Support for SACOG’s “Green Means Go” budget request

May 3, 2021

The Honorable Nancy Skinner, Chair, Senate Budget Committee

The Honorable Phil Ting, Chair, Assembly Budget Committee

RE: Support for SACOG’s Green Means Go state budget allocation

Dear Chairs Skinner and Ting,

The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) supports Senator Pan’s request for the Sacramento Area Council of Government’s (SACOG) state budget allocation of $100 million dollars to implement the first year of its Green Means Go pilot program.

By accelerating infill development through infrastructure investments in centers, transit nodes, and commercial corridors in established communities, Green Means Go will help SACOG implement its Sustainable Communities Strategy and achieve the GHG emission reduction target of 19 percent per capita, set in 2018 by the California Air Resources Board pursuant to SB375.

SACOG has identified infill areas or “Green Zones” in 23 of the 28 jurisdictions in its six-county region. The local jurisdictions are ready to partner with the State to invest in infrastructure, such as water and sewer lines, to facilitate infill development. This kind of development can revitalize existing urban areas, and with transit service nearby and a mix of residential and commercial uses, can reduce driving, and therefore, vehicle miles traveled and GHG emissions. Green Means Go can increase housing availability and affordability without loss of habitat or agricultural land.

SACOG estimates the capacity of the identified infill areas or Green Zones at 84,000 dwelling units. To meet the challenge of climate change, it is critical to begin infrastructure work in the Green Zones, so that infill development can be the land use pattern of choice during this decade. Referring to the Regional Housing Need Allocation for 2021-2029 (RHNA, Sacramento County’s 21,722 dwelling unit RHNA could became mainly infill, and Sacramento City’s 45,000 dwelling unit RHNA similarly. This would shift the region’s development trajectory and put us on a more sustainable path. The state budget allocation of $100 million dollars to implement the first year of Green Means Go would give infill a chance.

Infill development is costly, and our region is behind coastal and other metropolitan areas in creating it. Local jurisdictions must provide the infrastructure upgrades to set the stage for infill development, and they need additional funding to do it. State funding is vital for this purpose, and we ask you to include the allocation of $100 million dollars in this year’s budget for the first year of the Green Means Go pilot program.

Sincerely yours,

Ralph Propper

ECOS President

cc: The Honorable Richard Pan, California State Senate

The Honorable Kevin McCarty, California State Assembly

Keely Bosler, Director, California Department of Finance

James Corless, SACOG Executive Director

Unmet Transit Needs – Upcoming Meetings

Posted October 15, 2019

Whether you ride daily, occasionally or haven’t tried transit yet, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments is looking for feedback on our area’s bus, dial-a-ride, paratransit and light rail transit services. SACOG accepts transit needs related comments from any area in the counties of Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba.

What are your thoughts on local transit service? Would you like to use it for more trips, but don’t because of issues like where it goes, the schedule or cost? Are there places you really need to go but cannot currently? Please give SACOG your thoughts by attending an Unmet Transit Needs meeting or by relaying your comments to SACOG.

The California State Transportation Development Act (TDA) requires the Unmet Transit Needs Process be conducted annually by Regional Transportation Planning Agencies. SACOG is the Regional Transportation Planning Agency for the counties of Sacramento, Yuba, Sutter and Yolo. SACOG staff conducts the Unmet Transit Needs process annually for these four counties. The TDA requires that SACOG make a determination whether there are “unmet transit needs that are reasonable to meet” in the jurisdictions throughout the four counties.

There are also a number of ways to comment beyond the hearings, so please feel free to also call, text, email, fax or mail your unmet transit needs comments to SACOG!

Upcoming Meetings

OCT 28 2019, MON
2 – 3pm
Sacramento Regional Transit Unmet Transit Needs Hearing
Sacramento RT Auditorium, 1400 29th Street, Sacramento, CA

OCT 30 2019, WED
2 – 3pm
City of Galt Unmet Transit Needs Hearing
Galt Council Chambers, 380 Civic Drive, Galt, CA

NOV 4 2019, MON
2 – 3pm
City of Davis Unmet Transit Needs Hearing
Davis Council Chambers, 23 Russell Blvd., Davis, CA

NOV 5 2019, TUE
2 – 3pm
Sutter and Yuba Counties Unmet Transit Needs Hearing
Yuba County Government Center, 915 8th Street, Marysville, CA

NOV 6 2019, WED
6 – 7pm
City of Elk Grove Unmet Transit Needs Hearing
Elk Grove Council Chambers, 8400 Laguna Palms Way, Elk Grove, CA

JAN 16 2020, THU
9:30 – 10:30am
Sacramento Regional Transit Unmet Transit Needs Hearing
SACOG – Board Room, 1415 L Street, Suite 300, Sacramento, CA

Click here for more details on the SACOG website.

New Hospital Proposed for Elk Grove

May 30, 2019

In case you haven’t heard, there is a giant hospital planned for right next to the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in Elk Grove. The City of Elk Grove has released a Notice of Preparation (NOP) of a Draft Environmental Impact Report for the California Northstate University Medical Center Campus Project. The City is encouraging public input during the NOP’s 30-day review period ending on 6/27. See the Notice of Preparation at https://bit.ly/2JLqKDW.

