Categories
California Policy GHG Reduction Local Government Metropolitan Planning NewsFlash Transportation Funding

June 19 Update: CA 2011-12 Legislative Session Overview

Policy in Motion is tracking a handful of bills introduced this session pertaining to the integration of land use, transportation, housing affordability, and health within the context of sustainable community development in California. Below are summaries and links to legislative analyses for 21 relevant bills:

2011 Legislative Summaries—Updated June 18, 2011

AB 147 (Dickinson)Subdivision Map Act

  • Expands the existing eligible uses for transportation mitigation impact fees to transit, bike and pedestrian facilities.

 

AB 343 (Atkins)Community Redevelopment Act

  • Redevelopment Plans and subsequent projects to be in alignment with climate, air quality and energy conservation goals of Chapter 728 of the Statutes of 2008.

 

AB 345 (Atkins)Caltrans to consult with bike/pedestrian reps on traffic control devices.

  • Caltrans to convene an advisory committee of representatives from groups representing bicycle and pedestrian users of streets, roads and highways and consult with this group regarding the installation of traffic control barriers and/or devices.

 

AB 441 (Monning)Health issues included in transportation plans.

  • Requires the California Transportation Commission to include health issues in regional transportation plans. The Office of Planning and Research would develop guidelines for local government and regional agencies to incorporate health (improvement) issues into general plans.

 

AB 539 (Williams)Safe Routes to School speed limits.

AB 605 (Dickinson) – OPR to set standards for VMT reductions and CEQA exemptions.

  • A project could be exempt from CEQA analysis of transportation element if project met percentage reduction in vehicle trip miles.

 

AB 650 (Blumenfield)Blue Ribbon Task Force on Public Transportation for the 21st Century

  • Requires task force to be comprised of twelve transportation subject matter experts to prepare a written report which would include findings and recommendations regarding the current state of CA’s transit system, costs of creating the needed system, and potential funding sources.

 

AB 676 (Torres)Expands use of transportation funds.

  • Existing transportation expenditures are currently legally obligated for transportation related administration, operation, maintenance, local assistance, safety and rehabilitation projects. This bill would allocate remaining funds for the study of, and development and implementation of,capital improvement projects to be programmed in the state transportation improvement program.

 

AB 710 (Skinner)Infill Development and Sustainable Community Act of 2011.

  • Eliminates minimum parking requirements for infill and transit-oriented development. Prohibits city or county from requiring more than one parking space per residential unit and prohibits requirement of more than one parking space per 1,000 sq. ft of commercial units for residential or mixed-use project in a transit intensive area. Also modifies definition of sustainable communities to include communities that incentivize infill development.

 

AB 819 (Wieckowski)Enhance bicycle safety, complete streets.

  • This bill augments existing Dept. of Transportation responsibility for safety guidelines to include class IV bikeways, in addition to class I, II and III bikeways. The bill defines class IV bikeways as: “segregated bike lanes,” which provide a completely separated right-of-way designated for the exclusive use of bicycles on streets and are demarcated by either a physical barrier or by distinct paint markings, or both, to minimize or prevent travel by motor vehicles.

 

AB 931 (Dickinson)CEQA exemption rule for infill housing modification.

  • CEQA requirements are exempted for infill development if certain criteria are met. This bill would extend the current criteria for the preparation of a community-level environmental review from 5 to 20 years. It would also lower the density requirement for exemption from 20 to 15 units per acre.

 

AB 995 (Cedillo)OPR report to legislatureon expediting Transit Oriented Development environmental review.

  • This bill would require the Office of Planning and Research, not later than July 1, 2012, to prepare and submit to the Legislature a report containing recommendations for expedited environmental review for transit-oriented development.

 

AB 1285 (Fuentes)Regional greenhouse gas emission reduction program.

 

  • Legislation to create community greenhouse gas emission reduction program. Would provide state oversight over local government and nonprofit investments relating to greenhouse gasses.

 

SB 77 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review)Elimination of state redevelopment agencies.

  • Elimination of state redevelopment agencies (RDAs) and an orderly “wind down” of their responsibilities and assets. Local Govt successor agencies would be created to maintain certain existing RDA obligations. Elimination of state RDA’s has been identified as a method to balance the state’s budget. Property taxes that formerly went to RDAs would be directed to schools and public safety operations. The bill will result in $1.7 billion in additional funding for the 2011-2012 budget.

 

 

SB 132 (Lowenthal)School sittings to reflect state planning priorities.

  • This bill would require the State Allocation Board to revise guidelines, rules, regulations, procedures, and policiesfor the acquisition of schoolsites and the construction of school facilities to reflect the state planning. This bill would also require that advice, standards, surveys, or information regarding the acquisition of school sites or the construction of school facilities provided by the StateDepartment of Education pursuant to this requirement reflect the state planning priorities.

 

SB 214 (Wolk)Eliminate voter approval requirement for infrastructure finance districts.

  • This bill would eliminate the requirement of voter approval to create and authorize an infrastructure financing district. This bill would authorize a legislative body to create an infrastructure finance district, adopt an infrastructure financing plan, and issue bonds by resolutions by resolution, not requiring voter approval.

 

SB 310 (Hancock).–.Creation of the Transit Priority Project Program.

  • This bill would eliminate the requirement of voter approval for the creation of an infrastructure financing district and would authorize the appropriate legislative body to create the district, adopt the plan, and issue the bonds by resolutions. This bill would also create a streamlined permit process for development that met certain criteria and it would create a program to reimburse developer fees if a project was located within an Infrastructure Finance District.

