A.   For purposes of applying procedural time limits under this title, a procedure will not be considered to have been initiated until one (1) of the following has occurred pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act:
      1.   Notice of completion of a draft environmental impact report has been filed;
      2.   Notice of a negative declaration has been made; or
      3.   The Director determines that the proposed zoning matter is exempt from, or does not constitute a project under, the California Environmental Quality Act.
   B.   If, after having determined otherwise, it is determined that either a negative declaration or an environmental impact report is required, or that a supplement to a draft environmental impact report is required, the running of time limits applicable to the zoning procedure shall be suspended until the applicable environmental review step has been accomplished.
   C.   Any hearing on an environmental impact report shall be held before or concurrently with the last hearing to be held on a zoning matter to which it relates.
   D.   Certification of final environmental impact report or adoption of a negative declaration, when required, shall be made prior to a final decision on a zoning matter.