDFG) that has been established to provide conservation value for the species. Implementation of the mitigation measure shall include provisions for the preservation of such areas in perpetuity.

4.6.1C Comply with applicable HCPs.

Revised General Plan Finding Revisions to the proposed General Plan since the preparation of the Draft EIR have not substantially altered the meaning and applicability of the policies that pertain to direct mortality of species. The policies, as modified, still do not fully mitigate for the direct mortality of listed and proposed species or for the loss of habitat occupied by these species. However, adherence to the mitigation measures above would continue to provide adequate mitigation when combined with the revised policies. Changes that have been made to the amount of land designated for specific land uses are reflected in Figures 4.6.2 through 4.6.4 and in Tables 4.6.4C and 4.6.4D. The revised proposed General Plan land use would affect fewer acres of habitat than the General Plan as analyzed in the Draft EIR. While the policies and mitigation measures still partially mitigate the impact of direct mortality of listed and proposed species and the loss of habitat occupied by those species, the impact remains significant and unavoidable, as discussed in Section 4.6.4 below.




Impact 4.6.2 Alteration or loss of habitat of listed proposed, or candidate species that inhibits or compromises recovery efforts that could otherwise lead or contribute to the delisting of the species.

Analysis of Impact Pursuant to the Federal Endangered Species Act, the USFWS designates "Critical Habitat" identifying specific areas, both occupied and unoccupied, that are essential to the conservation of a listed species and that may require special management considerations or protections. "Recovery Plans" delineate actions which are believed, by the USFWS, to be required to recover or protect listed species. Construction of proposed General Plan land uses that result in the loss of or disturbance to designated Critical Habitat and/or identified Recovery Areas may inhibit or compromise efforts that could lead or contribute to the delisting of species.

In reaching a determination regarding such effects, the project impacts must be viewed against the aggregate effects of everything that has led to the species' current status and those things likely to affect the species in the future. If such factors may substantially diminish the species' reproduction, numbers, and distribution in the wild, then the effects may inhibit or compromise the recovery and delisting the species. The recovery or delisting of species that are narrowly distributed (e.g., the Riverside fairy shrimp) or that occur in Riverside County only as an isolated population of the species' larger range (e.g., red-legged frog) could be inhibited through even small-scale impacts resulting from a small number of projects that could result from a wide variety of land uses. The recovery or delisting of species that are more widely distributed and that occupy larger expanses of habitat (e.g., California gnatcatcher) could be inhibited through large-scale changes in land use and vegetative cover that eliminates large areas of occupied habitat, fragments habitat into small disjunct patches, or intensively impacts areas in which the species' activities are concentrated.

Fifty-one (51) species that are listed, proposed, or candidates for listing under the California and/or federal Endangered Species Acts are known to occur in Riverside County. The recovery of each of the 51 species may be inhibited to some degree by implementation of the proposed General Plan. This impact is considered potentially significant.

Determining if the impact is significant at the level of site-specific projects that are proposed in accordance with the proposed General Plan land uses will require analysis as part of the subsequent evaluation of such projects. The potential for such impacts to be considered significant will depend upon various factors including, but not limited to, the site conditions at the time of project evaluation, the extent of the area potentially affected, the quality of the habitat being affected, the value of the affected habitat at local and regional scales, and the importance of the habitat to the species in question.

The risks associated with the above impact can be minimized through implementation of the following proposed General Plan Open Space Policies.

Proposed General Plan Policies The proposed General Plan includes the following policies to address effects of prospective development on biological resources. The following proposed General Plan policies will directly or indirectly address the inhibition of recovery efforts for listed, proposed, or candidate species. The effectiveness of the policies at reducing such impacts is analyzed below and additional mitigation measures are provided reduce the effects of future development in the County on biological resources.

Open Space Policy 5.1 Substantially alter floodways or implement other channelization only as a "last resort," and limit the alteration to: (a) that necessary for the protection of public health and safety only after all other options are exhausted; (b) essential public service projects where nor other feasible construction method or alternative project location exists; or (c) projects where primary function is improvement of fish and wildlife habitat.

Open Space Policy 5.2 If substantial modification to a floodway is proposed, design it to reduce adverse environmental effects to the maximum extent feasible, considering the following factors: (a) stream scour; (b) erosion protection and sedimentation; (c) wildlife habitat and linkages; (d) groundwater recharge capability; (e) adjacent property; (f) design (a natural effect, examples could include soft riparian bottoms and gentle bank slopes, wide and shallow floodways, minimization of visible use of concrete, and landscaping with native plants to the maximum extent possible). A site-specific hydrologic study may be required.

Open Space Policy 5.3 Set back all developed uses, except for non-motorized trails and existing agriculture, from the floodway boundary a distance equal to 15 percent of the floodway width unless modified by a site-specific study that determines a more appropriate setback width due to: Based upon site-specific study, all development shall be set back from the floodway boundary a distance adequate to address the following issues:

(a) pPublic safety;

(b) eErosion;

(c) rRiparian or wetland buffer;

(d) wWildlife movement or MSHCP corridor or linkage; and

(e) sSlopes.

Open Space Policy 5.5 Require new private or public developments to New development shall preserve and enhance existing native riparian habitat and prevent obstruction of natural watercourses. Incentives shall be utilized to the maximum extent possible.

Open Space Policy 5.6 Identify and, to the maximum extent feasible, conserve remaining upland habitat areas adjacent to wetland and riparian areas that are critical to the feeding, hibernation, or nesting of wildlife species associated with those these wetland and riparian areas.

Open Space Policy 5.7 Where land is prohibited from development due to its retention as natural floodways, floodplains and water courses, incentives should be available to the owner of such the land including density transfer and other mechanisms as may be adopted. These incentives will be provided for the purpose of encouraging the preservation of natural watercourses without creating undue hardship on the owner of properties following these policies property owners.

Open Space Policy 6.1 During the development review process, ensure compliance with the Clean Water Act's Section 404 in terms of wetlands mitigation policies and policies concerning fill material in jurisdictional wetlands.

Open Space Policy 6.2 Preserve buffer zones around wetlands where feasible and biologically appropriate.

Open Space Policy 8.1 Cooperate with Federal and State agencies to achieve the sustainable conservation of forest land as a means of providing open space and protecting natural resources and MSHCP habitat lands included in the MSHCPs.

Open Space Policy 9.3 Maintain and conserve superior examples of native trees, natural vegetation, stands of established trees, and other features for ecosystem, aesthetic, and water conservation purposes.

Open Space Policy 17.1 Enforce the provisions of applicable County MSHCPs, if adopted, Implementing Agreements when conducting review of development applications for discretionary activities.

Open Space Policy 17.2 Enforce the provisions of applicable County MSHCPs, if adopted, Implementing Agreements when developing transportation or infrastructure projects that have been designated as permitted covered activities in the applicable MSHCPs.

Open Space Policy 17.3 Enforce the provisions of applicable County MSHCPs, if adopted, Implementing Agreements when conducting review of possible general plan amendments and/or zoning changes.

Open Space Policy 18.1 Preserve multi-species habitat resources in the County of Riverside through the enforcement of the provisions of applicable MSHCPs, if adopted multi-species habitat conservation planning process.

Open Space Policy 18.2 Provide incentives to landowners that will encourage the protection of significant resources in the County beyond the preservation and/or conservation required to mitigate project impacts by policy.

Effectiveness of the Proposed General Plan Policies The proposed General Plan policies focus primarily on avoidance and minimization of impacts to floodplain, riparian, and wetland habitats; and maintaining and conserving superior examples of native vegetation. Avoidance and minimization of impacts to such areas may reduce impacts to associated listed, proposed, and candidate species. The proposed General Plan policies also focus on complying with applicable MSHCPs and on habitat preservation through MSHCPs or through incentives for landowners.

The policies do not describe a means for identifying species whose recovery may be inhibited as a result of proposed General Plan implementation. Nor do the policies describe how avoidance and minimization of impacts to riparian (and wetland) habitats will be assessed with regard to species recovery. Further, the policies do not specify parameters for compensating for the loss of habitat of a listed, proposed, or candidate species when avoidance or minimization of impacts is considered to be infeasible. The policies do not fully mitigate for the potential inhibition of recovery efforts for listed, proposed, or candidate species. In conjunction with the proposed General Plan policies, the following mitigation measures will be implemented.

Mitigation Measures Implement Mitigation Measures 4.6.1B and 4.6.1C, above, along with the following mitigation measure.

4.6.2A Comply with Riverside County Planning Department Biological Report Guidelines to include an analysis of the potential for a proposed project to result in alteration or loss of habitat of listed proposed, or candidate species that inhibits or compromises recovery efforts that could otherwise lead or contribute to the delisting of the species.

Under the Planning Department Guidelines, biological reports must be conducted as follows:

a. Reports must be prepared by a biologist on the County's list of qualified consultants.

b. The County Planning Department must be notified in advance that a report will be prepared for a specific project.

c. The report must include a signed certification attesting to the report contents.

d. The report must include specific information as to the type of survey (e.g., General Biological Resources Assessment, Habitat Assessment, etc.), site location, property owner, principal investigator, and contact information for participants in the field surveys.

e. The report must include specified attachments (summary sheet, level of significance checklist, biological resources/project footprint map, and site photos).

f. The report must include information on literature sources (e.g., California Natural Diversity Data Base, California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and environmental documents for nearby projects).

g. The report must include a description of surveys, including timing, personnel, and weather conditions.

h. The report must include a description of site conditions including plant and wildlife habitat, disturbances, and sensitive elements.

i. The report must include an assessment of anticipated project impacts and a discussion of mitigation.

j. The report must include a list of all species observed or detected and a recommendation for any additional focused surveys that may be necessary.