 

SB 450 (Lowenthal)Redevelopment agencies housing expenditures.

  • This bill reforms how redevelopment agencies spend their Low &Moderate Income Housing Funds.

 

SB 468 (Kehoe).–.An act to add Section 103 to the Streets and Highways Code, relating to transportation.

  • This bill would impose additional requirements on the departmentwith respect to proposed capacity-increasing state highway projects in the coastal zone, including requiring the department to collaborate with local agencies, the California Coastal Commission, and countywide or regional transportation planning agencies to develop traffic congestion reduction goals.

 

SB 535 (De Leon)California Communities Healthy Air Revitalization Trust.

  • This bill would require a minimum of 10% of revenues generated from fees collected by the Air Resources Board from sources of greenhouse gas emissions would be deposited into a trust operated by the CA Treasury Dept. Funds would be in used in communities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or to mitigate health or environmental impacts of climate change.

 

SB 907 (Evans and Perez)–.Master Plan for Infrastructure Financing and Development Commission

  • This bill would create the Master Plan for Infrastructure Financing and Development Commission, consisting of specified members, and would require the commission to prepare and submit a strategy and plan for infrastructure development in California that meets certain criteria to the Legislature and the Governor by December 1, 2013..

 

Categories
California Policy GHG Reduction Local Government State Policy Transportation Funding

June 12 Update: CA 2011-12 Legislative Session Overview

Policy in Motion is tracking a handful of bills introduced this session pertaining to the integration of land use, transportation, housing affordability, and health within the context of sustainable community development in California. Below are summaries and links to legislative analyses for 21 relevant bills:

2011 Legislative Summaries—Updated June 12, 2011

AB 147 (Dickinson)Subdivision Map Act

  • Expands the existing eligible uses for transportation mitigation impact fees to transit, bike and pedestrian facilities.

 

AB 343 (Atkins)Community Redevelopment Act

  • Redevelopment Plans and subsequent projects to be in alignment with climate, air quality and energy conservation goals of Chapter 728 of the Statutes of 2008.

 

AB 345 (Atkins)Caltrans to consult with bike/pedestrian reps on traffic control devices.

  • Caltrans to convene an advisory committee of representatives from groups representing bicycle and pedestrian users of streets, roads and highways and consult with this group regarding the installation of traffic control barriers and/or devices.

 

AB 441 (Monning)Health issues included in transportation plans.

  • Requires the California Transportation Commission to include health issues in regional transportation plans. The Office of Planning and Research would develop guidelines for local government and regional agencies to incorporate health (improvement) issues into general plans.

 

AB 539 (Williams)Safe Routes to School speed limits.

AB 605 (Dickinson) – OPR to set standards for VMT reductions and CEQA exemptions.

  • A project could be exempt from CEQA analysis of transportation element if project met percentage reduction in vehicle trip miles.

 

AB 650 (Blumenfield)Blue Ribbon Task Force on Public Transportation for the 21st Century

  • Requires task force to be comprised of twelve transportation subject matter experts to prepare a written report which would include findings and recommendations regarding the current state of CA’s transit system, costs of creating the needed system, and potential funding sources.

 

AB 676 (Torres)Expands use of transportation funds.

  • Existing transportation expenditures are currently legally obligated for transportation related administration, operation, maintenance, local assistance, safety and rehabilitation projects. This bill would allocate remaining funds for the study of, and development and implementation of,capital improvement projects to be programmed in the state transportation improvement program.

 

AB 710 (Skinner)Infill Development and Sustainable Community Act of 2011.

  • Eliminates minimum parking requirements for infill and transit-oriented development. Prohibits city or county from requiring more than one parking space per residential unit and prohibits requirement of more than one parking space per 1,000 sq. ft of commercial units for residential or mixed-use project in a transit intensive area. Also modifies definition of sustainable communities to include communities that incentivize infill development.

 

AB 819 (Wieckowski)Enhance bicycle safety, complete streets.

  • This bill augments existing Dept. of Transportation responsibility for safety guidelines to include class IV bikeways, in addition to class I, II and III bikeways. The bill defines class IV bikeways as: “segregated bike lanes,” which provide a completely separated right-of-way designated for the exclusive use of bicycles on streets and are demarcated by either a physical barrier or by distinct paint markings, or both, to minimize or prevent travel by motor vehicles.

 

AB 931 (Dickinson)CEQA exemption rule for infill housing modification.

  • CEQA requirements are exempted for infill development if certain criteria are met. This bill would extend the current criteria for the preparation of a community-level environmental review from 5 to 20 years. It would also lower the density requirement for exemption from 20 to 15 units per acre.

 

AB 995 (Cedillo)OPR report to legislatureon expediting Transit Oriented Development environmental review.

  • This bill would require the Office of Planning and Research, not later than July 1, 2012, to prepare and submit to the Legislature a report containing recommendations for expedited environmental review for transit-oriented development.

 

AB 1285 (Fuentes)Regional greenhouse gas emission reduction program.

 

  • Legislation to create community greenhouse gas emission reduction program. Would provide state oversight over local government and nonprofit investments relating to greenhouse gasses.

 

SB 77 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review)Elimination of state redevelopment agencies.

  • Elimination of state redevelopment agencies (RDAs) and an orderly “wind down” of their responsibilities and assets. Local Govt successor agencies would be created to maintain certain existing RDA obligations. Elimination of state RDA’s has been identified as a method to balance the state’s budget. Property taxes that formerly went to RDAs would be directed to schools and public safety operations. The bill will result in $1.7 billion in additional funding for the 2011-2012 budget.

