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Sandag Ag Letter

Sandag Ag Letter

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Published by: Jbrownie Heimes on May 11, 2012
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05/11/2012

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March 28, 2012 The Honorable Kamala D.

Harris California Attorney General 1300 I Street, Suite 1740 Sacramento, CA 95814 Re: Lawsuit Challenging SANDAG’s 2050 Regional Transportation Plan Dear Attorney General Harris: Our organizations representing business, labor and local government are united in our concern about the lawsuit filed against the San Diego Association of Governments’ (SANDAG) Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS). SANDAG’s plan meets all state-mandated carbon reduction requirements under SB 375 and was the product of extensive public input and review. Responsible, regional planning efforts should be allowed to proceed without intervention from the state. Our coalition would like to meet with you to discuss the implications of the lawsuit, your office’s involvement, and our long-term concerns. The lawsuit does not dispute that SANDAG met its greenhouse gas reduction requirements -instead, it challenges the process by which SANDAG developed its plan. The very nature of your weighing in on this matter threatens not only SANDAG’s efforts, but all future efforts by local governments to develop their own regional transportation plans and sustainable communities strategies as required under SB 375 and AB 32. In fact, the lawsuit appears to pursue policy changes through the courts that would broaden current environmental law by exceeding the requirements of SB 375, AB 32 and even the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). It sets troublesome precedent, exposing local communities to substantial, new legal challenges in the future. SB 375 was a product of years of work and compromise among business, labor, local government and environmental leaders. The goal was to create more sustainable communities through a process driven by local control, and by giving communities some level of certainty that - should they meet the requirements of SB 375 - their land use plans would not be mired in lawsuits for years. SANDAG’s 2050 Plan was adopted on a 17-1 vote after two years of extensive collaboration with the public and stakeholders including 4,000 comments from 1,500 individuals and organizations. The plan creates 35,600 jobs each year over the course of the plan, and generates an additional gross regional product of $4.4 billion annually.

SANDAG’s 2050 RTP/SCS exceeds the state’s greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target for 2020 by reducing emissions by 14% (the target is 7%) and meets the 2035 target of 13%. It dedicates twice as much money to mass transit ($106.6 B) as is dedicated for freeways and highways ($49.7 B). And it would reduce vehicle miles traveled by creating 156 new miles of trolley services, adding 130 miles of express lanes for carpools, vanpools and bus service, and dedicating $3.8 billion for bicycle and pedestrian projects. It also preserves more than half of the region's land as open space. SANDAG’s 2050 RTP is a model of good, collaborative, and thorough regional planning. However, the plan now stands to be uprooted in the courts, which not only threatens the integrity of SANDAG’s process, but the entire SB 375 approach. Communities which engage in good faith to create sustainable growth plans for their regions should be allowed to proceed without lawsuits and intervention from the state. For these reasons, we ask you to reconsider your involvement in this litigation. Rich Lambros will contact your office to follow-up on this meeting request on behalf of our coalition. We would like this meeting to occur at your earliest convenience within the next two weeks. In the meantime, you may contact Rich at (909) 225-0095 or rlambros@southerncaliforniagroup.com. Sincerely, Jose Mejia, Director California State Council of Laborers Lucy Dunn, President & CEO Orange County Business Council Jim Wunderman, President & CEO Bay Area Council Gary Toebben, President & CEO Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce Tracy Rafter, CEO Los Angeles County Business Federation Debra Moreno, President & CEO Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce Mark Cafferty, President & CEO San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation Billie Greer, President Southern California Leadership Council Cynthia Kurtz, President & CEO San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership Jim Earp, Executive Director California Alliance for Jobs Carl Guardino, President & CEO Silicon Valley Leadership Group Steve Falk, President & CEO San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Ruben Barrales, President & CEO San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Linda Best, President & CEO Contra Costa Council Al Smith, President & CEO Greater Fresno Chamber of Commerce Stuart Waldman, President Valley Industry and Commerce Association Joseph Haraburda, President & CEO Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Todd Ament, President & CEO Anaheim Chamber of Commerce

Bill LaMarr, Executive Director California Small Business Alliance Ramon Ortega, President & CEO Antelope Valley Chambers of Commerce Gloria Medina, Executive Director Bell Chamber of Commerce Cathy Kennerson, CEO El Centro Chamber of Commerce David Nydegger, President & CEO Oceanside Chamber of Commerce Douglass Wilhoit, President & CEO Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce Cheryl Nankervis, President & CEO Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce Victor Lindenheim, Executive Director Golden State Gateway Coalition Larry Russell, Executive Vice President Southern California Contractors Association Borre Winckel, President & CEO Building Industry Association of San Diego Hildy Carrillo, Executive Director Calexico Chamber of Commerce Jeanne Cain, Executive Vice President, Policy California Chamber of Commerce Sandra Boyle, President California Building Owners and Managers Association Laurie Madigan, Executive Director Business Leadership Alliance, San Diego James Camp, President NAIOP of California Commercial Real Estate Development Association Gary W. Hambly, President & CEO California Construction and Industrial Materials Association Lee Brown, Executive Director California Construction Trucking Association Jo Anne Bernhard, Northern California Governmental Relations Chair International Council of Shopping Centers

Kyle Nelson, President Engineering & General Contractors Assoc., San Diego Janice Moore, President & CEO Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce Randy Gordon, President & CEO Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce Jacqueline Reynoso, President & CEO National City Chamber of Commerce Heidi Larkin-Reed, CEO Orange Chamber of Commerce Cynthia L. Murray, President & CEO North Bay Leadership Council Kathryn Figari, Executive Director Brawley Chamber of Commerce Lacy Kelly, CEO Association of California Cities – Orange County Mark Breslin, CEO United Contractors Tom Holsman, CEO Associated General Contractors of California Jim Ryan, Executive Vice President Associated General Contractors – San Diego Tony Boren, Executive Director Fresno Council of Governments Mike Winn, President & CEO California Building Industry Association Mike Lewis, President Construction Industry Air Quality Coalition Paul J. Meyer, Executive Director American Council of Engineering Companies of California Stan Lazarian, District 9, Vice President California Chapters of the National Electrical Contractors Association Wes May, Executive Director Engineering Contractors Association Rex S. Hime, President & CEO California Business Properties Association Bob Yoder, President Building Industry Association of Southern California

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