Pleasanton Weekly

News - August 19, 2011

Council OKs Climate Action Plan that regulates future energy uses

Plan expected to meet tougher state-required greenhouse-gas emissions rules

by Jeb Bing

The City Council approved a broad-based Climate Action Plan (CAP) on Tuesday night that could make Pleasanton "one of the greenest cities in California" in the coming years.

Nearly three years in the planning stage, the new plan is aimed at creating a structure of regulations and goals on environmental issues to conform to a new state law, called AB 32, which requires that cities reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020.

The Pleasanton CAP approved Tuesday also is being submitted in draft form to the state Attorney General's Office to make sure it meets a court-ordered directive to show that the city is complying with greenhouse gas emission requirements earlier imposed by Gov. Jerry Brown, when he was attorney general.

But council members, in their 5-0 vote in support of the CAP, said the plan also moves Pleasanton toward sustainability in the years to come as climate change and environmental concerns increasingly affect the quality of life for both businesses and residents here.

To reduce emissions and improve water resources, the CAP includes provisions that will encourage the installation of charging stations in the city for battery-powered cars, bicycle racks downtown, free visits to homes by experts to discuss energy improvements, free water-saving devices, lighting upgrades to more energy efficient bulbs, solar panels on municipal buildings and irrigation audits of residential and business water customers in the city.

Several more onerous suggestions, including parking meters and required energy upgrades for those selling their homes, are not included in the plan, although they appear to be still on the table if state energy requirements stiffen.

The CAP, several hundred pages in length, was prepared by Daniel Smith, director of Pleasanton Operations Services; Laura Ryan, energy and sustainability manager; and consultant Jeff Caton.

"Years ago, the city of Pleasanton made a commitment to protect our environment and make this the greenest city in the state," Smith said. "Back then, the terms 'climate change' and 'carbon footprint' weren't commonplace for most cities and states, or even for most people. We are pleased to say that the city of Pleasanton was an early adopter of climate-friendly, sustainable management."

Since embarking on a formal CAP, Smith and his team, including a citizens' Committee on Energy and Environment established by the City Council last year, have held public meetings in neighborhoods, with businesses and public workshops at the Civic Center to solicit ideas for environmental and energy efficiency improvements.

"We learned a great deal from the public that we were able to incorporate into this plan, "Smith said.

Some "heavy lifting" will have to be done by residents, businesses and the local government to achieve the plan's goals, which will require significant modifications in lifestyles involving water use and energy consumption.

One speaker at last night's meeting, David Stark, said he tore out his lawn at his Pleasanton home and replaced it with an attractive yard, designed by a land use architect, that requires no watering.

"What a great idea," said Mayor Jennifer Hosterman. "Let's see if we can develop a list of homeowners that people can contact to consider for their own improvements."

Councilwoman Cheryl Cook-Kallio said the job of meeting tougher environmental standard may not be as difficult as it sounds.

"Kids today are already thinking of the environment in almost everything they do," Cook-Kallio, a teacher, said.

Comments

Posted by Annapolis, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Aug 30, 2011 at 7:16 am

All of the "scientists" at city hall may want to talk with those crackpots over at CERN before they start pushing this program on the good people of Pleasanton.

Web Link

Web Link


Posted by Bill, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 30, 2011 at 1:00 pm

If climate change is such an issue, why would Al Gore buy a house on the California coast? He of all people should be worried that the Pacific Ocean will be lapping at the front doorstep of his $9,000,000 getaway home.

Or maybe he is the epitome of the modern day snake oil salesman.

It is curious that this guy wants to save the world from a few extra sunrays, but the tobacco grown on his family's farm has killed countless Americans to include his own sister.


Posted by Lugnut, a resident of Canyon Meadows
on Aug 30, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Could the Council just concentrate on Pleasanton, have the Mayor stop galavanting around the world on water and climate. Could the Council just stay local and concentrate their efforts on traffic, making Pleasanton a destination for business to set up shop, contain costs and encourage revenues and stop getting sued. Geez, such a simple thing to do. What I voted for----not all this other superfulous junk.


Posted by just saying, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 30, 2011 at 8:21 pm

"the new plan is aimed at creating a structure of regulations"

this alone confirms the concerns and fears I have re: CAP........more regulations imposed on the people of P town...as if the state and fed gov is not enough.............sigh


Posted by Shared concerns, a resident of Foothill High School
on Aug 31, 2011 at 2:05 pm

I can hardly wait...

"Some 'heavy lifting' will have to be done by residents, businesses and the local government to achieve the plan's goals, which will require significant modifications in lifestyles involving water use and energy consumption."


Posted by Deep Thinker, a resident of Birdland
on Aug 31, 2011 at 2:15 pm

I know! I know! What am I going to do when the city restricts my ability to water my weeds and concrete???


Posted by A Neighbor, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 31, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Maybe some of you have forgotten why the climate action plan was done in the first place. It was done primarily to be in compliance with state law and secondarily to fulfill one of the requirements of the housing cap lawsuit that the city lost.

This is not an example of our city council stepping outside of their sphere of responsibilities. In fact, it is exactly the opposite of that: they were acting on a mandated requirement.


Posted by East Point, a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Aug 31, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Who's this "A Neighbor" anyway? Why is he attempting to confuse everyone with the facts?


Posted by Annapolis, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Aug 31, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Can anyone tell me how many miles of street medians within this fair city of ours is filled with grass? How much money is spent on watering and mowing the grass per year? Thousands of dollars must be spent mowing and watering the grass on Hopyard alone! If city hall is interested in saving some water, why don't they start there by placing some low maintenance, aesthetically pleasing and low-water-use plants instead.


Posted by Dana, a resident of Amador Estates
on Sep 1, 2011 at 6:19 am

Let me make a wild guess. The fact that Climate Change is one of the biggest frauds of our time, in addition to Obama's eligibility to become Prez, has not entered into the discussion.

Climate Change is not about the climate. It is another reason to give more power to the almighty government and to line the pockets of government officials at the expense of the ordinary citizens.


Posted by A Neighbor, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2011 at 10:44 pm

For those of you who cannot get over the tag "climate", think of this as resource management. Start thinking finite resources, not global climate. And certainly skip over the whack jobs spouting conspiracy speech.

As for Hopyard Rd., a good portion of the landscaping there is, or was originally, owned and maintained by the Hacienda Business Park, not the city.


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