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

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Unmet Transit Needs Hearings 2020

Your local transit operators and the regional transportation planning agency, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), are looking for comments and suggestions that will help plan and improve transit services in Sacramento, Yolo, Yuba and Sutter counties.

You can share your comments on transit services in the four counties in a number of ways.

Participate in one of the the Unmet Transit Needs hearings via Zoom – click here for the dates and more info: https://www.sacog.org/unmet-transit-needs

OR

Email – transitneeds [at] sacog [dot] org
Online Comments – sacog.org/unmet
Call/Text – (916) 426-3799
Mail -SACOG, Attn: Unmet Transit Needs, 1415 L Street, Suite 300, Sacramento, CA 95814

Deadline: All comments must be received by November 23, 2020.

Yuba and Sutter Counties

October 27, 2020 – 2:00pm | Meeting ID – 976 6567 0483, passcode – unmetneeds. Phone access also available at (888) 475-4499.

Sacramento Regional Transit

October 28, 2020 – 2:00pm | Meeting ID – 964 8114 0701, passcode – unmetneeds. Phone access also available at (888) 475-4499.

Sacramento County

October 29, 2020 – 2:00pm | Meeting ID – 961 5128 4151, passcode – unmetneeds. Phone access also available at (888) 475-4499.

Yolo County

November 4, 2020 – 6:00pm | Meeting ID – 927 9341 6737, passcode – unmetneeds. Phone access also available at (888) 475-4499.

Board Unmet Transit Needs Hearing

January 21, 2021 – 9:30am

Let your opinion be heard – Provide your public comments during the SACOG January 2021 Board meeting.

LOCATION: Remote meeting via Zoom

More meeting information will be posted here once available.

Please note – Comments on all four county (Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba) transit services will be accepted at this hearing.


Below are each of the flyers.

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Jackson Township DEIR Comments

On October 31, 2019, Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS), Habitat 2020, 350 Sacramento, and Sierra Club provided comments on the Jackson Township Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Below are some excerpts from the letter, followed by a link to the letter in full.

Agricultural Resources

There is insufficient mitigation for farmland lost in the Jackson Township Specific Plan DEIR [Draft Environmental Impact Report]. By converting all this farmland to urban/suburban uses, the GHG emissions will increase due to the increased number of motor vehicle trips (more vehicle miles traveled). Moreover, loss of agricultural resources will reduce the potential for carbon sequestration in the soil by application of compost or regenerative agriculture methods, in addition to the natural processes of plant growth and soil microbial action from farming. There needs to be better mitigation measures to ensure carbon soil sequestration occurs at least as much as it would if the agricultural resources were preserved.

Biological Resources

Use of the South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan (SSHCP) was offered as one of the options for dealing with California Endangered Species Act (CESA) and Federal Endangered Species Act (FESA) impacts, and it was clearly stated that the hardline preserves identified in the SSHCP conservation strategy would be provided. Since the SSHCP now has its permits and is in the implementation phase, we are assuming that the Jackson Township will be affected by and compliant with the SSHCP.

Climate Change

We appreciate the opportunity to comment on Chapter 9, “Climate Change”, of the County’s Jackson Township Specific Plan Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR). Our greenhouse gas (GHG)-related comments are presented in the following seven sections. We first discuss the County’s past GHG-reduction commitments, because the DEIR:
I. does not accurately describe County climate planning;
II. uses inappropriate baseline data based on past planning;
III. applies inappropriate thresholds of significance; and
IV. is inconsistent with the County’s 2011 General Plan Update, associated Final Environmental Report (GP/FEIR), and Phase 1 CAP.
We also present,
V. other DEIR-related concerns.
We conclude:
VI. the DEIR is legally insufficient
VII. the County’s failure to provide promised mitigation is contrary to the General Plan.

Click here to read the letter in full
Attachment 1
Attachment 2
Attachment 3
Attachment 4
Attachment 5

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