Thursday, October 9, 2008

Schwarzenegger Signs SB 375, Sustainable Land Use Planning Bill

Objective is to reduce greenhouse gases by planning cities with more transit options

On September 30, 2008, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed SB 375, which provides a plan for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through strategic land use and development. The bill directs the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to set regional caps for automobile and light truck emissions that would help the state achieve its GHG emissions cap of 1990 levels by 2020. The bill also sets forth a “Sustainable Communities Strategy,” which directs metropolitan planning organizations to examine land-use patterns and create long-term housing and transportation plans that can be used to achieve the regional caps.

SB 375 will:

- Require the regional governing bodies in each of the state’s major metropolitan areas to adopt, as part of their regional transportation plan, a “sustainable community strategy” that will meet the region’s target for reducing GHG emissions. These strategies would get people out of their cars by promoting smart growth principles such as: development near public transit; projects that include a mix of residential and commercial use; and projects that include affordable housing to help reduce new housing developments in outlying areas with cheaper land.

- Create incentives for implementing the sustainable community strategies by allocating federal transportation funds only to projects that are consistent with the emissions reductions.

- Allow home builders some streamlined environmental reviews under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) if they build projects consistent with the new sustainable community strategies.

The Governor also signed SB 732, which will provide a comprehensive statutory framework to implement new programs under Proposition 84, the $5.4 billion initiative voters passed in 2006 for safe drinking water, water quality and supply, flood control, natural resource protection, and park improvements.

Read the complete bill here:
Read the governor's press release here:

No comments: