Built Environment and Transportation measures emphasize strategies to acquire open space and agricultural land, reduce single-occupancy vehicle trips, reduce the distances County employees drive for their commute, increase electric vehicle infrastructure in the unincorporated county, encourage mixed-use and compact community design, and encourage and facilitate the ability for people to choose other modes of transportation such as walking and biking. In addition, the County is working to decarbonize its fleet by transitioning County vehicles to alternative fuels such as renewable diesel and shifting to electric cars. Measures in this sector will help the County achieve reductions of 6,020 metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent in 2020 and 233,758 metric tons in 2030.
On September 30, 2020, the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors voted to set aside its approval of the County’s 2018 Climate Action Plan (2018 CAP) and related actions because the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (2018 CAP SEIR) was found to be out of compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). In response to this Board action, staff are preparing a Climate Action Plan Update (CAP Update) to revise the 2018 CAP and correct the items identified by the Court within the Final 2018 CAP SEIR that were not compliant. The 2018 CAP and EIR are being revised in partnership with residents, and business and environmental groups. The County continues implementing sustainability measures to effectively reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) as part of its ongoing commitment to the environment. The court ruling struck down part of the 2018 CAP’s EIR but did not find fault with its 26 GHG reduction measures. Learn more about the CAP Update.
Strategy T-1 – Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled
Strategy T-2 – Shift Towards Alternative Modes of Transportation
Strategy T-3 – Decarbonize On-Road and Off-Road Vehicle Fleet
Strategy T-4 – Invest in Local Projects to Offset Carbon Emissions
The use of fossil fuel powered automotive transportation is the largest contributor to the unincorporated county’s GHG emissions. The unincorporated county’s rural and suburban nature is characteristic of dispersed development, low density population, and remote travel destinations, which together contribute to greater vehicle miles traveled by residents than in our region’s cities. In 2014 (the baseline year of data used by the CAP to estimate emissions) on-road transportation made up 45% of all emissions from the unincorporated county.
- Open space acquisitions in 2021 created a new preserve in Campo and expanded the existing Escondido Creek County Preserve and Otay Preserve
- Acquired 1,022 acres of open space in 2022 and a total of 8,766 acres of open space conservation land since 2014 (CAP baseline year)
- Open Space acquisitions in 2022 expanded Simon County Preserve and Ramona Grasslands County Preserve. Additionally, it created 2 new preserves, Hidden Meadows County Preserve and Paradise Mountain County Preserve
- Preserved agriculture through the placement of easements on 2,135 acres since 2014
- Reduced County fleet emissions by 10% in 2022
- Telecommuting for County employees resulted in the avoidance of more than 36.5 million vehicle miles in 2022, or 23.6 percent of the total miles driven if employees had worked from their respective offices.
- Installed 369 miles of bike lanes and improved 228 intersections to create safe spaces for pedestrians and bicyclists
- Maintained a website thorough the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) listing online tools and funding sources for climate-resilient agriculture practices
Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easement
(PACE) Program: Received a National Association of Counties
(NACo) Achievement Award in 2022 (NACo Category: Planning).
To promote the long-term preservation of agricultural land in the
unincorporated area, the PACE Program compensates willing
agricultural property owners for placing a perpetual easement on
their agricultural property.
- EV Roadmap: Received an NACo Achievement Award in 2020 (NACo Category: County Resiliency: Infrastructure, Energy & Sustainability). The EV Roadmap identifies policies, programs, and actions to increase the installation of electric vehicle charging stations and ownership of electric vehicles in the unincorporated county.
- School Protection and Evacuation Plan: Received a NACo Achievement Award in 2020 (NACo Category: Risk and Emergency Management), which establishes a template for school administrators to create customized, locally focused wildfire preparedness response plans. (NACo Category: Risk and Emergency Management)
- Green Streets Guidance: Received NACo Achievement Award in 2020 for the development of green streets guidance that provides design and construction guidance on how to use natural strategies to reduce pollution and stormwater runoff within the road right-of-way. The County is the only agency in the region, and one of the few in the nation, to develop Green Streets Guidance. (NACo Category: Infrastructure, Energy, and Sustainability)