Sunday, January 11, 2009

Jerry Brown and Green Sacramento

As a former resident of our fair city, the former governor and current attorney general has some ideas for the developers in our area, and though they may hurt, and though they may be built upon faulty science, he is bound and determined to see them implemented.

This article from Sacramento News & Review reports.

An excerpt.

“The state attorney general wants Sacramento to stop talking about what it plans to do about global warming and just do it.

“California’s top cop Jerry Brown hasn’t been shy about forcing local governments around the state onto the global-warming bandwagon. In 2007, he sued the county of San Bernadino and then threatened to sue the city of Stockton to make them comply with the state’s climate-change plan. Now the A.G. is getting involved in the writing of Sacramento’s general plan—the once-in-a-generation document that guides future development.

“The plan is due to be adopted by the Sacramento City Council in late January. But this summer, as city staff was putting the finishing touches on an environmental-impact report for the plan, Jerry Brown’s deputies intervened, saying the plan skirted Sacramento’s responsibility to help fight global warming.

“We thought we were doing a great job. We thought maybe we’d get a letter from the A.G. saying we were doing a great job,” said Tom Pace, the city’s long range planning manager. Instead, he got a letter saying nice try, but there was “substantial room for improvement” in the city’s plan.

“The city’s general-plan process has been underway for four years. During that time, planners and policy-makers have crafted a whole range of development guidelines, including rules on housing affordability, the city’s development boundaries and the mix of office, commercial and residential properties.

“The plan anticipates nearly 40 percent population growth in the city. Planners estimate that there will 100,000 new housing units, 140,000 new jobs and 200,000 new people in the city of Sacramento by the year 2030.

“The last big overhaul of the city’s general plan was in 1988. Back then, the phrase “suburban sprawl” hadn’t entered common usage. Even the notion of “global warming” was still unfamiliar to most.

“Recognizing the realities of the 21st century, Pace says the city’s new general plan turns the old development patterns upside down. The new plan calls for the two-thirds of future growth to be directed into already developed areas of the city. That means shoehorning thousands of new homes, shops and offices into downtown, into empty lots in existing neighborhoods and along existing commercial corridors, like 65th Street and Florin Road.

“By contrast, one-third of the new growth will be “greenfield” development, constructed on presently undeveloped land in areas like Delta Shores, the south part of the city, or Greenbriar and the Panhandle in Natomas.”