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Sustainable Communities Strategy

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The Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) is a requirement of state law contained in Senate Bill 375 (Sustainable Communities, SB 375, Steinberg, Statutes of 2008). The goal of the SCS is to demonstrate how the nine county San Francisco Bay Area region will meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets through reduced use of passenger vehicles. These greenhouse gas reductions targets were established in 2006, with the adoption AB 32. The law requires that the regional transportation plan, prepared by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), be coordinated with and supportive of the future land use strategies contained in the SCS, prepared by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). If the combination of measures in the SCS will not meet the region’s greenhouse reduction target, ABAG must prepare a separate “Alternative Planning Strategy” to meet the target.

ABAG has created a name for this regional planning effort, Plan Bay Area, which incorporates regional transportation, economic, demographic growth forecasts through the year 2040. An environmental impact report is being prepared for the SCS and is due to be released in March/April 2013. The SCS is expected to be adopted in Summer 2013.

State law also requires that each city and county address local housing needs in updates to their General Plan Housing Elements. The state provides regional growth figures for the number of housing units that each metropolitan area must plan for. The allocation of housing units for planning purposes is another responsibility of ABAG through a process known as the Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA). The 2014-2022 RHNA process will follow the development pattern specified in the 2010-2040 Sustainable Communities Strategy. ABAG will adopt the next RHNA allocation at the same time that MTC and ABAG adopt Plan Bay Area.

Below are the letters or staff reports that the City of Novato has prepared regarding the Sustainable Communities Strategy/Plan Bay Area: 

May 21,
Plan Bay Area Presentation
May 16,
Comment Letters Regarding the Draft Plan Bay Area and Draft EIR

April 20,

City Council Comments to ABAG on SCS Preferred Alternative Jobs-Housing Connection Scenario
March 14,
City Council Letter to ABAG regarding Support for for Peer Review of Bay Area Growth Forecasts for the Sustainable Communities Strategy 
March 13,
City Council Staff Report: Comment To ABAG Supporting A Peer Review Of Economic Assumptions Associated With The Sustainable Communities Strategy
January 30, 2012 City Council Letter to ABAG regarding Strategic Communities Strategy (SCS) and comments on the Initial Vision Scenario (IVS) & Alternative Vision Scenarios (AVS) 
January 10,
Comment To ABAG And MTC On Sustainable Communities Strategy Alternatives
May 31,
Continued Discussion Of The Initial Vision Scenario For The Bay Area-Wide Sustainable Communities Strategy
May 3,
Staff Analysis And Request For Comment On The Initial Vision Scenario Proposed For The One Bay Area Sustainable Communities Strategy

Please click here for additional information on:

The Association of Bay Area Governments 

Plan Bay Area 

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Regional Transportation Plan


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