Guide to the CEQA Initial Study Checklist Kindle Version

Guide to the CEQA Initial Study Checklist Kindle Version

#86 in Land Use Law (Kindle Store)

The Guide to the Initial Study Checklist is the recipient of the State Merit Award from the California Association of Environmental Professionals.

CEQA, or the California Environmental Quality Act, is a statute that requires state and local agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of their actions and to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible.

Appendix G of the CEQA Guidelines covers 18 environmental topics and poses 89 questions. For each of the 89 questions, The Guide to the CEQA Initial Study Checklist will:





“This is a book many CEQA experts should or could have written…it has been sorely needed for years!” Kent Norton, former state president, Association of Environmental Professionals

Thanks for reading, Land Planning

Land Planning 411

5 Top Gift Ideas For Your Godchild


Being a godparent is a responsibility that begins at birth and spans a lifetime.Baby christening is your first shot at your new role.

At a loss of the perfect gift for your godson or goddaughter? A personalised christening baby gift is the perfect way to make sure you treat baby to a unique gift for their big day. As a godparent, choosing the best personalisedbaby gifts for your godchild’s christeningamidst several options could be daunting. What is more daunting is getting unique baby gifts to buy. As a godparent you should present the most memorable baby gift out there that will stand out in the crowd.

Are you a godparent in search of a unique christening gift idea or personalised baby gifts? Below are 5 top gift ideas for your godchild:

  1. Personalised Christening Baby Shawl

1. Personalised Christening Baby Shawl

You can never go wrong with gifting your godson or goddaughter a personalised baby shawl. It’s a simply stunning Christening gift designed to keep the baby warm in the winter and cool in the summer, coupled with the all important details of the day! It can be embroidered with any name you want, particularly his/her baptismal name. What more? Ensure this is nicely wrapped in a cute gift box with ribbon and gift note attached.

Commemorate the day baby becomes apart of the church with a stylish Personalised Christening Shawl or Baptism Shawl.

  1. PersonalisedABC Money Box

2. PersonalisedABC Money Box

A personalised ABC money box is a gorgeous yet unique gift for a New Born Baby. It’s perfect for christenings and will be a great addition to your godchild’s room.

  1. Personalised Baby Christening Bib

3. Personalised Baby Christening Bib

Here is another great personalized gift idea that can even turn into a cherished mementofor both baby and parents. Perfect for a baby boy or a baby girl and makes a wonderful baptismal gift.  The Bib can be personalised with any message you want for your goddaughter or godson and can be purchased here.

  1. Personalised Baby Birth Breakfast Set

Baby breakfast set consisting of a plate, bowl and mug is a stunning gift that will make an ideal birth or christening gift.This is the perfect birth or Christening gift which can be personalised with the details of the baby’s birth including name, weight and date of birth. Mark in gold the day baby arrived the world with a cute personalised baby birth breakfast set that can be purchased here.

  1. Sterling Silver Christening Bangle

5. Sterling Silver Christening Bangle

This Christening Bangle makes a perfect gift for a little one celebrating their Christening or baptism. This Sterling Silver Expanding Bracelet can be personalisedwith any name up to 15 characters and it comes presented in a gift bag.It’s expandable feature makes it useful even when the child is older. How sweet is that? This gorgeous baby keepsake can be purchased here.

That’s it! You don’t have to spend so much for your gift to be special, but making sure your gift has that personal touch is the magic recipe to creating a baby christening gift that will be forever cherished. Here at DCARO, we believe that going the extra way of having a christening gift personalised can make all the difference. It can turn a lovely baby gift into a lovely memento that will be looked back upon fondly, even when they become an adult and will always remind your godchild of the love you have for them.


DCARO is a Personalised Gift Shop and all of our gifts can be personalised, from our traditional christening gifts to our baby room decor or cute personalised bath robes, so if you want to give your godson or daughter a unique christening gift, please feel free to browse our website.


