By Miriam Raftery
December 28, 2021 (San Diego) – The County Planning Commission will host a special meeting on January 7 at 9 a.m. to hear an update on Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) as well as 13 items that Supervisors directed staff to evaluate related to transportation impacts of future development projects. Below are details in a letter sent to stakeholders from the County’s Planning and Development Services Department.
Vehicle Miles Traveled Update (Planning & Development Services)
Dear Interested Stakeholder,
We are reaching out to you to provide you with an update regarding Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT). On December 10, 2021, the Planning Commission moved to continue the VMT item as a workshop item to a special hearing date on January 7, 2022. The Planning Commission will receive a report that Planning & Development Services (PDS) staff will be providing as well as hear an informational presentation to the Planning Commission on the 13 items directed by the Board of Supervisors.
On May 19, 2021, the Board of Supervisors (Board) directed County Staff to evaluate 13 items related to the County of San Diego’s implementation of SB 743 and analysis of transportation impacts of projects under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The 13 items are listed below:
1. Assess and explore the process by which infill development can be done in a manner to ensure no VMT mitigation is necessary.
2. Explore the potential creation of transit accessible areas and look at the intersection between VMT efficient areas or lower thresholds in accordance with the areas that do not require further analysis. Explore the potential transit corridors and look at the SANDAG Regional Transportation Plan, Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), North County Transit District (NCTD), and other possible areas and how that may impact VMT efficient areas or areas covered by the exemption.
3. Explore programmatic or plan-level mitigation opportunities for VMT, including the concept of a regional mitigation bank.
4. By-right process for development in VMT efficient areas.
5. Further exploration of exceptions to the VMT thresholds for affordable housing projects at less than 100% affordable, including mixed income and various components of Area Median Income (AMI), along with exploring the possibility of exceptions for middle income or workforce housing, local hire, and agriculture type projects that might have a net impact of lowering VMT.
6. Explore land use density of land that is in VMT efficient areas.
7. Continue to track guidance from the California Office of Planning and Research (OPR), along with other governing body efforts, including the SANDAG Regional Transportation Plan.
8. Monitor the progress of other jurisdictions as it relates to their adoption, along with what unique programs, exemptions, or opportunities they may be exploring that the County may want to consider.
9. Consider a phase-in timeline to allow for a transition into a regional geography.
10. Consider compliance options for projects that have already been proposed or are in the process now.
11. Conduct an analysis of the options to remove the Local Mobility Analysis.
12. Inform the Board regarding updates on development of the Smart Growth component of the Climate Action Plan (CAP) SEIR to ensure it is integrated and aligned with efforts around VMT.
13. Conduct an analysis of proposed housing projects designated for individuals under 60% AMI and under 80% AMI and the potential cost impact of switching to a regional geography.
PDS has updated the VMT/SB 743 website with resources and technical memorandums related to the 13 items directed by the Board.
Click here for the staff report for the January 7th Planning Commission workshop.
If you wish to participate at the January 7, 2022, Planning Commission workshop, please utilize the virtual participation resources including teleconference access, assistance for the disabled, and language translation assistance, at the Planning Commission website link below. In addition, in-person attendance is welcomed and masks are required.