SB 743: Changing How We Analyze Traffic Impacts 

Background

With the adoption of Senate Bill (SB) 743, the State of California changed the method of traffic analysis required through the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for publicly and privately initiated projects.  The law changed the way local jurisdictions, like the County of San Diego (County), analyze transportation impacts from development projects and identify mitigation measures to reduce those impacts. SB 743 became effective on July 1, 2020.

The previous practice of evaluating traffic transportation impacts used road congestion and delay or level of service (LOS).  SB 743 requires the amount of driving and length of trips – as measured by "vehicle miles traveled" or VMT – be used to assess transportation impacts on the environment for CEQA review. These impacts will be reduced or “mitigated” by options such as Transportation Demand Management (TDM), increasing transit options, or providing for active transportation such as walking and biking.  All jurisdictions have the option to tailor requirements to their unique communities. 

Bus Stop

Update Regarding Public Review of New Transportation Study Guide

As directed by the Board on February 9, 2022, staff have prepared a revised Transportation Study Guide (TSG) for VMT that establishes a VMT threshold using the regional average, which includes the entire San Diego region, including the incorporated cities. The Board also directed staff to identify Infill and General Plan Village areas within or near potential “transit opportunity areas” where no VMT analysis or mitigation would be required, excluding any areas designated as High and Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones. Projects located within infill areas would not have to analyze VMT or propose mitigation for VMT but would require environmental review pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for other topic areas.

The Board also directed that the previously prepared Local Mobility Analysis for discretionary projects would be used to evaluate road operations, safety, and access. This has been reduced from the previous type of traffic analysis done based on Level of Service prior to the implementation of SB 743, the law requiring VMT analysis, in that the area evaluated is limited to a few intersections around the project with the primary focus of safety and not traffic. 

To implement the Board’s direction, the TSG requires a 30-day public review period. The TSG will be available for public review beginning on Thursday, May 12, 2022 to Monday, June 13, 2022 at the link below:

Public Review Website

Comments on the proposed Transportation Study Guide must be received no later than June 13, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. (a 30 day public review period). Staff will be conducting outreach leading up to and during the public review of the TSG and are available to meet and answer any questions you may have regarding VMT or the TSG. Stakeholders who wish to request a meeting with County staff, can contact Bruno Cavalieri at bruno.galvaocavalieri@sdcounty.ca.gov or 619-323-8864.

Staff will also be holding a public meeting regarding the TSG on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 at 6PM, at the County Operations Center Chambers, 5520 Overland Avenue, San Diego, CA 92123. Staff will also be hosting a virtual meeting on June 1, 2022 at 6PM. Information regarding the virtual meeting is available below. 

Following the 30-day public review period, staff will present the TSG to the Planning Commission and then return to the Board for consideration.

For more information regarding VMT or to view the infill area maps or minute order form the Board meeting, visit: https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/pds/SB743.html

If you have any questions, or if you would like to request language services other than English or Spanish for the upcoming workshop, please contact Bruno Cavalieri at bruno.galvaocavalieri@sdcounty.ca.gov or at the following phone number: 619-323-8864.  

Meeting Information:

Staff will be holding an in-person public meeting regarding the TSG on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 at 6PM, at the County Operations Center Chambers, 5520 Overland Avenue, San Diego, CA 92123.

Staff will be hosting a virtual meeting via Zoom on Wednesday, June 1, 2022 at 6PM:

June 1, 2022 Workshop Powerpoint Slides

Join Zoom Meeting:
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86979479019?pwd=RjNQVzRPM2Z5Ylljc29jc3BnWGtXUT09

Meeting ID: 869 7947 9019
Passcode: 324959
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Update Regarding Transportation Study Guide

On February 9, 2022, the Board of Supervisors (Board) directed staff to update the County’s Transportation Study Guide (TSG) and return to the Board for adoption within 6 months with identified thresholds for land development projects within the County to meet new CEQA requirements under SB 743 for VMT.  The Board directed staff to establish a new standard for VMT analysis based on the regional VMT average, which includes the entire San Diego County region, including the cities. The Board also provided direction to establish infill areas where no VMT analysis or mitigation would be required.

The following link to the County Board of Supervisor’s Minute Order #7 details action items related to the Phase 1 update for the TSG, as well as Phase 2 items as part of the County’s overall implementation efforts associated with SB 743:

Minute Order

Board of Supervisors Agenda Website

Provided is a link to the map of the Board’s selected geographic areas that will not be subject to VMT analysis or mitigation.

Link to Map

Draft SB743 Interactive Mapping Tool (Updated 5/25/22)

For more information please contact:

Damon Davis
PDS.LongRangePlanning@sdcounty.ca.gov 
(858) 505-6677 

Sustainable Land Use Framework Options

As part of the Board direction related to updating guidelines for VMT analysis during their February 9 hearing, the Board directed staff to return within 120 days with options to inform the development of a sustainable land use framework. Options for this process would include the following: identification of principles for sustainable development that could inform future land use decisions; and comparison of planning mechanisms to implement Board directed principles, including zoning overlays, specific plans, community plan updates, or a general plan update.

Sustainable Land Use Framework Public Workshop

We want to hear from you! What do you think a safe, healthy, and vibrant community looks like in the future? As part of the County Board of Supervisors (Board) February 9th direction (Item #7), County staff was asked to develop options to inform the development of a Sustainable Land Use Framework. This framework would take into account various community needs including economic, social,  development, and environmental needs and may inform future decision-making in the unincorporated area.

PDS will be holding a virtual public meeting to hear what you think. For more details, please see the information below. 

To view the introductory public workshop video, please click below.

Check out this slide presentation on the themes we identified through Round one of outreach for the Sustainable Land Use framework.


To sign up for updates on this sustainable land use framework options process, please click here to subscribe.

For more information please contact:

Meg Diss
PDS.LongRangePlanning@sdcounty.ca.gov 
(858) 505-6677 

To sign up for e-mail updates on this effort, please click here.