Practical Suggestions To Improve Usability Of Landing Pages With Animation From Slides


Good functional animation makes a landing page not just more appealing, but also more usable. When done correctly, animation can turn a landing page from a sequence of sections into a carefully choreographed, memorable experience. Meet Slides, a framework that will help you use animation to communicate clearly.

(This is a sponsored post.) For a long time, UI animation was an afterthought for designers. Even today, many designers think of animation as something that brings delight but does not necessarily improve usability. If you share this point of view, then this article is for you. I will discuss how animation can improve the user experience of landing pages, and I’ll provide the best examples of animation created using the Slides framework.

The Slides framework is an easy-to-use tool for creating websites. It allows anyone to create a sleek landing page in a few minutes. All you need to do is choose an appropriate design from the list of predefined slides.

Four Ways Animation Supports Usability Of Landing Pages

Landing page design is more than just about visual presentation; it’s about interaction. Details of interaction design make a fundamental difference on modern websites. And animated effects can reinforce interactions. To improve the usability of a landing page, an animation must be a functional element, not just decoration. It should serve a clear functional purpose. Below are a few common ways that animation can improve usability.



Every designer is a storyteller. When we create a website, we are telling a story to our visitors. And it’s possible to tell a much more engaging story by using animation.

Animation can help bring content to life. One good example of such animation can be found on Ikonet. The animation there keeps users engaged as they scroll the page and learn about the company.

Animation can also be used to call the visitor’s attention to something they should notice and act upon. For example, if you have an important text section or a call to action, sliding them in (instead of having them just appear) can help visitors understand where they should focus. Take a look at the Preston Zeller example below. The way elements appear on the pages drives the user’s focus to those areas. The great thing about this animation is that it draws attention to important information without being disruptive.


Human-computer interaction is based on two fundamentals: user input and system feedback. All interactive objects should react to user input with appropriate visual or audio feedback.

Below you can see the Custom Checkbox effect created using the Slides framework. The subtle bouncing animation the user sees when they change the state of the toggle reinforces the feeling of interactivity.

With Slides, you can create nice hover animations and encourage users to interact with objects. Take a look at Berry Visual. When you hover the mouse on “Send Message” or on the hamburger menu in the top-right corner, a nice animated effect occurs. It creates a sense that these elements are interactive.

Buf Antwerp is another excellent example of how on-hover animated feedback can improve the user experience. When visitors hover over a tile, a semi-transparent overlay appears, and text provides additional information about the item.



A great place to add animation to a landing page is at moments of change. All too often, moments of change are abrupt &mdahs; for example, when users click on a link, a new screen suddenly appears. Because sudden changes are hard for users to process, such changes usually result in a loss of context — the brain has to scan the new page to understand how the new context is connected to the previous one.

Compare that to the following example, in which a smooth animated transition guides the user to the different parts of the screen:

It’s clear that in the second example, animation prevents abrupt change — it fills the gap and connects two stages. As a result, visitors understand that the two stages belong together. This principle applies equally when you have a parent-to-child relationship between two objects:

It also applies when you create a transition between stages. The smooth transitions between slides in the example below create a sense of sequence, rather than separate unrelated parts of the page.


It might be difficult to imagine how to introduce playful elements into everyday experiences. But by adding a bit of surprise where it’s most unexpected, we can turn a familiar interaction into something unexpected and, thus, memorable.

When you visit Tympanus’ 3D Room Exhibition, it looks like any other gallery website that you’ve visited before. But your impression of the website changes immediately once you interact with a page. As you move the cursor, the page moves, and this effect creates a sense of 3D space. This feeling is reinforced when you go from one page to another; it looks like you’re traveling from one room to another within a 3D space.


Now let’s talk about something much more familiar than 3D effects: web forms. Who loves filling out forms? Probably nobody. Still, filling out forms is one of the most common tasks on the web. And it is possible to turn this dull activity into a fun exercise. Take a look Darin Senneff’s Yeti character, which is used in a form. When the user starts typing their password, the mascot covers its eyes. Such an animated effect brings a lot of delight when you see it for the first time.

