Highlights from the Regional Council Meeting
January 2, 2014
ACTION – RC ADOPTS UPDATED RTP/SCS FRAMEWORK & GUIDELINES
The Regional Council voted to approve the Subregional Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) Framework and Guidelines, which outline the policies and procedures for subregions that choose to submit their own subregional SCS as part of the 2016 RTP/SCS update. Adoption of the framework and guidelines is consistent with state law, which directs SCAG’s RC to adopt a SCS by specified deadlines to meet state-adopted greenhouse gas emission reduction targets by 2020 and 2035, and gives subregions the option to prepare their own SCS for incorporation into the regional approved SCS. In the last SCS plan development, two of the 15 subregions chose to prepare their own SCS. See the updated SCS Framework and Guidelines at bit.ly/Knc7DE.
ACTION – RC APPROVES RHNA HOUSING ELEMENT REFORM SUBCOMMITTEE CHARTER
The Regional Council approved the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) Housing Element Reform Subcommittee Charter. The charter describes the purpose and responsibilities of the subcommittee, which will review and recommend possible changes to the RHNA and housing element processes. The subcommittee will consist of 12 members of SCAG’s RC or policy committees. The subcommittee will review and provide recommendations on a number of RHNA-related topics including land use density for mixed use projects, definition of affordable units lack of funding for affordable units and more. View the charter at bit.ly/Knc7DE.
INFORMATION – AUDIT FINDINGS ANNOUNCED
The Regional Council heard a presentation from SCAG’s external independent auditor, Vasquez & Co., LLP, regarding the findings in their audit of SCAG’s FY 2012-13 financial statements. SCAG received a clean audit with no significant findings or deficiencies. The audit report is available at bit.ly/1ixrdF2.
News From the Executive Director
Additional News for the Month
ECONOMIC RECOVERY & JOB CREATION SUMMIT WRAP UP
At last month’s 4th Annual Economic Recovery & Job Creation Summit hosted by SCAG and the Southern California Leadership Council (SCLC), more than 300 local and state elected officials, public and private sector CEOs, business and labor leaders, stakeholder agency representatives and city managers gathered for the formal release of economic outlook and poverty reports for SCAG’s six counties. Numbers released at the Summit showed that 3.2 million people in the region lived in poverty in 2012, up from 1.9 million in 1990. Summit speakers spoke passionately about the need for unprecedented collaboration at the federal, state and local levels regarding job creation, workforce development, project streamlining, tax credit incentives and eliminating non-performing programs to help address this challenge and restore a middle class that has gradually eroded during the past 20 years. SCAG and SCLC encourage everyone who attended to work with us to do all we can to reverse these disturbing poverty numbers and keep our dynamic region moving forward. For more information about the Summit and to view Summit materials, please visit economy.scag.ca.gov.
SCAG SUSTAINABILITY PLANNING GRANT PROGRAM UPDATE
SCAG has begun the effort to initiate all 73 approved sustainability projects proposed by member jurisdictions under the most recent Sustainability Planning Grants call for proposals. All city/county applicants have been notified of their awards. Consultant Request-for-Proposals for Sustainability Planning Grant projects have been released for 14 projects and procurements are being prepared for the remaining projects for which funding is currently available. Planning work on Sustainability projects begins this month. All 73 project procurements will be initiated by the end of 2014, pending available funding for Phase 3 projects.
DRAFT PRIMARY NATIONAL FREIGHT NETWORK DESIGNATION RELEASED
The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) includes the development of a National Freight Strategic Plan (NFSP) in consultation with states and other stakeholders, as well as the establishment of a national freight network (NFN) to assist states in strategically directing resources toward improved system performance. In November 2013, the Federal Highway Administration released the draft Primary Freight Network (PFN) as part of the NFN designation process. SCAG staff is currently commenting on the draft PFN, working in coordination with regional partners and the California Department of Transportation. For more information visit