Biden’s climate pledge for first time pushes U.S. beyond California goals
KQED – April 27
Phasing out all new sales of gas-powered cars by 2035 and achieving carbon neutrality 10 years later are just a few of California’s goals making it a leader among U.S. states in tackling climate change. But a new pledge from the White House to halve nationwide greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 from 2005 levels could for the first time leave the state lagging behind the federal government on climate policy. State Sens. Dave Cortese, D-San Jose, and Henry Stern, D-Los Angeles, have already introduced legislation to establish a minimum 80% decrease as the target for 2030, followed by net negative emissions no later than 2035.
Cities and states welcome $5B federal grant to fight homelessness
Courthouse News Service – April 23
The prospect of nearly $5 billion from the Biden administration to combat homelessness is a welcome one to cities and states fighting a prolonged crisis made worse by the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, roughly 580,000 people were homeless on a given night last year. This represents a 7% increase from the previous year and does not factor in any of the financial turmoil due to Covid-19.
Proposed bill could convert all California municipal golf courses to low-income housing
Santa Monica Daily Press – April 19
Under AB 672, introduced on February 21 by Assembly member Cristina Garcia, municipal golf courses could be rezoned into housing developments that offer 25% affordable units and 15% open-space. The bill targets municipal golf courses in high-density and park-poor areas, and would exempt them from the Public Park Preservation Act and the California Environmental Quality Act. If the bill does not pass the Housing and Community Development Committee by April 30 it is unlikely to advance further during the 2021 legislative session.
San Francisco speeds up goals to become carbon neutral, supply 100% clean power
San Francisco Chronicle – April 22
San Francisco is accelerating its efforts to eliminate its carbon footprint and supply residents with 100% clean electricity. Mayor London Breed announced last Thursday that the city will seek to become carbon neutral, meaning there will be no net release of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, by 2045 instead of 2050. Municipal electricity supply program CleanPowerSF is on track to provide its customers with completely carbon-free electricity by 2025, also five years ahead of its original goal, Breed said.
San Jose looks to shed decades-old parking requirements
The Mercury News – April 23
In their continuing effort to transition San Jose into a climate-friendly metropolis, city officials are proposing to shed decades-old zoning rules that fueled suburban sprawl, including on-site parking requirements for developers and businesses. Next month, the San Jose planning department, which is partnering with SPUR and Greenbelt Alliance, will begin community outreach on the proposed parking reforms.
Plan would transform car-centric El Cajon Blvd into pedestrian-friendly area
The San Diego Union-Tribune – April 26
A new plan, BLVD 2020, aims to slowly transform car-centric El Cajon Boulevard into a series of pedestrian-friendly neighborhood hubs with mid-rise housing, restaurants, urban plazas, parks, art displays, and event spaces. More than a fifth of San Diego residents live within 5 miles of El Cajon Boulevard, including many in the city’s most ethnically distinct neighborhoods such as Little Saigon and many areas of City Heights.