Sustainability in Discretionary Review


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Presentation given by Nancy Bragado and Kathleen Garcia (Wallace Roberts & Todd) at the 2010 APA Conference.

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Sustainability in Discretionary Review

  1. 1. Sustainability in Discretionary Review<br />Greening Our Decisions<br />Nancy Bragado, AICP<br />Kathleen A. Garcia, FASLA LEED AP<br />
  2. 2. The Environmental Imperative<br /><ul><li>Growing environmental, economic, and security risks caused by carbon emissions and over-reliance on fossil fuels
  3. 3. Increasing threats to local communities posed by climate change and economic instability
  4. 4. Degradation of natural resources caused by urbanization and land development practices
  5. 5. Increasing gaps in economic opportunity and resources</li></li></ul><li>How Sustainable are We?<br />The SustainLane 2008 US City Rankings of the 50 most-populous cities<br />
  6. 6. Sustainability Scan<br /><ul><li>Level 1 (Qualitative)
  7. 7. Review of existing plans, policies, and regulations
  8. 8. Evaluation of land use patterns and infrastructure systems
  9. 9. Level 2(Quantitative):Impact modeling of existing land use, zoning, and future land use plans (e.g., INDEX by Criterion Planners)
  10. 10. Carbon footprint /greenhouse gas emissions
  11. 11. Energy consumption
  12. 12. Stormwater runoff and nonpoint source pollution
  13. 13. Traffic impact modeling
  14. 14. Fiscal impact modeling
  15. 15. Land consumption/development patterns</li></li></ul><li>Time to raise the bar<br />Climate change impact<br />Water management<br />Habitat protection<br />Mobility<br />Waste management<br />Environmental justice<br />
  16. 16. Effects of Climate Change<br />How do planners deal with….<br />Sea Level rise, land use vulnerability<br />Migration of disease, increased ailments<br />Habitat loss and shift of temperature & rainfall zones affecting growing areas<br />Increased pests and pathogens<br />Wildfire and hurricanes increase<br />Source:<br />
  17. 17. Effects of Hydrologic Change<br />How do planners deal with….<br />Flooding vulnerability<br />Glacial and snowpack retreat <br />Drought increases<br />Drinking water loss<br />Shift of rainfall zones affecting growing areas<br /><br />
  18. 18. Effects of Biomass Change<br />How do planners deal with….<br />Loss of valuable habitat<br />Loss of critical species<br />Increased impervious surfaces<br />Lack of natural cover<br />Windstorms, sandstorms, dustbowl effect<br />
  19. 19. How do we….?<br />Adapt to changing conditions<br />Influence trends to improve practice<br />
  20. 20. Discretionary Review Process<br />
  21. 21. Discretionary Review Tools<br />The Comprehensive or General Plan<br />Zoning Codes, Development Codes<br />Conditional Use Permits & Variances<br />Planned Unit Development<br />Development Agreements<br />Design Review<br />Environmental Documentation (NEPA or local equivalent)<br />
  22. 22. policy review<br />Comprehensive Plan<br />Adaption<br />Does Comp Plan address climate change impacts?<br />Influence<br />Does it limit necessary Vehicle Miles Travelled? <br /><ul><li> mix of land uses
  23. 23. Transit Oriented Development</li></ul>Does it promote alternatives to vehicular travel?<br /><ul><li>Strong pedestrian corridors
  24. 24. Bikeways, transit and other mobility</li></li></ul><li>Zoning and Permits<br />policy review<br />Zoning codes often do not:<br /><ul><li>Allow ‘mixed use’
  25. 25. Promote transit oriented development
  26. 26. Permit narrow streets
  27. 27. Limit parking maximums
  28. 28. Address streetscape or building design</li></ul>Local Government Commission<br />
  29. 29. Sustainable Community Development Code Framework<br />Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute / Clarion Associates<br /><br />
  30. 30. Remove obstacles – Incentives - Standards<br />Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute / Clarion Associates<br />
  31. 31. Design Review<br />policy review<br />“Nautilus Earthship”, Taos, NM<br />
  32. 32. Green Buildings Rating System<br />LEED<br />US Green Building Council’s<br />Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Rating System<br />
  33. 33. policy review<br />LEED ND – Neighborhood Development<br />Smart Location & Linkages<br />Neighborhood Pattern & Design<br />Green Construction and Technology<br />Innovation and Design Process<br />Quarry Falls, Sudberry Properties<br />
