Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It Plays Out

San Francisco is dealing with the impact of SB 375 imposed requirements as are cities all over the state, and shares some of their concerns with how the land use and planning regs associated with this legislation will affect their ability to maintain local character and control, as well as how to pay for the planning work required. Another unfunded mandate, as they say. This BIA-sponsored legislation also creates requirements for high density growth statewide, supposedly to reduce greenhouse gasses.

The Crosscurrents Blog reports on the local Earth Day summit on the subject held in Oakland. Michael Woo, the Dean of Environmental Design at Cal Poly Pomona was there promoting SB 375 as he is with all SCAG events. Local city questions and resistance was met with County Supervisor edicts that communities must not leave the table or be excluded from transit funding. Cities must also rezone to accommodate the new growth being allocated to them. If they don't rezone, any interested person can sue to force a rezoning under SB 375.

Other impacts of SB 375 are brought up in a comments section on LA Streetsblog, which points out that upzoning in land use creates tremendous profits for developers while they continue to deplete resources, add traffic and consume water. The comments are about traffic and zoning. The blog also reports that the League of California Cities met on Earth Day to reinforce their position that the state must pay for the costs of the implementation of this legislation, the first line of defense against its implementation in its current form that requires huge new development numbers in each city.

As the League states on its own site, it does not support AB 32 nor especially SB 375, but rather retains a neutral position. The League also supports the Institute of Local Government site, which provides online planning tools and resource guides for communities as well as some specific local city databases and outreach networking.