by Jodi SummersCEQA-Chart-of-Categories

The California Environmental Quality Act, aka CEQA is a statute that requires state and local agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of their actions and to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible.

CEQA currently measures traffic impacts using the “level of service” metric. In 2017, the method is changing to a “vehicle miles traveled” method.CEQA_Process

The new method may allow developers to reduce their environmental impact by reducing the number of vehicles traveling to and from a project.

“The new direction is called VMT, or ‘vehicle miles traveled,’” attorney Scott Birkey, a partner at Cox, Castle & Nicholson told “This is the direction that the New-apartment-buildings-in-Los-Angelesstate, under some new legislation, has been pushing us to. It is actually a little known secret that there has always been a preference to vehicle miles traveled because it looks at the amount of vehicles traveling for a given area or for a given amount of time. So, [it looks at] how many vehicles are on the road at any given moment. There are all sorts of questions about how to do that modeling. For example, what is the region and how do you put boundaries around the scope of that?”current ceqa eir process

There are a lot of questions still to be answered, before the new rules go into effect. But, the general idea is that if a developer uses VMT as a way of analysis, then they can change the project so that it mitigates traffic impact.

“As it is currently done under CEQA, you have to measure traffic impacts as part of your environmental quality act. We Urban-Apartment-Development-construction-cranes-keyimagehad been evaluating traffic impacts for years now using a ‘level of service’ metric,” notes Birkey. “This metric essential measures the amount of delay that each vehicle experiences at an intersection or a roadway segment.”

Birkey pointed out that the whole idea of waiting at an intersection as the result of a project makes it so that to mitigate those impacts, a developer might be fixing an intersection that is miles away from the project. It was a way of dealing with spillover effects from the project.

playa+vista+real+estateNow it’s all about how many trips a project is generating. It’s a positive paradigm shift, as the new CEQA rules are less about roadway segments miles away from a project and now more about the project itself.

The office of planning and research is still working on the new CEQA guidelines for the implementation of VMT It is not in effect yet and won’t be until they finalize their guidelines, but it is coming and agencies are looking at its implementation.




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About Jodi Summers

Jodi Summers Sotheby’s International Realty 310.392.1211 Jodi Summers Bio With $100,000,000 in listed inventory, Jodi Summers understands the coastal commercial real estate market. A top producer with Sotheby’s International Realty, Jodi knows finance, rules, regulations, procedures and methods. She is accurate, knowledgeable, timely and aware of how government shapes the cities of Southern California. Jodi is born in Brooklyn, raised in and around Manhattan – the family business was marketing, Madison Avenue style. Childhood math quiz questions calculated demographic and psychographic percentages or analyzed the allocation of adverting dollars. Word games were for devising slogans. An honors graduate from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, Jodi moved to California to achieve her goal of living by the beach with a palm tree and a hibiscus bush in her yard. She thrived as an entrepreneur in the entertainment, media and marketing industries. One of her books, “Marking and Marketing Music,” is in second edition. “My marketing and communication skills have proven to be a true gift when it comes to promoting real estate,” observes Jodi. “And I am consistently able to get an exceptionally high price per square foot for my sellers.” Discipline (Jodi holds a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do), organization, motivation, excellent communication skills and knowing & satisfying the needs of her clients have been her essentials for running a successful business. A passion for investment real estate explains her emphasis in asset-yielding properties. Her team joined Sotheby’s International Realty for the company’s powerful brand and stellar reputation. “We offer the broad market knowledge needed to assist clients in formulating a sound acquisition strategy,” Jodi amplifies. “Together, we evaluate various markets, property types and neighborhoods to devise a customized approach that meets each client's specific objectives.” Jodi is a member of the Action Apartment Association of Westside income property owners, the Santa Monica Conservancy historic preservation society, the Ocean Park Association, the Friends of Sunset Park community group, the Real Estate Investors Club of L.A., and the Culver City Rock & Mineral Club. Members of her team are fluent in Spanish and Italian. “Our reputation assures your satisfaction.”


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