Legal Resources | | T14 15064.5
Chapter 3. Guidelines for Implementation of the California Environmental Quality Act Article 5. Preliminary Review of Projects and Conduct of Initial Study Determining the Significance of Impacts to Archaeological and Historical Resources.
(a) For purposes of this section, the term "historical resources" shall include the following:
(1) A resource listed in, or determined to be eligible by the State Historical Resources Commission, for listing in the California Register of Historical Resources (Pub. Res. Code '5024.1, Title 14 CCR, Section 4850 et seq.).
(2) A resource included in a local register of historical resources, as defined in section 5020.1(k) of the Public Resources Code or identified as significant in an historical resource survey meeting the requirements section 5024.1(g) of the Public Resources Code, shall be presumed to be historically or culturally significant. Public agencies must treat any such resource as significant unless the preponderance of evidence demonstrates that it is not historically or culturally significant.
(3) Any object, building, structure, site, area, place, record, or manuscript which a lead agency determines to be historically significant or significant in the architectural, engineering, scientific, economic, agricultural, educational, social, political, military, or cultural annals of California may be considered to be an historical resource, provided the lead agency's determination is supported by substantial evidence in light of the whole record. Generally, a resource shall be considered by the lead agency to be "historically significant" if the resource meets the criteria for listing on the California Register of Historical Resources (Pub. Res. Code, '5024.1, Title 14 CCR, Section 4852) including the following:
(A) Is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of California's history and cultural heritage;
(B) Is associated with the lives of persons important in our past;
(C) Embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, region, or method of construction, or represents the work of an important creative individual, or possesses high artistic values; or
(D) Has yielded, or may be likely to yield, information important in prehistory or history.
(4) The fact that a resource is not listed in, or determined to be eligible for listing in the California Register of Historical Resources, not included in a local register of historical resources (pursuant to section 5020.1(k) of the Public Resources Code), or identified in an historical resources survey (meeting the criteria in section 5024.1(g) of the Public Resources Code) does not preclude a lead agency from determining that the resource may be an historical resource as defined in Public Resources Code sections 5020.1(j) or 5024.1.
(b) A project with an effect that may cause a substantial adverse change in the significance of an historical resource is a project that may have a significant effect on the environment.
(1) Substantial adverse change in the significance of an historical resource means physical demolition, destruction, relocation, or alteration of the resource or its immediate surroundings such that the significance of an historical resource would be materially impaired.
(2) The significance of an historical resource is materially impaired when a project:
(A) Demolishes or materially alters in an adverse manner those physical characteristics of an historical resource that convey its historical significance and that justify its inclusion in, or eligibility for, inclusion in the California Register of Historical Resources; or
(B) Demolishes or materially alters in an adverse manner those physical characteristics that account for its inclusion in a local register of historical resources pursuant to section 5020.1(k) of the Public Resources Code or its identification in an historical resources survey meeting the requirements of section 5024.1(g) of the Public Resources Code, unless the public agency reviewing the effects of the project establishes by a preponderance of evidence that the resource is not historically or culturally significant; or
(C) Demolishes or materially alters in an adverse manner those physical characteristics of a historical resource that convey its historical significance and that justify its eligibility for inclusion in the California Register of Historical Resources as determined by a lead agency for purposes of CEQA.
(3) Generally, a project that follows the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties with Guidelines for Preserving, Rehabilitating, Restoring, and Reconstructing Historic Buildings or the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings (1995), Weeks and Grimmer, shall be considered as mitigated to a level of less than a significant impact on the historical resource.
(4) A lead agency shall identify potentially feasible measures to mitigate significant adverse changes in the significance of an historical resource. The lead agency shall ensure that any adopted measures to mitigate or avoid significant adverse changes are fully enforceable through permit conditions, agreements, or other measures.
(5) When a project will affect state-owned historical resources, as described in Public Resources Code Section 5024, and the lead agency is a state agency, the lead agency shall consult with the State Historic Preservation Officer as provided in Public Resources Code Section 5024.5. Consultation should be coordinated in a timely fashion with the preparation of environmental documents.
