Since its inception, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District
(District) has been active in promoting land use strategies that reduce the
amount and distance people drive to accomplish their daily activities. Air
districts with severe air pollution were required by the California Clean Air
Act to develop "indirect source" control programs in their attainment
plans. Indirect sources are defined as any building, facility, activity center,
etc. that attracts motor vehicle trips. Land use strategies reduce trips by
designing development to be more convenient for walking, bicycling, and transit,
thereby allowing people to drive less.
The District’s Air Quality Attainment Plans include measures to
promote air quality elements in county and city general plans as one of the
primary indirect source programs. The general plan is the primary long range
planning document used by cities and counties to direct development. Since air
districts have no authority over land use decisions, it is up to cities and
counties to ensure that their general plans help achieve air quality goals.
Section 65302.1 of the California Government Code requires cities and counties
in the San Joaquin Valley to amend appropriate elements of their general plans to
include data, analysis, comprehensive goals, policies, and feasible implementation
strategies to improve air quality in their next housing element revisions
(the next revision for Fresno and Kern Counties is June 30, 2008, and the next revision
for Stanislaus, San Joaquin, Merced, Kings, Tulare, and Madera Counties is June 20, 2009).
The Air Quality Guidelines for General Plans (AQGGP), adopted by the District in 1994 and
amended in 2005, is a guidance document containing goals and policy examples that cities and
counties may want to incorporate into their General Plans to satisfy Section 65302.1. When
adopted in a general plan and implemented,
the suggestions in the AQGGP can reduce vehicle
trips and miles traveled and improve air quality. The specific suggestions in
the AQGGP are voluntary.
The District strongly encourages cities and counties to use their land use and
transportation planning authority to help achieve air quality goals by adopting
the suggested policies and programs.
To obtain copies of the Air Quality Guidelines for General Plans (215
pages) contact the Planning Division at (559) 230-5800. A pdf of the AQGGP
is available here.
The District has prepared or contributed to several other documents that
describe land use strategies:
- Guide for Assessing and Mitigating Air Quality Impacts.
This document is a guide for Lead Agencies for addressing air quality issues
in environmental documents prepared for CEQA or NEPA. The mitigation measure
section contains strategies for each stage of the development process. Contact
the Planning Division at (559) 230-5800 to obtain copies.
- Street Design Guidelines for Healthy Neighborhoods by Dan Burden.
This document discusses how we can design streets and roads that promote more
walking, and bicycling and still maintain good traffic flow. This document is
available for $20 from the Local Government Commission’s Center for Livable
Communities at (916) 448-1198 or www.lgc.org/clc
- Transportation-Related Land Use Strategies to Minimize Motor Vehicle
Emissions. This document was prepared for the California Air
Resources Board by JHK & Associates. It provides a thorough literature
review, case studies, and recommends land use strategies for all types of
communities. Obtain copies from the California Air Resources Board
Transportation Strategies Group at (916) 323-8475 or visit their website at www.arb.ca.gov
Livable Communities, Sustainable Development and Planning Links