In 2016, ECORP was retained by the City of Carlsbad to prepare a substantial revision and update to the City’s cultural resources guidelines. In 1990, the City developed its first set of guidelines for the treatment of cultural resources that established a standard of performance for cultural resources investigations to meet the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act that, by today’s standards, were narrowly scoped to address archaeological sites.
Since 1990, a number of changes have occurred in the regulatory context within which the City operates. These changes occurred at various levels of jurisdiction, including the city, state, and national levels and in the thresholds and expectations for best professional practices in cultural resources management. Changes have also occurred in terms of the level of involvement by stakeholders in cultural resources, particularly Native American tribes, as well as historical societies and the general public. Tribal cultural resources, paleontological resources, and compliance with Assembly Bill 52 and Senate Bill 18 needed to be incorporated into the City’s updated guidelines and procedures.
Because of the number of regulatory changes that have occurred since 1990, and the narrow scope of the prior guidelines, City staff retained ECORP to comprehensively update the guidelines to meet current standards, amendments to laws, and new City policies. The guidelines were developed through consultation with tribes, industry professionals, elected officials, and the public to include a standardized set of procedures by which the City takes into account the impacts of projects to cultural, tribal, and paleontological resources in a manner that weaves together and satisfies all of the various regulatory and legal requirements. The guidelines are written so that both technical and non-technical staff, including consultants, tribes, planners, and developers, can gain a clear understanding of cultural requirements. The guidelines include a list of standardized mitigation and treatment measures that have been mutually agreed upon by the City, stakeholders, tribes, and the public through an intensive review process.
The new comprehensive guidelines were adopted by the City Council in October 2017 and were recognized by the San Diego Chapter of the Association of Environmental Professionals for a Meritorious Outstanding Planning Document in the category of Plan, Policy, or Ordinance.