Last but not least, it’s possible to make the scrolling experience not just more visually interesting, but also helpful for readers. Below is Storytelling Map, an interactive journey in which a path along a map is animated according to the content being scrolled through on the page. The idea ties the text, visuals and locations together; visitors read the information and see it in the context of the map).


Six Best Practices For Landing Page Animation

Identifying the places where animation has utility is only half the story. Designers also need to implement animation properly. In this section, we’ll find out how to animate like a pro.



When a few objects are animated simultaneously, it becomes distracting for users. Because the human brain and eye are hardwired to pay attention to moving objects, the user’s focus will jump from one element to another, and the brain will need extra time to figure out what just happened (especially if the movement happens very quickly). Thus, it’s important to schedule animations properly.

It’s vital to understand the concept of transition choreography: the coordinated sequence of motions that maintain the visitor’s focus as the interface changes. Minimize the number of elements that move independently; only a few things should happen at the same time (typically, no more than two or three). Thus, if you want to move more than three objects, group some objects together and transform them as a single unit, rather than animating them independently.

Slides offers an excellent benefit to web designers: It prevents them from overusing motion in design. Each animated effect available in Slides has been carefully designed to deliver content in the best possible way.



Each time you add animation to a design, you introduce personality. This personality will largely depend on the animated effect you choose to use.

When people interact with a product, they have certain expectations. Imagine designing a landing page for a banking service, and you decide to use a bouncing animation to introduce a form that collects the user’s personal information. Many users will hesitate to provide their details because the form conflicts with their expectations.

The Slides framework allows you to choose from 10 animated styles, such as Stack, Zen, Film, Cards and Zoom. Experiment with different effects, and choose what’s best for your case.



When it comes to designing animation, timing is everything. The timing of your animation can mean the difference between a good interaction and a bad one. When working on animation, you’ll usually spend a third of your time finding the right animated effects and the other two thirds finding the right timing to make the animation feel smooth.

Generally, keep the animation short. Animation should never get in the way of the user completing a task, because even the most beautifully executed animation would be really annoying if it slows down users. The optimal speed for a UI animation is between 200 and 500 milliseconds. An animation that lasts less than 1 second is considered as instant, whereas an animation longer than 5 seconds can convey a feeling of delay.

When it comes to creating an animated effect, one parameter has a direct impact on how the animation is perceived: easing, or timing function in CSS terms. Easing helps designers make movement more natural.

The Slides framework enables web designers to customize easing. You’ll find easing along with other effects in the section “Effect Settings”.



Animation is a double-edged sword. It can improve usability for one group of users, while causing problems for another group. Apple’s release of iOS 7 was a recent example of the latter. iOS 7 was full of animated effects, and shortly after its release, iPhone users reported that the animated transitions were making them feel dizzy.

Your responsibility as a designer is to think about how people with visual disorders will interact with your design. Check the WCAG’s guidelines on animation, and be sure that your design aligns with them. Track whether a user wants to minimize the amount of animation or motion. A special CSS media feature, “prefers-reduced-motion“, detects whether the user has requested that the system minimize the amount of animation or motion used. When it is set to “reduce”, then it’s better to minimize the amount of movement and animation (for example, by removing all non-essential movement).

Also, conduct usability testing to check that users will all abilities, including people with visual disorders, won’t have any problem interacting with your design.



Animation is fun to play with. It’s easy to go overboard and end up with a design that overwhelms users with too much motion. Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet for great animation; it’s hard to set clear criteria of what is “just enough”. Be ready to spend time on prototyping, testing and optimizing animated effects.

Here are a few tips worth taking into account during testing:

  • Test on different hardware.

Many hardware factors can drastically affect animation performance: screen size, screen density, GPU performance, to name just a few. As a result, a user on a high-definition screen might have a completely different experience than a user on an older screen. Consider such factors when designing animation to prevent performance bottlenecks. Don’t blame slow hardware; optimize your animation to work great on all sort of devices.