The above list is a summary of the County's guidelines, the actual guidelines available from the Planning Department shall be used in determining requirements for, and adequacy of, biological reports.

Revised General Plan Finding Revisions to the proposed General Plan since the preparation of the Draft EIR have not substantially altered the meaning and applicability of the policies that pertain to the loss of habitat of listed species. The policies, as modified, are still insufficient to mitigate the impact to a less than significant level. Changes that have been made to the amount of land designated for specific land uses are reflected in Figures 4.6.2 through 4.6.4 and in Tables 4.6.4C and 4.6.4D. The revised proposed General Plan would affect fewer acres of habitat, and would therefore likely result in a lesser loss of habitat of listed species than the General Plan analyzed in the Draft EIR. While the revised proposed General Plan policies and the mitigation measures would reduce the impact relating to loss of habitat of listed species, this impact will remain significant and unavoidable, as discussed in Section 4.6.4 below.

Impact 4.6.3 Implementation of the proposed General Plan would cause direct loss of sensitive habitat.

Analysis of Impact The CDFG, through its Natural Diversity Data Base (NDDB), tracks the occurrence of natural communities which it considers to be the most sensitive in the state. Refer to preceding list of sensitive habitats for eastern and western Riverside County and to the Riverside County Existing Setting Report for identification of sensitive habitat types. As conditions change over time, conservation efforts may lead to habitat types being added to or removed from the set of habitats considered sensitive. Direct loss of habitat occurs when vegetation and other habitat components (e.g., rock outcrops) are removed for purposes of land use conversion. Implementation of the proposed General Plan will result in the direct loss of 150,495 acres of sensitive habitat (see previously referenced Table 4.6.D for a summary of impacts by each habitat type). This impact is considered significant.

Determining if the impact is significant at the level of site-specific projects that are proposed in accordance with the proposed General Plan land uses will require analysis as part of the subsequent evaluation of such projects. The potential for such impacts to be considered significant will depend upon various factors including, but not limited to, the site conditions at the time of project evaluation, the extent of the area potentially affected, the quality of the habitat being affected, and the value of the affected habitat at local and regional scales.

The risks associated with the above impact can be minimized through implementation of the following proposed General Plan Open Space Policies and proposed mitigation measures.

Proposed General Plan Policies The proposed General Plan includes the following policies to address effects of prospective development on biological resources. The following proposed General Plan policies will directly or indirectly address the loss of sensitive habitat. The effectiveness of the policies at reducing such impacts is analyzed below and additional mitigation measures are provided to reduce the effects of future development in the County on biological resources.

Open Space Policy 5.1 Substantially alter floodways or implement other channelization only as a "last resort," and limit the alteration to: (a) that necessary for the protection of public health and safety only after all other options are exhausted; (b) essential public service projects where nor other feasible construction method or alternative project location exists; or (c) projects where primary function is improvement of fish and wildlife habitat.

Open Space Policy 5.2 If substantial modification to a floodway is proposed, design it to reduce adverse environmental effects to the maximum extent feasible, considering the following factors: (a) stream scour; (b) erosion protection and sedimentation; (c) wildlife habitat and linkages; (d) groundwater recharge capability; (e) adjacent property; (f) design (a natural effect, examples could include soft riparian bottoms and gentle bank slopes, wide and shallow floodways, minimization of visible use of concrete, and landscaping with native plants to the maximum extent possible). A site-specific hydrologic study may be required.

Open Space Policy 5.3 Set back all developed uses, except for non-motorized trails and existing agriculture, from the floodway boundary a distance equal to 15 percent of the floodway width unless modified by a site-specific study that determines a more appropriate setback width due to: Based upon site-specific study, all development shall be set back from the floodway boundary a distance adequate to address the following issues:

(a) pPublic safety;

(b) eErosion;

(c) rRiparian or wetland buffer;

(d) wWildlife movement or MSHCP corridor or linkage; and

(e) sSlopes.

Open Space Policy 5.5 Require new private or public developments to New development shall preserve and enhance existing native riparian habitat and prevent obstruction of natural watercourses. Incentives shall be utilized to the maximum extent possible.

Open Space Policy 5.6 Identify and, to the maximum extent feasible, conserve remaining upland habitat areas adjacent to wetland and riparian areas that are critical to the feeding, hibernation, or nesting of wildlife species associated with those these wetland and riparian areas.

Open Space Policy 5.7 Where land is prohibited from development due to its retention as natural floodways, floodplains and water courses, incentives should be available to the owner of such the land including density transfer and other mechanisms as may be adopted. These incentives will be provided for the purpose of encouraging the preservation of natural watercourses without creating undue hardship on the owner of properties following these policies property owners.

Open Space Policy 6.1 During the development review process, ensure compliance with the Clean Water Act's Section 404 in terms of wetlands mitigation policies and policies concerning fill material in jurisdictional wetlands.

Open Space Policy 6.2 Preserve buffer zones around wetlands where feasible and biologically appropriate.

Open Space Policy 8.1 Cooperate with Federal and State agencies to achieve the sustainable conservation of forest land as a means of providing open space and protecting natural resources and MSHCP habitat lands included in the MSHCPs.

Open Space Policy 9.3 Maintain and conserve superior examples of native trees, natural vegetation, stands of established trees, and other features for ecosystem, aesthetic, and water conservation purposes.

Open Space Policy 9.4 Conserve the oak tree resources in the County.

Open Space Policy 17.1 Enforce the provisions of applicable County MSHCPs, if adopted, Implementing Agreements when conducting review of development applications for discretionary activities.

Open Space Policy 17.2 Enforce the provisions of applicable County MSHCPs, if adopted, Implementing Agreements when developing transportation or infrastructure projects that have been designated as permitted covered activities in the applicable MSHCPs.

Open Space Policy 17.3 Enforce the provisions of applicable County MSHCPs, if adopted, Implementing Agreements when conducting review of possible general plan amendments and/or zoning changes.

Open Space Policy 18.1 Preserve multi-species habitat resources in the County of Riverside through the enforcement of the provisions of applicable MSHCPs, if adopted multi-species habitat conservation planning process.

Open Space Policy 18.2 Provide incentives to landowners that will encourage the protection of significant resources in the County beyond the preservation and/or conservation required to mitigate project impacts by policy.

Effectiveness of the Proposed General Plan Policies The proposed General Plan policies focus primarily on avoidance and minimization of impacts to floodplain, riparian, and wetland habitats; maintaining and conserving superior examples of native vegetation; and complying with applicable MSHCPs. The policies provide for avoidance and minimization of impacts to some sensitive habitats but do not specify a means for identifying habitats that warrant such measures. Nor do the policies specify parameters for compensating for the loss of habitats when avoidance or minimization of impacts is considered to be infeasible. The policies do not fully mitigate for the loss of sensitive habitat. In conjunction with the proposed General Plan policies, the following mitigation measures will be implemented.

Mitigation Measures Implement Mitigation Measures 4.6.1A and 4.6.1B, above, along with the following mitigation measure.

4.6.3A Construct treatment wetlands outside of natural wetlands, allowing treatment of runoff from developed surfaces prior to entering natural stream systems.

Revised General Plan Finding Revisions to the proposed General Plan since the preparation of the Draft EIR have not substantially altered the meaning and applicability of the policies that pertain to the loss of sensitive habitat. The policies, as modified, are still insufficient to mitigate the impact to a less than significant level. Changes that have been made to the amount of land designated for specific land uses are reflected in Figures 4.6.2 through 4.6.4 and in Tables 4.6.4C and 4.6.4D. The revised proposed General Plan would affect fewer acres of sensitive habitat compared with the General Plan as originally proposed. While the revised proposed General Plan policies and the mitigation measures would reduce the impact relating to loss of sensitive habitat, this impact will remain significant and unavoidable, as discussed in Section 4.6.4 below.

Impact 4.6.4 Implementation of the proposed General Plan would cause habitat fragmentation resulting in isolation of sensitive habitat patches, creating a "checkerboard" pattern of small habitat patches of limited biological value.

Analysis of Impact The CDFG, through its NDDB, tracks the occurrence of natural communities which it considers to be the most sensitive in the state. Refer to preceding list of sensitive habitats for eastern and western Riverside County and to the Riverside County Existing Setting Report for identification of sensitive habitat types. As conditions change over time, conservation efforts may lead to habitat types being added to or removed from the set of habitats considered sensitive. Construction of proposed General Plan land uses may result in the loss or fragmentation of sensitive habitat(s).

Habitat fragmentation occurs when a proposed action results in a single, unified habitat area being divided into two or more parts, such that the division isolates the two new areas from each other. Isolation of habitats occurs when wildlife cannot move freely from one portion of the habitat to another, or from one habitat type to another. An example is the fragmentation of habitats within and around "leapfrog" patterns of residential development. Habitat fragmentation can also occur when a portion of one or more habitats is converted into another habitat, as when scrub habitats are converted into annual grassland habitat because of frequent burning.

