East County News Service
Update October 9, 2015 - SANDAG voted for adoption of the Final San Diego Forward Plan and EIR.
October 6, 2015 (San Diego)--The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) Board will consider approval of the Final San Diego Forward: The Regional Plan and its Sustainable Communities Strategy, as well as its Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR), on October 9. The October 9 Board meeting will begin at 10 a.m. in the SANDAG boardroom on the 7th Floor of 401 B Street, in downtown San Diego.
The Regional Plan is the culmination of several years of public engagement and technical review. The County has also faced a lawsuit over allegations that earlier plans placed too much emphasis on freeway construction and not enough on mass transit. An appellate court held in December that SANDAG violated state law by failing to fully account for, and take steps to reduce, greenhouse gases and harmful air pollution in its environmental review of the region’s long-range transportation plan.
Cleveland National Forest Foundation, the Center for Biological Diversity and Sierra Club challenged SANDAG’s review of the transportation plan under the California Environmental Quality Act. California Attorney General Kamala Harris joined in the challenge on behalf of the People of the State of California.
According to San Diego Forward, the Regional Plan to be considered on October 9 is a “balanced plan that provides more transportation choices, protects our environment, and promotes economic prosperity. San Diego Forward outlines the investment of more than $204 billion in our regional transportation network to provide more transportation choices for our residents and ensure an efficient system that will support economic prosperity and job growth, while at the same time meeting state targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.“
Over the next 35 years, San Diego Forward commits more than 50 percent of its $204 billion investment to transit, including five new Trolley lines, 32 new Rapid bus lines, and significant increases in transit frequencies. The Plan also supports the development of vibrant mixed use communities in existing urban areas that will accommodate our region’s growth and allow us to preserve more than half of our region’s land as open space.
But the Cleveland National Forest has issued a statement indicating it believes the latest polan has the same problems in the flawed 2011 plan to which the court objected.
Residents are encouraged to attend and share your comments with the Board. If you can’t make it in person, you may listen live via the website (click on the audiocast icon during the meeting.)