  • Test on mobile.

Most websites are built and tested on a desktop; the mobile experience and animation performance is often treated as an afterthought. Lack of testing on mobile could cause a lot of problems for mobile users, because some animated techniques work great on desktop but not as well on mobile. To avoid a negative experience, confirm that your design works fine on both desktop and mobile. Test on mobile early and often.

  • Watch animation at a slow speed.

It might be hard to notice problems when an animation (especially a complex one) runs at full speed. When you slow the animation down (say, at one tenth the speed), such issues become evident. You can also record slow-motion video of your animations and show them to other people to get other perspectives.

With the Slides framework, you can create a high-fidelity interactive prototype in minutes. You can use a WYSIWYG editor to create animated effects, publish the design, and see how it works on both desktop and mobile devices.




There’s a reason why so many designers think of animation as an unnecessary feature that overloads the user interface and makes it more complicated. In most cases, that’s true when designers introduce animation at the end of the design process, as lipstick for the design — in other words, animation for the sake of animation. Random motion without any purpose won’t benefit visitors much, and it can easily distract and annoy.

To make meaningful animation, take time at the beginning of the project to think about areas where animation would naturally fit. Only in this way will animation be natural to the user flow.



Good functional animation makes a landing page not just more appealing, but also more usable. When done correctly, animation can turn a landing page from a sequence of sections into a carefully choreographed, memorable experience. The Slides framework helps web designers use animation to communicate clearly.

What is CEQA and How Does it Involve Residential Housing Developments in California

3. Land Planning 411

What is CEQA?

CEQA, or the California Environmental Quality Act, is a statute that requires state and local agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of their actions and to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible.


When and why was it enacted?

The impetus for CEQA can be traced to the passage of the first federal environmental protection statute in 1969, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). In response to this federal law, the California State Assembly created the Assembly Select Committee on Environmental Quality to study the possibility of supplementing NEPA through state law. This legislative committee, in 1970, issued a report entitled The Environmental Bill of Rights, which called for a California counterpart to NEPA. Later that same year, acting on the recommendations of the select committee, the legislature passed, and Governor Reagan signed, the CEQA statute.


Who must comply with CEQA?

CEQA applies to certain activities of state and local public agencies. A public agency must comply with CEQA when it undertakes an activity defined by CEQA as a “project… (click to read page on site cited)” – California Natural Resources Agency

CEQA is a complex area of land use planning because it involves environmental law and various city, state, and federal agencies being part of proposed residential housing developments in California.

Land Planning 411 in order to keep this post readable without being War and Peace, the topic of CEQA is very legal and wordy in layman’s terms.

So, we found a little YouTube video online which explains best in the area we were interested, CEQA and housing development.

Thanks for reading and viewing, Land Planning 411


The Lighter Side of City Planning California

Gus Romo Development director

City planning is the nucleus of a community where residents with different views on politics regarding California land use can voice their opinions to their local city council and planning commission meeting.

Do a search on YouTube on planning commission or city council meetings to get a wide variety of videos basically showing the good, the bad, and the ugly in city politics.

There are news stories abound about controversial land projects being opposed by citizens, environmental activists, and housing watchdog groups.

This is not one of them, this is the lighter side of city planning California.

In a small city hall during a planning commission meeting a citizen from the audience uses their three minutes of open public comments time to give their opinion for or against a project or ask a question.

The citizens question was, “Excuse me, what is a cup? You have been saying it all night.”

A project being proposed and being brought forward to the planning commission and citizens was asking for a cup or conditional use permit.

Its humorful to see where the confusion was. A city planner forgot their audience for a moment and used language average citizens are not or should be familiar with.

Lesson learned was in any profession, be it urban planning or a short order cook, make sure the people you are communicating understand what’s being talked about.

Later I reached out to Baldwin Park’s Community Development Director Gus Romo (at the time) and shared what I saw and asked if he had come across that in his career, the use of an urban planning acronym being overused or not explained to the general public.

