Glossary for SB 375 and Other Related Terms

Materials from ABAG Spring 2009 General Assembly

Alternative Planning Strategy (APS) -- A separate document from the Regional Transportation Plan for regions where the Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) will not achieve the greenhouse gas reduction target. If the SCS is unable to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the targeted levels, then an Alternative Planning Strategy (APS) must be prepared. The APS would show how the greenhouse-gas targets would be achieved through alternative development patterns, infrastructure, or additional transportation measures or policies. The APS is a separate document from the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), but may be adopted at the same time as the RTP.

Assembly Bill (AB) 32 -- The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which requires California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

Assembly Bill (AB) 32 Scoping Plan -- The scoping plan developed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has a range of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) reduction actions which include direct regulations, alternative compliance mechanisms, monetary and non-monetary incentives, voluntary actions, market-based mechanisms such as a cap-and-trade system, and an AB 32 cost of implementation fee regulation to fund the program. The Plan is a central requirement of AB 32.

Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) -- The council of governments and designated regional planning agency representing the Bay Area’s nine counties and 101 cities and towns. ABAG initiates innovative programs, projects and partnerships to help resolve the region’s economic, social and environmental challenges, providing research and analysis and cost-effective local government service programs. ABAG is committed to enhancing the quality of life in the San Francisco Bay Area by leading the region in advocacy, collaboration, and excellence in planning, research, and member services.

Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) – BAAQMD regulates industry and employers to keep air pollution in check and sponsors programs to clean the air. BAAQMD also works with ABAG, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), and the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) on issues that affect land use, transportation, and air quality.

Bay Area Regional Agency Climate Protection Program – This program was approved by the Joint Policy Committee (JPC) on July 20, 2007. As part of this process, ABAG has established targets for assessing alternative land-use scenarios in the development of the latest iteration of Projections 2009, the region’s policy-based forecast of population and employment. MTC developed the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) update, Transportation 2035, which evaluates transportation strategies and investment programs relative to a target of reducing GHG emissions from on-road vehicles in the year 2035 by 40 percent compared to 1990 levels.

Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) -- A state-established agency with jurisdiction over dredging and filling of San Francisco Bay and limited jurisdiction over development within 100 feet of the Bay.

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) -- This California law passed in 1970 requires that documentation of potential environmental impact of development projects must be submitted prior to development. Under SB 375, housing development projects can qualify for a full CEQA exemption if:

• They do not exceed eight acres or 200 units

• They can be served by existing utilities

• They will not have a significant effect on historic resources

• Their buildings exceed energy efficiency standards

• They provide any of the following:

- Five acres of open space

- 20 percent moderate income housing

- 10 percent low income housing

- 5 percent very low income housing.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) -- CO2 is a colorless, odorless, non-poisonous gas that is a normal part of the ambient air. CO2 contributes the most to human-induced global warming. Human activities such as fossil fuel combustion and deforestation have increased atmospheric concentrations of CO2 by approximately 30 percent since the industrial revolution.

Community Air Risk Evaluation (CARE) Program – The program examines toxic air contaminants (TAC) emissions from point sources, area sources and on-road and off-road mobile sources with an emphasis on diesel exhaust, which is a major contributor to airborne health risk in California. The program was initiated in 2004 to evaluate and reduce health risks associated with exposures to outdoor TACs in the Bay Area.

Climate Change - Refers to changes in long-term trends in the average climate, such as changes in average temperatures. Climate change refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity.

Complete Communities - Complete communities are those which provide the opportunity for people to live a complete day, including their work, school, services, and recreation, within the boundaries of their own neighborhoods. Complete communities offer these amenities in a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere where public transit is at least as convenient as the automobile. These neighborhoods or districts are self-sufficient by connecting transit and shopping, and are surrounded by different housing types, services, and amenities. Complete communities are created through an integrated approach to transportation planning, land use planning, and urban design with an inter-related set of policies that mutually reinforce one another.

Equitable Development– Equitable development ensures that individuals and families in all communities can participate in and benefit from economic growth and activity. It is grounded in four guiding principles: the integration of people and place strategies; reduction of local and regional disparities; promotion of "double bottom line" investments; and inclusion of meaningful community voice, participation, and leadership.

FOCUS -- A regional planning initiative spearheaded by ABAG in cooperation with MTC, and in coordination with BAAQMD and BCDC. FOCUS seeks to protect open space and natural resources while encouraging infill development in existing communities (see PCAs and PDAs below). The FOCUS initiative encourages future growth in areas near transit and within the communities that surround the San Francisco Bay. Concentrating housing in these areas offers housing and transportation choices for all residents, while helping to reduce traffic, protect the environment, and enhance existing neighborhoods.

