Climate Action Plan Stakeholder Groups Brainstorm on Potential Greenhouse Gas Reduction Measures

CAPPlanning & Development Services (PDS) staff continues to implement the County’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) Public Outreach and Engagement Plan by enlisting numerous local stakeholders and regional collaborators.  Throughout the month of August, PDS staff met individually with business groups, environmental nonprofits, representatives from academia, and climate planning professionals to understand the climate planning priorities of each industry.

Stakeholders also participated in four focused sessions to collaborate on the context and vision for the County’s CAP.  These “visioning sessions” were facilitated by a consultant to assist the groups with brainstorming on the potential economic, social and environmental trends or factors that frame the County’s CAP and potential greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction measures.  These focused sessions were hosted at the County Operations Center as listed below.

  • Wednesday, August 17: Climate Planning Professionals Group including air quality specialists, landscape architects, land use/environmental planners, San Diego Association of Governments planners, Scripps Institution of Oceanography scientists, and University of San Diego sustainability managers, among others.
  • Thursday, August 18: Internal Working Group including Department of Public Works, Air Pollution Control District, Health and Human Services Agency, Agriculture Weights and Measures, Department of General Services, and Department of Parks and Recreation, among others.
  • Friday, August 19: Triple Bottom Line Partners including the Sierra Club, Building Industry Association, Endangered Habitats League, San Diego Gas & Electric, Cleveland National Forest Foundation, San Diego Housing Federation, Climate Action Campaign, Building Owners and Managers Association, and San Diego Food Systems Alliance, among several others. 
  • Saturday, August 20: Community Planning and Sponsor Group Chairpersons including vice chairs or community members.

PDS will also host two public workshops in late September to inform attendees on what was heard during the visioning sessions, and to solicit feedback on potential GHG reduction measures. The workshops are tentatively scheduled as listed below.

  • Monday, September 26, 3:00pm to 5:00pm: Regional Partners Workshop for public agencies, business organizations, environmental groups, community groups and other interested parties to contribute to the critical issues and enablers associated with potential GHG measures. 
  • Tuesday, September 27, 6:30pm to 8:30pm: Communitywide Public Workshop, or open house forum for the public-at-large to learn more about the County’s climate action planning process, to engage in face-to-face communication with specialists, and to provide input prior to the environmental review process.

This input and feedback will be synthesized and used to guide the recommendations in the development of the CAP.  The public will have an opportunity to engage in the environmental review process by participating in an Environmental Impact Report Scoping Meeting in late 2016.

Interested parties who would like to receive information about the project or help shape the CAP by engaging in outreach events may visit the CAP project website or contact Bulmaro Canseco, PDS Advance Planning CAP Project Manager, at CAP@sdcounty.ca.gov.


Comprehensive Renewable Energy Plan Technical Advisory Committee Meets to Discuss the County’s Renewable Energy Priorities

crepOn Wednesday, August 17, the Comprehensive Renewable Energy Plan (CREP) Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) met with Planning & Development Services (PDS) staff to help identify the most effective tools for promoting renewable energy in San Diego County.  During the meeting, PDS staff summarized the potential measures outlined in the consultant’s draft technical report, which was provided to the TAC and published on the CREP project website in April. The TAC and members of the public provided feedback on the economic, social, and environmental implications of the draft measures, and identified the County’s renewable energy priorities.

PDS staff also described how increasing renewable energy use is one of many actions the County can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and is one component of climate action planning. The County intends to provide a CREP to the Board of Supervisors (Board) for policy direction in late 2016, and a Draft Climate Action Plan (CAP) and Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for certification by the Board a year later in late 2017. Therefore, the County will receive direction on the renewable energy component of climate action planning in advance of finalizing the CAP, which helps streamline climate planning efforts and is unique from many other jurisdictions.

The County is taking advantage of this opportunity by aligning CAP and CREP project milestones.  For example, the consultant responsible for preparing the County’s CAP and associated EIR is helping PDS staff analyze how the CREP findings and recommendations align with potential greenhouse gas measures in the CAP.  In addition, the consultant is preparing an Executive Summary Report that refines and builds upon the draft CREP technical report, and summarizes information in line with the Board’s direction from September 2013.

PDS will solicit input during the next TAC Meeting and public meetings, which are tentatively scheduled for September.  Input and feedback from the TAC, members of the public, and consultant reports will be synthesized and used to guide the recommendations in the final CREP Staff Report to the Planning Commission and Board.

For more information about the CREP effort, please contact Laurel Lees, PDS Advance Planning Sustainability Team Manager, at (619) 346-2333 or Laurel.Lees@sdcounty.ca.gov.


Experience the Largest Electric Vehicle Test Drive Event in San Diego

EvExperience the 8th Annual Electric Vehicle (EV) Day, Saturday, September 17 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at Qualcomm Stadium, as part of National Drive Electric Week. This event is free and open to the public.

Over 30 electric vehicle makes and models available for test drives

  • Family fun – Kids will love driving mini-electric cars, presented by the San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation 
  • Displays and demonstrations that will help you learn everything you need to know about electric vehicles
  • Food trucks
  • DJ
  • Shaded tent area 

Already own an electric vehicle? Come put your car on display in our EV Tailgate Community! The first 100 EV owners to register will receive a free food voucher.

  • Displays & Demonstrations
  • Heavy electric equipment display

Learn about SDG&E’s new EV charging station program for apartments, condos, and workplaces and more

For more information, visit sdge.com/EVDay.


