Problems with Galt Climate Action Plan

On September 30, 2019, the Environmental Council of Sacramento, 350 Sacramento and the Sierra Club submitted a letter compiling comments on the Climate Action Plan proposed by the City of Galt.

Below are some excerpts from the letter.

Local climate action is important because the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), in the City of Galt as well as statewide, are building energy [use] and on-road vehicle travel.
Both are best and most directly controlled locally, by adopting energy-efficient building codes and requiring efficient development that reduces the need for auto “vehicle miles traveled” (VMT).

There is no longer any rational doubt that climate change is adversely affecting the livability of our planet now; that physical environmental effects will grow increasingly serious in coming decades; and that without major, timely GHG-reductions, they will cause grave public health impacts and severe economic and social disruptions in the lifetimes of children alive today.
We appreciate the difficulties transitioning from the long-accustomed land use and building models that have contributed to climate change to sustainable ones, and doing it quickly. But the exigencies of climate change, as reflected in State law, require broad and decisive change in how we use and think about energy. The required adjustments will bring many co-benefits, and we no longer have the luxury of delayed or token efforts.
Our organizations are committed to working with Galt in every productive way we can. We look forward to ongoing engagement in the City’s administrative process and may provide specific suggestions in future comments

Click here to read the comment letter in full.

Image credit: https://www.ecolife.zone/

Placer County Sustainability Plan Comments

On September 05, 2019, ECOS and 350 Sacramento wrote a comment letter to the Placer County Community Development Resources Agency in regards to the Placer County Sustainability Plan.

Below are a couple of excerpts from the letter, click the link below to read the full letter.

We encourage all efforts to expedite the transition to a carbon-free economy and are gratified by the County’s aspiration to be a leader in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We offer these comments in the hope they will help the County reach that goal.

It is evident from the draft Plan’s strong monitoring and update commitments that it is meant to be a “living” document, subject to ongoing community dialogue and further refinement. We look forward to working with the County to advance the Plan’s important role in mitigating climate change.

Click here to view the comment letter in full.

Midtown Development Plans Revised to Save Tree

By Ben van der Meer
June 10, 2019
Sacramento Business Journal

A proposed apartment development at 23rd and I streets by Vrilakas Groen Architects has been revised to preserve a black walnut tree which would have been torn down under the original plans. The revision comes after an appeal by Trees of Sacramento.

The new proposal also includes seven 1,040 to 1,100 square feet homes instead of seven 1,530 square feet apartments. Garages that were part of the old plan have been removed.

“Basically, we’re delighted [Ron Vrilakas] was willing to go back and redesign the project and save the tree. We think it’s an example of a win-win situation.” – Karen Jacques, Trees for Sacramento

Click here to view the full article.

MTP/SCS EIR Scoping Comments from ECOS

On May 25, 2019, ECOS submitted a letter outlining our comments and concerns about the Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS) 2020 update, managed by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG).

The Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS) for the Sacramento region pro-actively links land use, air quality, and transportation needs. The current 2016 MTP/SCS was adopted in February 2016. The MTP/SCS is federally required to be updated every four years. The next MTP/SCS is required to be adopted by February 2020.

Click here to view the letter.

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