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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
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
Federal Policy Transportation Funding

DC Streetsblog: Senate Transportation Bill, MAP-21, Freezes Spending at Current Levels

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 1 Comment
Senate Transportation Bill, MAP-21, Freezes Spending at Current Levels
by Tanya Snyder on May 25, 2011

Note: See follow-up post, “Boxer: Transpo Funding Will Rise in Senate Bill, Bike/Ped Will Be Preserved” for updates, including clarification that the new bill will fund transportation at current levels plus inflation and an expanded TIFIA program.

The Environment and Public Works Committee just released an outline of some core principles of its transportation reauthorization bill. In a statement, the top Republicans and Democrats of both the full committee and the Transportation Subcommittee – Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), James Inhofe (R-OK), Max Baucus (D-MT) and David Vitter (R-LA) – said:

Sen. Barbara Boxer indicates the Senate transportation bill will hold spending to current levels, hints it will be a short-term bill. Photo: Bumpshack
It is no secret that the four of us represent very different political views, but we have found common ground in the belief that building highways, bridges, and transportation systems is an important responsibility of the federal government, in cooperation with state and local governments and the private sector.

They say their bill, called Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21):

Funds programs at current levels to maintain and modernize our critical transportation infrastructure;
Eliminates earmarks;
Consolidates numerous programs to focus resources on key national goals and reduce duplicative and wasteful programs;
Consolidates numerous programs into a more focused freight program that will improve the movement of goods;
Creates a new section called America Fast Forward, which strengthens the TIFIA program to stretch federal dollars further than they have been stretched before; and
Expedites project delivery without sacrificing the environment or the rights of people to be heard.
Nothing about an infrastructure bank, which is likely still a major sticking point. We’ll also be interested in hearing more about their decisions about transportation enhancements – those “beautification” projects the Republicans love to rail against, also known as bike and pedestrian infrastructure. We also wonder how much EPW has worked with the Banking and Commerce Committees so far to work out the language on transit and rail.

The joint statement indicates that Boxer may be softening her insistence on a six-year bill. They specifically say, “Our goal is to attain the optimum achievable authorization length depending on the resources available.” Sounds like a two-year bill to me, if they’re shooting to maintain current funding levels. And we already know that sounds like a two-year bill to Max Baucus, chair of EPW’s Transportation Subcommittee and head of the Finance Committee, which the four senators say they’re collaborating with to explore options for the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund without increasing the deficit – i.e., without transfers from the general fund.

We’re still not expecting to see a completed bill for a little while… the initial Memorial Day target has been pushed back to “sometime in June.”

Categories
California Policy Metropolitan Planning NewsFlash Public Transit Transportation Funding

May 22 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 May 22th, 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.
  • Leg Info Bill Text (Amended April 25)
  • AB 710 Bill Analysis (Assembly Floor May 20)
  • Status: AB 710 Passed in Housing and Community Development on April 27, do pass committee on Local Govt, re-referred to committee on Appropriations. May 19, ordered to third reading.

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.
  • Leg Info: Bill Text (Amended March 24)
  • SB 535 Bill Analysis (Senate Committee; May 16)
  • Status May 2: Do pass and re-refer to Committee on Appropriations. Hearing set for May 16. Placed on Senate Appropriations suspense file, hearing set for May 26th.

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..
  • SB 907 Leg Info Bill Text (Amended May 3 )
  • SB 907 Bill Analysis (Senate Committee; May 16)
  • Status: Do Pass Senate Committee on Govt and Finance. May 3: amended and re-referred to Committee on Appropriations. Placed on Appropriations suspense file. Hearing set for May 26.
Categories
Federal Policy NewsFlash Transportation Funding

Streetsblog DC: TIGER III Is Grrrrrr-eat News for Transportation Agencies

TIGER III Is Grrrrrr-eat News for Transportation Agencies
by Tanya Snyder on April 21, 2011

News about an upcoming TIGER III award program is beginning to leak out. The USDOT isn’t planning to release a solicitation for proposals until early summer, but the language in the recently-passed budget bill for this year gives some clues as to what we can expect.