The result of fragmentation is that the amount of habitat available to local wildlife populations is reduced. In general, a reduction in available habitat is followed by a reduction in wildlife populations, because the remaining areas are too small to support pre-fragmentation population levels. If the fragmentation is too great, wildlife populations will not be able to persist and some or all of the species in a fragmented habitat area will disappear. This can occur on a local or regional scale, depending upon the degree and type of fragmentation occurring. Fragmentation is particularly critical for species that occupy already limited habitats, such as riparian scrub, woodland, or forest. If various stands of riparian vegetation are too fragmented to provide sufficient continuous cover, or are too isolated from each other for an animal to freely move among various stands, that particular portion of the overall habitat may be lost to use by certain species.

As land use proceeds under implementation of the proposed General Plan, patches of habitat on undeveloped properties will initially be fragmented by the sporadic pattern of development. However, once the proposed General Plan reaches build out, the only fragmented patches remaining would be those set aside within a project site as on-site mitigation or due to development constraints (e.g., steep slopes), or both. Thus, the initial fragmentation of undeveloped properties would be an interim condition with the long-term fragmentation occurring under total build out. Regional fragmentation will occur as existing biological reserves and other conservation lands (e.g., Stephens' kangaroo rat HCP reserves, National Forest lands, AD161 MSHCP reserve, and Santa Rosa Plateau reserve) become surrounded and isolated by community and rural development. The proposed General Plan will create habitat fragmentation resulting in isolation of sensitive habitat patches creating a "checkerboard" pattern of small habitat patches of limited biological value. This impact is considered significant.

Determining if the impact is significant at the level of site-specific projects that are proposed in accordance with the proposed General Plan land uses will require analysis as part of the subsequent evaluation of such projects. The potential for such impacts to be considered significant will depend upon various factors including, but not limited to, the site conditions at the time of project evaluation, the extent of the area potentially affected, the quality of the habitat being affected, and the value of the affected habitat at local and regional scales.

The risks associated with the above impact can be minimized through implementation of the following proposed General Plan Open Space Policies and proposed mitigation measures.

Proposed General Plan Policies The proposed General Plan includes the following policies to address effects of prospective development on biological resources. The following proposed General Plan policies will directly or indirectly address the loss of sensitive habitat. The effectiveness of the policies at reducing such impacts is analyzed below and additional mitigation measures are provided to reduce the effects of future development in the County on biological resources.

Open Space Policy 5.1 Substantially alter floodways or implement other channelization only as a "last resort," and limit the alteration to: (a) that necessary for the protection of public health and safety only after all other options are exhausted; (b) essential public service projects where nor other feasible construction method or alternative project location exists; or (c) projects where primary function is improvement of fish and wildlife habitat.

Open Space Policy 5.2 If substantial modification to a floodway is proposed, design it to reduce adverse environmental effects to the maximum extent feasible, considering the following factors: (a) stream scour; (b) erosion protection and sedimentation; (c) wildlife habitat and linkages; (d) groundwater recharge capability;

(e) adjacent property; (f) design (a natural effect, examples could include soft riparian bottoms and gentle bank slopes, wide and shallow floodways, minimization of visible use of concrete, and landscaping with native plants to the maximum extent possible). A site-specific hydrologic study may be required.

Open Space Policy 5.3 Set back all developed uses, except for non-motorized trails and existing agriculture, from the floodway boundary a distance equal to 15 percent of the floodway width unless modified by a site-specific study that determines a more appropriate setback width due to: Based upon site-specific study, all development shall be set back from the floodway boundary a distance adequate to address the following issues:

(a) pPublic safety;

(b) eErosion;

(c) rRiparian or wetland buffer;

(d) wWildlife movement or MSHCP corridor or linkage; and

(e) sSlopes.

Open Space Policy 5.4 Consider designating floodway setbacks for greenways, trails, and recreation opportunities on a case-by-case basis.

Open Space Policy 5.5 Require new private or public developments to New development shall preserve and enhance existing native riparian habitat and prevent obstruction of natural watercourses. Incentives shall be utilized to the maximum extent possible.

Open Space Policy 5.6 Identify and, to the maximum extent feasible, conserve remaining upland habitat areas adjacent to wetland and riparian areas that are critical to the feeding, hibernation, or nesting of wildlife species associated with those these wetland and riparian areas.

Open Space Policy 5.7 Where land is prohibited from development due to its retention as natural floodways, floodplains and water courses, incentives should be available to the owner of such the land including density transfer and other mechanisms as may be adopted. These incentives will be provided for the purpose of encouraging the preservation of natural watercourses without creating undue hardship on the owner of properties following these policies property owners.

Open Space Policy 6.1 During the development review process, ensure compliance with the Clean Water Act's Section 404 in terms of wetlands mitigation policies and policies concerning fill material in jurisdictional wetlands.

Open Space Policy 6.2 Preserve buffer zones around wetlands where feasible and biologically appropriate.

Open Space Policy 8.1 Cooperate with Federal and State agencies to achieve the sustainable conservation of forest land as a means of providing open space and protecting natural resources and MSHCP habitat lands included in the MSHCPs.

Open Space Policy 9.3 Maintain and conserve superior examples of native trees, natural vegetation, stands of established trees, and other features for ecosystem, aesthetic, and water conservation purposes.

Open Space Policy 9.4 Conserve the oak tree resources in the County.

Open Space Policy 17.1 Enforce the provisions of applicable County MSHCPs, if adopted, Implementing Agreements when conducting review of development applications for discretionary activities.

Open Space Policy 17.2 Enforce the provisions of applicable County MSHCPs, if adopted, Implementing Agreements when developing transportation or infrastructure projects that have been designated as permitted covered activities in the applicable MSHCPs.

Open Space Policy 17.3 Enforce the provisions of applicable County MSHCPs, if adopted, Implementing Agreements when conducting review of possible general plan amendments and/or zoning changes.

Open Space Policy 18.1 Preserve multi-species habitat resources in the County of Riverside through the enforcement of the provisions of applicable MSHCPs, if adopted multi-species habitat conservation planning process.

Open Space Policy 18.2 Provide incentives to landowners that will encourage the protection of significant resources in the County beyond the preservation and/or conservation required to mitigate project impacts by policy.

Effectiveness of the Proposed General Plan Policies The proposed General Plan policies focus primarily on avoidance and minimization of impacts to floodplain, riparian, and wetland habitats; maintaining and conserving superior examples of native vegetation; and complying with applicable MSHCPs. The policies provide for avoidance and minimization of impacts associated with fragmentation but do not specify a means for identifying specific sites (either locally or regionally) that warrant such measures. Nor do the policies specify parameters for compensating for habitat fragmentation when avoidance or minimization of impacts is considered to be infeasible. The policies do not fully mitigate for the effects of habitat fragmentation. In conjunction with the proposed General Plan policies, the following mitigation measures will be implemented.

Mitigation Measures Implement Mitigation Measure 4.6.1C, above, along with the following mitigation measures.

4.6.4A Comply with Riverside County Planning Department Biological Report Guidelines to include an analysis of the potential for a proposed project to result in habitat fragmentation leading to the isolation of sensitive habitat patches.

Under the Planning Department Guidelines, biological reports must be conducted as follows:

a. Reports must be prepared by a biologist on the County's list of qualified consultants.

b. The County Planning Department must be notified in advance that a report will be prepared for a specific project.

c. The report must include a signed certification attesting to the report contents.

d. The report must include specific information as to the type of survey (e.g., General Biological Resources Assessment, Habitat Assessment, etc.), site location, property owner, principal investigator, and contact information for participants in the field surveys.

e. The report must include specified attachments (summary sheet, level of significance checklist, biological resources/project footprint map, and site photos).

f. The report must include information on literature sources (e.g., California Natural Diversity Data Base, California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and environmental documents for nearby projects).

g. The report must include a description of surveys, including timing, personnel, and weather conditions.

h. The report must include a description of site conditions including plant and wildlife habitat, disturbances, and sensitive elements.

i. The report must include an assessment of anticipated project impacts and a discussion of mitigation.

j. The report must include a list of all species observed or detected and a recommendation for any additional focused surveys that may be necessary.

The above list is a summary of the County's guidelines, the actual guidelines available from the Planning Department shall be used in determining requirements for, and adequacy of, biological reports.

4.6.4B Identify local and regional habitat patterns whereby sensitive habitats are connected or where opportunities exist to reconnect isolated patches of sensitive habitat. The baseline data of the Western Riverside County MSHCP provides a biologically sound depiction of habitat linkages that would provide regional connections between existing biological reserves and other conservation lands. Avoid impacts that would fragment sensitive habitat, or acquire land that would reconnect isolated habitat patches and create or restore habitat to reestablish the connection. Where on-site habitat preservation would not provide meaningful mitigation either for an affected sensitive species or for habitat connectivity, off-site mitigation shall be implemented through the acquisition of lands that provide for regional habitat connectivity. Implementation of the mitigation measure shall include provisions for the preservation of such areas in perpetuity.

Revised General Plan Finding Revisions to the proposed General Plan since the preparation of the Draft EIR have not substantially altered the meaning and applicability of the policies that pertain to the isolation of sensitive habitat resulting from habitat fragmentation. The policies, as modified, are still insufficient to mitigate the impact to a less than significant level. Changes that have been made to the amount of land designated for specific land uses are reflected in Figures 4.6.2 through 4.6.4 and in Tables 4.6.4C and 4.6.4D. The revised proposed General Plan would affect fewer acres of habitat than with the General Plan analyzed in the Draft EIR. Additionally, the adoption of the Western Riverside County MSHCP, provided it is certified by the USFWS and CDFG, will further reduce the amount of habitat fragmentation resulting from development in western Riverside County. While the revised proposed General Plan policies and the mitigation measures would reduce the impact relating to the isolation of sensitive habitat resulting from habitat fragmentation, this impact will remain significant and unavoidable, as discussed in Section 4.6.4 below.