Supplemental Guidance to BMP Design Manual

The County of San Diego Best Management Practice (BMP) Design Manual, originally released in February 2016, will be going through an update in the coming months to address topics brought up by the San Diego County Copermittees (the County plus eighteen incorporated cities, the Port, and the Airport) since its implementation. The Model BMP Design Manual will be updated first and the County BMP Design Manual will follow.

Supplemental guidance is being developed for a number of topics to be addressed in the future update of the Manual. A web page with content has been set up and will continue to add content as it is developed.

Current handouts on supplemental guidance include:

  • Handout #1: Options for Hydromodification Management Plan (HMP) Flow Control Analysis
  • Handout #2: Manning’s “n” Values for Overland Flow Using EPA SWMM v.5
  • Handout #3: Supplemental Retention Guidance for Non-Standard Biofiltration BMPs

Handouts are posted here.


PDS Positivity Posse Gives Back - Staff Support Back Pack Drive Benefitting Homeless Children

backWith September comes the start of a new school year, and this year many children in need started their first day of school with a new backpack and school supplies thanks, in part, to the generosity of PDS employees who donated to a School Back Pack Drive sponsored by the Uptown Rotary and  Pacific Rotary clubs for Dreams for Change.  PDS’s Shelly Tregembo (Support Services Division) and Carol Gordon (Building Division) were on-hand to deliver the items donated by PDS staff to grateful families at the San Diego Safe Parking Lot location of Dreams for Change, with enough extra items to also benefit the Chula Vista location.

The Dreams for Change Safe Parking Program provides a safe parking environment as well as supportive services for transitional homeless people who are living in their vehicles. Family advocates construct an action plan with each participant that places an emphasis on permanent housing solutions, employment, training, emergency support, asset stabilization, and asset building.


PDS Staff Support Louisiana Flood Victims

Upon hearing that more than 30 inches of rain poured down in southern Louisiana causing damage or destruction to a reported 110,000 homes last month, PDS employees rallied to organize a bake sale and raised more than $300 for the Baton Rouge Area Foundation’s Flood Relief Fund.


Enrique Wurst Earns Accessibility Credential

enriqueCongratulations to Enrique Wurst of PDS Building Services for attaining status as a Certified Access Specialist (CASp).

Enrique, a Civil Engineer who has confirmed accessibility compliance on hundreds of building projects throughout the County, passed a difficult open- and closed-book certification exam administered by the California Division of the State Architect.  The exam tests a candidate’s understanding of hundreds of state and federal accessibility standards, including detailed construction provisions accommodating individuals with mobility, vision, hearing, or other accessibility needs.  The exam pass rate typically is less than 25%.

The State of California created the CASp program to improve plan review and inspection of buildings and sites for accessibility compliance.  Access specialists maintain their certification by earning continuing education units in training seminars covering accessibility standards.


Moe Zarabi Achieves Advanced Green Building Accreditation

solar moeMoe Zarabi of PDS Building Services has earned certification as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional in Neighborhood Development.

Moe, a Land Use and Environmental Planner, obtained the LEED AP-ND credential after passing a two-hour, 100-question exam covering LEED rating systems and credits, project coordination, and green building design strategies.  He attained the prerequisite LEED Green Associate certification in 2015.

 “I wanted to pursue LEED AP-ND to expand my professional growth and personal understanding of green building practices, particularly on the critical topics of sustainability and energy,” said Moe, who has reviewed and approved solar photovoltaic systems for more than 7,000 homes during his three years managing the PDS online permit program.

Moe’s next green building endeavor:  Pursuing a master’s degree in Public Policy at San Diego State with a research emphasis in sustainable communities and renewable energy.


Code Compliance - Before and After

Code Compliance received a complaint for graffiti alongside a public road. With the cooperation of the property owner, the graffiti was quickly covered.



Welcome Aboard!

ATAngelica Truong

Land Use Aide – Building Division

Angelica may already be a familiar face to some of you; she joined the County in September 2014 as a Student Worker in the Advance Planning Division. She now joins PDS permanently as a Land Use Aide in the Building Division. Angelica earned her Master’s degree in Public Administration in May 2015 from SDSU after earning her Bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Cal Poly Pomona. Angelica has already proven herself to be a valued asset to PDS, and we look forward to seeing her serving our customers on the front line.


SBSandy Banks

Land Use Aide – Code Compliance Division

Sandy may also be a familiar face to some of you; she joined the County as a Student Worker in June 2014, and has been a temporary Land Use Aide in the Code Compliance Division since March 2016. She now joins PDS permanently as a Land Use Aide in the same division. Sandy earned her Bachelor’s degree from CSU San Marcos in Liberal Studies. She will be providing administrative support to the division as well as customer service to our County residents. Sandy is already a valued member of the division, and we look forward to watching her career grow.


Did You Know?

bbbbbbb, bird, bird, bird, bird is the wordThe California gnatcatcher is a small insectivorous bird which frequents dense coastal sage scrub growth.  This inconspicuous non-migratory resident is most often seen flitting hastily into undergrowth, or heard giving its call, which sounds like a kitten’s meow.  In Southern California this species was listed as Threatened by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in 1993 due to increasing development in its habitat, coastal sage scrub.  This species is especially vulnerable as a metapopulation due to its small populations in a limited habitat often live in the prime land to be developed for housing and commerce that can be easily isolated and reduced in size.  Though some of its habitat has been saved in national forests and state parks, its population has been severely fragmented.  There are, however, ongoing efforts to preserve more open land in southern California to help ensure that this species will not disappear from its former range.  California gnatcatchers are a focal species in many regional habitat conservation planning efforts.

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