Judge Rules SANDAG’s Transportation Plan Violated California Law
December 4, 2012
Press release from Cleveland National Forest Foundation, Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club California, CREED-2, Affordable Housing Coalition of San Diego County, and Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP
SAN DIEGO – Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor ruled yesterday that the San Diego Association of Governments violated state law by failing to fully account for, and take steps to reduce, climate pollution in its environmental review of the region’s long-term transportation plan.
SANDAG’s 2050 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy will increase climate-disrupting greenhouse gas emissions from development and transportation through mid-century, at precisely the time the best science – reflected in a landmark executive order signed by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger – shows dramatic reductions are necessary to avoid dangerous climate disruption. The Associated Press reported yesterday that greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise rapidly around the world and that such increases will likely lead to an even greater increase of global temperatures than previously predicted.
Read the complete press release
California Sues San Diego Over Emissions
Forbes – January 24, 2012
By Erica Gies
California’s Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and the Sierra Club individually announced today that they are joining a lawsuit against the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). The lawsuit challenges SANDAG’s 2050 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy and was filed in the San Diego Superior Court in November 2011 by the Cleveland National Forest Foundation and the Center for Biological Diversity. SANDAG is the first agency to develop a regional transportation plan since California passed a law in 2008, SB 375, requiring such plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions via compact land use and transportation planning.
Let the marathon begin: San Diego adopts California’s first SCS
ClimatePlan Blog – October 28, 2011
By Autumn Bernstein, Stuart Cohen, and Eliot Rose
Many SB 375 watchers have opined that the law’s success will require a “marathon, not a sprint” since the inertia of existing transportation and land use plans is so powerful. But as others have pointed out, the challenges faced by our communities and our planet are so great we simply cannot wait that long. Today’s approval of the first-ever sustainable communities strategy (SCS) in San Diego, shows how true both statements are. For months, advocates have been pushing SANDAG, the San Diego area’s regional transportation planning agency, to roll back sprawl-inducing highway expansions and redirect those funds to accelerate public transit and bicycle projects.
San Diego and SB 375: Lessons from California’s first Sustainable Communities Strategy
By Eliot Rose, Autumn Bernstein and Stuart Cohen.
On October 28th 2011, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) approved the first sustainable communities strategy (SCS) under Senate Bill 375, California’s groundbreaking regional planning law. The plan was the subject of intense scrutiny by stakeholders, state agencies and others. A new report (pdf) takes a comprehensive look at the plan and analyzes why it didn’t achieve the GHG reductions that many hoped it would. The report also provides information on the important ways in which the plan represents a departure from business as usual, and where are the opportunities for improvement.
San Diego 2050 Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy
By the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) — Adopted October 28, 2011
Link to RTP/SCS downloads page
Comment Letter on San Diego RTP/SCS from NRDC, Move San Diego, TransForm, and Endangered Habitats League
October 24, 2011
Download the comment letter
What They’re Saying
“As a San Diego planner and developer with over 15 years in the industry, I support the goals of SB 375 to connect transportation and land use policies to meet the needs of a growing region. Our industry is committed to developing communities that are healthy, that hold their value, and improve the quality of life in the San Diego region. SB 375 provides the framework and incentives to support building sustainable communities.” Stephen M. Haase, Vice President – Forward Planning, Baldwin and Sons”
Comment Letter to California Air Resources Board re: review of San Diego SCS
Sign-on letter circulated by ClimatePlan – September 21, 2011
Download the comment letter
Comment Letter on San Diego RTP/SCS from California Attorney General
September 16, 2011
Download the comment letter
San Diego’s Green Dividend
By Joe Cortwright, for Move San Diego – September 2009
Despite the common belief that improving the environment is at odds with growing the local economy, San Diego stands to gain a $1.35 billion annual green dividend by reducing vehicle travel.
Link to report
Smart Growth Simulations for the San Diego Area
Link to webpage
Click here for ClimatePlan’s complete Resource Library
• The San Diego region includes 18 cities and an unincorporated area, with total population of just over 3 million residents. By 2050, however, the population is projected to be over 4 million.
• According to the 2000 census, when asked how they arrived to/from work, nearly 74 percent of San Diegans said that they drove alone. An effective Sustainable Communities Strategy will improve transportation systems and encourage well-planned communities that take advantage of existing infrastructure and transit corridors.
• San Diego is the first region in the state to include a Sustainable Communities Strategy in its Regional Transportation Plan.
According to the San Diego Association of Governments, to achieve its 2020 goal of a 7% reduction in GHGs, a resident could do one of the following:
• Telecommute to work one day a month
• Carpool two days a month
• Bike or walk instead of driving 10 miles a week
• Take the bus instead of driving 12 miles a week
When will the first Sustainable Communities Strategy be adopted? What are some other key milestones?
• The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) adopted its Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy, the first in the state, on October 28, 2011. Read an analysis on our blog.
What are the SB 375 GHG reduction targets?
• 2020: 7% reduction from 2005 level
• 2035:13% reduction from 2005 level
To get involved and learn more, see the websites of partner groups below. Contact ClimatePlan for help getting connected.