How Nevada County Economy Can Benefit from SB-375 (aka Agenda 21)

How you ask? First we have to understand what SB-375 is and does:

  • SB 375 (Chapter 728, Statutes of 2008) directs the California Air Resources Board to set regional targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The new law establishes a “bottom up” approach to ensure that cities and counties are involved in the development of regional plans to achieve those targets.
  • SB 375 builds on the existing framework of regional planning to tie together the regional allocation of housing needs and regional transportation planning in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from motor vehicle trips.

How SB 375 Works:

  • SB 375 sets up a collaborative process between metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and the ARB to establish greenhouse gas emissions targets for each region in the state. A Regional Targets Advisory Committee including city and county officials is advising ARB on the targets.
  • SB 375 requires each MPO to include a “Sustainable Communities Strategy” in the regional transportation plan that demonstrates how the region will meet the greenhouse gas emission targets. If the sustainable communities strategy falls short of meeting the targets, the region must prepare an “alternative planning strategy” that, if implemented, would meet the targets.
  • SB 375 requires that decisions relating to the allocation of transportation funding be consistent with the Sustainable Communities Strategy. SB 375 creates California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) streamlining incentives for projects that are consistent with the regional Sustainable Communities Strategy (or the Alternative Planning Strategy if one is required).
  • SB 375 changes housing element law to synchronize the schedule and develop common land use assumptions for regional housing and transportation planning.
  • SB 375 strengthens the existing requirements for input by the public and local officials into the development and review of MPO plans.

It is all about “sustainable communities” a term right out of UN Agenda 21.

Specifically, a Sustainable Communities Strategy will:

•  Identify the general location of uses, residential densities, and building intensities within the region;

•  Identify areas within the region sufficient to house all the population of the region, including all economic segments of the population, over the course of the planning period of the regional transportation plan;

•  Identify areas within the region sufficient to house an eight-year projection of the regional housing need for the region;

•  Identify a transportation network to service the transportation needs of the region; Gather and consider the best practically available scientific information regarding resource areas and farmland in the region;

•  Set forth a forecasted development pattern for the region, which, when integrated with the transportation network, and other transportation measures and policies, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles and light trucks to achieve, if there is a feasible way to do so, the greenhouse gas emissions reductions target approved by the state board; and

•  Quantify the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions projected to be achieved by the SCS and, if the SCS does not achieve the targeted reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, set forth the difference between the amount that the SCS would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the target for the region.

The short name for this sustainable community strategy is call “stack’em and pack’em”.

In other words future housing projects will be multi-story buildings, with compact living quarters that will be built around transportation hubs. No suburban housing developments not served by mandated public transportation.

OK, how does this help Nevada County’s economy?

Through the fine work of the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) and a coalition of rural transportation planners, they managed to get some changes made in the final version of SB-375, which exempted rural counties from the “stack’em and pack’em” provisions of the legislation.

This SB-375 “stack’em and pack’em” strategy will do two things:

1. Drive up the price of existing single family homes, so that many millennials cannot afford them, providing a nice bundle of cash when the owners finally sell and move to the foothills to escape the Agenda 21 created urban blight.

2. Create “stack’em and pack’em ghettos that millennials will want to escape once they start having children. They will be looking for homes in the Counties exempt from the SB-375 “stack’em and pack’em” planning strategies, including Nevada County.

Now all Nevada County has to do is to build the housing communities that seniors selling their single family homes will want, and homes that millennials with children will want to raise a family in.

Build it and they will come! They will be escaping the Agenda 21 blight and SB-375 created ghettos.

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About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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