View Mobile Site

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos


State to cities: Go green or no green

Law encourages cities to build densely around transit centers

Posted: November 22, 2009 10:17 p.m.
Updated: November 23, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Telling cities they need to meet "green" goals set by the California Legislature, state officials are threatening to withhold transportation funds for cities that aren't on board with greenhouse gas-reducing strategies.

Santa Clarita officials said they're confident their plans for dense, pedestrian-friendly communities, or "villages," are in line with the state's demands and will reduce greenhouse gas pollution.

The state's self-imposed goal is to reduce tons of emissions by 2020 by convincing cities to reduce car travel and provide convenient public transportation.

The move or else forces cities to plan dense growth in areas close to train stations, bus depots and similar central transit centers.

For some time, Santa Clarita has been planning development as a "valley of villages" that could well meet the state requirements.

However, the project is in its infancy and months away from specific goals, said Lisa Webber, the city's planning manager.

The greenhouse gas-reduction law, passed by legislators last year, doesn't actually require cities to comply. However, the state will be more likely to give money to city transportation projects if cities develop effective plans to reduce emissions, said Paul Brotzman, director of community development.

Santa Clarita is ahead of much of the state in developing environmentally friendly communities, thanks to city planning that emphasizes using more public transportation, Webber said.

Since 2000, the city has been attempting to create new communities with more walkways for pedestrians, which should reduce the amount of miles residents drive in their cars.

Santa Clarita has already developed five projects with green development goals in mind, Webber said. Valencia Town Center Square, for instance, has already been approved by the city, she said.

The Southern California Association of Governments, which oversees Santa Clarita's greenhouse gas-reduction plans, is projecting Southern California will have to make plans that reduce emissions by about 2.5 million metric tons, Webber said.

Since it has about half the state's population, Southern California is responsible for eliminating about half of the state's extra greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, Webber said.


Most Popular Articles

There are no articles at this time.
Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.


Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...