Focused Growth -- Development that reflects higher densities, mixed use, and a higher proportion of housing and employment growth in urban areas, particularly near transit stations and along transit corridors, as well as in town centers.

Global Warming -- The progressive gradual rise of the Earth's average surface temperature thought to be caused in part by increased concentrations of GHGs in the atmosphere.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) -- Gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect, which causes warming of the atmosphere of the Earth.

Indirect Source Rule (ISR) – ISR is one of several elements of a more comprehensive approach to address health concerns in communities that are disproportionately impacted by poor air quality and to minimize the cumulative effects of land use decisions on local and regional air quality. This multifaceted approach initiated by BAAQMD will coordinate ongoing efforts at the Air District and develop and implement key enhancements to existing Air District programs. This will provide a cohesive strategy that will assist in the growth of the Bay Area while protecting public health and minimizing impacts on the climate. The Air District will be convening a workgroup to assist in rule development and will hold extensive public workshops throughout the Bay Area to allow stakeholders to provide input. Staff anticipates proposing an Indirect Source Review Rule for consideration by the District Board of Directors in 2010.

Joint Policy Committee (JPC) -- The JPC coordinates the regional planning efforts of the ABAG, BAAQMD, the BCDC and MTC. Among the JPC’s current initiatives are focused growth, climate protection, and development of a sustainable communities’ strategy pursuant to SB 375.

Low-carbon emissions standards or low carbon fuel standards (LCFs) -- California's LCFS requires fuel providers to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels sold in the state, dramatically expanding the market for alternative fuels. By 2020, the LCFS will reduce carbon content in all passenger vehicle fuels sold in California by 10 percent.

Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) -- A regional council of governments authorized under federal law to develop a regional transportation plan.

Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) -- The transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. MTC is the MPO for the Bay Area. MTC is currently working on its 2035 Transportation Plan.

Particulate Matter2.5 (PM2.5) -- Fine particles are 2.5 micrometers in diameter and smaller. The regional target is to reduce fine particulate matter, PM2.5, by 10 percent below today’s levels.

Particulate Matter 10 (PM10) -- Particulate matter of 10 micrometers or less in size. The regional target is to reduce coarse particulate matter, PM10, by 45 percent over today’s levels.

Priority Conservation Area (PCA) -- Regionally significant open spaces for which there exists a broad consensus for long-term protection and for which public funds may be invested to promote their protection. Local jurisdictions and open space agencies identified these locations voluntarily through the FOCUS initiative.

Priority Development Area (PDA) -- Locations within existing communities that present infill development opportunities, and are easily accessible to transit, jobs, shopping and services. Local jurisdictions identified these locations voluntarily through the FOCUS initiative.

Reduction Target -- A goal set by California Air Resources Board for a region to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks.

Regional Rail Plan -- MTC, Caltrain, BART, California High-Speed Rail Authority, in collaboration with a coalition of rail passenger and freight operators, regional partners, and rail stakeholders, prepared a comprehensive Regional Rail Plan for the Bay Area. The Regional Rail Plan examined ways to incorporate passenger trains into existing rail systems, improve connections to other trains and transit, expand the regional rapid transit network, increase rail capacity and coordinate rail investment around transit-friendly communities and businesses. It also analyzed potential high-speed rail routes between the Bay Area and the Central Valley. Overall, the plan looked at improvements and extensions of railroad, rapid transit, and high-speed rail services for the near (5 to 10 years), intermediate (10 to 25 years), and long-term (beyond 25 years).

Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA) -- The Regional Housing Need Allocation process is a state mandated planning process for housing in California. ABAG is responsible for allocating this state-determined regional housing need among all of the Bay Area’s nine counties and 101 cities. Factors used by ABAG in the current allocation process include projected household growth, existing employment and projected employment growth, and projected household and employment growth near transit. Future RHNAs must be consistent with the Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) mandated by SB 375. Local housing elements must be adopted 18 months after the next regional transportation plan.

