What is a SEPA review?

A:

SEPA stands for State Environmental Policy Act. It is intended to provide a way to identify possible environmental impacts that may result from governmental decisions. Information provided during a SEPA review helps decision makers and the public understand how a proposal will affect the environment. The information can be used to change a proposal to reduce likely impacts, or to condition or deny a proposal when adverse environmental impacts are identified. In MICA’s case, the SEPA review, which will be conducted by the city’s Development Services Group staff, will include, among other things, a traffic impact analysis and identification of adequate parking to meet city code. The process typically takes 3-4 months to complete and includes opportunity for public comment.

The SEPA process is well underway and has afforded the opportunity for much public input. Updated plans and drawings incorporating public and city staff feedback have been included in our most recent submission to the City. As is customary for projects of this scope and nature, design work on the project continues and details will continue to evolve throughout the design process.

The following highlights the steps in the SEPA Review process:

  • Peer review comments to staff. MICA’s geotechnical, traffic and wetland studies are sent to outside consultants for peer review. City staff receives preliminary peer reviews from our wetland, geotechnical and traffic consultants.
  • Final peer review comments to staff. City staff reviews the consultant work and sends comments to our consultants.
  • Final peer review comments to MICA. When the final peer review comments for each discipline are submitted and accepted by City staff, the comments are sent to MICA for review and response.
  • City staff review of MICA responses. City staff reviews the responses from MICA regarding comments from the public, City staff and peer reviewers. If elements of the project are changed or if further clarification is needed, another round of City staff comments are compiled and sent to MICA.
  • SEPA Determination issued. Once all information is submitted to enable a determination of environmental impact.

Click here for more information about the SEPA Review process.