League of California Cities: http://www.cacities.org/Top/News/News-Articles/2012/August/ILG-Releases-New-Publication-on-SB-375
8. Is there anything that can be done if
a city, county, environmental organization or other person is dissatisfied with the sustainable communities
strategy or alternative planning strategy?
There are three ways sustainable communities strategy could be subject to
(1) SB 375 requires the sustainable
communities strategy to include certain specific information. If, for example,
the sustainable communities strategy fails to include “areas within the region
sufficient to house all the population of the
region,” then a challenge would ask a court to order the metropolitan planning
organization to adopt a sustainable communities strategy that meets SB 375’s
(2) SB375 requires a metropolitan planning organization to adopt a public
participation plan for development of the sustainable communities strategy and
alternative planning strategy that includes certain specific elements.
If the metropolitan planning organization fails to adopt a public
participation plan, or if the plan does not, for example, include “outreach
efforts to encourage the active participation of a broad range of stakeholder
groups in the planning process,” then a challenge would ask a court to order
the metropolitan planning organization to adopt a sustainable communities
strategy that meets SB 375’s statutory requirements.
(3) Prior to adopting a sustainable communities strategy, the metropolitan
planning organization must quantify the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions projected to be achieved by the sustainable
communities strategy and identify the difference, if any, between the amount
of the reduction and the target for the region established by the state board.
If substantial evidence in the record fails to support the metropolitan
planning organization’s quantification, a challenge could be brought pursuant
to section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure asking a court to order the
metropolitan planning organization to rescind its findings.
7. What is the relationship between SB375 and AB 32 (the Global Warming
Solutions Act of 2006)?
AB 32 established the overall legal and policy framework to reduce California’s
greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020. The Air Resources
Board may regulate sources of greenhouse gas emissions to achieve this goal.
Sources include passenger vehicles and light trucks. The Climate Scoping Plan
adopted by the Air Resources Board as part of its AB 32 duties specifically
refers to SB 375 as part of the strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions
from passenger vehicles and light trucks.
SB 375 is a separate law that requires metropolitan planning
organizations to create strategies to achieve the state’s greenhouse reduction
targets through regional transportation planning and funding. It also offers
streamlined review under the California
Environmental Quality Act as an incentive for project proponents and counties
and cities to conform their planning decisions to the region’s strategies.