California Needs To Follow Sacramento's Regional Planning Model

<p>A recent editorial argues that the successful model of regional planning in the Sacramento region known as the "Blueprint" provides an alternative to sprawl that needs to be applied statewide, and identifies current state legislation to do just that.</p>
June 7, 2007, 7am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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"The Blueprint works like this: A regional body -- in our case, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments -- assesses its housing needs over a 50-year period. Each local government determines where its share of housing will go, in concert with protecting watersheds and valuable farmland and designing a workable transportation system.

In the Legislature, state Sen. Darrell Steinberg of Sacramento is working on a measure that could imprint the Blueprint statewide. Senate Bill 375 would require the California Transportation Commission and regional agencies (those with populations larger than 800,000) to conduct the kind of modeling and planning that SACOG has done in this region."

from SF Chronicle:
"Legislation by state Sen. Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, would require state regulators to set emissions reduction targets in each region of the state, and would restrict some transportation funds from going to regions that don't develop growth plans that discourage sprawl and encourage development centered around public transportation and job centers. The idea behind SB375, Steinberg said, was to reward regions that meet their new housing needs in a way that doesn't lead to dramatic increases in the amount people drive."

from the Bee:
"If local governments comply with the growth scenarios envisioned by a region, they would be exempted from certain requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act. That's a significant incentive. At times, misuse of CEQA has hampered urban renewal and transit-friendly development."

"Steinberg is promoting SB 375 as part of a Senate package to fight global warming...That's a timely and reasonable argument, but the real reason to support this bill is much closer to home. Better regional planning will help make the state's metro areas more attractive and livable, and that will allow them to grow and attract jobs in a cleaner, healthier setting."

Thanks to Leonard Conly

Full Story:
Published on Monday, June 4, 2007 in The Sacramento Bee
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