Land Use Planning Approaches to Climate Change

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From an SHB program on "The Next Generation of Environmental Law," on December 3, 2010, in Miami, Florida.

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Land Use Planning Approaches to Climate Change

  1. 1. Land Use Planning Approachesto the Climate Change ChallengeKevin Haroff | Partner | SHB San Francisco | SHB Orange County
  2. 2. Potential Climate Change Impacts in theWestern United States • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report (IPCC 2007). • Severe, sustained droughts and snowpack reduction. – Impacts to municipal and agricultural water supplies. – Impacts to riverine and riparian habitats, forest lands. • Extreme weather events. – Higher intensity storm events and flooding. – Heat waves disproportionately affecting select populations.2
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  4. 4. Western States Climate Action Plans• Washington Climate Action Team Recommendations (2008).• Oregon Global Warming Commission Report to Legislature (2009).• Nevada Climate Change Advisory Committee Final Report (2008).• California Climate Action Team Report (2009).• Alaska Climate Impact Assessment Commission Report (2008).• Montana Climate Change Advisory Committee Report (2007).• Utah Blue Ribbon Advisory Council on Climate Change Report (2007).• Colorado Blue Ribbon Climate Action Panel Report (2007).• New Mexico Climate Change Advisory Group Action Plan (2006).• Arizona Climate Change Initiative Action Plan (2006).4
  5. 5. Potential GHG Reductions ThroughPlanning-Related Policies AZ CA MT NM WATotal number of climate action 35 39 48 64 58policiesTotal million metric tons (mmt) 645 139 125 323 105CO2 (and CO2e) avoided ifpolicies implementedTotal planning policies 11 8 10 19 13% of total GHG reductions from 19.9% 18.3% 10.2% 17.5% 24.7%planning-related policies Source: Carter and Culp, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy5
  6. 6. Green Building Codes and Standards• Residential and commercial buildings account for nearly half of all energy consumed in the United States.• Commercial buildings account for largest portion of peak energy demand in most regions.• Residential energy use predicted to increase 27% by 2025.• Green building codes incorporate requirements for external shading, increased insulation, energy efficient cooling, greater thermal mass, promotion of renewable, distributed, and/or efficient energy systems.6
  7. 7. Local Regulation of Land Use• Based on government’s “police power” to protect public health safety and welfare. – Subject to applicable general law.• Regional and local planning documents. – General plan – long term plan for physical development of community.• Zoning ordinances. – Restrictions on use (residential, industrial commercial).• Other (development agreements).7
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  9. 9. Land Use and Transportation Strategies• Households in compact areas use less primary energy for space heating and cooling.• Compact development reduces reliance on automobile transportation by 20-40% compared with traditional suburban development.• Most state action plans combine land use and transportation policies. – Relative contribution of two strategies hard to separate. – Need to balance against costs of alternative transportation infrastructure (e.g., light rail).9
  10. 10. California’s AB 375• Air Resources Board (ARB) sets regional GHG emission targets for emissions from cars and trucks by 2020 and 2035.• Regional Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) develop Sustainable Communities Strategies (SCSs) to meet targets through housing and transportation planning. – Involves local government and transportation authorities. – Links access to federal and state transportation funds to successful implementation of strategies.10
  11. 11. California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) • Requires review of significant environmental impacts of discretionary acts by local agencies. – Conditional use permits under local zoning ordinances. – Also environmental review of projects and regulatory programs at state level. • Requires implementation of reasonable and feasible mitigation measures in project permitting. • SB375: CEQA exemptions for specific development consistent with SCSs and near major transit.11
  12. 12. Case Study: Brown v. County of San Bernardino • 2007 challenge of EIR supporting adoption of County General Plan Update, related approvals. – County position: available methodologies cannot show GHG impacts to climate are significant. – State position: inadequate analysis of impacts and failure to mitigations to GHG impacts in EIR. • Settlement. – Adoption of GHG Emissions Reduction Plan. – Consistency with AB 32 goals for emission reductions.12
  13. 13. Challenge to Land Use PlanningAgencies: Mitigation and Adaptation Strategy Mitigation Adaption • Green Building and Energy Efficiency Y Y • Alternative Energy (Distributed Generation in Urban Areas Y Y • Increase in Mass Transit and Transit- Oriented Development Y N • Wildland/Urban Interface Management and Drought Planning N Y Source: Carter and Culp, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy13
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  15. 15. Adaptation to Climate Change• Critical focus of land use planning.• California Executive Order S-13-08. – Initiate state-wide adaption strategy, focusing on most vulnerable areas. – Interim guidance to state agencies on how to plan for sea level changes in designated coastal and flood plain area. – Other.15
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  17. 17. Mitigation v. Adaptation Tradeoffs Source: 2009 California Climate Adaptation Strategy17
  18. 18. California State ClimateAdaption Strategy• Preliminary Recommendations. – Climate Adaption Advisory Panel (CAAP) to assess risk and propose responsive action. – Focus on improved water management to achieve 20% reduction in per capita water use by 2020. – Requires consideration of project alternatives in that cannot be adequately protected from flooding, wildfire, and erosion due to climate change.• Local Initiatives. – SF Bay Conservation and Development Commission Proposed Bay Plan Amendments18
  19. 19. Conclusions• General policy acceptance of land use planning and related strategies to address climate change.• Focus for mitigation: – Energy efficiency. – Compact development. – Mass transit. – Distributed energy sources. – Water conservation.• Focus for adaption – avoidance and preservation.19
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  21. 21. Kevin Haroff | PartnerSHB San Francisco333 Bush Street, Suite 600San Francisco, CA 94104-2828(415) 544-1900 main(415) 544-1961 direct(415) 336-6494 cell(415) 391-0281 faxkharoff@shb.com

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