Impact 4.6.5 The proposed General Plan would cause fragmentation of habitat that constricts, inhibits, or eliminates wildlife movement.

Analysis of Impact Certain species, including many plants and birds, are able to pass urban barriers, and may be somewhat less restricted by habitat fragmentation. Other species, such as deer, small mammals, and larger carnivores are more restricted by urban barriers, and require corridors of usable habitat between habitat patches in order to thrive. Keystone predator species, such as mountain lions, bears, bobcats, and coyotes require large territories. They provide important functions, both directly controlling the number of prey species (i.e., deer and rodents) by predation, and controlling the number of mesopredator species (such as raccoons, feral cats, and opossums) by predation and competition. As keystone predator species may include many smaller patches of habitat within their larger ranges, connectivity between suitable habitat patches is essential in maintaining the presence of these predators in fragmented areas. Functional connections may include riparian corridors or greenbelts, and must connect suitable habitat patches to each other. Connections to unsuitable habitat are unlikely to be of use to keystone predators.

As land use proceeds under implementation of the proposed General Plan, wildlife movement will be increasingly inhibited until build out of the proposed General Plan results in the exclusion of wildlife from large areas and the associated elimination of wildlife movement. Thus, the initial interruption of wildlife movement between undeveloped properties would be only an interim condition with the long-term elimination of wildlife movement occurring under total build out. Regional constriction, inhibition, or elimination of wildlife movement will occur as existing biological reserves and other conservation lands (e.g., Stephens' kangaroo rat HCP reserves, National Forest lands, AD161 MSHCP reserve, and Santa Rosa Plateau reserve) become surrounded and isolated by community and rural development. The proposed General Plan will result in fragmentation of habitat that constricts, inhibits, or eliminates wildlife movement. This impact is considered significant at the General Plan level.

Determining if the impact is significant at the level of site-specific projects that are proposed in accordance with the proposed General Plan land uses will require analysis as part of the subsequent evaluation of such projects. The potential for such impacts to be considered significant will depend upon various factors including, but not limited to, the site conditions at the time of project evaluation, the extent of the area potentially affected, the quality of the habitat being affected, and the value of the affected habitat at local and regional scales.

The risks associated with the above impact can be minimized through implementation of the following proposed General Plan Open Space Policies and proposed mitigation measures.

Proposed General Plan Policies The proposed General Plan includes the following policies to address effects of prospective development on biological resources. The following proposed General Plan policies will directly or indirectly address impacts to wildlife movement. The effectiveness of the policies at reducing such impacts is analyzed below and additional mitigation measures are provided to reduce the effects of future development in the County on biological resources.

Open Space Policy 5.1 Substantially alter floodways or implement other channelization only as a "last resort," and limit the alteration to: (a) that necessary for the protection of public health and safety only after all other options are ex-hausted; (b) essential public service projects where nor other feasible construction method or alternative project location exists; or (c) projects where primary function is improvement of fish and wildlife habitat.

Open Space Policy 5.2 If substantial modification to a floodway is proposed, design it to reduce adverse environmental effects to the maximum extent feasible, considering the following factors: (a) stream scour; (b) erosion protection and sedimentation; (c) wildlife habitat and linkages; (d) groundwater recharge capability; (e) adjacent property; (f) design (a natural effect, examples could include soft riparian bottoms and gentle bank slopes, wide and shallow floodways, minimization of visible use of concrete, and landscaping with native plants to the maximum extent possible). A site-specific hydrologic study may be required.

Open Space Policy 5.3 Set back all developed uses, except for non-motorized trails and existing agriculture, from the floodway boundary a distance equal to 15 percent of the floodway width unless modified by a site-specific study that determines a more appropriate setback width due to: Based upon site-specific study, all development shall be set back from the floodway boundary a distance adequate to address the following issues:

(a) pPublic safety;

(b) eErosion;

(c) rRiparian or wetland buffer;

(d) wWildlife movement or MSHCP corridor or linkage; and

(e) sSlopes.

Open Space Policy 5.4 Consider designating floodway setbacks for greenways, trails, and recreation opportunities on a case-by-case basis.

Open Space Policy 5.5 Require new private or public developments to New development shall preserve and enhance existing native riparian habitat and prevent obstruction of natural watercourses. Incentives shall be utilized to the maximum extent possible.

Open Space Policy 5.6 Identify and, to the maximum extent feasible, conserve remaining upland habitat areas adjacent to wetland and riparian areas that are critical to the feeding, hibernation, or nesting of wildlife species associated with those these wetland and riparian areas.

Open Space Policy 5.7 Where land is prohibited from development due to its retention as natural floodways, floodplains and water courses, incentives should be available to the owner of such the land including density transfer and other mechanisms as may be adopted. These incentives will be provided for the purpose of encouraging the preservation of natural watercourses without creating undue hardship on the owner of properties following these policies property owners.

Open Space Policy 6.1 During the development review process, ensure compliance with the Clean Water Act's Section 404 in terms of wetlands mitigation policies and policies concerning fill material in jurisdictional wetlands.

Open Space Policy 6.2 Preserve buffer zones around wetlands where feasible and biologically appropriate.

Open Space Policy 8.1 Cooperate with Federal and State agencies to achieve the sustainable conservation of forest land as a means of providing open space and protecting natural resources and MSHCP habitat lands included in the MSHCPs.

Open Space Policy 9.3 Maintain and conserve superior examples of native trees, natural vegetation, stands of established trees, and other features for ecosystem, aesthetic, and water conservation purposes.

Open Space Policy 9.4 Conserve the oak tree resources in the County.

Open Space Policy 17.1 Enforce the provisions of applicable County MSHCPs, if adopted, Implementing Agreements when conducting review of development applications for discretionary activities.

Open Space Policy 17.2 Enforce the provisions of applicable County MSHCPs, if adopted, Implementing Agreements when developing transportation or infrastructure projects that have been designated as permitted covered activities in the applicable MSHCPs.

Open Space Policy 17.3 Enforce the provisions of applicable County MSHCPs, if adopted, Implementing Agreements when conducting review of possible general plan amendments and/or zoning changes.

Open Space Policy 18.1 Preserve multi-species habitat resources in the County of Riverside through the enforcement of the provisions of applicable MSHCPs, if adopted multi-species habitat conservation planning process.

Open Space Policy 18.2 Provide incentives to landowners that will encourage the protection of significant resources in the County beyond the preservation and/or conservation required to mitigate project impacts by policy.

Effectiveness of the Proposed General Plan Policies The proposed General Plan policies focus primarily on avoidance and minimization of impacts to floodplain, riparian, and wetland habitats; maintaining and conserving superior examples of native vegetation; and complying with applicable MSHCPs. The policies provide for avoidance and minimization of impacts to wildlife movement but do not specify a means for identifying specific sites (either locally or regionally) that warrant such measures. Nor do the policies specify parameters for compensating for loss of wildlife movement when avoidance or minimization of impacts is considered to be infeasible. The policies do not fully mitigate for the impacts to wildlife movement. In conjunction with the proposed General Plan policies, the following mitigation measures will be implemented.

Mitigation Measures Implement Mitigation Measure 4.6.1C, above, along with the following mitigation measures.

4.6.5A Comply with Riverside County Planning Department Biological Report Guidelines to include an analysis of the potential for a proposed project to result in fragmentation of habitat that constricts, inhibits, or eliminates wildlife movement.

Under the Planning Department Guidelines, biological reports must be conducted as follows:

a. Reports must be prepared by a biologist on the County's list of qualified consultants.

b. The County Planning Department must be notified in advance that a report will be prepared for a specific project.

c. The report must include a signed certification attesting to the report contents.

d. The report must include specific information as to the type of survey (e.g., General Biological Resources Assessment, Habitat Assessment, etc.), site location, property owner, principal investigator, and contact information for participants in the field surveys.

e. The report must include specified attachments (summary sheet, level of significance checklist, biological resources/project footprint map, and site photos).

f. The report must include information on literature sources (e.g., California Natural Diversity Data Base, California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and environmental documents for nearby projects).

g. The report must include a description of surveys, including timing, personnel, and weather conditions.

h. The report must include a description of site conditions including plant and wildlife habitat, disturbances, and sensitive elements.

i. The report must include an assessment of anticipated project impacts and a discussion of mitigation.

j. The report must include a list of all species observed or detected and a recommendation for any additional focused surveys that may be necessary.

The above list is a summary of the County's guidelines, the actual guidelines available from the Planning Department shall be used in determining requirements for, and adequacy of, biological reports.

4.6.5B Identify local and regional habitat patterns that provide movement routes for wildlife or where opportunities exist to establish movement routes between isolated habitat patches. The baseline data of the Western Riverside County MSHCP provides a biologically sound depiction of habitat linkages that would provide wildlife movement routes between existing biological reserves and other conservation lands. Avoid impacts that would eliminate, substantially constrict, or substantially inhibit wildlife movement, or acquire land that would establish movement routes between isolated habitat patches and create or restore habitat to reestablish the connection. Where on-site habitat preservation would not provide meaningful mitigation either for affected species or for habitat connectivity, off-site mitigation shall be implemented through the acquisition of lands that provide for regional habitat connectivity. Implementation of the mitigation measure shall include provisions for the preservation of such areas in perpetuity.

