What this CEQA compliance pathway covers

Class 4 consists of minor public or private alterations in the condition of land, water, and/or vegetation which do not involve removal of healthy, mature, scenic trees except for forestry and agricultural purposes.

Applicable locations


Permit documents

How to apply

The CEQA lead agency must file a Notice of Exemption (e.g., state or local government, Resource Conservation District, etc.).

Activities covered

Examples include but are not limited to:

  1. Grading on land with a slope of less than 10 percent, except that grading shall not be exempt in a waterway, in any wetland, in an officially designated (by federal, state, or local government action) scenic area, or in officially mapped areas of severe geologic hazard such as an Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zone or within an official Seismic Hazard Zone, as delineated by the State Geologist.
  2. New gardening or landscaping, including the replacement of existing conventional landscaping with water efficient or fire resistant landscaping.
  3. Filling of earth into previously excavated land with material compatible with the natural features of the site.
  4. Minor alterations in land, water, and vegetation on existing officially designated wildlife management areas or fish production facilities which result in improvement of habitat for fish and wildlife resources or greater fish production.
  5. Minor temporary use of land having negligible or no permanent effects on the environment, including carnivals, sales of Christmas trees, etc.
  6. Minor trenching and backfilling where the surface is restored.
  7. Maintenance dredging where the spoil is deposited in a spoil area authorized by all applicable state and federal regulatory agencies.
  8. The creation of bicycle lanes on existing rights-of-way.
  9. Fuel management activities within 30 feet of structures to reduce the volume of flammable vegetation, provided that the activities will not result in the taking of endangered, rare, or threatened plant or animal species or significant erosion and sedimentation of surface waters. This exemption shall apply to fuel management activities within 100 feet of a structure if the public agency having fire protection responsibility for the area has determined that 100 feet of fuel clearance is required due to extra hazardous fire conditions.


Note: Authority cited: Section 21083, Public Resources Code. Reference: Section 21084, Public Resources Code.