CEQA Checklist – Public Facilities In Order To Maintain Acceptable Service Ratios


This section discusses the need for new or altered public facilities in order to maintain acceptable service ratios.

The questions posed in this chapter of the “Guide to the CEQA Initial Study Checklist 2010” also deal with the physical impacts that new or altered public service facilities may cause on the environment.


Would the project:
(a) Would the project result in substantial adverse physical impacts associated with the provision of new or physically altered governmental facilities, need for new or physically altered governmental facilities, the construction of which could cause significant environmental impacts, in order to maintain acceptable service ratios, response times or other performance objectives for any of the public services:

Fire protection?

Police protection?



Other public facilities?

1. Determining the Scope of the Question

Often times responses in the Initial Study Checklist just focuses on service levels for public services, but in fact the question also inquires about any physical adverse change that may result in providing or constructing new or altered government facilities.

In the opinion of the author, the response to this question also should include an analysis that discusses if new or altered government facilities are needed to maintain acceptable service ratios and what would be the physical impacts of providing or constructing such facilities.

If public services can be provided at an acceptable level without the need to construct new or altered facilities then there would be a less than significant or no impact.

If new or altered facilities are required then the physical impacts of those facilities needs to be discussed.

2. Where to Find the Factual Data to Answer the Question

• Project plans.

• Local agency general plan.

• Service providers, such as fire departments, police departments, school districts, park departments or districts, public facilities departments or districts etc.

• It is recommended that The California Environmental Resources Evaluation System (CERES) website be consulted to see if there is any information related to this question. The website is located at:

ceres.ca.gov or enter “ceres evaluation” in an Internet search engine.

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