Revised General Plan Finding Revisions to the proposed General Plan since the preparation of the Draft EIR have not substantially altered the meaning and applicability of the policies that pertain to wildlife movement. The policies, as modified, are still insufficient to mitigate the impact to a less than significant level. Changes that have been made to the amount of land designated for specific land uses are reflected in Figures 4.6.2 through 4.6.4 and in Tables 4.6.4C and 4.6.4D. The revised proposed General Plan would affect fewer acres of habitat than with the General Plan analyzed in the Draft EIR. However, the adoption of the Western Riverside County MSHCP, provided it is certified by the USFWS and CDFG, will further reduce the impact on wildlife movement resulting from development in western Riverside County by providing corridors and linkages between core habitats. While the revised proposed General Plan policies and the mitigation measures would reduce the impact relating to wildlife movement, this impact will remain significant and unavoidable, as discussed in Section 4.6.4 below.

Impact 4.6.6 Implementation of the proposed General Plan would result in direct loss of oak trees or alteration of natural processes (e.g., hydrology) resulting in indirect loss of oak trees.

Analysis of Impact Oak trees are dependent upon site conditions and a variety of associated natural processes for their growth, survival, and reproduction. Natural processes and conditions upon which the trees depend include, but are not limited to, the hydrologic regime, soil structure and chemistry, and microclimate. Construction of the proposed General Plan land uses may result in the direct loss of oak trees or may result in the alteration of natural processes upon which the trees depend. As described in previously referenced Table 4.6.D, 8,019 acres of oak woodland/forest will be impacted by implementation of the proposed General Plan. This impact is considered significant at the General Plan level.

Determining if the impact is significant at the level of site-specific projects that are proposed in accordance with the proposed General Plan land uses will require analysis as part of the subsequent evaluation of such projects. The potential for such impacts to be considered significant will depend upon various factors including, but not limited to, the site conditions at the time of project evaluation, the extent of the area potentially affected, the quality of the habitat being affected, and the value of the affected habitat at local and regional scales.

The risks associated with the above impact can be minimized through implementation of the following proposed General Plan Open Space Policies and proposed mitigation measures.

Proposed General Plan Policies The proposed General Plan includes the following policies to address effects of prospective development on biological resources. The following proposed General Plan policies will directly or indirectly address impacts to oak trees. The effectiveness of the policies at reducing such impacts is analyzed below and additional mitigation measures are provided to reduce the effects of future development in the County on biological resources.

Open Space Policy 5.1 Substantially alter floodways or implement other channelization only as a "last resort," and limit the alteration to: (a) that necessary for the protection of public health and safety only after all other options are exhausted; (b) essential public service projects where nor other feasible construction method or alternative project location exists; or (c) projects where primary function is improvement of fish and wildlife habitat.

Open Space Policy 5.2 If substantial modification to a floodway is proposed, design it to reduce adverse environmental effects to the maximum extent feasible, considering the following factors: (a) stream scour; (b) erosion protection and sedimentation; (c) wildlife habitat and linkages; (d) groundwater recharge capability; (e) adjacent property; (f) design (a natural effect, examples could include soft riparian bottoms and gentle bank slopes, wide and shallow floodways, minimization of visible use of concrete, and landscaping with native plants to the maximum extent possible). A site-specific hydrologic study may be required.

Open Space Policy 5.3 Set back all developed uses, except for non-motorized trails and existing agriculture, from the floodway boundary a distance equal to 15 percent of the floodway width unless modified by a site-specific study that determines a more appropriate setback width due to: Based upon site-specific study, all development shall be set back from the floodway boundary a distance adequate to address the following issues:

(a) pPublic safety;

(b) eErosion;

(c) rRiparian or wetland buffer;

(d) wWildlife movement or MSHCP corridor or linkage; and

(e) sSlopes.

Open Space Policy 5.4 Consider designating floodway setbacks for greenways, trails, and recreation opportunities on a case-by-case basis.

Open Space Policy 5.5 Require new private or public developments to New development shall preserve and enhance existing native riparian habitat and prevent obstruction of natural watercourses. Incentives shall be utilized to the maximum extent possible.

Open Space Policy 5.6 Identify and, to the maximum extent feasible, conserve remaining upland habitat areas adjacent to wetland and riparian areas that are critical to the feeding, hibernation, or nesting of wildlife species associated with those these wetland and riparian areas.

Open Space Policy 5.7 Where land is prohibited from development due to its retention as natural floodways, floodplains and water courses, incentives should be available to the owner of such the land including density transfer and other mechanisms as may be adopted. These incentives will be provided for the purpose of encouraging the preservation of natural watercourses without creating undue hardship on the owner of properties following these policies property owners.

Open Space Policy 6.1 During the development review process, ensure compliance with the Clean Water Act's Section 404 in terms of wetlands mitigation policies and policies concerning fill material in jurisdictional wetlands.

Open Space Policy 6.2 Preserve buffer zones around wetlands where feasible and biologically appropriate.

Open Space Policy 8.1 Cooperate with Federal and State agencies to achieve the sustainable conservation of forest land as a means of providing open space and protecting natural resources and MSHCP habitat lands included in the MSHCPs.

Open Space Policy 9.3 Maintain and conserve superior examples of native trees, natural vegetation, stands of established trees, and other features for ecosystem, aesthetic, and water conservation purposes.

Open Space Policy 9.4 Conserve the oak tree resources in the County.

Open Space Policy 17.1 Enforce the provisions of applicable County MSHCPs, if adopted, Implementing Agreements when conducting review of development applications for discretionary activities.

Open Space Policy 17.2 Enforce the provisions of applicable County MSHCPs, if adopted, Implementing Agreements when developing transportation or infrastructure projects that have been designated as permitted covered activities in the applicable MSHCPs.

Open Space Policy 17.3 Enforce the provisions of applicable County MSHCPs, if adopted, Implementing Agreements when conducting review of possible general plan amendments and/or zoning changes.

Open Space Policy 18.1 Preserve multi-species habitat resources in the County of Riverside through the enforcement of the provisions of applicable MSHCPs, if adopted multi-species habitat conservation planning process.

Open Space Policy 18.2 Provide incentives to landowners that will encourage the protection of significant resources in the County beyond the preservation and/or conservation required to mitigate project impacts by policy.

Effectiveness of the Proposed General Plan Policies The proposed General Plan policies focus primarily on avoidance and minimization of impacts to floodplain, riparian, and wetland habitats; maintaining and conserving superior examples of native vegetation; and complying with applicable MSHCPs. Oak trees are often found in floodplain and riparian habitat areas but are also found in other locations. The policies provide for avoidance and minimization of some impacts to oak trees but do not specify a means for identifying specific sites that warrant such measures. The policies do not specify a means for determining if natural processes will be altered to such a degree as to result in the indirect loss of oak trees. Nor do the policies specify parameters for compensat-ing for loss of oak trees when avoidance or minimization of impacts is considered to be infeasible. The policies do not fully mitigate for the impacts to oak trees. In conjunction with the proposed General Plan policies, the following mitigation measures will be implemented.

Mitigation Measures

4.6.6A Comply with Riverside County Planning Department Biological Report Guidelines to include an analysis of the potential for a proposed project to result in direct loss of oak trees or alteration of natural processes (e.g., hydrology) resulting in indirect loss of oak trees.

Under the Planning Department Guidelines, biological reports must be conducted as follows:

a. Reports must be prepared by a biologist on the County's list of qualified consultants.

b. The County Planning Department must be notified in advance that a report will be prepared for a specific project.

c. The report must include a signed certification attesting to the report contents.

d. The report must include specific information as to the type of survey (e.g., General Biological Resources Assessment, Habitat Assessment, etc.), site location, property owner, principal investigator, and contact information for participants in the field surveys.

e. The report must include specified attachments (summary sheet, level of significance checklist, biological resources/project footprint map, and site photos).

f. The report must include information on literature sources (e.g., California Natural Diversity Data Base, California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and environmental documents for nearby projects).

g. The report must include a description of surveys, including timing, personnel, and weather conditions.

h. The report must include a description of site conditions including plant and wildlife habitat, disturbances, and sensitive elements.

i. The report must include an assessment of anticipated project impacts and a discussion of mitigation.

j. The report must include a list of all species observed or detected and a recommendation for any additional focused surveys that may be necessary.

The above list is a summary of the County's guidelines, the actual guidelines available from the Planning Department shall be used in determining requirements for, and adequacy of, biological reports.

4.6.6B Comply with Oak Tree Management Guidelines, including the use of replacement plantings with acorns or oak saplings when it is determined to be biologically sound and appropriate to do so.

Revised General Plan Finding Revisions to the proposed General Plan since the preparation of the Draft EIR have not substantially altered the meaning and applicability of the policies that pertain to direct and indirect loss of oak trees. Changes to the acreages of land uses are reflected in Figures 4.6.2 through 4.6.4 and in Tables 4.6.C and 4.6.D. The revised proposed General Plan would affect about the same number of acres of sensitive habitat as the General Plan analyzed in the Draft EIR, which would not affect the ability of the policies and mitigation measures to mitigate effectively for the potential loss of oak trees. This impact will be less than significant, as discussed in Section 4.6.4.

