Backgrounder on San Marcos Environmental Justice Element
Why an EJ Element?
Senate Bill 1000 (SB 1000), the Planning for Healthy Communities Act, was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on September 24, 2016, mandating that cities and counties with disadvantaged communities (defined on the following page) adopt an environmental justice (EJ) element or integrate EJ goals, objectives, and policies into other elements of their General Plans, with the intent to create healthier cities and counties by protecting sensitive land uses and prioritizing the needs of disadvantaged communities.
San Marcos has released their draft element: San Marcos Draft Environmental Justice Element
It states it commits to “ Working with community stakeholder and regional partners, the City of San Marcos looks forward to promoting a more equitable, safe, and healthy lifestyle for all residents.” We will share information in the future on how the public can weigh-in.
This Environmental Justice Element includes these priorities and offers policies in each:
- Reduce Pollution Exposure and Improve Air Quality
- Promote Access to Public Facilities
- Healthy Food Access
- Safe and Sanitary Homes
- Promote Physical Activity
- Promote Civil Engagement
Sierra Club North County Group (NCG) filed this comment letter
Our priorities were to amend the draft SM EJ element to
- Designate, specifically, the areas that are most vulnerable and in need of priority attention and investment.
- Prevent housing within 500 feet of a freeway
- Strengthen actions in the plan (e.g. move from ‘encourage’ and ‘discourage’ to ‘Require’ and ‘Prohibit’ in the most critical policies.
- Adopt stronger policies to advance green infrastructure
- Embed equity and center community voices in decision-making
- Adopt anti-displacement and tenant protection policies
- Adapt relevant policies from the Environmental and Housing Justice Policy Platform
Fact Sheet from Jurupa Valley on benefits of an EJ Element and outlining a good process for creating one.
National City EJ Element developed with significant community involvement of Environmental Health Coalition and residents
Calenviroscreen maps from 3.0 and 4.0 for San Marcos