  34. 34. best practices<br />Sustainable Project Attributes<br />Adapting to conditions and influencing best practice<br />Self sufficiency in regard to resources<br />Solving larger urban problems outside of project boundaries<br />
  35. 35. 1. Adapting to Conditions <br />Sea level change and coastal erosion<br />Protection from floods and levee stresses<br />Increased wildfire risk<br />Growing demands for water supply<br />
  36. 36. 2. Self Sufficiency<br />best practices<br />Water and Energy harvesting<br />Storm water management<br />Appropriate horticulture<br />Wise materials (local, renewable, recycled)<br />Wise systems (low water, low energy)<br />
  37. 37. 3. Solving Larger Urban Problems<br />Heat island reduction<br />Carbon sequestration through urban forests<br />Public Health – no child left inside<br />Environmental justice and equity for all<br />Economic stimulus<br />
  38. 38. Planning for Sustainability<br />Nancy Bragado<br />City of San Diego<br />Principal Planner<br />
  39. 39. City of San Diego General Plan<br />Comprehensive plan for growth and development<br />Smart growth approach tailored for San Diego<br />Relies on infill development to meet City’s needs<br />Sustainability policies integrated throughout plan<br />
  40. 40. General Plan<br />Addresses California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006<br />Reduce state’s global warming emissions to 1990 levels by 2020<br />Will help implement 2008 legislation (SB 375)<br />Reduce GHG through land use and transportation planning<br />
  41. 41. GHG Inventory Project Results <br /><br />
  42. 42. GHG Inventory Project Results<br /><br />GHG Emissions for San Diego County (2006)<br />
  43. 43. General Plan: Land Use as a Sustainability Strategy <br />Population is growing<br />How to plan for growth responsibly and to achieve sustainability goals?<br />City of Villages strategy <br />Links land use and transit planning<br />Distinctive, mixed use villages<br />Pedestrian oriented<br />Interconnected streets<br />Local destinations (stores, services, parks, schools)<br />Connected to transit<br />Distinctive public places<br />
  44. 44.
  45. 45. Village Propensity Map<br />Village Propensity Map<br />
  46. 46. Mobility StrategiesCars and trucks produce 46% of GHG emissions in San Diego County<br />Transit/Land Use Coordination<br />Multi-modal solutions<br />Walkable communities<br />Bicycle facilities<br />Streets and freeways<br />Transit and transit-orientation <br />Parking management<br />Transportation management<br />Toolboxes allow for tailored solutions<br />Regional Collaboration<br />
  47. 47.
  48. 48. Parking Toolbox:Supply and Demand Strategies<br />Supply<br />Re-stripe streets for diagonal parking<br />Community parking facilities<br />Adjust zoning regulations<br />Car lifts and mechanized garages<br />Code enforcement <br />Demand<br />Parking meter districts<br />Residential permit parking districts<br />Transit upgrades<br />Car sharing<br />Parking fees<br />Safe pedestrian and bicycle routes<br />Employee parking programs<br />
  49. 49. Conservation Element Electricity use accounts for 25% of San Diego County GHG emissions<br />Specifically addresses climate change<br />Reduce carbon footprint<br />Green buildings/sustainable development <br />Conserve and manage resources <br />Water conservation<br />Energy efficiency and renewables<br />Waste management<br />Wastewater collection and treatment<br />Urban forestry<br />
  50. 50. Conservation Element<br />Open Space Protections<br />Smart Growth<br />Ecosystem Services<br />Urban Form Benefits<br />San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program<br />Comprehensive habitat conservation planning<br /> 49,230 acres (93% of City’s goal) are conserved or are obligated to be conserved. <br />
  51. 51. Urban Design Element<br />Respect distinctive neighborhoods and enhance character<br />Create diverse, walkable, mixed-use villages<br />Design vibrant public spaces and prominent civic architecture<br />
  52. 52. Economic Prosperity Element<br />