 

 

SB 132 (Lowenthal)School sittings to reflect state planning priorities.

  • This bill would require the State Allocation Board to revise guidelines, rules, regulations, procedures, and policiesfor the acquisition of schoolsites and the construction of school facilities to reflect the state planning. This bill would also require that advice, standards, surveys, or information regarding the acquisition of school sites or the construction of school facilities provided by the StateDepartment of Education pursuant to this requirement reflect the state planning priorities.

 

SB 214 (Wolk)Eliminate voter approval requirement for infrastructure finance districts.

  • This bill would eliminate the requirement of voter approval to create and authorize an infrastructure financing district. This bill would authorize a legislative body to create an infrastructure finance district, adopt an infrastructure financing plan, and issue bonds by resolutions by resolution, not requiring voter approval.

 

SB 310 (Hancock).–.Creation of the Transit Priority Project Program.

  • This bill would eliminate the requirement of voter approval for the creation of an infrastructure financing district and would authorize the appropriate legislative body to create the district, adopt the plan, and issue the bonds by resolutions. This bill would also create a streamlined permit process for development that met certain criteria and it would create a program to reimburse developer fees if a project was located within an Infrastructure Finance District.

 

SB 450 (Lowenthal)Redevelopment agencies housing expenditures.

  • This bill reforms how redevelopment agencies spend their Low &Moderate Income Housing Funds.

 

SB 468 (Kehoe).–.An act to add Section 103 to the Streets and Highways Code, relating to transportation.

  • This bill would impose additional requirements on the departmentwith respect to proposed capacity-increasing state highway projects in the coastal zone, including requiring the department to collaborate with local agencies, the California Coastal Commission, and countywide or regional transportation planning agencies to develop traffic congestion reduction goals.

 

SB 535 (De Leon)California Communities Healthy Air Revitalization Trust.

  • This bill would require a minimum of 10% of revenues generated from fees collected by the Air Resources Board from sources of greenhouse gas emissions would be deposited into a trust operated by the CA Treasury Dept. Funds would be in used in communities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or to mitigate health or environmental impacts of climate change.

 

SB 907 (Evans and Perez)–.Master Plan for Infrastructure Financing and Development Commission

  • This bill would create the Master Plan for Infrastructure Financing and Development Commission, consisting of specified members, and would require the commission to prepare and submit a strategy and plan for infrastructure development in California that meets certain criteria to the Legislature and the Governor by December 1, 2013..

 

Categories
Complete Streets GHG Reduction Local Government NewsFlash Publications

NRDC releases A Citizen’s Guide to LEED-ND (LEED for Neighborhood Development)

NRDC is pleased to announce the publication of A Citizen’s Guide to LEED-for Neighborhood Development. The Guide is a handbook to help anyone interested in green practices learn, in user-friendly fashion, the ingredients that can make a neighborhood-scale development green. It is available on the web for free. For more about the Guide, start here. To proceed directly to download, go here.

LEED-ND is a comprehensive and logical rating system that reflects the most current thinking about smart, green, sustainable, and well-designed neighborhoods. For neighborhood-scale development to be certified by the US Green Building Council as environmentally exemplary, it must meet the criteria contained in the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system. The rating system was developed by USGBC, NRDC, and the Congress for the New Urbanism. It is administered by USGBC.

But the principles embodied in LEED-ND can be applied to situations other than those in which a development is seeking certification. While the formal LEED-ND process is a technical one, the Citizen’s Guide is user-friendly and accessible, to help anyone learn about environmental standards for green land development and become an advocate for implementing these standards in their own communities. NRDC hopes this handbook for citizens will help promote greater widespread adoption of sustainable practices to create more inclusive, healthy, and environmentally sound places for everyone.

The Guide simplifies the three major sections of the formal rating system:

• Smart Location and Linkage: Where to Build
• Neighborhood Pattern and Design: What to Build
• Green Infrastructure and Buildings: How to Manage Environmental Impacts

It also includes some creative suggestions to help users get started using LEED-ND’s diverse standards to evaluate and improve development proposals, to guide improvements to neighborhoods, to inform community planning and zoning, or to inform other policy-making.

The Guide also includes a “Sustainable Neighborhood Development Checklist.” The checklist is a sort of “crib sheet” for every LEED-ND credit and prerequisite, presenting them in an easy-to-use format for evaluating development proposals, assessing existing neighborhoods, and informing community planning and policy.

For more information about A Citizen’s Guide to LEED for Neighborhood Development, start here. To proceed directly to download, go here.

Kaid
______________________________
Visit Kaid’s sustainable communities blog at http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/kbenfield/

Categories
California Policy GHG Reduction Local Government Metropolitan Planning Public Transit Transportation Funding

June 5 Update: CA 2011-12 Legislative Session Overview

Policy in Motion is tracking a handful of bills introduced this session pertaining to the integration of land use, transportation, housing affordability, and health within the context of sustainable community development in California. Below are summaries and links to legislative analyses for 21 relevant bills:

2011 Legislative Summaries—Updated June 5, 2011

AB 147 (Dickinson)Subdivision Map Act

  • Expands the existing eligible uses for transportation mitigation impact fees to transit, bike and pedestrian facilities.

 

to committee.  Read second time, amended, and re-referred to Com. on

GOV. & F.

AB 343 (Atkins)Community Redevelopment Act

  • Redevelopment Plans and subsequent projects to be in alignment with climate, air quality and energy conservation goals of Chapter 728 of the Statutes of 2008.