RHNA Integration – RHNA must be consistent with the Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS). SB 375 requires that the RHNA/housing element cycle will be synchronized and coordinated with the preparation of every other RTP update, starting with the first update after 2010 (i.e., 2013). RTP updates occur every four years, and housing elements must be adopted by local governments eighteen months after the adoption of the RTP. With a few exceptions, the region will now be on an eight-year RHNA cycle and local governments will be on eight-year housing element cycles. In addition to synchronizing with the preparation of the RTP and the SCS, the RHNA allocation must be consistent with the development pattern included in the SCS. The resolution approving the RHNA shall demonstrate consistency with the Bay Area’s implementation of SB 375 and the SCS.

Regional Performance Targets – Both ABAG and MTC used performance targets in developing the Regional Transportation Plan and Projections 2009. Performance targets include limiting greenfield development to 900 acres per year, or 22,500 acres over the 2010-2035 time period. Additional targets include increasing non-auto access to jobs and services by 20 percent, by 2035, and reducing daily vehicle miles traveled (VMT) per capita by 10 percent, compared to 2006 levels. Other targets include increasing access to jobs and essential services via transit or walking by 20 percent above today’s levels; reducing driving per person by 10 percent below today’s levels; reducing traffic congestion, measured by hours of delay, by 20 percent below today’s levels; and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels.

Regional Targets Advisory Committee (RTAC) – The Advisory Committee is tasked with recommending factors to be considered and methodologies to be used in establishing the targets, not recommending the targets themselves—though MPOs are explicitly permitted to recommend targets for the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) consideration. This committee is composed of representatives of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), affected air districts, the League of California Cities (the League), the California State Association of Counties (CSAC), local transportation agencies, and members of the public—including homebuilders, environmental organizations, environmental-justice organizations, affordable housing organizations, and others.

Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) -- A transportation plan which is developed every four or five years that, among other things, outlines a region’s transportation investments. The Bay Area’s Regional Transportation Plan is called Transportation 2035 Plan and it is the long-range planning document of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). The plan has a 25-year horizon and serves as a comprehensive blueprint for investment strategies for maintaining, managing and improving the surface transportation network in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. The plan determines how the region will spend nearly $218 billion in local, regional, state and federal funds that are projected to be available to the Bay Area over the next 25 years.

SB 375 Transportation and Land Use Planning Act of 2008 –The act mandates an integrated regional land-use-and-transportation-planning approach to reducing greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions from automobiles and light trucks, principally by reducing vehicle miles traveled (VMT). SB 375 requires that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) set GHG-reduction targets for cars and light trucks in each California region for the years 2020 and 2035. SB 375 provides incentives for creating attractive, walkable and sustainable communities and revitalizing existing communities. SB 375 also changes the state Housing Element law by linking regional planning efforts for transportation and housing. Under the bill, all transportation and housing planning processes are put on the same eight-year schedule and must be updated once every eight years. The Sustainable Communities Strategy, RTP and RHNA will be developed together through a single and integrated cross agency work program with the JPC.

SB 375 Implementation -- SB 375 explicitly assigns responsibilities to ABAG and to the MTC to implement the bill’s provisions for the Bay Area. Both agencies are members of the Joint Policy Committee (JPC). The polices in this document were approved by the JPC and provide guidance to the two lead regional agencies in fulfilling their responsibilities in collaboration with their JPC partners, BAAQMD and BCDC.

Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) -- A part of the Regional Transportation Plan that predicts a likely growth pattern for the region. The SCS lays out how emissions reductions will be met. This strategy becomes part of the Regional Transportation Plan. It does incorporate the RHNA requirement to provide housing to accommodate all income groups while meeting reduction targets. SB 375 requires the regional transportation plan for regions of the state with a metropolitan transportation planning organization to adopt an SCS.

Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) — A type of development that links land use and transportation facilities to support public transit systems and help reduce sprawl, traffic congestion and air pollution. Transit-oriented developments include housing, along with complementary public uses (jobs, retail and services), at a strategic point along a regional transit system, such as a rail hub.

Transportation for Livable Communities (TLC) – MTC’s TLC Program provides funding for projects that provide for a range of transportation choices, support connectivity between transportation investments and land uses, and are developed through an inclusive community planning effort. The purpose of TLC Program is to support community-based transportation projects that bring new vibrancy to downtown areas, commercial cores, neighborhoods, and transit corridors, enhancing their amenities and ambiance and making them places where people want to live, work and visit.

Transit Priority Projects – Projects that contain at least 50 percent residential use; have a minimum net density of 20 units per acre; have a floor-area ratio for the commercial portion of the project at 0.75; and are located within ½ mile of either a rail stop, a ferry terminal, or a bus line with 15-minute headways.