Impact 4.6.7 Implementation of the proposed General Plan would result in alteration of habitat or natural processes that would result in the direct or indirect mortality of listed, proposed, or candidate species or that would result in loss, fragmentation, or isolation of sensitive habitat(s).

Analysis of Impact In addition to the potential for direct mortality of listed, proposed, or candidate species and the fragmentation or isolation of sensitive habitats as described above, alteration of habitats or natural processes may result in additional significant impacts. Habitats and species are dependent upon ecological processes for their support, growth, and continued existence. Various processes are important to each species and to each sensitive habitat type. Such processes include, but are not limited to, nutrient cycling, surface and subsurface hydrology, habitat connectivity (via sensitive or non-sensitive habitats), biotic interactions, habitat diversity and structural complexity, and periodic disturbances such as fire or flooding.

Construction of proposed General Plan land uses may result in the alteration of natural processes that directly or indirectly causes the mortality of listed, proposed or candidate species or that results in the loss, fragmentation, or isolation of sensitive habitat(s). The direct or indirect mortality of listed, proposed, or candidate species is considered to be a significant impact. The potential for impacts to sensitive habitat(s) be considered significant will depend upon various factors including, but not limited to, the extant conditions within the subject area, the extent of the area potentially affected, the quality of the habitat being affected, and the value of the affected habitat at local and regional scales.

The proposed General Plan will result in the loss of 574,354 498,990 acres of habitat including 150,495 116,005 acres of sensitive habitat. As a result, the proposed General Plan will directly or indirectly impact up to 51 listed, proposed, or candidate species in Riverside County. Thus, the proposed General Plan will result in alteration of habitat or natural processes that would result in the direct or indirect mortality of listed, proposed, or candidate species or that would result in loss, fragmentation, or isolation of sensitive habitat(s). This impact is considered significant at the General Plan level.

The construction and maintenance of new and existing roadways, structures, or facilities provide opportunities for the movement of invasive species. Invasive species can travel on vehicles and in the loads they carry. Invasive plants can be moved from site to site during spraying and mowing operations. Weed seed can be inadvertently introduced into the construction site on equipment during construction and through the use of mulch, imported soil or gravel, and sod. Some invasive plant species might be deliberately planted in erosion control, landscape, or wildflower projects. Highway rights-ofway provide ample opportunity for weeds in adjacent land to spread along corridors that, on a national scale, span millions of miles of highway. The introduction of invasive species may contribute to affect the habitat value of conservation lands.

The risks associated with the above impact can be minimized through implementation of the following proposed General Plan Open Space Policies and proposed mitigation measures.

Proposed General Plan Policies The proposed General Plan includes the following policies to address effects of prospective development on biological resources. The following proposed General Plan policies will directly or indirectly address alteration of habitat or natural processes that would result in the direct or indirect mortality of listed, proposed, or candidate species or that would result in loss, fragmentation, or isolation of sensitive habitat(s). The effectiveness of the policies at reducing such impacts is analyzed below and additional mitigation measures are provided to reduce the effects of future development in the County on biological resources.

Open Space Policy 5.1 Substantially alter floodways or implement other channelization only as a "last resort," and limit the alteration to: (a) that necessary for the protection of public health and safety only after all other options are exhausted; (b) essential public service projects where nor other feasible construction method or alternative project location exists; or (c) projects where primary function is improvement of fish and wildlife habitat.

Open Space Policy 5.2 If substantial modification to a floodway is proposed, design it to reduce adverse environmental effects to the maximum extent feasible, considering the following factors: (a) stream scour; (b) erosion protection and sedimentation; (c) wildlife habitat and linkages; (d) groundwater recharge capability; (e) adjacent property; (f) design (a natural effect, examples could include soft riparian bottoms and gentle bank slopes, wide and shallow floodways, minimization of visible use of concrete, and landscaping with native plants to the maximum extent possible). A site-specific hydrologic study may be required.

Open Space Policy 5.3 Set back all developed uses, except for non-motorized trails and existing agriculture, from the floodway boundary a distance equal to 15 percent of the floodway width unless modified by a site-specific study that determines a more appropriate setback width due to: Based upon site-specific study, all development shall be set back from the floodway boundary a distance adequate to address the following issues:

(a) pPublic safety;

(b) eErosion;

(c) rRiparian or wetland buffer;

(d) wWildlife movement or MSHCP corridor or linkage; and

(e) sSlopes.

Open Space Policy 5.5 Require new private or public developments to New development shall preserve and enhance existing native riparian habitat and prevent ob-struction of natural watercourses. Incentives shall be utilized to the maximum extent possible.

Open Space Policy 5.6 Identify and, to the maximum extent feasible, conserve remaining upland habitat areas adjacent to wetland and riparian areas that are critical to the feeding, hibernation, or nesting of wildlife species associated with those these wetland and riparian areas.

Open Space Policy 5.7 Where land is prohibited from development due to its retention as natural floodways, floodplains and water courses, incentives should be available to the owner of such the land including density transfer and other mechanisms as may be adopted. These incentives will be provided for the purpose of encouraging the preservation of natural watercourses without creating undue hardship on the owner of properties following these policies property owners.

Open Space Policy 6.1 During the development review process, ensure compliance with the Clean Water Act's Section 404 in terms of wetlands mitigation policies and policies concerning fill material in jurisdictional wetlands.

Open Space Policy 6.2 Preserve buffer zones around wetlands where feasible and biologically appropriate.

Open Space Policy 8.1 Cooperate with Federal and State agencies to achieve the sustainable conservation of forest land as a means of providing open space and protecting natural resources and MSHCP habitat lands included in the MSHCPs.

Open Space Policy 9.3 Maintain and conserve superior examples of native trees, natural vegetation, stands of established trees, and other features for ecosystem, aesthetic, and water conservation purposes.

Open Space Policy 9.4 Conserve the oak tree resources in the County.

Open Space Policy 17.1 Enforce the provisions of applicable County MSHCPs, if adopted, Implementing Agreements when conducting review of development applications for discretionary activities.

Open Space Policy 17.2 Enforce the provisions of applicable County MSHCPs, if adopted, Implementing Agreements when developing transportation or infrastructure projects that have been designated as permitted covered activities in the applicable MSHCPs.

Open Space Policy 17.3 Enforce the provisions of applicable County MSHCPs, if adopted, Implementing Agreements when conducting review of possible general plan amendments and/or zoning changes.

Open Space Policy 18.1 Preserve multi-species habitat resources in the County of Riverside through the enforcement of the provisions of applicable MSHCPs, if adopted multi-species habitat conservation planning process.

Open Space Policy 18.2 Provide incentives to landowners that will encourage the protection of significant resources in the County beyond the preservation and/or conservation required to mitigate project impacts by policy.

Effectiveness of the Proposed General Plan Policies The proposed General Plan policies focus primarily on avoidance and minimization of impacts to floodplain, riparian, and wetland habitats; maintaining and conserving superior examples of native vegetation; and complying with applicable MSHCPs. To the extent that natural processes are associated with such measures, the policies will provide for avoidance and minimization of some impacts (i.e. hydrology associated with floodplains, riparian, and wetland habitats). However, the policies do not specify a means for identifying specific sites that warrant such measures. The policies do not specify a means for determining if natural processes will be altered to such a degree as to result in the indirect loss sensitive species or habitats. Nor do the policies specify parameters for compensating for the alteration of natural processes when avoidance or minimization of impacts is considered to be infeasible. The policies do not fully mitigate for the indirect impacts to sensitive species and or habitats. In conjunction with the proposed General Plan policies, the following mitigation measures will be implemented.

Mitigation Measures Implement Mitigation Measures 4.6.1C and 4.6.6B, above, along with the following mitigation measures.

4.6.7A Comply with Riverside County Planning Department Biological Report Guidelines to include an analysis of the potential for a proposed project to result in alteration of habitat or natural processes that would result in the direct or indirect mortality of listed, proposed, or candidate species or that would result in loss, fragmentation, or isolation of sensitive habitat(s).

Under the Planning Department Guidelines, biological reports must be conducted as follows:

a. Reports must be prepared by a biologist on the County's list of qualified consultants.

b. The County Planning Department must be notified in advance that a report will be prepared for a specific project.

c. The report must include a signed certification attesting to the report contents.

d. The report must include specific information as to the type of survey (e.g., General Biological Resources Assessment, Habitat Assessment, etc.), site location, property owner, principal investigator, and contact information for participants in the field surveys.

e. The report must include specified attachments (summary sheet, level of significance checklist, biological resources/project footprint map, and site photos).

f. The report must include information on literature sources (e.g., California Natural Diversity Data Base, California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and environmental documents for nearby projects).

g. The report must include a description of surveys, including timing, personnel, and weather conditions.

h. The report must include a description of site conditions including plant and wildlife habitat, disturbances, and sensitive elements.

i. The report must include an assessment of anticipated project impacts and a discussion of mitigation.

j. The report must include a list of all species observed or detected and a recommendation for any additional focused surveys that may be necessary.

The above list is a summary of the County's guidelines, the actual guidelines available from the Planning Department shall be used in determining requirements for, and adequacy of, biological reports.

4.6.7B Avoid or minimize interruption of natural processes in local ecosystems.

4.6.7C Identify local and regional habitat patterns whereby sensitive habitats are connected or where opportunities exist to reconnect isolated patches of sensitive habitat. Avoid impacts that would fragment sensitive habitat, or acquire land that would reconnect isolated habitat patches and create or restore habitat to reestablish the connection. Implementation of the mitigation measure shall include provisions for the preservation of such areas in perpetuity.