 

AB 345 (Atkins)Caltrans to consult with bike/pedestrian reps on traffic control devices.

  • Caltrans to convene an advisory committee of representatives from groups representing bicycle and pedestrian users of streets, roads and highways and consult with this group regarding the installation of traffic control barriers and/or devices.

 

AB 441 (Monning)Health issues included in transportation plans.

  • Requires the California Transportation Commission to include health issues in regional transportation plans. The Office of Planning and Research would develop guidelines for local government and regional agencies to incorporate health (improvement) issues into general plans.

 

 

AB 539 (Williams)Safe Routes to School speed limits.

AB 605 (Dickinson) – OPR to set standards for VMT reductions and CEQA exemptions.

  • A project could be exempt from CEQA analysis of transportation element if project met percentage reduction in vehicle trip miles.

 

AB 650 (Blumenfield)Blue Ribbon Task Force on Public Transportation for the 21st Century

  • Requires task force to be comprised of twelve transportation subject matter experts to prepare a written report which would include findings and recommendations regarding the current state of CA’s transit system, costs of creating the needed system, and potential funding sources.

 

AB 676 (Torres)Expands use of transportation funds.

  • Existing transportation expenditures are currently legally obligated for transportation related administration, operation, maintenance, local assistance, safety and rehabilitation projects. This bill would allocate remaining funds for the study of, and development and implementation of,capital improvement projects to be programmed in the state transportation improvement program.

 

AB 710 (Skinner)Infill Development and Sustainable Community Act of 2011.

  • Eliminates minimum parking requirements for infill and transit-oriented development. Prohibits city or county from requiring more than one parking space per residential unit and prohibits requirement of more than one parking space per 1,000 sq. ft of commercial units for residential or mixed-use project in a transit intensive area. Also modifies definition of sustainable communities to include communities that incentivize infill development.

 

AB 819 (Wieckowski)Enhance bicycle safety, complete streets.

  • This bill augments existing Dept. of Transportation responsibility for safety guidelines to include class IV bikeways, in addition to class I, II and III bikeways. The bill defines class IV bikeways as: “segregated bike lanes,” which provide a completely separated right-of-way designated for the exclusive use of bicycles on streets and are demarcated by either a physical barrier or by distinct paint markings, or both, to minimize or prevent travel by motor vehicles.

 

AB 931 (Dickinson)CEQA exemption rule for infill housing modification.

  • CEQA requirements are exempted for infill development if certain criteria are met. This bill would extend the current criteria for the preparation of a community-level environmental review from 5 to 20 years. It would also lower the density requirement for exemption from 20 to 15 units per acre.

 

AB 995 (Cedillo)OPR report to legislatureon expediting Transit Oriented Development environmental review.

  • This bill would require the Office of Planning and Research, not later than July 1, 2012, to prepare and submit to the Legislature a report containing recommendations for expedited environmental review for transit-oriented development.

 

AB 1285 (Fuentes)Regional greenhouse gas emission reduction program.

 

  • Legislation to create community greenhouse gas emission reduction program. Would provide state oversight over local government and nonprofit investments relating to greenhouse gasses.

 

SB 77 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review)Elimination of state redevelopment agencies.

  • Elimination of state redevelopment agencies (RDAs) and an orderly “wind down” of their responsibilities and assets. Local Govt successor agencies would be created to maintain certain existing RDA obligations. Elimination of state RDA’s has been identified as a method to balance the state’s budget. Property taxes that formerly went to RDAs would be directed to schools and public safety operations. The bill will result in $1.7 billion in additional funding for the 2011-2012 budget.

 

 

SB 132 (Lowenthal)School sittings to reflect state planning priorities.

  • This bill would require the State Allocation Board to revise guidelines, rules, regulations, procedures, and policiesfor the acquisition of schoolsites and the construction of school facilities to reflect the state planning. This bill would also require that advice, standards, surveys, or information regarding the acquisition of school sites or the construction of school facilities provided by the StateDepartment of Education pursuant to this requirement reflect the state planning priorities.

 

SB 214 (Wolk)Eliminate voter approval requirement for infrastructure finance districts.

  • This bill would eliminate the requirement of voter approval to create and authorize an infrastructure financing district. This bill would authorize a legislative body to create an infrastructure finance district, adopt an infrastructure financing plan, and issue bonds by resolutions by resolution, not requiring voter approval.

 

SB 310 (Hancock).–.Creation of the Transit Priority Project Program.

  • This bill would eliminate the requirement of voter approval for the creation of an infrastructure financing district and would authorize the appropriate legislative body to create the district, adopt the plan, and issue the bonds by resolutions. This bill would also create a streamlined permit process for development that met certain criteria and it would create a program to reimburse developer fees if a project was located within an Infrastructure Finance District.

 

SB 450 (Lowenthal)Redevelopment agencies housing expenditures.

  • This bill reforms how redevelopment agencies spend their Low &Moderate Income Housing Funds.

 

SB 468 (Kehoe).–.An act to add Section 103 to the Streets and Highways Code, relating to transportation.

  • This bill would impose additional requirements on the departmentwith respect to proposed capacity-increasing state highway projects in the coastal zone, including requiring the department to collaborate with local agencies, the California Coastal Commission, and countywide or regional transportation planning agencies to develop traffic congestion reduction goals.

 

SB 535 (De Leon)California Communities Healthy Air Revitalization Trust.

  • This bill would require a minimum of 10% of revenues generated from fees collected by the Air Resources Board from sources of greenhouse gas emissions would be deposited into a trust operated by the CA Treasury Dept. Funds would be in used in communities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or to mitigate health or environmental impacts of climate change.

