Urban Sprawl and GHG Pollution—SB 375 NCEL Presentation Kip Lipper-CA Senate September 8, 2008 Portland, OR
GHG EMISSIONS Cars and Light Trucks Percent of Total California GHG Inventory Source: CARB GHG Inventory 2007
THE ROLE OF LAND USE IN MEETING CALIFORNIA’S ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE GOALS, Final CEC Staff Report, August 2007 CEC-600-2007-008-SF (Page 9) Unless the growth in VMT is constrained, California will not achieve its AB 32 goals. “Even with ARB’s greenhouse gas regulations and implementation of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), the increase in GHG emissions from the increased travel will outweigh the policies’ combined benefits. The state, along with regional planning organizations and local government, must address Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) growth, and the most effective way to do so is through better land use planning and development.”
SB 375 The goal of SB 375 is to reduce GHG emissions from cars and light trucks through incentives for better development patterns so people can choose to drive less.
How will SB 375 Accomplish Its Goal? Regional Transportation Planning: • Existing law requires regional transportation plans to include a development pattern for the region. • SB 375 provides that the development pattern should be designed to achieve regional GHG reduction targets set by CARB.
How does a regional development pattern achieve GHG reductions? • Greater housing choices: housing located closer to employment and commercial centers. • Greater transportation choices: housing located closer to a variety of transportation options. • Impact: Research shows that with these policies people will choose to drive 20 – 40% less, reducing congestion as well as emissions.
SACOGPreferredScenarioUrban Footprint — 2050 This Urban Footprint occupies 350 square miles less land and reduces and CO2 by 15%
SB 375 would achieve a better development patterns only through incentives. • Future transportation funding would be directed to projects that implement the regional transportation plan. • New provisions of CEQA would be available to local governments with local plans consistent with the regional plan.
SB 375 will reduce congestion and save transportation money. • Better development patterns in the Sacramento region achieve congestion relief that would otherwise cost $16 Billion. • Better development patterns in the L.A. Region achieve congestion relief that would otherwise cost $50 Billion.
Better land use patterns can have a dramatic effect, but they take time. • The state is growing at 1.8% per year. We can only affect the location of the new development. • In order to meet the AB 32 goal for 2020, we will need several years of better development patterns. • Improved growth can make a difference over time. 52% of the buildings in 2030 are yet to be constructed.
SB 375 Does 4 Things • It adds new state content to the Regional Transportation Plan – a Sustainable Communities Strategy, thus leveraging existing transportation funding incentives to support growth in the good locations • It adds new CEQA provisions to assist land use decisions that implement the Sustainable Communities Strategy. • It adds new modeling provisions to accurately account for the transportation impacts of land use decisions. • It adds a new provision for determining the regional need for housing so that it will be consistent with the Sustainable Communities Strategy.
Regional Transportation Plans Under current law RTPs must have the following elements: • A policy element • An action element • A financial element SB 375 adds a new element to the RTPs • The Sustainable Communities Strategy
The Sustainable Communities Strategy Regional GHG Targets • The Air Resources Board sets Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reduction Targets for each region. • The Targets are limited to emissions from the car and light truck sector. • The Targets must take into account other CARB strategies for reducing GHG emissions from this sector.
The Sustainable Communities Strategy • Contents: • Identify Areas for Housing and Development • Identify a Transportation Network • Identify Significant Resource Areas and Farmland • Set forth a Development Pattern that will achieve the GHG Reduction Targets if there is a feasible way to do so • Comply with the federal Clean Air act.
The Sustainable Communities Strategy • If an agency cannot achieve the GHG Reduction Targets within the constraints of realistic funding and realistic land use plans, it must prepare a Supplement showing how the Targets could be achieved. • The Supplement may identify alternative development patterns, increased transit programs or other policies that would enable the region to achieve the targets.
The Sustainable Communities Strategy Relationship to Other Planning Activities • The subregional planning process in SCAG is protected. • The strategy must consider spheres of influence. • The Strategy must be consistent with the state planning priorities. • The Strategy must be consistent with and cannot conflict with federal RTP requirements. • The Strategy has no land use regulatory content.
The Sustainable Communities Strategy • Grandparented Transportation Projects: • STIP projects through 2010 • Prop 1B projects • Projects identified in voter approved sales tax increases prior to 12/31/2006
CEQA5 New Provisions • A new exemption for projects that qualify as a sustainable communities project. • A sustainable communities environmental assessment process for projects where the impacts can be fully mitigated. • A short form EIR process where findings of overriding consideration are needed. • New provisions to make traffic mitigation a policy decision rather than a project by project determination. • Specific authorization to tier at the project level from the climate impact analysis performed for the sustainable communities strategy.
CEQASustainable Communities Projects CEQA Exemption: These projects must satisfy • environmental criteria • land use criteria • one item from a list of optional public benefit criteria.
CEQASustainable Communities Environmental Assessment • Projects must have at least 10 units to the acre and be at least 75% residential. • All mitigation measures required by previous EIRs or by the local government must be included to avoid any significant impact on the environment. • The SCEA must be reviewed and approved at a public hearing. • In a court challenge, the standard of review for the SCEA is the substantial evidence standard instead of the fair argument standard.
CEQAShort Form EIR If a project cannot be fully mitigated, it may utilize a short form EIR. • It does not need to analyze regional cumulative or growth inducing effects. • It does not need to analyze off-site alternatives.
CEQATraffic Mitigation Local Governments are authorized to elevate traffic mitigation from a project battle to a policy issue. • Local governments may adopt policies to mitigate the traffic impacts of projects. • Projects must have at least 10 units to the acre and be at least 75% residential. • Projects that comply with the local policies may not be required to do further traffic mitigation under CEQA.
SB 375--Conclusion • The hard work lies ahead.