Must Plan to Decrease Global Warming
Below is an article about a “landmark settlement” of the
state’s lawsuit against San Bernardino County
(located southeast of Los Angeles)
because the county’s General Plan did not adequately
address the effects of overdevelopment on global
warming. This county, characterized by urban sprawl,
must now consider steps such as transit-oriented
development, getting residents out of cars, in order to
cut gas emissions to the local environment.
Brown Announces Landmark Global Warming Settlement
August 21, 2007
LOS ANGELES – California Attorney General Edmund G.
Brown Jr. today announced a “landmark settlement” of the
state’s global warming lawsuit against San Bernardino
County. The agreement, approved today by the County
Board of Supervisors, establishes a unique greenhouse
gas reduction plan that will identify sources of
emissions and set feasible reduction targets for the
“San Bernardino now sets the pace for how local
government can adopt powerful measures to combat oil
dependency and climate disruption. This landmark
agreement establishes one of the first greenhouse gas
reduction plans in California. It is a model that I
encourage other cities and counties to adopt,” Brown
told a news conference at the Attorney General’s Office
in downtown Los Angeles.
Under today’s agreement, the County will embark upon a
thirty-month public process aimed at cutting greenhouse
gas emissions attributable to land use decisions and
County government operations. The Greenhouse Gas
Emissions Reduction Plan mandates the following:
An inventory of all known, or reasonably
discoverable, sources of greenhouse gases in the
An inventory of the greenhouse gas emissions level
in 1990, currently, and that projected for the year
A target for the reduction of emissions attributable
to the county’s discretionary land use decisions and
its own internal government operations.
Commenting on the agreement, San Bernardino County Board
of Supervisors Vice Chairman Gary C. Ovitt said, “Only a
handful of California counties and cities have formally
addressed climate change issues, and San Bernardino
County will lead the way in the implementation of
strategies and steps to enhance our future and serve as
a model for others.”
Under California law, the state is committed to reducing
greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and then
reducing 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. Currently,
California generates approximately 500 million metric
tons of CO2 equivalent, significantly above
1990 levels. To achieve the 2020 target, California must
reduce current emissions by at least 25%.
“Local government action to combat global warming is
absolutely essential to meet the goals which Governor
Schwarzenegger and the California Legislature set forth
in AB 32,” Brown asserted.
To date, the Attorney General has submitted formal
comments, under the California Environmental Quality Act
(CEQA), to San Bernardino, San Diego, Sacramento, Orange
County, Merced, Kern, Fresno, San Joaquin, Contra Costa,
Yuba, Richmond, and San Jose.
On their own, the following communities in California
are already initiating measures to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sonoma, Santa
Monica, Berkeley, Marin, Palo Alto, Chula Vista, Modesto
Feasible mitigations include the following:
High-density developments that reduce vehicle trips
and utilize public transit.
Parking spaces for high-occupancy vehicles and
Electric vehicle charging facilities and conveniently
located alternative fueling stations.
Limits on parking.
Transportation impact fees on developments to fund
public transit service.
Regional transportation centers where various types of
public transportation meet.
Energy efficient design for buildings, appliances,
lighting and office equipment.
Solar panels, water reuse systems and on-site
renewable energy production.
Methane recovery in landfills and wastewater treatment
plants to generate electricity.
Carbon emissions credit purchases that fund
alternative energy projects.
Today’s settlement resolves a lawsuit, filed by the
Attorney General in April, contesting the adequacy of
San Bernardino’s general plan under the California
Environmental Quality Act. Brown contended that the
plan, a blueprint for the physical development of land
until year 2030, did not adequately analyze the effects
of development on global warming nor did it identify
feasible mitigation measures.
San Bernardino currently generates about
per household per day, and over 84% of the work
trips are made by car. The County, one of the fastest
growing in California, projects a 25% increase in
population, more than 400,000 people.
of the Attorney General,
Comment from Friends of Coyote Hills
Under state law as described above, Fremont too must
reduce gas emissions from housing developments. One way
to achieve this is to build high-density developments
near mass transit such as BART, as Union City, Dublin,
Walnut Creek, etc. have done.
The numbers of car trips generated
by a proposed massive housing development, which is located
near very little or no public transit, is listed below
(ten car trips per housing unit per day in urban areas
is used by city planners and cited in the article).
|Proposed developments in Fremont
||Additional car trips/day
||Additional car trips/month
||Additional car trips/year
|Patterson Ranch + Tupelo lot
units on Tupelo lot being built + 520 units
on the proposed Patterson Ranch development.
As a responsible citizen, ask
yourself the following questions:
Would these proposed developments comply
with state law to reduce gas emissions?
Will Fremont’s general plan adequately
address the effects of housing developments on global
Would these proposed developments help to
protect the environment
for present and future generations as well as preserve
what little open space is still available?
about ways you can help.
On a clear day from the top of Coyote Hills, one
can see as far as San Francisco. Would this view
be the same if proposed developments went
through, with resulting pollution from millions
of car trips per year?
Sunset in Coyote