 

SB 907 (Evans and Perez)–.Master Plan for Infrastructure Financing and Development Commission

  • This bill would create the Master Plan for Infrastructure Financing and Development Commission, consisting of specified members, and would require the commission to prepare and submit a strategy and plan for infrastructure development in California that meets certain criteria to the Legislature and the Governor by December 1, 2013..

 

Categories
Education/Webinars Local Government

FREE Planning Commissioner Training Workshops by APA, SACOG and SJCOG

Open to All Interested Parties
New workshops presented by California’s foremost transportation planners have just been announced as part of the Planning Commissioner Training Workshop Series sponsored by the Sacramento Valley Section of the American Planning Association (APA), the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) and the San Joaquin Council of Governments (SJCOG).

Session #5: Mobility/Transportation Workshop
Thursday, June 2, 6-9 p.m. at Rocklin City Hall (3970 Rocklin Road)
Presenter: Ronald T. Milam
How do you move residents of your community using all forms of transportation? How to you deemphasize auto movements? Where do you plan bicycle paths? You have a level of service for autos but what happens to bicycles and pedestrians? How to you prepare a complete streets program in your general plan? What is the best method for analyzing mobility in a plan or a project? How do you read a traffic report? Get answers to these questions and discuss transportation planning can improve the quality of life of your residents.

Ronald T. Milam, AICP, PTP is a Principal with Fehr & Peers located in the Roseville, California office. He is involved in a wide variety of project work and also co-leads the firm’s research and development efforts. He has an extensive background in travel demand model development and applications, traffic operations analysis, micro-simulation modeling, and transportation impact studies involving NEPA and CEQA. Mr. Milam currently provides traffic forecasting and operations analysis for the I-80 HOT Lanes project in Placer and Sacramento Counties, managing the Sacramento River Crossing Study for the Cities of Sacramento and West Sacramento, and assisting Caltrans in the development of new CEQA/NEPA Transportation Analysis Report (TAR) guidelines for project development and environmental impact studies

Session #6: Mobility/Transportation Workshop (Repeat of Session #5)
Saturday, June 25, 9 a.m. to noon at Rancho Cordova City Hall, 2729 Prospect Park Drive
Presenter: David B. Robinson

David B. Robinson, a Senior Associate with Fehr & Peers’ Roseville office, has over 17 years of transportation planning experience and is a registered traffic engineer. Mr. Robinson’s areas of expertise include travel modeling, transportation planning, and operations analysis. He has developed several city and countywide travel demand forecasting models. In addition, he has applied his knowledge of travel modeling to numerous project types, including interchange planning studies, corridor studies, area-wide transportation circulation studies, CEQA and NEPA analysis, and several large master-planned developments in California.

WORKSHOP REGISTRATION

Register online at http://www.sacog.org/projects/planning-workshops/, or contact Greg Chew, SACOG Senior Planner at gchew@sacog.org or at (916) 340-6227 if you have further questions. Participants may also show up to the workshops unregistered, but seating will be limited to the capacity of the facility.

Categories
California Policy GHG Reduction Local Government Metropolitan Planning Public Health

California 2011-12 Legislative Session Overview of Relevant Sustainable Development Bills

Policy in Motion is tracking a handful of bills introduced this session pertaining to the integration of land use, transportation, housing affordability, and health within the context of sustainable community development in California. Below are summaries and links to legislative analyses for 21 relevant bills:

Updated April 24th, 2011

AB 147 (Dickinson)Subdivision Map Act

  • Expands the existing eligible uses for transportation mitigation impact fees to transit, bike and pedestrian facilities.

AB 343 (Atkins)Community Redevelopment Act

  • Redevelopment Plans and subsequent projects to be in alignment with climate, air quality and energy conservation goals of Chapter 728 of the Statutes of 2008.

AB 345 (Atkins)Caltrans to consult with bike/pedestrian reps on traffic control devices.

  • Caltrans to convene an advisory committee of representatives from groups representing bicycle and pedestrian users of streets, roads and highways and consult with this group regarding the installation of traffic control barriers and/or devices.

AB 441 (Monning)Health issues included in transportation plans.

  • Requires the California Transportation Commission to include health issues in regional transportation plans. The Office of Planning and Research would develop guidelines for local government and regional agencies to incorporate health (improvement) issues into general plans.

AB 539 (Williams)Safe Routes to School speed limits.

AB 605 (Dickinson) – OPR to set standards for VMT reductions and CEQA exemptions.

  • A project could be exempt from CEQA analysis of transportation element if project met percentage reduction in vehicle trip miles.

AB 650 (Blumenfield)Blue Ribbon Task Force on Public Transportation for the 21st Century

  • Requires task force to be comprised of twelve transportation subject matter experts to prepare a written report which would include findings and recommendations regarding the current state of CA’s transit system, costs of creating the needed system, and potential funding sources.

AB 676 (Torres)Expands use of transportation funds.

  • Existing transportation expenditures are currently legally obligated for transportation related administration, operation, maintenance, local assistance, safety and rehabilitation projects. This bill would allocate remaining funds for the study of, and development and implementation of,capital improvement projects to be programmed in the state transportation improvement program.

AB 710 (Skinner)Infill Development and Sustainable Community Act of 2011.

  • Eliminates minimum parking requirements for infill and transit-oriented development. Prohibits city or county from requiring more than one parking space per residential unit and prohibits requirement of more than one parking space per 1,000 sq. ft of commercial units for residential or mixed-use project in a transit intensive area. Also modifies definition of sustainable communities to include communities that incentivize infill development.

