(Victor Valley)– San Bernardino County First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt is inviting High Desert residents to participate in a regional planning process at a meeting in Apple Valley on Wednesday to explain why the desert lifestyle is unique and should not be subject to air quality policies aimed at more urbanized areas.
“I encourage High Desert residents to attend the meeting and explain to regional planners and policymakers why the desert lifestyle is special and not suited to high density development strategies being pushed by new greenhouse gas regulations,” said Supervisor Mitzelfelt. “If regional planners and air quality regulators want desert residents to reduce the number of miles they spend in their vehicles, the best way to do that is to create high-quality local jobs here.”
The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the six-county regional planning agency, is beginning to develop the four-year update of the Regional Transportation Plan, a key document for funding and building transportation projects. However, for the first time, the document must incorporate a “Sustainable Communities Strategy,” as required by Senate Bill 375, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the number of miles driven by tying transportation planning to land use planning.
Generally, SB 375 promotes transit-oriented development, which means high-density residential units intermingled with retail and commercial development located next to mass transit. The bill does provide for jurisdictions to develop alternatives that would meet the same air quality goals.
Nearly half of High Desert workers commute at least 40 miles one-way to work. More than 200,000 cars travel in and out of the High Desert each day. Creation of local jobs so residents do not have to commute is the only effective way to reduce the number of miles driven by commuters, Supervisor Mitzelfelt argues.
“We cannot solve that problem in the High Desert, and the air quality issue that goes with it, by building condos above coffee shops next to bus stops,” said Supervisor Mitzelfelt, who also serves on SCAG’s Regional Council. For more information, go to www.scag.ca.gov.
Wednesday July 13, 2011
4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Town of Apple Valley Town Hall
Conference Center, South Room
14975 Dale Evans Parkway
Apple Valley, CA 92307