ECOS’ Comments on the 2017 SB 375 Update

July 28, 2017

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.

Read our full comment letter by clicking here or on the image of the letter below.

Photo: Smog over LA – is this what we want for the Sacramento region?

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“Leading the Way” on strategies for a more sustainable California

October 27, 2016

Matthew Baker of ECOS led the research for a new report by ClimatePlan called “Leading the Way” on strategies for a more sustainable California

OVERVIEW 

California’s Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008 (SB 375) connects land use and transportation planning with California’s ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals. This innovative law requires the state’s 18 Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to create Sustainable Communities Strategies (SCSs) showing how their regions will meet statemandated GHG reduction targets through changes in land use and transportation.

In many regions, the SCS process has led to innovative policymaking to support healthy, equitable, and sustainable patterns of development. Drawing on reviews of adopted SCSs, as well as extensive input from ClimatePlan partners, transportation planners, and others, this report highlights some of the leading practices that have emerged so far. It also offers recommendations that go beyond existing SCSs in areas such as climate adaptation, water, and affordable housing.

This report was prepared for ClimatePlan by Adam Livingston of Sequoia Riverlands Trust with expert input gathered by Matt Baker of the Environmental Council of Sacramento.

Read the full report here: http://www.climateplan.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Leading-the-Way-Full-Report.pdf

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