The brief submitted by SMW demonstrates how the County, from start to finish, deliberately disregarded the intent and purpose of SB743 in order to support sprawl development that could actually increase rather than reduce regional VMT! It is apparent the County views environmental policies like SB743 and CEQA as economic burdens rather than tools to help the County carry out its legal and ecological responsibilities.
The Board Letter and Hearing Report thus indicate that the County chose Option B not because it aided in determining the significance of transportation impacts, but rather because it exempted the largest number of potential dwelling units from VMT analysis and mitigation. P.17
Scientists from around the world are warning of the imminent collapse of global ecosystems and yet our County officials actually tried to thwart SB 743’s VMT reduction guidelines and maintain instead business as usual – which is to exploit rather than preserve what’s left of San Diego’s natural heritage. To solve the housing crisis, we don’t need to exploit more land; we need to build better infrastructure and make our cities work again. By building ‘area complete’ transit infrastructure (cause) we can solve the housing crisis and the Climate crisis (symptom) at the same time!
“We need to stop regarding the climate emergency as a stand-alone environmental problem. Global heating, although ruinous, is not the sole symptom of our present struggling Earth system but is only one of the many facets of the accelerating environmental crisis. Policies to alleviate the climate crisis or any of the other threatened planetary boundary transgressions should not be focused on symptom relief but on addressing their root cause: the overexploitation of the Earth.” (https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/advance-article/doi/10.1093/biosci/biab079/6325731)
Cleveland National Forest Foundation (“CNFF”) and Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation (“CERF”) filed a lawsuit in San Diego Superior Court on September 4, 2020 challenging San Diego County’s plan for addressing the climate and environmental impacts of vehicle travel as required by Senate Bill 743 (“SB 743”). Instead of adopting a plan to reduce vehicle trips caused by new development, the County chose to exempt the vast majority of potential new developments under the County’s General Plan from even examining, much less addressing, driving-related impacts.
Read the petition letter here: Petition for CNFF and CERF Joint Lawsuit Against County of San Diego for Implementation of SB 743
Read the press release here: Press Release for CNFF and CERF Joint Lawsuit Against County of San Diego for Implementation of SB 743
July 20, 2022 Comment Letter on County's Transportation Study Guide
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