  53. 53. City of San Diego Land Development Code <br />Commercial/Mixed-Use zones<br />Pedestrian-Oriented Design standards<br />Parking reductions for mixed-use, transit proximity<br />Tandem parking in some areas<br />Small lot and townhouse zones<br />Landscape Standards<br />Street trees required<br />Turf limited<br />Water conservation mandates<br />Community Gardens code changes underway<br />
  54. 54. Project Review: Transit-Oriented Design<br />
  55. 55. Project Review: Traffic<br />Multi-modal LOS standards and impact thresholds<br />Traffic impact study guidelines consideration of alternative modes<br />Street Design Manual<br />
  56. 56. Internal City Collaboration <br />Climate Protection<br />Land Use, Housing, Open Space<br />Mobility<br />Clean Tech and the Economy<br />Energy<br />Water<br />Waste Management<br />Storm Water<br />
  57. 57. 42<br />Regional CollaborationSANDAG<br />2004 – Regional Comprehensive Plan (RCP) <br />2006 – Smart Growth Concept Map<br />2007 – Smart Growth Tool Box<br />2010 – Regional Climate Action Strategy<br />2010 – Urban Area Transit Strategy and Regional Transportation Plan Update<br />Includes Sustainable Communities Strategy<br />Environmental review will address greenhouse gas emissions<br />
  58. 58. The General Plan Action Plan<br />Identifies actions (implementation measures) derived from General Plan goals and policies<br />Organized by GP Element and timeframe<br />Sets key implementation priorities<br />Helps to inform the budget process<br />Will be used for annual monitoring of the General Plan<br />Adopted July 2009<br />
  59. 59. General Plan Monitoring Report<br />Annual overview of progress<br />Detailed Action Plan matrix<br />Key Actions<br />Community Plan Updates<br />Climate Initiatives<br />
  60. 60. General Plan:<br />General Plan Action Plan:<br />Final Program Environmental Impact Report:<br /><br />
  61. 61. Sustainable Community Principles<br /><ul><li>Energy
  62. 62. Reduce fossil fuel usage and carbon emissions through the planning and design of communities, sites, and buildings
  63. 63. Resiliency
  64. 64. Reduce vulnerability to external environmental and economic threats through planning, design, and increased reliance on local resources, goods, and services
  65. 65. Mobility
  66. 66. Locate and design transportation systems to reduce reliance on the automobile and promote alternative modes
  67. 67. Stewardship
  68. 68. Preserve and restore natural, cultural, and built resources. Integrate natural and human ecological systems in the planning and design of communities
  69. 69. Equity
  70. 70. Provide housing, transportation, and employment opportunities for persons of all socioeconomic backgrounds and abilities</li></li></ul><li>Checklist – Policy Level<br /><ul><li>Do your plans address climate change impacts?
  71. 71. Do your plans encourage transit and pedestrian mobility over the automobile?
  72. 72. Do you conduct environmental reviews on all projects?
  73. 73. Do your ordinances address habitat protection, water management, and resource protection?
  74. 74. Do you have green building standards?
  75. 75. Do your plans address the principles of Smart Growth?</li></li></ul><li>Checklist – Project Level <br /><ul><li>Has energy consumption been calculated and reduced below the norm?
  76. 76. Is the project in a threat zone for flood, hurricane, earthquake or other natural disaster?
  77. 77. Does the site reutilize already-developed land?
  78. 78. Has the project optimized non-motorized mobility and reduced vehicle miles travelled?
  79. 79. Is this a transit-oriented development?
  80. 80. Are water resources and drainages protected and improved?</li></li></ul><li>Checklist – Project Level, cont. <br /><ul><li>Are agricultural lands preserved or does it support local food sources?
  81. 81. Are natural habitats preserved and enhanced?
  82. 82. Does the project build to green building standards?
  83. 83. Will the project promote a green economy?
  84. 84. Will the project provide affordable housing?
  85. 85. Are the impacts and benefits equitable to all segments of the population?</li></li></ul><li>Our Sustainability Challenge <br />Commissioners & Planners: Advance local knowledge, reaffirm values, motivate and regulate for the better environment<br />Community Activists: Ask questions, push for responsible, regional solutions<br />All: Adapt and influence<br />
  86. 86. Kathleen A. Garcia, FASLA LEED AP<br />Nancy Bragado, AICP<br />Sustainability in Discretionary Review<br /><br />