AB 819 (Wieckowski)Enhance bicycle safety, complete streets.

  • This bill augments existing Dept. of Transportation responsibility for safety guidelines to include class IV bikeways, in addition to class I, II and III bikeways. The bill defines class IV bikeways as: “segregated bike lanes,” which provide a completely separated right-of-way designated for the exclusive use of bicycles on streets and are demarcated by either a physical barrier or by distinct paint markings, or both, to minimize or prevent travel by motor vehicles.

AB 931 (Dickinson)CEQA exemption rule for infill housing modification.

  • CEQA requirements are exempted for infill development if certain criteria are met. This bill would extend the current criteria for the preparation of a community-level environmental review from 5 to 20 years. It would also lower the density requirement for exemption from 20 to 15 units per acre.

AB 995 (Cedillo)OPR report to legislatureon expediting Transit Oriented Development environmental review.

  • This bill would require the Office of Planning and Research, not later than July 1, 2012, to prepare and submit to the Legislature a report containing recommendations for expedited environmental review for transit-oriented development.

AB 1285 (Fuentes)Regional greenhouse gas emission reduction program.

  • Legislation to create community greenhouse gas emission reduction program. Would provide state oversight over local government and nonprofit investments relating to greenhouse gasses.

SB 77 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review)Elimination of state redevelopment agencies.

  • Elimination of state redevelopment agencies (RDAs) and an orderly “wind down” of their responsibilities and assets. Local govt successor agencies would be created to maintain certain existing RDA obligations. Elimination of state RDA’s has been identified as a method to balance the state’s budget. Property taxes that formerly went to RDAs would be directed to schools and public safety operations. The bill will result in $1.7 billion in additional funding for the 2011-2012 budget.

SB 132 (Lowenthal)School citings to reflect state planning priorities.

  • This bill would require the State Allocation Board to revise guidelines, rules, regulations, procedures, and policiesfor the acquisition of schoolsites and the construction of school facilities to reflect the state planning. This bill would also require that advice, standards, surveys, or information regarding the acquisition of school sites or the construction of school facilities provided by the StateDepartment of Education pursuant to this requirement reflect the state planning priorities.

SB 214 (Wolk)Eliminate voter approval requirement for infrastructure finance districts.

  • This bill would eliminate the requirement of voter approval to create and authorize an infrastructure financing district. This bill would authorize a legislative body to create an infrastructure finance district, adopt an infrastructure financing plan, and issue bonds by resolutions by resolution, not requiring voter approval.

SB 310 (Hancock).–.Creation of the Transit Priority Project Program.

  • This bill would eliminate the requirement of voter approval for the creation of an infrastructure financing district and would authorize the appropriate legislative body to create the district, adopt the plan, and issue the bonds by resolutions. This bill would also create a streamlined permit process for development that met certain criteria and it would create a program to reimburse developer fees if a project was located within an Infrastructure Finance District.

SB 450 (Lowenthal)Redevelopment agencies housing expenditures.

  • This bill reforms how redevelopment agencies spend their Low &Moderate Income Housing Funds.

SB 468 (Kehoe).–.An act to add Section 103 to the Streets and Highways Code, relating to transportation.

  • This bill would impose additional requirements on the departmentwith respect to proposed capacity-increasing state highway projects inthe coastal zone, including requiring the department to collaborate withlocal agencies, the California Coastal Commission, and countywide orregional transportation planning agencies to develop traffic congestionreduction goals.

SB 535 (De Leon)California Communities Healthy Air Revitalization Trust.

  • This bill would require a minimum of 10% of revenues generated from fees collected by the Air Resources Board from sources of greenhouse gas emissions would be deposited into a trust operated by the CA Treasury Dept. Funds would be in used in communities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or to mitigate health or environmental impacts of climate change.

SB 907 (Evans and Perez) –.Master Plan for Infrastructure Financing and Development Commission

  • This bill would create the Master Plan for Infrastructure Financing and Development Commission, consisting of specified members, and would require the commission to prepare and submit a strategy and plan for infrastructure development in California that meets certain criteria to the Legislature and the Governor by December 1, 2013..
Categories
California Policy GHG Reduction Local Government Metropolitan Planning NewsFlash Public Transit Publications Research SB 375

Public Policy Institute of California’s New Report on SB375 Implementation: Transit & Pricing Challenges

Encourage Jobs Near Transit, Raise Cost of Driving to Put State on Road to Change

Analysis Reveals Signs Of Hope—And Warning—About Meeting SB 375 Goals


SAN FRANCISCO, February 16, 2011—If California is to achieve its goal of reducing the amount of driving residents do, policymakers should encourage job growth near transit stations and implement strategies that raise the cost of driving, according to a report released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

The PPIC report assesses how well California’s local and regional governments are positioned to meet the targets set under Senate Bill 375, the 2008 law that aims to reduce passenger vehicle use. The law’s main purpose is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming, but it is also expected to have public health benefits by encouraging more walking and biking. SB 375 calls for the state’s major metropolitan areas to reduce per capita emissions from driving about 7 percent by 2020 and about 15 percent by 2035. This will require a major behavioral shift in California, where the vast majority of commuters still drive to work—even if they live or work near a transit station.

“The law encourages an integrated approach to reducing emissions—changing land use patterns to reduce the need to drive, investing in mass transit and other alternatives to driving, and increasing the cost of driving and parking to encourage the use of these alternatives. But it will be up to regional and local leaders to turn the vision into reality,” says Ellen Hanak, PPIC senior fellow, who co-authored the report with PPIC research fellow Louise Bedsworth and Jed Kolko, PPIC associate director and research fellow.

