Development

The Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (CVMSHCP) provides a means for streamlined development while protecting the region’s diverse natural resources. The signatories to the CVMSCHP, which includes the Valley’s nine municipalities and the County, are able to provide coverage for incidental take in urban areas in exchange for setting aside land for conservation in undeveloped areas.

The process for obtaining coverage under the CVMSHCP depends on the location of a proposed development project. Projects outside one of the CVMSHCP’s designated Conservation Areas need only pay the Local Development Mitigation Fee to obtain coverage. Developers proposing projects within a Conservation Area will need to submit their plans to the Coachella Valley Conservation Commission (CVCC) for an analysis to determine whether the project is consistent with the CVMSCHP’s Conservation Objectives.

Use CVCC’s Parcel Look Up tool to check whether your project will need a consistency analysis.
Note that the CVMSHCP does not provide coverage for projects on tribal reservation land, nor does it cover impacts to aquatic resources.

Local Development Mitigation Fee

The Local Development Mitigation Fee (LDMF) is a component of the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (CVMSHCP) to provide fund of the acquisition and long term management of conservation land within the CVMSHCP boundary. The Coachella Valley Conservation Commission (CVCC) administers the LDMF program and conserves land on behalf of the CVMSHCP’s local signatories. The LDMF, like all impact fees, is authorized through California’s Mitigation Fee Act, government code §66000-66025.

Current Fee Schedule

LDMF Category Assessment Unit Current Rate*
Commercial/Industrial Residential Acre $6,215
0-8 units per acre Dwelling unit $1,400
8.1-14 units per acre Dwelling unit $583
14+ units per acre Dwelling unit $259

*Rates may change to keep pace with inflation or to reflect an updated TPPS or Nexus Report

Payment of the LDMF is commonly due ahead of issuing either a building permit or a certificate of occupancy.

Fee Resources

CVCC Fee Estimator
Use this tool to estimate your development project’s LDMF obligations. Note: this tool will also estimate the Transportation Uniform Mitigation Fee, administered by the Coachella Valley Association of Governments.

LDMF Nexus Report
The nexus report identifies the necessary conservation actions and associated costs required to implement the CVMSCHP to determine a reasonable fee rate.
Development within a Conse

Development within a Conservation Area

The Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (CVMSHCP) allows for a minimal level of development to take place with designated Conservation Areas, provided that development is consistent with the Conservation Objectives and Required Measures for each Conservation Area; the Avoidance, Minimization, and Mitigation Measures for each Covered Species; and the Land Use Adjacency Guidelines for any development taking place within or adjacent to a Conservation Area.

CVMSHCP consistency is determined via a Joint Project Review, which must be completed ahead of the issuance of any grading permits. The entire Joint Project Review process generally takes approximately 75 days from the receipt of a complete application to the submission of a final consistency determination to the permitting jurisdiction. The JPR process is discussed in section 6.6.1.1[PS1] .

It is strongly recommended that project proponents complete the Joint Project Review process ahead of issuing a draft CEQA document.

The Joint Project Review Process

Any developer seeking to implement a project that will result in ground disturbance within a Conservation Area must submit their project for Joint Project Review (JPR). The JPR process allows the Coachella Valley Conservation Commission (CVCC) to conduct an analysis of the project and determine whether or not the project is consistent with the requirements of the CVMSHCP. Upon completion of the analysis, CVCC will issue its consistency determination to the permitting jurisdiction, who maintains ultimate land use authority in permitting any project.
In performing the consistency analysis, CVCC will assess the following criteria:
· Total project impact: CVCC will determine the total acreage of disturbance proposed by the project. Because desert ecosystems recover so slowly from any type of disturbance, both permanent and temporary ground disturbance will be counted towards the project’s footprint. CVCC will account for any existing disturbance, and remove it from the total project impact.
· Authorized disturbance: CVCC will identify whether the project will exceed the authorized disturbance quota for the permitting jurisdiction within the Conservation Area, accounting for any disturbance that has already been authorized under the CVMSCHP. Each jurisdiction’s authorized disturbance for a given Conservation Area is described in section 4.3.
· Required conservation measures: CVCC will confirm that the project’s work plan adheres to the Conservation Area’s required conservation measures, as described in section 4.3.
· Avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures: CVCC will review the work plan to confirm that the project incorporates the necessary avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures for any covered species, natural community, or essential ecological process that occurs within the project’s footprint. These measures are listed in section 4.4, and additional considerations may be discussed in chapters 9 and 10.
· Land use adjacency guidelines: Land use adjacency guidelines must be incorporated into the project’s work plan. These guidelines are listed in section 4.5.
· Rough step proportionality: Rough step refers to the relative proportion of permitted disturbance to land conserved for each Conservation Area. CVCC will analyze all the approved disturbance under the plan and compare it to the land conserved to make sure that disturbance is not outpacing conservation. Rough step is described in section 6.5.

Application Materials

Joint Project Review applications must contain the following:
· An application document [PS2] with project proponent and land owner signatures
· A project description detailed enough to assess consistency with the CVMSCHP
· Geospatial data in either Esri Shapefile/File geodatabase format or Keyhole Markup Language
· Maps depicting project location
Additional materials may be required based on the project’s location. Applicants are encouraged to carefully review sections 4.3-4.5 and to make sure the project description considers the review criteria.

Army Corps In Lieu Fee Program

The Coachella Valley Conservation Commission (CVCC) administers a United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)-approved In Lieu Fee (ILF) program to mitigate impacts to waters of the United States. Mitigation credits may be purchased from CVCC’s ILF program if authorized under a USACE 404 permit or a Regional Water Quality Control Board 401 permit.

Current Credit Fee Schedule:

Credit Type Credit Unit Unit Price
Restoration/Rehabilitation Acre $224,250
Enhancement Acre $187,450
Buffer Acre $144,900

CVCC’s ILF program is a separate entity from the CVMSCHP. Credits purchased from the ILF program cannot be used to offset any mitigation requirements imposed by the CVMSHCP

Please check USACE’s RIBITS system for credit availability.