ECOS’ Comments on the 2017 SB 375 Update

July 28, 2017

The Environmental Council of Sacramento, along with Organize Sacramento, the Sacramento Housing Alliance, the Planning and Conservation League, Mogavero Architects, 350 Sacramento and the California Bicycle Coalition submitted our collective comments on the recent update to SB 375, The Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008. Below are our opening comments, with a link to the letter in full. 


Dear Chair Nichols, Air Resources Board Members, and Staff:

In 2004, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) adopted the Blueprint. This plan provided vision for how the region would integrate land use and transportation planning to curb sprawl, reduce vehicle emissions, and cut down on traffic congestion to improve quality of life. This is to be accomplished by encouraging a sufficient variety housing options close to jobs, schools, and other critical community amenities. The adoption of the Blueprint—and subsequent Metropolitan Transportation Plans/Sustainable Communities Strategies (MTPs/SCSs)—has made SACOG a leader in the state and the nation in its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and vehicle miles traveled (VMT), and build more equitable communities.

While we support the recently adopted MTP/SCS, we also believe there is tremendous room to improve the plan. We believe that neither the SB 375 target recommendations made by SACOG staff (-18%) or Air Resources Board (ARB) staff (-19%) represent the full GHG reduction potential from improved land use and transportation behavior in the Sacramento region. Considering the substantial amount of greenfield development anticipated in the current SACOG MTP/SCS and the extremely low densities of the existing urban footprint, we feel that a stronger GHG reduction target is very feasible.

Read our full comment letter by cliucke=ing here or on the image of the letter below.

Photo: Smog over LA – is this what we want for the Sacramento region?

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The Bilby Ridge Sphere of Influence Amendment

June 9, 2017

The City of Elk Grove continues to fail to demonstrate a need for more land on which to build, and yet they want more anyway. The Bilby Ridge Sphere of Influence Amendment proposes to increase the City of Elk Grove’s Sphere of Influence, thereby allowing increased urban sprawl around the area of Elk Grove and South of Sacramento. The Environmental Council of Sacramento has submitted our comments regarding the Notice Of Preparation Of A Draft Environmental Impact Report For The Bilby Ridge Sphere Of Influence Amendment_(Lafc 04-16) Application.

Our comment letter addresses the Demand for the Project, the Loss of Agricultural Land, Water Demand and Availability, the Growth-Inducing Effects associated with this amendment, as well as the important Biological Resources at stake.

Click here to read the full letter.

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Airport is no place for hawk preserve

 

This is where Sacramento plans to put nearly 3,000 new homes

Advocates for the Swainson’s hawk, listed as threatened by the state, are unhappy with the habitat mitigation land chosen for the hawks, which is an orchard west of the airport, adjacent to the Teal Bend golf course. Advocate Jude Lamare said the site is too close the airport, where 11 Swainson’s hawks have been counted as hit and killed by jets in the last four years.

The hawks forage in various places around the Natomas basin, but, as development continues, nesting areas will be reduced, forcing more birds into limited sites, including the one next to the airport. “If you are picking a ‘forever’ home for threatened avian species, it would not be next to a runway,” Lamare said. “You are squeezing the species down.”

(Bizjak, Tony, This is where Sacramento plans to put nearly 3,000 new homes)

Read more here.


A Message from Judith Lamare, President of the Friends of the Swainson’s Hawk, a member organization of Habitat 2020/ECOS. May 29, 2017

Here is a text you can copy and email to urge the City to reject the Moody Preserve as part of the Greenbriar project. Use this in the Subject line of your email: Item 19 May 30, 2017: No Hawk Preserve Next to Airport

Dear City Leaders:

  • Please reject the proposed Moody Preserve as part of the Greenbriar Project at your meeting on Tuesday May 30. (Agenda Item 19)
  • The property is about 600 feet from the Airport’s west runway.
    Eleven Swainson’s Hawks have been listed as fatalities in the FAA bird strike data base for SMF between 2013 and 2016.
  • Airport operations are expected to grow by 30 percent over the next twenty years.
  • This is the wrong location to preserve in perpetuity for conservation of a threatened bird species.
  • Please require the Greenbriar developer to provide another mitigation site that offers more protection to the Swainson’s Hawk, listed as threatened under state law.

The email string to use is:
MayorSteinberg [at] cityofsacramento [dot] org, Angelique Ashby <aashby [at] cityofsacramento [dot] org>, Allen Warren <awarren [at] cityofsacramento [dot] org>, Jeff S. Harris <JSHarris [at] cityofsacramento [dot] org>, Steve Hansen <SHansen [at] cityofsacramento [dot] org>, Jay Schenirer
<jschenirer [at] cityofsacramento [dot] org>, Eguerra [at] cityofsacramento [dot] org,”Lawrence R. Carr” <Lcarr [at] cityofsacramento [dot] org>, Rick Jennings <rjennings [at] cityofsacramento [dot] org>, clerk [at] cityofsacramento [dot] org,swainsonshawk [at] sbcglobal [dot] net

Thank you for your help in averting a bad decision on conservation for our threatened wildlife.

Judith Lamare, President
Friends of the Swainson’s Hawk
www.swainsonshawk.org
swainsonshawk [at] sbcglobal [dot] net


Read the letter from the Environmental Council of Sacramento, Habitat 2020 and Friends of the Swainson’s Hawk here.

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