What Is A General Plan?!?

Posted here: January 12, 2021

Created by Tomboy Dru November 10, 2018 via YouTube

With the City of Sacramento working on updating the City General Plan, we thought we would post this fantastic video created by YouTube creator Tomboy Dru, who humorously breaks down what’s in a General Plan, by providing a general explanation of each General Plan element. These elements include land use, environmental resources, recreation and open space, noise, circulation or mobility, safety, energy, and housing or growth area. We highly recommend this video to gain an understanding of this important document, or to refresh your knowledge! Check out her channel for other great urban planning content, as well!


Click here to learn more about the City of Sacramento’s General Plan.

Click here to learn more about the County of Sacramento’s General Plan.

To learn about the general plan where you live, visit your local government websites.

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Metropolitan Transportation Plan Update

On November 7, 2019, the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) submitted comments on the recently proposed update to our region’s Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS). These comments were submitted via one letter solely from ECOS, and a joint letter from both ECOS and 350 Sacramento. Below is an excerpt from our comments, followed by links to PDFs of both letters.

The Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) has put forth a sophisticated Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS), a regional plan that the region’s jurisdictions should follow. While this regional plan is not a strong as we feel it could be, the 2020 MTP/SCS is a viable strategy for the region to meet its regional greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets mandated by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) per Senate Bill 375 (2008).

The plan represents a reasonable compromise between what the region could accomplish if the political will existed, and the reality of much more expansive car-oriented, low-density growth that is actually being actively pursued by some of the region’s jurisdictions on the ground. ECOS would prefer a greater percentage of transportation investment to non-auto modes, and a much more compact land use footprint than proposed. The Sacramento region is not meeting its mandated GHG reduction targets because local jurisdictions are not complying with the strategy that SACOG has laid out for them, and the State must do more to ensure compliance of local authorities to our Sustainable Community Strategies, as well as to ensure the State’s own investments are aligned with its climate laws.

Click here to read the comment letter by ECOS on the MTP/SCS.

Click here to read the comment letter by ECOS and 350 Sacramento on the Climate Change section of the MTP/SCS, which was submitted separately.

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New “Green Means Go” Program in Sacramento

Sent via email
From: Ralph Propper, Environmental Council of Sacramento
Sent: Apr 3, 2019 5:06 PM
To: James Corless, Sacramento Area Council of Governments
Cc: Christina Lokke, Sacramento Area Council of Governments
Subject: ECOS support letter to legislature for “Green Means Go”

Dear James,

The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) wants to send a support letter to the Legislature requesting $400M funding for SACOG’s Infill Pilot, “Green Means Go”. We support the intent of your request, but we are concerned about lack of specificity regarding how SACOG would use these funds. We would like clarification included in any budget proposal to reflect the following recommendations; your clarification would enable us to send a support letter.

Infill Siting Criteria

We recommend that sites be surrounded by at least 75% existing urban uses, and the remainder be previous urban uses. This is consistent with SB 375’s infill definition, and our region has sufficient potential to meet these criteria.

VMT Performance Criteria

We recommend using OPR’s SB 743 Technical Advisory of -15% of regional average VMT for land use projects, and no net per capita VMT increase for transportation projects/infrastructure upgrades, as the guiding performance criteria for these projects. These should be the primary goals of the infill pilot, and OPR’s recommendation should be the standard for such incentive projects to meet the identified need in CARB’s GHG Scoping Plan for improved land use to meet climate goals. Accounting for project VMT in the pilot would also serve as a model for SB 743 implementation in our region, and begin to build an inventory of VMT-reducing projects for future VMT mitigation.

Inclusionary Requirement

We recommend a requirement that 10% of housing in an applicable project should be affordable to “low income”residents, an additional 5% should be affordable to “very low income”, and no in-lieu fee option should be available in low-VMT and Transit Oriented Development areas. This is consistent with requirements in SB 35 and other recent legislation.

Anti-Displacement Protection

Displacement of low-income residents is the greatest risk from the infill investment we need to meet our climate goals, so these investments must be coupled with protections against their displacement. Therefore, we recommend no demolition of existing affordable housing, rental housing, or any housing that was subsidized for affordable or rental housing in the last 10 years, consistent with language in recent legislation, e.g., SB 35, SB 50. Although an MPO cannot require anti-displacement mechanisms (e.g., rent control, just-cause eviction, no-net loss, right of first return), a jurisdiction’s no-demolition policy should be considered in scoring criteria for project selection. Prioritizing existing underutilized commercial zoning (e.g., parking lots) in project selection offers densification potential and avoids the direct displacement of housing.

In conclusion, we believe that VMT-reducing projects should be a priority if funding is provided. Thank you for considering these recommendations, and we look forward to working with you to identify appropriate criteria for projects applicable to this proposal.

Ralph Propper, ECOS President

cc: Christina Lokke

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