The PPIC analysis draws on a survey of local governments, interviews with land use and transportation planners, and numerous data sources. It reveals reasons for optimism that the state can achieve its goals—but also warning signs.

On the plus side: Transit ridership is increasing, with recent investments directed toward higher-density areas, where they will be more likely to get people of out their cars. Regional transportation authorities and local governments recognize the importance of integrating land use, transit, and pricing policies such as toll lanes, carpool lanes, and parking fees. And, despite the recession, local governments have increased activities to support the goals of SB 375, and they say the policies they have begun to implement have a strong potential to reduce residents’ driving.

But the warning signs are significant. California has failed so far to reap the benefits of its large investment in rail transit. While rail ridership has increased slightly—from 0.9 percent of all commutes in 1990 to 1.4 percent in 2008—the growth is much slower than the pace of transit cost increases and service expansion.

One reason is that transit-oriented development has failed to live up to its potential. Having jobs near transit is more important in boosting ridership than having housing near transit. It’s not hard to see why: while workers can park their cars or bikes at transit stations close to home, they need a way to get to the workplace after getting off the train. But the number of jobs per square mile in California is lower than the national average and declining, a continuation of a decades-long trend of jobs moving out of dense downtowns.

To encourage job growth around transit, the state should consider changes in SB 375, which explicitly favors residential over commercial development near stations. On the local and regional level, specific policies to spur development near transit include relaxing requirements for minimum numbers of parking spaces provided by developers and improving accessibility to surrounding areas through feeder bus services.

The PPIC report notes one more important warning sign: resistance to the use of pricing tools, like higher fuel taxes and road use charges, to discourage solo driving. Local and regional officials are wary of public opposition. But these tools have the highest potential to reduce driving, and they can generate revenue to fill the growing gap in transportation budgets. Coastal regions are making limited use of road tolling to manage congestion and raise revenues. For example, high-occupancy toll lanes are in use in Southern California and the Bay Area that combine free access for carpoolers with a toll option for solo drivers. But for more comprehensive road pricing solutions, state and federal officials will need to take the lead, either by raising the gas tax or introducing general road use fees. Such mileage fees—already in use in other countries and successfully tested in Oregon—are more flexible than the gas tax. They rely on new electronic toll collecting and geographic positioning system technology to charge motorists according to the number of miles driven, time of day, type of road, and type of vehicle.

Driving Change: Reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled in Californiais supported with funding from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the David A. Coulter Family Foundation.

ABOUT PPIC

PPIC is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. As a private operating foundation, PPIC does not take or support positions on any ballot measure or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office.

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California Policy Local Government Metropolitan Planning NewsFlash SB 375 Transportation Funding

Strategic Growth Council 2010 Funding Recommendations for Prop 84 Sustainable Communities Planning Grants

The Strategic Growth Council received $94 million in requests for approximately $23 million in available funding under the Sustainable Communities Grant Program created under Proposition 84 in 2009 — with 153 applications completed and deemed eligible for scoring, per the Program Guidelines.  The Application Review and Ranking Committee, comprised of 30 interdisciplinary staff, recommended 44 applicants. Total amount of recommended awards for this funding cycle: $23,050,485. The Planning Grants and Incentives Management Team at the Department of Conservation provides their recommendation report to the Strategic Growth Council here.

The Grant Program Includes Three Focus Areas:

  • Focus Area #1: Local Sustainable Planning ‐ Eligible Applicants: Cities and Counties
  • Focus Area #2: Regional SB 375 Plus ‐ Eligible Applicants: Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs)
  • Focus Area #3: Regional Planning Activities with Multiple Partners ‐ Eligible Applicants: Cities, Counties, Regional Transportation Planning Agencies (RTPAs), Joint Powers Authorities (JPAs) and Councils of Governments (COGs).

Focus Area #1 Recipients (24 out of 100 selected)

  • Concord
  • Richmond
  • Arvin
  • Monterey Park
  • Santa Monica
  • Mendocino County
  • Merced (City)
  • Town of Mammoth Lakes
  • Anaheim
  • Dana Point
  • Calimesa
  • Chino Hills
  • Victorville
  • San Diego (City)
  • San Francisco
  • Stockton
  • San Luis Obispo (City)
  • San Luis Obispo (County)
  • South San Francisco
  • Morgan Hill
  • Capitola
  • Santa Cruz (County)
  • Yolo
  • Yuba

Focus Area #2 Recipients (8 out of 11 selected)

  • Metropolitan Transportation Commission –Association of Bay Area Governments

  • Tahoe Regional Transportation Planning Organization

  • Monterey Bay Area Association of Governments

  • Sacramento Area Council of Governments

  • San Diego Association of Governments

  • San Joaquin Council of Governments (8 MPOs)

  • San Luis Obispo Council of Governments

  • Shasta County Regional Transportation Planning Agency

Focus Area #3 Recipients (4 out of 18 selected)

  • Kings County Association of Governments
  • Western Riverside Council of Governments
  • Sacramento County
  • Riverbank (City)

Economically Disadvantaged Community (EDC) Recipients*

  • Fresno
  • Calipatria
  • Corcoran
  • Los Angeles (City)
  • South Gate
  • Adelanto
  • Stanislaus
  • Farmersville
  • Kings County Council of Governments
  • San Joaquin Valley COG (8 MPOs)
  • Sacramento Area Council of Governments
  • Tahoe Metropolitan Planning Organization
  • Yuba County
  • City and County of San Francisco
  • Richmond
  • Mendocino County
  • Town of Mammoth Lakes
  • Calimesa
  • Victorville
  • San Diego (City)

*An EDC may be a community or neighborhood within a city or county. Italicized communities above reflect those selected as “EDC Set-Aside Awards” not within a Focus Area (8 out of 24 selected)

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California Policy GHG Reduction Local Government NewsFlash Public Transit Transportation Funding

California Propositions Impact Local Governments

Despite the love/hate relationship Californians have with the Proposition system, voters voiced their positions last night on several statewide ballot measures that impact the fiscal and environmental sustainability of our communities.