TIGER’s survival was one of the happiest surprises of the FY2011 budget. No money from the 2010 TIGER II allocation was rescinded, a pleasant surprise for TIGER fans. And the appropriation for 2011 is just 12 percent lower than the $600 million allocated last year. Part of what was cut, however, was $35 million to help jurisdictions with “planning, preparation or design” of projects. TIGER III will all be for capital investments. Like TIGER II, applicants will have to provide at least 20 percent of the funding, with no more than 80 percent coming from TIGER. A higher match is encouraged. Also like TIGER II, the money won’t be distributed purely on merit but also taking geographical diversity into account.

USDOT is required by statute to wait 60 days after the appropriation to put out the Notice of Funding Availability and then 120 days after that to start accepting applications. The budget was signed into law April 15, meaning we can expect a call for applications no sooner than mid-June, with the first day to actually apply being sometime in mid-October.

The program also might not be called “TIGER,” according to Ron Kirby, director of transportation planning for the Metropolitan Washington Council on Governments. In the budget, it’s referred to as “National Infrastructure Investments,” and when Kirby asked USDOT staff whether that’s what the program would be called, they said that was a decision that was going to be made “on high.”

More than 120 TIGER grants have gone to improving transportation options and land use all across the country – projects like the St. Paul Union Depot Multi-Modal Transportation Hub to bring Amtrak, intercity and local buses, light rail, taxis, and bikes together under one roof in the heart of downtown; the Philadelphia Area Pedestrian and Bicycle Network to complete a 128-mile network of bike/ped facilities, including primary commuter routes; the New Haven Downtown Crossing to convert Route 34 from a limited access highway to urban boulevards; the New Orleans Streetcar-Union Passenger Terminal/Loyola Loop to provide transportation options in the central business district and link to the Amtrak terminal; and the Tower 55 Multi-Modal Improvement to alleviate a major traffic and rail bottleneck and improve safety in Fort Worth, Texas by adding an additional rail track.

Categories
Federal Policy High-Speed Rail NewsFlash Transportation Funding US DOT

Reconnecting America: Federal Funding Compromise Preserves Partnership for Sustainable Communities, Reduces FTA New Starts, Eliminates Rail Programs

For Immediate Release
Contact Rebecca M. (Becky) Sullivan
Communications Director
(w) 202-429-6990, ext. 206
(c) 202-412-5573
bsullivan@reconnectingamerica.org
April 12, 2011

STATEMENT ON CONTINUING RESOLUTION
BY RECONNECTING AMERICA PRESIDENT & CEO JOHN ROBERT SMITH

(April 12, 2011) The recently announced compromise to fund the federal government through the remainder of FY2011 preserves several critical programs, but also raises cause for concern. Reconnecting America is pleased to see that the compromise continues to support the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which is effectively coordinating federal housing and transportation programs to provide the greatest benefits at the regional and local levels. Programs such as DOT’s TIGER grants and HUD’s Sustainable Communities grants will save taxpayer dollars over the long-term by helping communities make better investments today.

However, the reduction in the Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts/Small Starts program and the complete elimination of the High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail program in FY 2011 is a step in the wrong direction. In this era of $4-a-gallon gas, Americans need more transportation options, not fewer. In a report to be released tomorrow, Reconnecting America has found that the pent-up capital demand for fixed guideway transit, whose major federal source of funding is New Starts/Small Starts, is at least $233 billion and at current levels it would take 73 years to fund the backlog of transit projects being planned by communities all around America. (See graphic at right.)

These programs support communities’ efforts to connect people to jobs, to school, to health care. They are creating jobs today, and are helping to build a better future for our children and grandchildren. Reducing support for these programs is short-sighted and ultimately will set us back in our efforts to create stronger and more economically-resilient communities where Americans of all income ranges can afford to live, work, and play.

Reconnecting America’s work across the country has demonstrated the transformative power that investing in infrastructure can have on the economy, sustainability, and quality of life in our communities. Continued investment in transportation options is essential to allow our nation to realize its full potential.