Gus Romo development director gave me a good bit of advice I can only paraphrase, as being to the mind of always explain in layman’s terms, especially in city planning.

Thanks for reading, Land Planning 411

Final Talking City Planning with Gus Romo

Romo Planning Group

Gus Romo, Permitted land use, California community development, city planning, land use planning, Gustavo Romo, Romo Planning Group, planning professionals California, CEQA, contract planning services California, land planning 411

Talking California Community Development, City and Land Use Planning with Gus Romo

At Land Planning 411 we give our readers interested in community development, city planning, and land development five random questions we submit to planning professionals in California.

Today we share our interview with Community Development and City Planning Professional Gus Romo (Gustavo Romo).

Land Planning 411 (LP411): In your own words what do community development, and city planning, mean to you?

Gus Romo, Romo Planning Group (RPG): City planning has always been part of our history. However, in today’s world, it has become a tool to save our environment and educate people about the importance of creating sustainable communities.

LP411: Having been an audience member in many California planning commission and city council meetings I and other people sometimes can get overwhelmed by acronyms like CUP.

Do you personally prepare yourself and planning staff to give presentations limiting acronyms in a way to improve communication between community and city hall staff? And what is a CUP?

RPG: Yes, it’s always difficult for planners to catch themselves talking lingo instead of speaking in layman’s terms. We want to be understood but need to realize that we should always consider how the built environment is perceived and all the social factors that are involved. A CUP is a conditional use permit.

LP411: In land planning news it’s impossible to ignore the legalizing of cannabis and changes to city planning and land use. In a piece the city of San of Bernardino was having trouble keeping up with paperwork because agencies did not know how it all works. It’s a big topic, so can you shine light on any one part of city planning the legalization of cannabis has had on any specific area of the planning process?

RPG: Planners are dealing with similar issues the US was having when Prohibition came to an end. The stigma of cannabis, just like alcohol back then, continues to create animosity. Some people believe that the legalization of cannabis will prove to have the same negative impacts as alcohol (drunk driving, domestic violence, etc.). As Planners, we just need to realize that it’s going to take some time for cannabis to be accepted as a permitted land use.

LP411: What are the main differences in working as a contract planner and a permanent city planning employee? Or are there no differences? This question gets asked many times amongst urban planning students on college campuses.

RPG: The main difference is your employer benefits and the length of the assignment.  As a contract employee, you often work more than one jurisdiction and can be somewhere short-term or long-term.  As a city employee, you typically stay on much longer to see projects all the way from start to completion. 

LP411: Lots of people own raw land. This comes up in many conversations, “I own some land. What can I do with it? Where should they start if they are interested in having their property developed into a residential or commercial use to make money.

RPG: Before purchasing, they need to identify their zoning to see what the allowed uses are as well as the development standards.  They should also find out about the existing infrastructure.  Are all utilities available to the site?  What sensitive uses surround the site?  Is my land clean or potentially contaminated? They should also inquire if the city has any plans in that area to amend the General Plan or zoning. 

Thanks, so much Gus. Please share with us your experience, and a little personal insight about yourself you would like to share not related to urban planning. We are people first and professions second.

RPG: In the world of community development, you tend to deal with a variety of views and opinions.  The politics are rampant.  People disagree about what should be allowed or prohibited in their community. They disagree about how far government should be involved with their land use decisions.  You will have the two extremes and the middle.  Some people want to do whatever they please with their land.  Others believe the government should control every decision people make with their land.  This brings about a lot of excitement at City Council and Planning Commission meetings.  It’s never a dull moment.  As planners, we just must remain objective and keep doing our jobs in an ethical and diligent manner.