Policy in Motion's Lauren Michele Congratulates Governor Jerry Brown & San Francisco Giants

With fresh enthusiasm from a Texas defeat in the World Series, voters overwhelmingly rejected an initiative (Prop 23) funded largely by Texas oil interests to suspend California’s effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions. This defeat will allow the California Air Resources Board to continue with its implementation of Assembly Bill 32: Global  Warming Solutions Act. Meanwhile, Governor Schwarzenegger will be handing off the AB 32 baton to California’s next “green governor” – Jerry Brown.

Voters also felt fresh enthusiasm for limiting the State’s ability to take funds from local governments – with the League of California Cities spearheading the campaign in response to the $5 billion in transit and redevelopment funds that were diverted to the General Fund in the 2009/10 budget. Proposition 22 closes the loophole which allowed the State to use gasoline tax revenue for sources other than transportation.

While cities and counties are celebrating victory over protection of local funding streams, the passage of Proposition 26 amends the California Constitution to make the majority of regulatory fees redefined as taxes – making it very difficult for communities to raise additional funds for needed transportation expenditures with a two-thirds majority needed for state or local fees which address environmental impacts. The Legislative Analyst’s Office expects increased transportation spending and State General Fund costs of approximately $1 billion due to Proposition 26 limiting any increases on Vehicle Registration Fees (used for local transportation and air quality programs), Vehicle License Fees and local sales taxes – both important sources of general revenue for local government. Further, local transit operators will be adversely impacted as the recent changes to the State’s transportation funding sources rely heavily on increased sales taxes on diesel fuels.

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California Policy Complete Streets Education/Webinars Environmental Justice GHG Reduction Local Government Metropolitan Planning NewsFlash Public Transit SB 375 Transportation Funding

Sacramento Regional Coalitions Support “Safe Routes for All” MTP Scenario

At tonight’s public workshop for SACOG’s 2035 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP 2035) 93% of individuals and 100% of group tables voted for the Scenario 3 option — which places the greatest investment in existing communities and would result in a 17% reduction in per capita greenhouse gas emissions (greater than the 16% SB 375 regional target assigned by CARB). After speaking with SACOG’s Executive Director after the workshop today, it was clear that the support for Scenario 3 was also well represented during this month’s  previous workshops across the region.

With overwhelming support for a more cost-effective, equitable, and environmentally sustainable MTP Scenario, could the SACOG region have public support to create a plan that achieves these objectives to an even greater extent? Policy in Motion founder, and researcher on SB 375 Implementation believes the answer is a resounding YES.

Safe Routes for All is a concept that embodies achieving the sustainability “3-E” agenda which supports federal, state, regional, and local goals for healthy and thriving communities.  Approving a Sustainable Community Strategy within the SACOG MTP 2035 process that emphasizes financial investments in existing communities with a focus around active transportation access to schools would be a way to not only serve as an example of how a Metropolitan Planning Organization can exceed SB 375 greenhouse gas reduction targets, but also support many other co-benefits such as healthier communities and neighborhood quality of life.

A coalition of organizations and individuals is forming to advocate for Safe Routes for All in walkable and bikeable communities throughout the six-county SACOG region. They believe that all people – including children, seniors, mobility disabled, transit dependent, and walkers and bicyclists – deserve access to a safe and reliable transportation network. They are asking SACOG to create and analyze a 4th Scenario, or make moderate funding shifts within Scenario 3  to support this concept of Safe Routes for All.

The key component to achieve this sustainability objectives that are more cost-effective and equitable is to shift funding priorities from regional transportation mobility projects that move people between communities to local transportation projects/programs that connect people within communities — focusing on access to goods, services, transportation options and employment opportunities.

In order to achieve this funding would shift toward “Fix it First” policies which support roadway, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian maintenance and operation — followed secondly by investments in “active transportation” infrastructure and programs. A Safe Routes for All plan would also prioritize housing investments to support existing community needs, such as access to goods, services, transit and employment opportunities.
Policy in Motion will be partnering with the Sacramento Complete Street Coalition to demonstrate how shifting investments toward existing community needs supports the region’s vision for long-term economic vitality, healthier and safer neighborhoods, and efforts to lead California in what SB 375 implementation can truly achieve.
Other organizations involved in this effort include:
  • WALKSacramento
  • Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates
  • Breathe California of Sacramento- Emigrant Trails
  • Sacramento Walking Sticks
  • Coalition On Regional Equity
  • Ubuntu Green
  • Environmental Council of Sacramento
  • Safe Kids Greater Sacramento
  • Gray Panthers of Sacramento
  • Mothers’ Support Network
  • Bicycle Advocates of Rancho Cordova
  • Folsom Area Bicycle Advocates
  • Design Sacramento 4 Health
  • Davis Bicycles!
  • Sacramento ACHIEVE