# # #

Reconnecting America is a national nonprofit that is helping to transform promising ideas into thriving communities – where transportation choices make it easy to get from place to place, where businesses flourish, and where people from all walks of life can afford to live, work and visit. Reconnecting America is the managing partner of the Center for Transit-Oriented Development, the only national nonprofit effort funded by Congress to promote best practices in transit-oriented development. Reconnecting America is also a founding partner of Transportation for America, a broad coalition of housing, environmental, equal opportunity, public health, urban planning, transportation and other organizations focused on creating a 21st century national transportation program. For more information visit our website, www.reconnectingamerica.org

Categories
California Policy NewsFlash Public Transit Transportation Funding

Policy in Motion Provides Support for TransForm’s “Invest in Transit” Campaign

Invest in Transit

Learn More Here to Sign on Your Support!

Invest in Transit is a statewide campaign targeted at California’s leaders to make public transportation fast, frequent and affordable. It was launched in response to crippling shortfalls for public transportation, continued state funding cuts, and a recognition that our economy, environment, and quality of life truly ride on whether or not we invest in transit now.

Invest in Transit is a campaign of TransForm, an award-winning nonprofit dedicated to creating world-class public transportation and walkable communities throughout California. Invest in Transit seeks to show our leaders that individuals, businesses, and organizations across the state want to get public transportation back on track.

CALIFORNIA’S PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION HAS LOST BILLIONS
Billions of dollars for California’s public transportation has been redirected for other uses over the past decade. Public transportation received less than 1 of 5 state dollars it should have between 2004 and 2008! You can see the negative impacts in every community: reduced service, higher fares, and broken down buses and trains.

BUT OUR STATE LEADERS CAN TURN THINGS AROUND
If our state leaders take action in two ways, they can get California back on track with building and maintaining robust, efficient public transportation throughout the state:

    1. Protect state funding for public transportation from being taken for other uses, plus set funding at levels that ensures transit runs safely and meets the needs of a rapidly growing population.
    1. Give local and regional entities more authority to establish and manage their own funding sources for public transportation.
  • INVESTING IN TRANSIT OFFERS GREAT RETURNS FOR INDIVIDUALS AND GOVERNMENTS
    California households with good public transportation save thousands of dollars each year in transportation costs compared with California households with little or no access. Gas prices are only the beginning of a long list of expenses that come with driving: insurance, parking, tolls, maintenance, and even the occasional parking ticket quickly add up to a lot. AAA listed the cost of owning and driving a medium-sized sedan 10,000 miles in 2010 at $7,285.

    Good public transportation also triggers the kind of efficient, transit-oriented development that saves governments on a range of infrastructure costs: roads, water supply, and utilities. Given our struggling state and local budgets, investing in transit is a way to create needed savings.

    LEARN MORE ABOUT STATE LEGISLATION AND SPECIFIC POLICIES
    For more detailed information on TransForm’s work to win world-class public transportation across California, visit TransForm’s website. You can read about current legislation we’ve taken a position on and the latest on the policy front including analysis and proposed policies.

    Categories
    California Policy Metropolitan Planning NewsFlash Public Transit Transportation Funding

    Reconnecting America: MTC Commits $10 Million to the Bay Area Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Fund

    For Immediate Release
    Contact Rebecca M. (Becky) Sullivan
    Communications Director
    (w) 202-429-6990, ext. 206
    (c) 202-412-5573
    bsullivan@reconnectingamerica.org
    March 23, 2011

    RECONNECTING AMERICA LAUDS METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION FUNDING FOR
    TRANSIT-ORIENTED AFFORDABLE HOUSING

    (March 23, 2011) Today, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) – the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for the San Francisco Bay Area – officially committed $10 million to the Bay Area Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Fund (TOAH Fund). MTC’s critical commitment to play the top-loss role in the fund has been instrumental in raising the additional capital. The fund will launch at the end of March with MTC’s $10 million matched by $40 million in foundation and private funding.

    “Without MTC’s initial investment, it is unlikely this would have been possible at all, let alone so quickly,” said Reconnecting America’s Chief of Staff Allison Brooks. “Reconnecting America is delighted that this fund has become a reality, and will result in lasting, sustainable affordable housing for working families in one of the nation’s hottest housing markets.”

