Update re 2020 MTP/SCS for the Sacramento Region

NOTICE OF PREPARATION
Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the 2020 Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS) for the Sacramento Region

To: Interested Agencies, Organizations, and Individuals

Project: Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the 2020 Metropolitan Transportation Plan/ Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS) for the Sacramento Region

Lead Agency: Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG)

Comment Period: April 25, 2019 to May 25, 2019 (30 days)

OVERVIEW

You are invited by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) to comment on the scope and content of the environmental impact assessment that will be prepared for the update of the regional MTP/SCS. You may do so electronically, in person, or by mail – instructions are provided below.

The MTP/SCS is an integrated land use and transportation strategy for the six-county region consisting of Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba, and portions of Placer and El Dorado Counties (the Lake Tahoe basin in these counties is excluded from the SACOG region). The attached map depicts the Sacramento metropolitan planning area which is the area covered by the MTP/SCS. More information about the MTP/SCS and the update process is available at the following web site: https://www.sacog.org/2020-metropolitan-transportation-plansustainable-communities-strategy-update

BACKGROUND

An MTP, referred to in other regions as a regional transportation plan (RTP) or long-range transportation plan (LRTP), is the mechanism used in California to conduct long-range (at least 20-year) planning in the applicable regional area. The SACOG MTP/SCS has a 2040 planning horizon. SACOG must adopt an MTP and update it every four years, or more frequently, if the region is to receive federal or state transportation dollars for public transit, streets/roads, and bicycle and pedestrian improvements. This is the region’s second update of the MTP/SCS.

An SCS is a required element of the MTP under California’s Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act, also known as Senate Bill 375 (SB 375) (Statutes of 2008, Chapter 728). The SCS identifies policies and strategies to reduce per-capita passenger vehicle-generated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to target levels set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The SCS must address: the general location of land uses, residential densities, and building intensities within the region; areas within the region sufficient to house all the population of the region; areas within the region sufficient to house an 8-year projection of the regional housing need; a transportation network to serve the regional transportation needs; information regarding resource areas and farmland in the region; consideration of state housing goals; a forecasted development pattern for the region; and compliance with the federal Clean Air Act. If the SCS does not achieve the GHG emission targets set by CARB, an additional analysis called an Alternative Planning Strategy (APS) must be prepared to accompany the SCS, demonstrating how the targets could be achieved.

MORE INFORMATION

In accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines (Section 15082), the purpose of this Notice of Preparation (NOP) is to seek comments about the scope and content of the EIR that will be prepared analyzing this update of the MTP/SCS. If you represent an agency that may use the EIR for tiering purposes, SACOG is particularly interested in learning what information may be helpful for such tiering in connection with your project-specific environmental review.

In particular, SACOG seeks your views on the following questions:

  • Are there potential environmental issues that SACOG has not identified in the list of potential environmental effects listed below under the proposed EIR scope. If so, please identify these potential issues.
  • Are there any alternatives you believe SACOG should evaluate?
  • What types of mitigation measures do you think would help avoid or minimize potential environmental effects?

PROPOSED EIR SCOPE

Adoption and implementation of the MTP/SCS has the potential to result in environmental effects in all of the environmental impact areas identified in CEQA. For this reason, the EIR will be a “full scope” document that analyzes all of the required CEQA environmental issue areas. These include: aesthetics; agriculture and forestry resources; air quality (including toxic air contaminants); biological resources; cultural resources; energy and global climate change; geology (including paleontological and mineral resources), soils, and seismicity; hazards and hazardous materials; hydrology and water quality; land use and planning; noise and vibration; population and housing; public services and recreation; transportation and traffic; utilities and service systems. The EIR will also address alternatives, growth inducing impacts, cumulative effects, and other issues required by CEQA.

Due to time limits mandated by State law, your response must be received no later than May 25, 2019, using any of the following methods:

By Mail:
SACOG
1415 L Street, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95814

By Fax: (916) 321-9551

By E-Mail: eircomments [at] sacog [dot] org

If you have any questions or need help finding or understanding available materials, please let us know. The name and contact information for the SACOG project manager is provided below.A public scoping meeting to receive oral comments on the appropriate scope and content of the EIR will be held on May 9, 2019 from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm at the SACOG offices at 1415 L Street, Suite 300, Sacramento, CA 95814.

Project Manager: Renee DeVere-Oki

Title: EIR Project Manager

Telephone: (916) 340-6219

Email: rdevere-oki [at] sacog [dot] org

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Sacramento City General Plan Update and Climate Action

Be a part of history and join the kick-off of the General Plan Update! Sacramento 2040 is the City of Sacramento’s blueprint for how and where Sacramento will grow over the next 20 years. At these family-friendly events, light food will be provided. A brief presentation will begin at 5:45 p.m. Hosted by the City of Sacramento.

The workshop dates, times and RSVP links are below. RSVP’s are requested, but not required.

April 22 | 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Hagginwood Community Center, Auditorium
3271 Marysville Boulevard, Sacramento 95815
RSVP: www.sac2040gpu1.eventbrite.com

April 25 | 5:30-7:30 p.m.
The Sam & Bonnie Pannell Community Center, Conference Room
2450 Meadowview Road, Sacramento 95832
RSVP: www.sac2040gpu2.eventbrite.com

April 29 | 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Oak Park Community Center, Room A/B
3425 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Sacramento 95817
RSVP: www.sac2040gpu3.eventbrite.com

Click here to read ECOS member Sacramento 350’s “Action Alert” for the workshops.

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Why Housing Policy Is Climate Policy

By Scott Wiener and Daniel Kammen
March 25, 2019
The New York Times

California has long been seen as a leader on climate change. The state’s history of aggressive action to reduce air pollution, accelerate the use of renewable energy and speed the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy has inspired governments around the world to set more ambitious climate goals.
But there is trouble on the horizon, and California’s climate leadership is at risk.
Across most of the state’s economy, greenhouse gas emissions have been trending steadily down. But ballooning car traffic on city streets and freeways is negating much of that progress. In California, about 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions are from transportation, and they are increasing. In some California counties, two-thirds of emissions are from vehicles.
In November, the California Air Resources Board released an update on efforts to reduce pollution from transportation. The numbers were alarming. Despite headlines about California’s push for more electric vehicles, pollution from cars is still climbing. “With emissions from the transportation sector continuing to rise, California will not achieve the necessary greenhouse gas emissions reductions to meet mandates for 2030,” the board warned.
The solution? “Significant changes to how communities and transportation systems are planned, funded and built,” the board said.
Put more directly, in order to solve the climate crisis, we have to solve the housing crisis.

Wiener, Scott, and Daniel Kammen. “Why Housing Policy Is Climate Policy.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 25 Mar. 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/03/25/opinion/california-home-prices-climate.html.

Click here to read the full article.

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