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Community Planning and Climate Change

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Community Planning and Climate Change Al Herson, JD, FAICP Principal, SWCA Environmental Consultants UCLA Land Use Law and Policy Conference, January 25, 2008 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Community Planning and Climate Change


1
Community Planning and Climate Change
  • Al Herson, JD, FAICP
  • Principal, SWCA Environmental Consultants
  • UCLA Land Use Law and Policy Conference, January
    25, 2008

2
The Planning and Climate Change Connection
  • California generates 2 of worlds greenhouse gas
    (GHG) emissions
  • Transportation and electricity account for over
    60 of the states GHG emissions
  • Community planning can play major role in
    reducing these emissions
  • Climate change has energized and is sweeping the
    planning profession
  • Provides substantial new momentum for smart
    growth policies

3
Presentation Outline
  • Todays policy framework
  • Land use and transportation strategies
  • Planning policy initiatives
  • Recommendations

4
(No Transcript)
5
Policy Framework
6
Executive Order S-03-05
  • Goal reduce GHG emissions to 1990 levels by
    2020, to 80 below 1990 levels by 2050
  • Creates Climate Action Team to develop GHG
    reduction strategies, issue biennial reports to
    Governor

7
AB 32
  • Goal reduce GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020
  • ARB implementation
  • October 2007 early actions to be implemented by
    2010
  • January 2008 emissions reporting regulations
  • January 2009 scoping plan
  • January 2011 comprehensive regulations adopted
  • January 2012 comprehensive regulations
    implemented

8
AB 32 and Planning
  • Planning strategies only briefly mentioned in
    2006 CAT report
  • Planning strategies not included in early actions
  • Planning strategies currently being considered in
    scoping report process
  • CEC issued influential land use report in 2007
  • Environmental groups submitted to ARB strategies
    including land use, smart growth, transportation,
    and low impact development
  • Strategies to be developed by LUSCAT (Land Use
    Subgroup of Climate Action team)

9
CEQA and Climate Change
  • SB 97 by January 2010, Resources Agency must
    adopt guidelines on analyzing and mitigating
    climate change impacts. Implications
  • Legislature intends CEQA documents to address
    climate change
  • Legislature did not intend AB 32 to preempt CEQA
    from addressing climate change

10
CEQA and Climate Change (contd)
  • In the interim
  • CEQA approaches uncertain
  • CAPCOA and AEP white papers offer optional
    approaches
  • Attorney General as CEQA enforcer continues to
    comment on land use and transportation plan EIRs
  • Center for Biological Diversity commenting and
    filing CEQA lawsuits, e.g., cities of Banning and
    Perris

11
Local Initiatives
  • Climate change best addressed upfront in regional
    and local plans, rather than project-specific
    mitigation
  • Many California communities have or are adopting
    GHG reduction initiatives
  • Marin County General Plan a model
  • AG/San Bernardino CEQA lawsuit settlement
    requires general plan to include GHG emissions
    reduction strategy

12
Land Use and Transportation Strategies
13
(No Transcript)
14
Smart Growth
  • Generally includes
  • Compact urban form
  • More mixed use development
  • Higher density housing
  • Transit/pedestrian oriented development
  • Open space preservation

15
Smart Growth (contd)
  • ULI Growing Cooler report
  • Reducing vehicle miles traveled (VMT) essential
    part of transportation sector GHG emissions
    reduction
  • Smart growth can reduce VMT 20-40 compared to
    conventional development
  • How? Fewer and shorter automobile trips
  • Smart growth can reduce transportation GHG
    emissions 7-10 compared to current trends

16
Green Building
  • Green building regulations emphasize energy
    conservation, water conservation, and alternative
    energy sources
  • Aka low impact development
  • LEED standards for buildings used widely
  • LEED ND (Neighborhood Development) certification
    program in pilot stage
  • LEED ND integrates smart growth and green
    building
  • Cities such as Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and San
    Francisco have adopted green building regulations

17
Other Ingredients in Local Climate Action Plans
  • Measures to increase transit use
  • Reduced GHG emissions from municipal facilities,
    buildings and fleets
  • Green purchasing policies
  • Waste reduction and recycling
  • Measures to adapt to climate change

18
Planning Policy Initiatives
19
Local Government Initiatives
  • U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement
  • Goal meet Kyoto Protocol target of reducing GHG
    emissions to 7 below 1990 levels by 2012
  • Signed by 710 mayors, over 90 in California

20
Local Government Initiatives (contd)
  • Cool Counties
  • Commits counties to reduce GHG emissions 80 by
    2050
  • Seven California counties have joined
  • California Climate Action Network
  • Local government forum for information sharing
    and collaboration

21
ICLEI
  • Local government membership over 1000, including
    60 in California
  • Cities for Climate Protection Program
    performance based framework for reducing GHG
    emissions
  • Climate Resilient Communities Program tools to
    protect communities fro impacts and costs of
    climate change

22
Energy Commission Land Use Report
  • Regional transportation and air quality agencies
    prepare long-term regional growth plans that
    reduce GHG emissions to state targets
  • State adopts growth management strategy built
    from required regional plans
  • State planning, infrastructure, and regulation
    aligned
  • Add GHG emissions reduction and energy
    conservation to AB 857 goals

23
Energy Commission Land Use Report (contd)
  • Other recommendations address technical and
    financial assistance, changes in tax policies

24
California Chapter APA Climate Change Response
Policies
  • Planning similar to CEC report, but more
    voluntary and incentive based
  • CEQA state should define acceptable
    methodologies and provide streamlining for small
    projects and LEED-certified projects

25
California Chapter APA Climate Change Response
Policies (contd)
  • Adaptation
  • State should provide projections of climate
    change impacts
  • Regional and local plans should include
    adaptation policies
  • Climate change impacts include sea level rise,
    coastal storms and erosion, flooding, levee
    stress, wildfire risks, reduced water supplies

26
(No Transcript)
27
SB 375 of 2007 (Steinberg)
  • Basic elements
  • ARB sets regional GHG emissions targets
  • Regional transportation agencies develop
    preferred growth scenarios to meet targets
  • Authors intent extensions of regional
    blueprint plans Caltrans is already funding
  • Future state-funded transportation projects to be
    consistent with regional plan
  • CEQA streamlining incentives if local general
    plans consistent with preferred growth scenario

28
SB 375 (contd)
  • Criticisms
  • Complicates established transportation
    planning/funding
  • Erodes local land use control
  • Reduces affordable housing
  • Creates unfunded state mandates
  • Regional planning agencies differ in planning
    capacity and local government relationships

29
Conclusions
30
Why Changes in Community Planning are Needed
  • Changed planning strategies implemented today can
    make a big difference in GHG emissions
  • Land use policies can also play key role in
    adapting to climate change, e.g., coastal and
    floodplain development
  • California can serve as role model for other
    growing states and nations

31
Why Changes in Community Planning are Needed
(contd)
  • Smart growth strategies provide benefits in
    addition to GHG reduction
  • E.g., open space preservation, reduced
    infrastructure costs, reduced fossil fuel
    dependence, improved public health

32
The Three Core Strategies
  • Revamped blueprint regional growth and
    transportation plans to reduce GHG emissions
  • State infrastructure funding consistent with new
    regional plans
  • Financial and regulatory streamlining incentives
    for local plans and projects consistent with new
    regional plans

33
The Three Core Strategies (contd)
  • Whats needed to implement strategies?
  • State capacity-building, funding, and technical
    assistance
  • Public and private sector engagement
  • Local government support
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