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Land Use & Air Quality

Land Use & Air Quality

Sprawl Growth

The design of our cities and rural communities can have great impacts on the quality of our air. Sprawl development isolates residential properties in areas far removed from employment centers and essential services. This, combined with poor neighborhood design such as cul-de-sacs, retaining walls and other barriers, increase dependence on the private automobile as the only means for staying connected.

traffic cul-de-sac

This vehicle dependence results in increased air emissions and long-term impacts on our air quality.

Smart Growth

Appendix E of the District's Clean Air Plan and the document "Creating Transportation Choices Through Development Design and Zoning" outline development practices that can improve our communities, reduce vehicle dependence and decrease impacts on our air quality.

walkable downtown compact housing

Recommended development practices include:

  • Building compact communities to limit urban sprawl;

  • Mixing complementary land uses, such as commercial services located within and/or adjacent to medium or higher density housing;

  • Develop core commercial areas within 1/4 to 1/2 miles of residential housing areas;

  • Develop residential housing areas within 1/4 mile of transit centers and transit corridors;

  • Providing a balance of job opportunities and housing within communities;

  • Increasing residential and commercial densities along transit corridors;

  • Orienting buildings toward streets with automobile parking in the rear to promote a pedestrian-friendly environment and to provide convenient pedestrian and transit access;

  • Providing a pedestrian-friendly and interconnected streetscape to make walking more convenient, comfortable and safe;

  • Providing good access for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users; and,

  • Directing new developments toward in-fill locations that provide development within the urban core and urban reserve lines.

Links

Community 2050 - SLO County regional planning effort

Ahwahnee Principles

ARB's "Land Use - Air Quality Linkage" Report

California Futures Network

Local Government Commission

Smart Growth Network

Sustainable Communities Network

CEQA Tools

Contact us for more information on this topic.