Community’s Concerns

The greatest concerns expressed by the community so far include:

  • Lack of transparency on behalf of CNU and city officials/unwillingness to correct false data and “misquotes” via the media
  • A facility even more expansive than originally disclosed elevates residents’ concerns
  • Financial failure, similar to the Elk Grove “Ghost Mall”, would leave behind an eyesore/empty shell of a hospital that would ultimately need to be demolished
  • Displacement and/or destruction of local small-businesses
  • Unreliable jobs projections, based on the original 24,000 being revised to only 1,400 over the next 10 years
  • A hospital more than 6x higher than the tallest homes in the West Elk Grove/destruction of the aesthetics of the surrounding area
  • Unsustainable traffic increases along Elk Grove Blvd., at the on-ramp and off-ramp of I-5 and on one of three main arteries into the Stonelake residential community
  • Parking overflowing onto community streets
  • Major safety concerns for nearby schools
  • Negative impacts on the natural environment
  • Lack of security available to accommodate the heightened safety risks
  • Impacts to local wildlife, such as the many birds who depend on the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge to survive
  • Growth Inducement

“Neighbors Ensuring Stonelake Transparency” (NEST)

Information about NEST and their concerns can be found at https://egnest.com/ and/or https://stonelakeneighbors.com.

[You may know of the]…recent demolition of what became known as “The Ghost Mall” within the City of Elk Grove It was a failed project of former Mayor Gary Davis. Davis is now a paid consultant to California Northstate University. Coincidentally, Davis had moved into the Stonelake neighborhood just a few months prior to the CNU hospital announcement.

https://egnest.com/

Habitat 2020/ECOS’ Concerns

The ECOS Habitat committee is also tracking the hospital proposal.

The Friends of Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is a member of Habitat 2020 and submitted a letter outlining their concerns on May 13, 2019, prior to the release of the Notice of Preparation. You can read that letter by clicking here.

ECOS and Friends of Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge expect to send a joint letter on the NOP soon.

Environmental Documents

The Notice of Preparation and more documents on the hospital can be viewed at egnest.com/documents.

The Scoping Meeting is set for June 24, 2019 5:30 pm at elk Grove City Council Chambers.

Please share with your networks.

Your input wanted: Coordinated Transportation Planning Outreach

May 20, 2019

The Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) recognizes an increasing need to plan for and address the mobility needs of the growing regional population. While there is currently a range of transportation services available to people with lower incomes, seniors and persons with disabilities in the Region, gaps in service remain due to geography, limitations in fixed-route and demand-responsive services, program/funding constraints, eligibility limitations, knowledge and training. The SACOG Public Transit and Human Services Transportation Coordinated Plan is intended to show how human service agencies work together with transportation providers to address the transportation needs of people with disabilities, seniors, and people with limited incomes. The SACOG Coordinated Plan is meant to broaden the dialogue and support further collaboration between human service agencies and transportation providers to link people with the transportation services that they need.

The SACOG Coordinated Plan Update – February 16, 2017 is required under Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) of December 2015. The SACOG Public Transit and Human Services Transportation Coordinated Plan is available here or can be requested by calling 916-321-9000.

Resolution Approving SACOG Coordinated Plan

SACOG is currently conducting outreach to obtain input on the coordination of public transit and human service transportation service and identify any needs gaps and potential solutions in the six county region. This input will be used to inform the upcoming update to the current SACOG Public Transit and Human Services Transportation Coordinated Plan – see link above.

To provide input please attend one of the following outreach meetings:

June 3, 2019: Yolo County Transportation District – Citizens Advisory Committee, 6 PM @ 350 Industrial Way, Woodland, CA

June 6, 2019: Sacramento Regional Transit District – Mobility Advisory Council, 2:30 PM @ 1400 29th Street, Sacramento, CA

June 10, 2019: Yuba County Government Center, Marysville Room, 2 PM @ 915 8th Street, Marysville, CA

June 11, 2019: City of Roseville Civic Center, 1:30 PM @ 311 Vernon Street, Roseville, CA

June 12, 2019: Placerville Library, Meeting Room, 2 PM @ 345 Fair Lane, Placerville, CA

If you are unable to attend one of the meetings and would like to provide your input please contact:

Barbara VaughanBechtold at bvaughanbechtold [at] sacog [dot] org or 916-340-6226.

Source:
https://www.sacog.org/post/sacog-public-transit-and-human-services-transportation-coordinated-plan

Development controversy to Sunset

What does smart growth even mean in a rapidly developing county like Placer?

By Graham Womack
May 9, 2019
Sacramento News and Review

…controversy is brewing over one of the last stretches of undeveloped land between the three cities, known as the Sunset Area—and what the term smart growth means in Placer County.

The plan would go about 40% above the Sacramento Area Council of Government’s recommended average vehicle miles traveled for residents and employees. In addition, plans call for housing within 1,000 feet of an existing landfill. The project would also result in the removal of roughly 5,000 acres of vernal pools.

Click here to read full article.

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