Thanks for reading, Land Planning 411


Analysis of Art Exhibition at Cal Lutheran University


Art conservation knowledge, connoisseurship research and technology were highlighted for an art research and authentication exhibition that was well received. See the blog post at Click on SHOW MORE

Rachel T. Schmid, Cal Lutheran University, Curator of Collections and Exhibitions, 60 West Olsen Road #1700 | Thousand Oaks, CA 91360 Phone: (805) 493-3697 | Fax: (805) 493-3831

Scott M. Haskins, Head of Conservation, Fine Art Conservation Laboratories, 805 564 3438, Also ask for art conservators Oriana Montemurro, Virginia Panizzon

Diversey Your Investment Portfolio with New Investments in Cannabis in Asian Markets


Many believe that Philip Morris or British American Tobacco are the market leaders in tobacco distribution. However, this is far from the truth. In fact, the largest tobacco distributor is China National tobacco in terms of volume. Unfortunately these companies margins are being squeezed due to increased regulation surrounding tobacco leaving them with only two sustainable options going into the future

  • Investment in Cannabis
  • Investment in E-Ciggs


Some are even perusing both avenues.

Why should you consider an investment in cannabis?

In recent years, there has been a large cultural shift towards the legalisation of cannabis. On top of that, the increased legislation in the tobacco industry has made cannabis a more profitable prospect. Naturally the end consumer is beginning to switch their preference. In addition, as it’s becoming more socially accepted, more and more governments are beginning to legalise it. As a result, this is leading to increased competition from new entrants but also increased opportunity. medical marijuanas stocks

Unlike smaller businesses setting up to take advantage of this legislative shift larger companies such as Philip Morris or British American Tobacco could dominate this niche. However, Asian markets have not been as rapid towards this shift. Is this bad? Absolutely not but it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on. Why might that be?

For the reason we’ve outlined above, China is the largest distributor of tobacco and is mainly due to lack of legislation and size of the population. It’s only a matter of time before they begin to legalise cannabis. When the same cultural shift begins to happen in Asian markets it will be worth noting the main players in tobacco as these companies will be the first to dominate this niche not only nationally but globally.

For more details checkout also here :- marijuanas investment, investment Singapore, Stocks in Asia


Internship Experience with Sharp Circles


Who are you?

I am a Masters degree holder in Business Information Technology, from RMIT, Melbourne, Victoria, and I worked as an intern at Sharp Circles. Sharp Circles is an Australian SEO company, providing customer focused SEO packages in the form of no lock-in subscription plans suitable for small-medium sized businesses in Australia and worldwide.

SEO packages in Australia

What you’ve learned?

I attended the professional presentation of SEO which covered fundamental steps of SEO from the beginning, as well as comparing the two search engines – Google and Bing. It helped me to gain different knowledge of the current trends regarding SEO in the Australian market. This helped me to learn from what the speaker says because I will be able to gather all the information and it is another way for me to learn both about the current market and any questions arises from the audiences. Therefore, I think this event help me to learn more in-depth of the actual overview of the company itself and what other businesses think toward the SEO packages in Australia.

What did you do?

The company allows me to go to the event which a company host this event. I did organise food and beverages for the break as well as give out feedback survey to audiences attending this event.

What were your responsibilities?

I am responsible for the Facebook live stream on the company’s page (Sharp Circle FanPage). Also, I bring my camera to record what the speaker said. The camera gives better vision when compared to the phone. Unfortunately, we’re only able to record the second half of this presentation because there is a problem at the first half on the camera of the first half of the presentation.

Also, when I have to analyses all the speech a presenter talked about during the presentation and type it out as we called transcripts. Because we record the presentation which makes it easy for us the maintain every moment.

What can be improved?

Improvement need for future presentation could be more interaction with the audiences such as ask them questions rather than wait for the audience to ask. Some audiences are sitting on the sofa which this shows that there were not enough table and chairs for the audiences, I think we could improve this in future events.

Also, encourage the audiences to survey because some of them did not complete the survey while most of them did not provide information needed such as their website or their thoughts about the presentation.

Furthermore, we could organize the microphone for the speaker as the room is quite big; sometimes it might be hard for audiences sitting at the back roll to hear. Even encourage all audiences to move in front so the room can be filled up when a person at the back take photo from the back it would look there are more people interests in this event.