    Brooks sits on the advisory board of the fund, which helped to select the fund manager and set the policy parameters and goals for the fund.

    The Bay Area transit-oriented development fund is a revolving fund that will provide loans for both property acquisition and predevelopment costs for affordable housing in transit nodes throughout the region. The goal is to provide affordable capital to allow housing developers to secure and/or develop properties near transit for new development or conversion to affordable housing. Loans will target MTC’s Priority Development Areas with good transit access to regional employment centers.

    The TOAH Fund has been catalyzed by the Great Communities Collaborative and the MTC, and is being managed by a consortium of six community development finance institutions (CDFI) led by the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) and comprised of the Enterprise Foundation, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the Opportunity Fund, Northern California Community Loan Fund and the Corporation for Supportive Housing.

    Reconnecting America and the Center for Transit-Oriented Development (CTOD) have worked for a number of years to help set the stage for this momentous event.

    The fund grew from an effort to help create a financial resource that could be utilized to ensure that transit-oriented communities are enriched with adequate levels of housing affordable to a diversity of incomes in the San Francisco Bay Area. To that end, the Great Communities Collaborative, of which Reconnecting America is a founding member, commissioned the Center for Transit-Oriented Development and the Bay Area Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to conduct an initial feasibility study for a type of structured fund that would be targeted to acquiring properties near quality transit for the purposes of building and preserving affordable housing, mixed-use development and other critical communities amenities. ( Download the report )

    That report and subsequent work by CTOD staff and members of the Great Communities Collaborative set the stage for the largest commitment of a metropolitan planning organization to a fund of this kind.

    The role of foundations to fund such an effort was described by Reconnecting America and the Center for Transit-Oriented Development in a report exploring the role community development finance institutions could play in promoting equitable transit-oriented development. (Download the report)

    # # #

    Reconnecting America is a national nonprofit that is helping to transform promising ideas into thriving communities – where transportation choices make it easy to get from place to place, where businesses flourish, and where people from all walks of life can afford to live, work and visit. Reconnecting America is the managing partner of the Center for Transit-Oriented Development, the only national nonprofit effort funded by Congress to promote best practices in transit-oriented development. Reconnecting America is also a founding partner of Transportation for America, a broad coalition of housing, environmental, equal opportunity, public health, urban planning, transportation and other organizations focused on creating a 21st century national transportation program. For more information visit our website, www.reconnectingamerica.org

    Categories
    California Policy NewsFlash Transportation Funding

    CALCOG News: CA Budget Update

    by California Association of Governments

    March 17, 2011

    Sign Up for CALCOG News Updates Here!

    Gas Tax Swap Passes both Senate & Assembly!

    The Gas Tax Swap passed both houses last night. The Senate voted on the AB 105 first, passing it 39 to 0. It then moved over to the Assembly (surprisingly quickly), where it passed 69-4. Although nothing is a done deal until its sent to the Governor and is signed, this is very good news. Members who reached out to their Legislators should take the time to thank their members–they are not likely to get a lot of “thank yous” after this budget is finished.

    Elimination of Redevelopment One Vote Shy in Assembly

    The vote to end eliminate redevelopment (SB 77) came up one vote shy of getting 2/3 approval in the Assembly. Chris Norby (R, Orange County) is the lone Republican who voted for the bill. But the bill will be up again as soon as today. Last night, Governor Brown was in the Speaker’s offices meeting with individual members to help get the required number of votes.

    SB 77 Language DOES NOT include COG Pass-Through for L&M Funds. The version that the Assembly voted on DOES NOT INCLUDE the provision that would require COGs or RPTAs to be the pass through for Low and Moderate Income Housing Funds (As reported in the March 14 edition of CALCOG News). Our best information that the language was included in a version that was preferred by some legislators and housing advocates, but ultimately the governor’s language (which did not include the pass through language) went into the bill.

    Other Budget Votes

    Both the Assembly and the Houses have returned this morning and are currently in caucus (11:45 am). Here is a summary of what occurred last night (Blatantly lifted from CSAC’s Executive Direcor’s Watch – another good source for local government information)