(c) CEQA applies to effects on archaeological sites.
(1) When a project will impact an archaeological site, a lead agency shall first determine whether the site is an historical resource, as defined in subdivision (a).
(2) If a lead agency determines that the archaeological site is an historical resource, it shall refer to the provisions of Section 21084.1 of the Public Resources Code, and this section, Section 15126.4 of the Guidelines, and the limits contained in Section 21083.2 of the Public Resources Code do not apply.
(3) If an archaeological site does not meet the criteria defined in subdivision (a), but does meet the definition of a unique archeological resource in Section 21083.2 of the Public Resources Code, the site shall be treated in accordance with the provisions of section 21083.2. The time and cost limitations described in Public Resources Code Section 21083.2 (c-f) do not apply to surveys and site evaluation activities intended to determine whether the project location contains unique archaeological resources.
(4) If an archaeological resource is neither a unique archaeological nor an historical resource, the effects of the project on those resources shall not be considered a significant effect on the environment. It shall be sufficient that both the resource and the effect on it are noted in the Initial Study or EIR, if one is prepared to address impacts on other resources, but they need not be considered further in the CEQA process.
(d) When an initial study identifies the existence of, or the probable likelihood, of Native American human remains within the project, a lead agency shall work with the appropriate Native Americans as identified by the Native American Heritage Commission as provided in Public Resources Code section 5097.98. The applicant may develop an agreement for treating or disposing of, with appropriate dignity, the human remains and any items associated with Native American burials with the appropriate Native Americans as identified by the Native American Heritage Commission." Action implementing such an agreement is exempt from:
(1) The general prohibition on disinterring, disturbing, or removing human remains from any location other than a dedicated cemetery (Health and Safety Code Section 7050.5).
(2) The requirements of CEQA and the Coastal Act.
(e) In the event of the accidental discovery or recognition of any human remains in any location other than a dedicated cemetery, the following steps should be taken:
(1) There shall be no further excavation or disturbance of the site or any nearby area reasonably suspected to overlie adjacent human remains until:
(A) The coroner of the county in which the remains are discovered must be contacted to determine that no investigation of the cause of death is required, and
(B) If the coroner determines the remains to be Native American:
1. The coroner shall contact the Native American Heritage Commission within 24 hours.
2. The Native American Heritage Commission shall identify the person or persons it believes to be the most likely descended from the deceased Native American.
3. The most likely descendent may make recommendations to the landowner or the person responsible for the excavation work, for means of treating or disposing of, with appropriate dignity, the human remains and any associated grave goods as provided in Public Resources Code section 5097.98, or
(2) Where the following conditions occur, the landowner or his authorized representative shall rebury the Native American human remains and associated grave goods with appropriate dignity on the property in a location not subject to further subsurface disturbance.
(A) The Native American Heritage Commission is unable to identify a most likely descendent or the most likely descendent failed to make a recommendation within 24 hours after being notified by the commission.
(B) The descendant identified fails to make a recommendation; or
(C) The landowner or his authorized representative rejects the recommendation of the descendant, and the mediation by the Native American Heritage Commission fails to provide measures acceptable to the landowner.
(f) As part of the objectives, criteria, and procedures required by Section 21082 of the Public Resources Code, a lead agency should make provisions for historical or unique archaeological resources accidentally discovered during construction. These provisions should include an immediate evaluation of the find by a qualified archaeologist. If the find is determined to be an historical or unique archaeological resource, contingency funding and a time allotment sufficient to allow for implementation of avoidance measures or appropriate mitigation should be available. Work could continue on other parts of the building site while historical or unique archaeological resource mitigation takes place.
Public Resources Code 21083
Public Resources Code 21083.2
Public Resources Code 21084
Public Resources Code 21084.1
Citizens for Responsible Development in West Hollywood v. City of West Hollywood (1995) 39 Cal.App.4th 490.
(Amended by Register 2005, No. 40.)