4.6.7D Construct facilities to treat non-point source runoff outside natural stream systems thereby allowing only treated runoff to enter natural stream systems. Treatment facilities may be mechanical (i.e., filtration devices within storm drain systems), biological (i.e., constructed wetlands at storm drain outfalls), or a combination of the two means.

4.6.7E The following measures will be implemented to mitigate the potential spread of invasive plant species from construction areas:

Soil exposed during construction and maintenance activities shall be landscaped utilizing seeds, cuttings, and/or plant material from locally adapted species to preclude the invasion of noxious weeds. The use of site-specific materials, which are adapted to local conditions, increases the likelihood that revegetation will be successful and maintains the genetic integrity of the local ecosystem. Arrangements will be made well in advance of planting (nine months, if possible) to ensure that plant materials are located and available for the scheduled planting time. Sufficient time should be allocated for a qualified specialist to visit the project site during the appropriate season and collect the native plant material. If local propagules are not available or cannot be collected in sufficient quantities, materials collected or grown from other sources within Southern California shall be substituted. For widespread native herbaceous species that are more likely to be genetically homogeneous, site specificity is a less important consideration, and seed from commercial sources may be used.

Seed purity shall be certified by planting seeds labeled under the California Food and Agricultural Code, or that have been tested within a year by a seed laboratory certified by the Association of Official Seed Analysts or by a seed technologist certified by the Society of Commercial Seed Technologists.

Construction equipment will be cleaned of mud or other debris that may contain invasive plants and/or seeds and inspected to reduce the potential of spreading noxious weeds (before mobilizing to arrive at the site and before leaving the site).

Vehicles with loads carrying vegetation shall be covered and vegetative materials removed from the site shall be disposed of in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.

Revised General Plan Finding Revisions to the proposed General Plan since the preparation of the Draft EIR have not substantially altered the meaning and applicability of the policies that pertain to the direct or indirect mortality of species or loss, fragmentation, or isolation of habitat. The revised proposed General Plan would affect 498,990 acres of habitat, including 116,005 acres of sensitive habitat, which is a decrease in acreage from the General Plan as analyzed in the Draft EIR. The policies and mitigation measures will reduce the severity of the impact, but not to a level below significance.

Summary Tables

Table 4.6.E presents applicable mitigation measures and Table 4.6.F presents potential effectiveness of proposed General Plan Multi-Purpose Open Space Element policies as mitigation for potentially significant impacts to biological resources.

Additional Mitigation Requirements

It is recognized that while a minimum replacement ratio of 1:1 is sufficient mitigation for CEQA purposes, the USFWS and the CDFG may not accept the 1:1 ratio for Federal and State Endangered Species Act mitigation. The County of Riverside recognizes that the USFWS and CDFG may, and in some cases will, require a higher replacement ratio (i.e., 2:1 or 3:1 are typical replacement ratios required for ESA compliance).

4.6.4 Biological Resources Level of Significance after Mitigation

Implementation of the proposed policies and mitigation measures will reduce impacts to oak trees (Impact 4.6.6) to below a level of significance as these measures will provide for sufficient assessment of oak trees and associated natural processes and allow for the incorporation of mitigating measures as needed during future project review.

Implementation of the proposed policies and mitigation measures will reduce other impacts to biological resources (Impacts 4.6.1, 4.6.2, 4.6.3, 4.6.4, 4.6.5 and 4.6.7) however, not to below a level of significance. In the absence of a comprehensive plan that addresses regional conservation issues (such as an approved MSHCP), implementation of the policies and mitigation measures on a project-by-project basis will result in the preservation of fragmented habitat patches and the isolation of associated biological resources. Habitat fragmentation will be most prevalent in upland habitats where areas are already fragmented to some degree and where a project-by-project analysis does not allow for the identification, or conservation, of regionally important linkages and natural processes. Proposed policies, regulatory requirements, and physical constraints on development will partially offset the fragmentation of riparian habitats. However, many species are dependent on riparian and upland habitats and will be lost unless both habitats are conserved together.

Additionally, in the absence of an approved MSHCP for both the Coachella Valley and a USFWS- and CDFG- certified MSHCP for western Riverside County, implementation of the proposed General Plan will result in cumulative significant unavoidable adverse effects on biological resources by causing a direct loss of sensitive natural communities, especially coastal sage scrub and meadow and marsh habitats; by causing fragmentation of sensitive habitats resulting in isolation of habitat patches creating a "checkerboard" pattern of small habitat patches of limited biological value; and by causing the fragmentation of habitat that constricts, inhibits, or eliminates wildlife movement.

Table 4.6.E
Applicable Mitigation Measures
Proposed General Plan PoliciesPotentially Significant Impacts
Direct mortality of
individuals of listed species
or loss of habitat occupied
Inhibition of recovery
efforts for listed species
Loss or fragmentation of
riparian or other sensitive habitats
Fragmentation and
isolation of habitat patches
Fragmentation of habitat that
constricts or eliminates wildlife
movement.
Direct or indirect
loss of oak trees
Alteration of habitat or natural
processes resulting in mortality of
listed, proposed, or candidate
species or loss or fragmentation of
sensitive habitats.
Floodplain and Riparian Management
5.1 Channelize only as a last resort
5.2 Design to accommodate natural functions
5.3 Setback developed uses a distance equal to 15% of floodway adequate to address public safety, erosion, riparian/wetland buffer, wildlife movement/corridor/ linkage, and slopes
5.4 Designate larger floodway setbacks for recreation----
5.5 Require new developments to enhance existing riparian habitat and prevent obstructions of natural watercourses
5.6 Conserve key upland habitat in proximity to wetland and riparian areas
5.7 Establish incentives for landowners to preserve natural floodways
Wetlands
6.1 Comply with Section 404 of Clean Water Act
6.2 Preserve buffer zones around wetlands were feasible and biologically appropriate
Forest Resources
8.1 Cooperate with state and federal agencies to achieve sustainable forest conservation
8.2 Support programs to reforest private forest lands-------
Vegetation OS 9.1 - 9.5
9.3 Maintain and conserve superior examples of native vegetation
9.4 Conserve oak tree resources--
9.5 Encourage research and education on effects of pollution on human health and natural vegetation-------
MSHCPs
17.1 Enforce provisions of applicable MSHCPs as part of development review
17.2 Enforce provisions of applicable MSHCPs when developing infrastructure projects
17.3 Enforce applicable MSHCP provisions when reviewing GP amendments or zone changes
Environmentally sensitive lands
18.1 Preserve habitats through MSHCPs
18.2 Provide incentives to landowners to protect significant resources beyond the level required by County policy
Additional Mitigation Measures
Comply with County of Riverside Biological Report Guidelines
Acquire and preserve habitat at minimum of 1:1 replacement ratio in location that provides long-term conservation value for impacted resource--
Identify local and regional habitat connectivity patterns, avoid impacts that would fragment habitat or, acquire land to re-connect disjunct habitat patches-----
Identify local and regional wildlife movement patterns, avoid impacts that would inhibit wildlife movement or, acquire land to establish movement routes between isolated habitat patches------
Comply with applicable HCPs--
Comply with Oak Tree Management Guidelines-----
Avoid or minimize interruption of natural processes of local ecosystems------
Construct treatment wetlands outside of natural wetlands, allowing treatment of runoff from developed surfaces prior to entering natural stream systems-----


