Friday, 27 May 2022

Senate approves bill to help local governments plan for growth

SACRAMENTO – The State Senate voted 24-13 Friday to approve Senate Bill 1645. The measure, by North Coast Senator Patricia Wiggins (D – Santa Rosa), requires the California Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission to update its “energy aware planning guide” to include model general plan elements to address energy and climate changes with specified elements.


Wiggins said her legislation will help local government agencies better plan for growth.


“SB 1645 requires the California Energy Commission to update its planning guide and to include two model general plan elements: one to address energy issues and one to address climate change,” Wiggins said.


“As local governments join the state in addressing climate change, we must try to provide local governments with the tools and guidance they need to succeed,” she added. “SB 1645 will help provide that guidance.”


The commission is currently charged with preparing plans for dealing with energy shortages, and serving as a central repository for the collection, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information on all forms of energy supply, demand, conservation, public safety and research.


State law also requires cities and counties to adopt general plans which reflect long-term goals and policies that guide local land use decisions. The plans are required to contain several specific elements: land use, circulation, housing, open space, conservation, safety and noise.


After reviewing the energy aware planning guide, Wiggins felt it was important to update the document to stress the importance of climate change and energy to local government planning. But "rather than requiring local governments to include a climate change element in their general plans, SB 1645 will create an overall model element to assist local governments when undergoing their general plan updates," she said.


Wiggins represents the state’s Second Senate District, made up of portions or all of six counties: Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties.


Now that it has passed the Senate, SB 1645 next goes to the Assembly for consideration.


For more information on SB 1645 or other legislation by Sen. Wiggins, please visit her Web site at http://dist02.casen.govoffice.com/.


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