On March 3, 2023, ECOS sent a letter of support for Assembly Bill 350, which would facilitate greater interregional collaboration by more closely aligning the Sacramento Area Council of Government’s (SACOG) sustainable communities strategy update with those of its regional partners, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the San Joaquin Council of Governments (SJCOG), both for SACOG’s current plan update and into the future.
SACOG Honors Blueprint Legacy in the 2024 Long-Range Transportation Plan
How the Blueprint transformed transportation and land-use planning for good
The creation of the Sacramento Region Blueprint was a revolutionary undertaking and compelled a critical assessment of the relationship between transportation and land use in the region. The strategy, completed almost 20 years ago, set the precedent for how metropolitan planning organizations engage in regional design. SACOG has chosen to carry on the innovative strategy’s legacy through the Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS).
ECOS was key to original Blueprint, as mentioned in this article.
Local environmental groups filed a lawsuit and demanded more from SACOG and its members.
Clint Holtzen, SACOG Planning Manager, will inform us of plans for the 2024 Blueprint (MTP/SCS or Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy).
Background: On Thursday, Feb. 3, SACOG’s Transportation Committee adopted the Policy Framework for the 2024 Blueprint. The growth projections go out to 2050. See SACOG’s website for a process overview and background on the Blueprint: https://www.sacog.org/2024-blueprint-mtpscs.
We will also discuss:
Sacramento County’s latest Climate Action Plan draft (expected release Feb. 8-9) and workshop expected March 8 (We’ll have 30 days to comment on the new CAP!)
On June 25, 2018, ECOS submitted our comments/testimony on the latest changes to the City of Folsom’s General Plan.
Here is an excerpt:
ECOS and Habitat 2020 are greatly relieved to see that the Study Area for new City growth south of White Rock road has been removed from the General plan.
Further growth in this area would pose potentially un-mitigatable impacts to invaluable agricultural and biological resources and severely inhibit successful implementation of the South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan (SSHCP), currently in its final phase of adoption after decades of development.
Further growth in this area would be critically inconsistent with the Sacramento Area Council of Governments’ (SACOG) Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS) for meeting State mandated greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, Federal mandates for Air Quality Attainment under the State Improvement Plan (SIP), as well as myriad regional goals for social equity, public health and natural resource conservation.
Finally, ECOS is extremely concerned about the ability of the City to supply adequate water supplies to this potential growth area, or any new expansion area. With the decision to supply the City’s current expansion south of US 50 solely with conservation efforts of existing supplies, it is apparent that the City has fully allocated those supplies. We remain concerned that the City will not be able to supply the current expansion area without severe burdens on existing residents with the mandatory cut-backs in supply that the City is subject to in Dry and Extremely Dry years. We have not seen evidence that the City has yet acquired back up supplies to prevent these burdens, and given this, it is extremely difficult to see how the City could speculate on further expansion of their footprint.
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.