Table 4.6.F
Potential Effectiveness of Proposed General Plan Multipurpose Open Space
Element Policies as Mitigation for Potentially Significant Impacts to Biological Resources
Proposed General Plan PoliciesPotentially Significant Impacts
Direct mortality of
individuals of listed species
or loss of habitat occupied
Inhibition of recovery
efforts for listed species
Loss or fragmentation of
riparian or other sensitive habitats
Fragmentation and
isolation of habitat patches
Fragmentation of habitat that
constricts or eliminates wildlife
movement.
Direct or indirect
loss of oak trees
Alteration of habitat or natural
processes resulting in mortality of
listed, proposed, or candidate
species or loss or fragmentation of
sensitive habitats.
Floodplain and Riparian Management
5.1 Channelize only as a last resort1132312
5.2 Design to accommodate natural functions1132312
5.3 Setback developed uses a distance equal to 15% of floodway adequate to address public safety, erosion, riparian/wetland buffer, wildlife movement/corridor/ linkage, and slopes.1122321
5.4 Designate larger floodway setbacks for recreation---1121
5.5 Require new developments to enhance existing riparian habitat and prevent obstructions of natural watercourses1132312
5.6 Conserve key upland habitat in proximity to wetland and riparian areas1122322
5.7 Establish incentives for landowners to preserve natural floodways1122322
Wetlands
6.1 Comply with Section 404 of Clean Water Act1131112
6.2 Preserve buffer zones around wetlands were feasible and biologically appropriate1121212
6.3 Consider wetlands for use as natural water quality treatment sites--X-XX-
Forest Resources
8.1 Cooperate with state and federal agencies to achieve sustainable forest conservation1111121
8.2 Support programs to reforest private forest lands-------
Vegetation OS 9.1 - 9.5
9.1 Update vegetation map for western County in consultation with resource agencies-------
9.2 Expand vegetation mapping to include eastern County-------
9.3 Maintain and conserve superior examples of native vegetation1111121
9.4 Conserve oak tree resources--11131
9.5 Encourage research and education on effects of pollution on human health an d natural vegetation-------
MSHCPs
17.1 Enforce provisions of applicable MSHCPs as part of development review3333323
17.2 Enforce provisions of applicable MSHCPs when developing infrastructure projects3333323
17.3 Enforce applicable MSHCP provisions when reviewing GP amendments or zone changes3333323
Environmentally sensitive lands
18.1 Preserve habitats through MSHCPs3333323
18.2 Provide incentives to landowners to protect significant resources beyond the level required by County policy1111122
Additional Mitigation Measures
Comply with County of Riverside Biological Report Guidelines2222222
Acquire and preserve habitat at minimum of 1:1 replacement ratio in location that provides long-term conservation value for impacted resource2221112
Identify local and regional habitat connectivity patterns, avoid impacts that would fragment habitat or, acquire land to re-connect disjunct habitat patches11121-1
Identify local and regional wildlife movement patterns, avoid impacts that would inhibit wildlife movement or, acquire land to establish movement routes between isolated habitat patches11112-1
Comply with applicable HCPs11111-1
Comply with Oak Tree Management Guidelines-----3-
Avoid or minimize interruption of natural processes of local ecosystems11111-3
Construct treatment wetlands outside of natural wetlands, allowing treatment of runoff from developed surfaces prior to entering natural stream systems------2
Notes: Potential Effectiveness of GP Policies as means of mitigating impacts to below a level of significance
X Policy may exacerbate impact as currently written but, could be modified to provide effective mitigation
- Policy is not relevant to impact or is of little or no value as mitigation measure
1 Low potential for effectiveness or, impact pertains to wide range of resources and mitigation measure would be effective only for a narrow portion of the range. For instance, "channelizing floodways as a last resort" could be a highly effective mitigation measure to avoid direct mortality of listed species that are dependent on floodway habitats but, could have little or no effect on avoiding such impacts to species dependent on upland habitats.
2 Moderate effectiveness - adequate for CEQA providing mitigation is specific to resource being impacted
3 High effectiveness - may result in no-net-loss or even net gain of resource being impacted.


4.7 Cultural Resources

This section assesses the potential impacts on cultural resources that could occur with the development projected with the proposed General Plan.

4.7.1 Cultural Resources Existing Setting

The existing setting is summarized from the information contained within Section 4.6 of the Existing Setting Report prepared for the RCIP (incorporated by reference). The cultural and paleontological resource characteristics of Riverside County reflect human settlement, exploitation, arts, crafts, technology, ideology, and past environmental conditions.

The heritage values of cultural resources are typically expressed in the disciplines of architecture, anthropology (including archaeology), history, and engineering. Paleontological resources are fossilized biotic remains of ancient environments. They are valued for the information they yield about the history of the earth and its past ecological settings. Cultural resources consist of places (historic and prehistoric archaeological sites), structures, or objects that provide evidence of past human activity. They are important for scientific, historic, and/or religious reasons to cultures, communities, groups, and/or individuals.

The cultural history of Riverside County is divided into three general chronological units - prehistory, ethnohistory, and history - the last two of which overlap in the early years. The first two divisions are restricted to Native American traditions, beginning with the settlement of the Southern California region 10,000 to 12,000 years ago and extending through time to initial Euro-American settlement in the late 18th century when the mission system was established, disrupting native life ways. Nearly a century later, between 1875 and 1891, at least ten reservations were set aside in Riverside County and nearby vicinities (Bean 1978:Table 3). Most natives were removed to these reservations, further disrupting, and to a large extent ending, the persistence of native life ways. The historic era begins around 1774 with the exploratory expeditions of Juan Bautista de Anza and continues into 1958, or 45 years before the present as defined by CEQA.

The relative sensitivity of the diverse landscapes of Riverside County for cultural resources is shown in Figure 4.7.1. Three classifications are used: high, undetermined, and low.

Properties with high potential include those listed or determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Table 4.7.A provides a listing of historic resources in Riverside County. Table 4.7.B provides a summary of those Riverside County properties listed on the National Register.




Table 4.7.A
Historical Resources of Riverside County
 NRHPCRHLCPHIRCHLPresentLocationTheme
Exploration (1772-1818)
1 Anza Crossing of Santa Ana River, Site of X  XE/Van Buren on JurupaE/S
2 Anza Camp and Crossing, Site of X  XS/Terwilliger on Coyote CanE/S
3 Indian Wells, site of  XX 17 miles SE on SR111W, E/S
Mission Period 1769-1833
4 Dos Palmas  XXXS/111, exit on Parkside DriveW, E/S, T
5 Jose Romero Expedition     S/I-10, ˝ mile east of SR 111E/S
6 Old Temescal Road X   Approximates Temescal Cyn RdE/S
7 Palm Springs, site of  XX NE corner of Indian AvenueW, A/L, E/S
8 Serrano Boulder X   Approx 1 mile N of Glen Ivy Hot SpringsE/S
9 Serrano Tanning Vats  X X8 mi. S/Corona W/I-15E/I, NA
Mexican/Rancho (1833-1848)
10 Bandini-Cota Adobe  XXXPrado Flood Control BasinE/S
11 First Bandini Adobe, site of  XX 1000 feet W/Hamner AvenueE/S
12 La Placita del Los Trujillos, site ofX    295 North Orange StreetE/S
13 Louis Rubidoux House, Site of XXX W/ Rubidoux, 5500 Mission BlvdE/S
14 Mt. Rubidoux  XXX7th & Mt. Rubidoux DriveE/S, E/S, REL
15 Rancho Santa Rosa XXXXW/ Murrieta on Clinton-Keith RoadE/S
16 Rubidoux Grist Mill, Site of XXX S/60, E/Rubidoux, end of Fort DriveE/S
17 Trujillo Adobe  XXXW/215, N/Center, on OrangeE/S
18 Weaver Adobe  XXXN/10, 10055 Avenida MiravillaE/S
Early Californian (1848-1869)
19 Agua Mansa BellX   X3649 7th StreetREL
20 Bradshaw Ferry Crossing  XX I-10 to Rivera Drive, Blythe MarinaW, T
21 Butterfield Stage Station, site of X   20730 Temescal Canyon RdE/S, T
22 Corn Springs  XXXS/I-10 to Corn Springs RoadNA, W, E/S
23 First Post Office, site of  XX 28636 Front StreetGOV
24 Frink Ranch  XX?W/10, N/60 on Timoteo Canyon, near El CascoE/S, T
25 Jensen Alvarado RanchXX  XS/Mission E/Limonite E/S
26 Little Temecula Rancho Adobe, site ofX    20730 Temescal Canyon RdE/I
27 Pincate Mining District  XX Orange Empire RR MuseumE/I
28 SAAHATAPAX   ?W/10, N/60 on Timoteo CanyonE/S, NA
29 Southern HotelX   ?445 S. D StreetARC, E/I
30 Temescal Tin Mines  XX?E/I-10, N/CajalcoE/I
31 Third Serrano Adobe, site of X   S/E corner of I-15 & Temescal Canyon RdE/S
32 Toro Village  XX?S/I-10, to end of JacksonNA, T, E/S
33 Whitewater Ranch, Site of  XX S/I-10, ˝ mile east of SR 111E/S, T
(1869-1919)
34 Adair HouseX   X4310 Orange Street-RARC
35 Administration Building, Sherman InstituteX   X9010 Magnolia Avenue-RARC, E/S, NA
36 African Methodist Episcopal ChurchX   X2433 10th-RREL
37 All Souls Universalists ChurchX   XNW Corner of Lemon & 7th-RREL
38 Armory HallX   X252 N. Main StreetARC, MIL
39 Banning Woman's Club  XXX175 W. Hayes StreetE/S
40 Barker DamX   XN/I-10, SR62, to Utah TrailW, E/S
41 Blythe Intake SiteX    N/I-10 on US 95 near Palo Verde Diversion DamW, E/I
42 Camp Emerson  XXX243 to West Canyon Dr, to McKinney LaneE/S
43 Chase HouseX   X5145 Myrtle-RARC
44 Chinatown, Site ofX XX Brockton & Tequesquite-RETH
45 Citrus Experiment Station  XXXUCR-RE/S, E/I
46 Citrus Machinery Pioneering  XXXS/7th, E/91, SE Corner of Vine & Birtcher-RE/I
47 Coachella Valley Water District  XXXAvenue 52 & SR111W, E/I
48 Coplin House  XXX12 S. San Gorgonio AvenueE/S
49 Corona Carnegie Library, site ofX    S/E corner of Main & 8thE/S
50 Cottonwood OasisX   XN/I-10, SR62, to Utah TrailW, E/S
51 Cottonwood School  XXX1 mi N of CR 3 & SR79E/S
52 Crescent Bath HouseX XXXCorner of West GrahamARC, A/L
53 Date Industry Birthplace  XXXNational Avenue between Johnson and GrandE/I
54 Desert Inn, site of  XX NW Corner of Palm Canyon & TahquitzA/L
55 Desert Queen MineX   XN/I-10, SR62, to Utah TrailE/I
56 Elsinore's Hottest Sulphur Spring  X XGraham @ Spring-EA/L
57 Evans AdobeX   X7606 Mount VernonARC
58 Fairmont ParkX   XN/Redwood Drive-RA/L
59 First Church of ChristX   X3606 Lemon Street-RARC, REL
60 First Congregational Church  XXXSW corner of Lemon and 7