Sacramento City Climate Adaptation Plan – ECOS Comments on Preliminary Draft

On December 5, 2022, ECOS submitted a letter to the City of Sacramento regarding their Sacramento City Climate Adaptation Plan Preliminary Draft. Below is the content of the letter.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this chapter.

Flooding: The Draft highlights the high flooding risk in Natomas. Proposed developments in the Natomas basin such as South Airport Industrial, Grand Park, and Upper West Side, would increase flooding threat to Natomas because these lands currently are agricultural, and can absorb significant water should flooding occur. In addition to increasing flooding risk in the Natomas Basin, another climate risk associated with these developments is the loss of habitat land and related species (giant garter snake and Swainson’s hawk), which would mean failure of the Natomas Basin Habitat Conservation Plan. Therefore, the City should find a mechanism to influence the County’s process of development approvals in these areas. One possibility might be a “Sphere of Influence” application to LAFCo, which has the charge to preserve agricultural land.

Trees: The City of Sacramento has both the Parking Lot Tree Shading Design and Maintenance Guidelines and a tree ordinance. These should be updated to allow for larger shade trees and larger planting areas. We note that Crocker Village has planted “lollypop trees” that don’t provide much shade, and trees on Crocker Drive have insufficient planting radius to allow for mature growth. In contrast, neighboring Curtis Park has tree plantings that shade the entire streets by foliage meeting in the middle. The City should develop programs to guide urban forestry within communities, with a focus on increasing canopy in underserved communities. Tree planting should be required as part of major roadway or utility projects. The City should establish a resource database to help staff select tree species based on maintenance costs, structural integrity, and the most appropriate planting locations.

Water: The City should actively participate in the Sacramento Regional Water Bank, to store water during high precipitation years, for use during droughts. This is especially important with models showing more extremes of precipitation, and much earlier Sierra snow-melts. Because the City relies on a combined sewer system for the older parts of the city, the City needs to budget for upsizing pipes in that water system.

Electrification: The City should move forward rapidly on an ordinance requiring existing building electrification, rather than burning natural gas that accentuates the heat island effect.

Land Use: The City should consider land use as an adaptation; e.g., rezoning around transit for higher density, creating community public spaces and parks.

Structures: The City should consider incentivizing green walls and green roofs that cool buildings and provide food in urban settings, as well as shaded bus shelters, including passive-cooled shelters, such as developed by JCDecaux. The City should develop green building programs that require institutional and commercial buildings to have cool roofs. These strategies can be phased in based on square footage and allow for flexible compliance between cool roofs, green roofs, and rooftop solar PV to help alleviate cost concerns.

Roadways: The City should have code requirements for both new roadways and maintenance activities to ensure that roadways are designed and built at the outset to support heat-resilient paving materials. The City should also require high albedo and permeable pavements for transit stations, centers, and corridors.

Click here to view the letter in PDF.

SacCounty CAP video, and a request that you write to the Supervisors before Sept 27

Dear ECOS community,

Please take three minutes to watch this video about Sacramento County’s Climate Action Plan (CAP). It describes what is at stake.

It would be good if you would write to the County Supervisors (email addresses below) before their meeting on Sept 27, 2022, something like this:

Dear Supervisors,

Please reinstate in the CAP the requirement for all new growth located beyond the Urban Policy Area (UPA) and/or Urban Services Boundary (USB) to be carbon neutral. The previous draft CAP included such a requirement however it was removed at your request. Consider that even if the CAP works perfectly, nearly seventy percent of the County’s emissions will still exist in 2030. A huge task will be left to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 (AB1279.) Compared to the massive transition ahead, the requirement for new developments that are located outside of existing planning limit lines to be carbon neutral is modest, prudent, and reasonable.

Do the right thing, please.

Sincerely,

Here is the film: Climate Action in Sacramento County – A once in a decade opportunity. Thank you to Kent Lacin, filmmaker.

And the addresses: SupervisorKennedy[at]saccounty[dot]gov; richdesmond[at]saccounty[dot]gov; SupervisorSerna[at]saccounty[dot]gov; nottolid[at]saccounty[dot]gov; SupervisorFrost[at]saccounty[dot]gov; BoardClerk[at]saccounty[dot]gov; CountyExecutive[at]saccounty[dot]gov; smithtodd[at]saccounty[dot]gov; LundgrenJ[at]SacCounty[dot]gov

Thank you,

Susan Herre

President of the ECOS Board of Directors

ECOS joint comment letter on County Climate Action Plan

On September 22, 2022, the Environmental Council of Sacramento, the Sacramento Valley Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, the Sacramento Audubon Society, the Sierra Club Sacramento Group, and the Xerces Society submitted recommendations to strengthen the proposed Sacramento County Communitywide Climate Action Plan (Plan) released for public review on August 26, 2022.

Your inclusion of these recommendations into the Plan will increase the County’s preparedness to meet the challenges of our changing climate and its impacts on the region’s water resources and environment. Specifically, these recommendations will promote long term improved quality of life for County residents while contributing to biodiversity and local beneficial species preservation in our region.

Click here to read the comment letter.

Sac County Final Climate Action Plan: Discussion September 8

The Sacramento County Final Climate Action Plan is out for public comment until September 27, 2022.
Join us for a good discussion Thursday, September 8 at 6pm on Zoom (link below).

Climate Action Plan presentation by Todd Smith, Sacramento County Planning Director

Response/comment by environmental advocates 350 Sac, Sac Climate Coalition, ECOS, CCL Sac, ClimatePlan, Sac Sierra Club

WHAT’S CHANGED since the Feb 2022 draft?

IS THE APPROACH aggressive, is it realistic?

WHAT GOALS will it achieve, when will we get to carbon neutrality?

WHAT WILL THE TASK FORCE do in relation to the CAP?

Link to join: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6656164155
To phone in: 669-900-6833, Meeting ID: 665 616 4155