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  Richmond Selected for Urban Greening Grant
September 30, 2010

The Strategic Growth Council awarded grants for Urban Greening PLANNING at their September 1st meeting, Richmond was selected for a grant for $225,040 to “Implement neighborhood design standards, ensure survivability of trees, develop private tree planting program in residential neighborhoods, implement citywide landscaping and lighting maintenance districts and promote urban agriculture as a strategy to address childhood obesity and improve food access.”

The grant application was prepared by recently retired Parks Superintendent Tony Norris, Senior Planner Lina Velasco and MIG.

More information about Sustainable California below:

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SB 375 Final Targets Adopted
Strategic Growth Council Updates


SB 375 Final Targets Adopted

On September 23, 2010, the California Air Resources Board(ARB) after hours of public testimony adopted SB 375 greenhouse gas (GHG) emission targets for automobiles and light trucks. 

Senate Bill 375 (Steinberg, Statutes of 2008) enhances California's ability to achieve its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets (AB 32) by promoting sustainable land use and transportation plans that reduce GHGs.

SB 375 requires ARB to develop regional GHG reduction targets for passenger vehicles.  Today ARB established targets for 2020 and 2035 for each region covered by one of the State's 18 metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs).

ARB adopted the following per-capita emissions reduction targets by the years 2020 and 2035:
·         San Diego Region: 7 percent and 13 percent
·         Sacramento Region: 7 percent and 16 percent
·         Bay Area Region: 7 percent and 15 percent
·         Southern California Region: placeholders of 8 percent and 13 percent, to be discussed again in February 2011
·         San Joaquin Valley Region (includes eight planning organizations): 2 percent and 5 percent, with the intention of discussing higher targets in 2012
·         Targets for the remaining six MPOs—Monterey Bay, Butte, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Shasta and Tahoe Basin regions—generally match or improve upon their current plans for 2020 and 2035
ARB also adopted a resolution that outlined changes or clarifications to staff recommendations, including:
·         Recognition that ARB will partner with Strategic Growth Council to develop metrics for Sustainable Communities Strategy “co-benefits,” such as public health and natural resources protection benefits
·         Clarification that targets are regional, and not project specific

Each participating California MPO will now prepare a Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) that demonstrates how the region will meet its ARB-approved GHG reduction target through integrated land use, housing and transportation planning.  Once adopted by the MPO, the SCS will be incorporated into that region's federally enforceable Regional Transportation Plan (RTP).  ARB is also required to review each final SCS to determine whether it would, if implemented, achieve the GHG reduction target for its region.  If the combination of measures in the SCS will not meet the region’s target, the MPO must prepare a separate Alternative Planning Strategy (APS) to meet the target.  The APS is not a part of the RTP.

SB 375 also establishes incentives to encourage implementation of the SCS and APS. Developers can get relief from certain environmental review requirements under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) if their new residential and mixed-use projects are consistent with a region’s SCS (or APS) that meets the target.

Please click through for more information, today’s ARB staff presentation, and the ARB news release related to this item.  For news coverage see California writing new rules on greenhouse gas, sprawl.

Strategic Growth Council Updates

Urban Greening Grants
The Strategic Growth Council awarded grants for Urban Greening PLANNING at their September 1st meeting.  SGC and Natural Resources Agency staff are currently conducting site visits for Urban Greening PROJECT applicants and plan to have recommended awards for the SGC to consider at their November 10th meeting.

Sustainable Communities Planning Grants

The SGC application deadline for the Sustainable Communities Planning grants was August 31st.  The Technical Advisory Committee will be reviewing and ranking the proposals and expect to have a list of recommended awards by November 1st for consideration by the SGC at the November 10th meeting.  It is anticipated that this may get delayed to the December 1st meeting.

Strategic Growth Council September 1st Meeting Synopsis
The SGC met on September 1st, 2010, 8:30 to 1:30 pm in Sacramento.  The following are highlights from the meeting:

·         SGC approved staff recommendations for Urban Greening PLANNING Grant awards (see above)
·         Urban Greening PROJECT Grants will be considered at the November meeting
·         Key Staff provided an update on proposals for data collection, agency coordination, and outreach
·         Steve Sanders from the Institute for Local Government gave a presentation on Understanding the Basics of Land Use and Planning: Guide to Planning Healthy Neighborhoods
·         Kamyar Guivetchi from the Department of Water Resources gave a presentation on cross agency efforts in preparing the 2009 State Water Plan Update

CSG color logoSustainable California
Conservation Strategy Group manages Sustainable California as a forum for organizations and agencies to share information and identify opportunities for individuals and organizations to engage in urban sustainability policy development and funding programs, focusing on activities in California.

Conservation Strategy Group provides email updates on what’s happening at the Capitol and identifies opportunities to take action in support of urban sustainability. We have also established an online resource through which information could be shared.  Our hope is that the network would evolve over time so that participating organizations would also share information with each other.

Access the website and tell us what you think:  Sustainable California

This service is free and provided by Conservation Strategy Group.  For questions or comments, please contact Connie Gallippi at connie@csgcalifornia.com