With California?s historic budget battle finally resolved, the Governor recently signed hundreds of bills that had
been waiting in limbo, including SB 375, a law some have declared to be the most significant piece of land use
legislation since 1976?s Coastal Act. Whether SB 375 results in the changes its proponents hope for, only time
will tell. At the very least it is an ambitious ? and complex ? law that seeks to tackle one of the most
challenging sources of greenhouse gas (?GHG?) emissions: the private automobile. This is a key issue for
California?s efforts to meet AB 32?s GHG emissions reduction mandate because the Air Resources Board has
found that, even if cars become more efficient and run on cleaner fuels, the target levels cannot be met without
also reducing vehicle miles traveled. SB 375 takes on this task by envisioning a bold new development
pattern, one in which people live closer to jobs and services and have better access to transit. SB 375?s
approach to this problem is to link what have largely been unrelated planning processes: regional transportation, housing allocation, and land use planning.
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