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(a) The City and all its officials, boards, commissions, departments, bureaus and offices shall constitute a single "local agency," "public agency" or "lead agency" as those terms are used in CEQA.
(b) The administrative actions required by CEQA with respect to the preparation of environmental documents, giving of notice and other activities, as specified in this Chapter, shall be performed by the San Francisco Planning Department as provided herein, acting for the City. When CEQA requires posting of a notice by the county clerk of the county in which the project will be located, the Planning Department shall transmit the required notice to the applicable county clerk, and instruct the county clerk on the length of time the notice shall be posted and when the posting shall commence.
(c) For appeals to the Board of Supervisors under Section 31.16 of this Chapter, the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors shall perform any administrative functions necessary for resolution of the appeal.
(e) Where adoption of administrative regulations by resolution of the Planning Commission after public hearing is specified herein, there shall be notice by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the City at least 20 days prior to the hearing and by posting in the offices of the Planning Department, with copies of the proposed regulations sent to the Board of Supervisors and any other affected boards, commissions and departments of the City and to all organizations and individuals who have previously requested such notice in writing. The decision of the Commission in adopting administrative regulations shall be final.
(f) The City shall be responsible for conducting environmental review for projects undertaken by the City within the City's territorial limits and for projects undertaken by the City outside the territorial limits of the City.
(1) Unless CEQA requires a mailed notice by the United States Postal Service in hard copy form, or an organization or individual requests notice in hard copy form, a City official may provide any mailed notice required by this Chapter using electronic mail transmission whenever an organization or individual provides an email address to the City official; provided that any notices required by this Chapter shall be provided by mail in hard copy form to any organizations or individuals who have requested such notice in writing prior to the effective date of this provision unless such organizations or individuals affirmatively request electronic notification as provided below.
(2) Electronic Notifications. The Environmental Review Officer shall implement an electronic notification system for the notification requirements in this Chapter 31. The Environmental Review Officer shall offer interested organizations and individuals the opportunity to subscribe to an automated electronic mail notification system. The system shall distribute all notifications required by this Chapter to subscribers. Subscribers shall have the option to receive electronic mail regarding all CEQA notifications or all CEQA notifications for: (i) a specific project; (ii) a specific neighborhood, as defined by the Planning Department for notification purposes; (iii) historic districts designated under Articles 10 or 11 of the Planning Code or listed on the National Register of Historic Places; (iv) exemption determinations; (v) negative declarations; and (vi) environmental impact reports. The Environmental Review Officer shall implement the electronic notification system within three months of the operative date of the ordinance enacting this provision of Chapter 31. In the event the system is not operable within such period, the Planning Department shall provide monthly status reports to the Board of Supervisors on the progress the Planning Department has made in implementing the electronic notification system.
"Approval Action" means:
(1) For a private project seeking an entitlement from the City and determined to be exempt from CEQA:
(A) The first approval of the project in reliance on the exemption by the City Planning Commission following a noticed public hearing, including, without limitation, a discretionary review hearing as provided for in Planning Code Section 311 or Section 312, or, if no such hearing is required, either:
(B) The first approval of the project in reliance on the exemption by another City commission, board or official following a noticed public hearing granting an Entitlement of Use for the Whole of the Project; or
(C) The issuance of the Building Permit or other Entitlement of Use for the Whole of the Project in reliance on the exemption without a noticed public hearing.
(2) For all other projects determined to be exempt from CEQA:
(A) The first approval of the project in reliance on the exemption by a City decision-making body at a noticed public hearing; or
(B) If approved without a noticed public hearing, the decision by a City department or official in reliance on the exemption that commits the City to a definite course of action in regard to a project intended to be carried out by any person.
(3) For all projects determined to require the preparation of a negative declaration, the approval of the project by the first City decision-making body that adopts the negative declaration or mitigated negative declaration as provided for in Section 31.11(h) of this Chapter.
"Date of the Approval Action" means the date the City takes the action on the project that is defined as the "Approval Action," regardless of whether the Approval Action is subject to an administrative appeal.
"Entitlement of Use for the Whole of the Project" means an entitlement that authorizes the project applicant to carry out the project as described in the CEQA decision for the project. Incidental permits needed to complete a project, such as a tree removal permit or a street encroachment permit that alone do not authorize the use sought, would not be an Entitlement of Use for the Whole of the Project, unless such permit is the primary permit sought for the project.
(Added by Ord. 40-01, File No. 001007, App. 3/16/2001; amended by Ord. 186-02, File No. 021418, App. 9/6/2002; Ord. 218-02, File No. 021609, App. 11/1/2002; Ord. 168-07, File No. 061537, App. 7/20/2007; Ord. 161-13, File No. 121019, App. 7/26/2013, Eff. 8/25/2013, Oper. 9/25/2013 [see note at end of Article])
(Former Sec. 31.04 amended by Ord. 166-74, App. 4/11/74; repealed by Ord. 40-01, File No. 001007, App. 3/16/2001)