In San Francisco Beautiful v. City and County of San Francisco, No. CPF11511535, (Cal. Ct. App. 1st Dist. May 30, 2014), the First Appellate District upheld San Francisco’s application of a categorical exemption to exempt from CEQA review the installation by AT&T of 726 utility cabinets on public sidewalks.
AT&T applied for a categorical exemption for its “Lightspeed” project (the Project), which is intended to upgrade broad band Internet speed and capabilities. The majority of the utility cabinets would be approximately 48 inches high, 51.7 inches wide, and 26 inches deep. (Slip Op. at p. 2.) Although AT&T had not determined precisely where the new utility cabinets would be located, the new cabinets would be “paired” with or placed within 300 feet of existing AT&T utility cabinets. (Ibid.) In response to community concerns, AT&T also promised to affix a 24-hour-a-day contact number for reporting graffiti directly to AT&T and a system in which AT&T personnel would remove the graffiti. (Ibid. at p. 3.) In 2010, AT&T submitted a revised application for a categorical exemption pursuant to section 15303(d) of the CEQA Guidelines (Guidelines), and the San Francisco Planning Department (SFPD) determined that the Project was categorically exempt from CEQA, leading to the present litigation. The trial court denied plaintiffs’ challenge, and they appealed.
Continue Reading Court Finds No CEQA Necessary For Utility Cabinets on San Francisco Sidewalks