California law requires regions to develop plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through land use and transportation policies. But communities aren’t actually implementing those plans, according to the report.
The Environmental Council of Sacramento, along with Organize Sacramento, the Sacramento Housing Alliance, the Planning and Conservation League, Mogavero Architects, 350 Sacramento and the California Bicycle Coalition submitted our collective comments on the recent update to SB 375, The Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008. Below are our opening comments, with a link to the letter in full.
Dear Chair Nichols, Air Resources Board Members, and Staff:
In 2004, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) adopted the Blueprint. This plan provided vision for how the region would integrate land use and transportation planning to curb sprawl, reduce vehicle emissions, and cut down on traffic congestion to improve quality of life. This is to be accomplished by encouraging a sufficient variety housing options close to jobs, schools, and other critical community amenities. The adoption of the Blueprint—and subsequent Metropolitan Transportation Plans/Sustainable Communities Strategies (MTPs/SCSs)—has made SACOG a leader in the state and the nation in its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and vehicle miles traveled (VMT), and build more equitable communities.
While we support the recently adopted MTP/SCS, we also believe there is tremendous room to improve the plan. We believe that neither the SB 375 target recommendations made by SACOG staff (-18%) or Air Resources Board (ARB) staff (-19%) represent the full GHG reduction potential from improved land use and transportation behavior in the Sacramento region. Considering the substantial amount of greenfield development anticipated in the current SACOG MTP/SCS and the extremely low densities of the existing urban footprint, we feel that a stronger GHG reduction target is very feasible.