Regional Planning: San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG)

SANDAG’s 2050 Regional Transportation Plan & Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS)


The Issue/ChallengeRegional Planning Icon SCLC

The San Diego Association of Governments’ (SANDAG) 2050 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) was adopted in October of 2011 by the SANDAG Board of Directors. SANDAG was the first MPO in California to produce and adopt an RTP with a Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS), as is now required after the adoption of SB 375 in 2008. The adopted RTP/SCS integrates land use, transportation, housing, and environmental planning strategies that will achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets as called for under Senate Bill 375 (SB 375), enacted in 2008. Specifically, the RTP/SCS provides a plan by which SANDAG will achieve its regional GHG emissions reduction targets as set by the California Air Resources Board. SANDAG’s 2050 Plan exceeds its CARB target for 2020 of 7% by reducing GHG emissions 14% that year and the plan meets the 2035 target of 13%.

Despite the fact that SANDAG’s 2050 RTP meets state requirements for emissions reduction and sustainable growth, and is the product of a very public and open process, a few environmental groups filed a lawsuit shortly after the plan’s adoption, challenging the validity of the plan on CEQA grounds. The California Attorney General joined the lawsuit (on behalf of the plaintiffs) in January of 2012. This lawsuit is being closely monitored by many groups throughout the state (both business and environmental) because of its importance to all future RTP’s & SCS’s statewide.



The Southern California Leadership Council’s Position

In October 2011, when SCAG released its final proposed 2050 RTP/SCS, the Leadership Council evaluated the plan and took a support position that reads as follows:

In evaluating SANDAG’s 2050 RTP or any RTP/SCS, the Leadership Council applied a consistent set of policies and principles related to good planning, to assure that the RTP/SCS is a smart, feasible, flexible, accountable plan that is CEQA compliant, economically sound and preserves existing employment and enhances job creation. SCLC finds the SANDAG 2050 RTP to be such a plan and, therefore, supports the implementation of the 2050 Plan in the San Diego region.