Q. 4, Short EAF (Part 1) Land Uses
Short Environmental Assessment Form Workbook
Check all land uses that occur on, adjoining, and near the proposed action.
□ Rural (non-agriculture)
□ Residential (suburban)
□ Other (specify): _________________________
This question provides information to help the reviewing agency understand if the proposed action is consistent with the surrounding area. Actions that are in conflict with the current uses in, or character of, the existing community or surrounding lands may have more potential for an adverse environmental impact.
The terms "on" and "adjoining" used in this question are relatively easy to interpret. "On" means physically within the boundaries of the proposed project, and "adjoining" means directly next to and contiguous with the proposed project site. However, the term "near" will mean different things depending on the setting and type of action being considered. For example, when evaluating a six-lot subdivision in a suburban residential district "near" might include a radius of 1,000 feet. However, a neighborhood business in an urban setting might include areas within 500 feet. Or, a retail farm stand in a rural setting might include an area up to 2,500 feet (one half mile) from the proposed project site. Some communities may have "near" defined in local laws or ordinances and in those cases, that should guide what "near" is in the context of the project. In other places where "near" is not defined, use 500 feet as a minimum distance in urban settings, 1000 feet in suburban neighborhoods, and 2,500 feet in rural areas. However, applicants should use their local understanding of the on-the-ground conditions, and use their best estimation of what nearby or adjacent uses are. Remember, the goal of the EAF is to identify potential adverse impacts, so the term "near" should be interpreted in a way that helps identify land uses that might be impacted by the proposed project.
Answering the Question
Applicants should use their knowledge of the area and check off all land uses that occur on, adjoining, or near the project site. Local land use maps showing this information may be available from the local town, village, city, or county planning or municipal clerk offices. Some communities may also have comprehensive plans that include helpful maps showing this information. Check with the municipal clerk to find out if any land use maps of the area exist. Online mapping sites, such as Google or Bing may be helpful when looking at nearby or adjacent lands. The downloadable program Google Earth includes a measuring tool that can be used to estimate lengths and areas.