Environmental (E) declarations are created as part of zoning changes. If the zoning change is found to result in certain environmental concerns, an environmental (E) designation may be placed on a property, indicating an environmental requirement pertaining the presence of a one of three environmental concerns: hazardous material contamination, high noise levels, or air quality concerns.
For example, if a developer wishes to construct a residential building in an area zoned for retail use, it must seek approval from the City for a zoning change. Since retail areas typically generate a high amount of foot traffic and noise, the zoning change may include an E designation requiring that the walls and windows of the new building meet a specified level of noise resistance, to shield the interior of the building from the outdoor noise.
In some cases, a restrictive declaration may be used in place of an E designation. The distinction is subtle and depends on whether the zoning change involves an applicant who owns the site.