Thursday, September 11, 2008

Stockton agrees to GHG lawsuit settlement

Over a year ago, the California Attorney General and Sierra Club sued the City of Stockton claiming that that city's General Plan did not adequately address Greenhouse Gas ("GHG")impacts of future planned development and thus violated the California Environmental Quality Act and other laws.

On September 9, after a contentious public hearing, the city approved a landmark settlement agreement which requires among other things:

1. Regular GHG emission monitoring
2. The formation of an advisory committee consisting of representatives from
environmental. non-profit, labor, business and developer interests
3. The reduction of per capita Vehicle Miles Traveled ("VMT")
4. Target reductions in GHG emissions in accordance with AB 32
5. The implementation of a Green Building Program, including:
-Build It Green - residential '
-LEED Silver- phased 'approach
-Review requirement to stay among top 25% of ordinances in State
-Green Building retrofit w/50% remodel (18 months) ,
-Explore local assessment district to help fund retrofits
-Explore retrofits for CEQA mitigation
6: A Transit Gap Study, including "
-Strategies for reassessing transit use and funding
-Configuration of developments for all transportation modes
-Developments to provide funding or other support for transit
-Developments to have density to support transit use
7. The Support of Downtown Development
-Baseline number of new housing units in Greater Downtown and within
City limits
-Incentives for infill (e.g. reduced fees/limits)
-Incentives for districts and corridors

8. A strategy for the Edge and Downtown to Grow Together
-Minimum infrastructure requirements
-Milestones for infill in balance before new entitlements
-Finance mechanisms to assist infill
9. The Regular Monitoring of VMT

The settlement is expected to serve as a model for other cities in California to incorporate into their general plans. The full agreement and staff report to the City Council are here:

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