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Aliso Viejo “Green City Initiative” Does Not Pass

Posted by Chris Emami on March 20, 2013

I attended the Aliso Viejo City Council meeting this evening in the interest of following the vote on the “Green City Initiative” which was on the agenda this evening.

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Here is the staff report on the item:

Recommended Action

Staff recommends the City Council review this staff report, accept the staff presentation, approve the attached Resolution pertaining to the Green City Initiative, and direct staff to prepare an Initiatives and Implementation Measures Prioritization and Cost Matrix for Council consideration.
Background

At its March 6, 2013 meeting, the City Council continued this item until March 20, 2013. The purpose of the continuance was twofold; to provide staff sufficient time to complete a Matrix indicating general points of origin of proposed Initiatives and Implementation Measures and to conduct a presentation about the Green City Initiative at the March 11 AVCA board meeting.
Discussion

Staff has attached the requested Matrix to this report. The Matrix lists all proposed Initiatives and Implementation Measures and indicates the direct or indirect origin of each Initiative and Implementation Measure. The points of origin are divided into five categories: Assembly Bill 32/Senate Bill 375; California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA); Other State legislation (e.g. Governor’s Executive Orders, etc.); City Plans and Codes; and, Public Workshop and/or Staff generated.

In addition, staff conducted a presentation about the Green City Initiative to the AVCA board and general meeting on March 11, 2013. The presentation was very well received. AVCA’s board took no formal action.

March 6 Staff Report and Attachments

Staff has attached the March 6, 2013, staff report/attachments to this report for City Council review and comment. Staff also provided to Council at that meeting copies of comments sent by CityPerk, Sandra Leone, the Orange County Association of Realtors, and NAIOP- Commercial Real Estate Development Association. The CityPerk and Leone comments were supportive of the Green City Initiative and were read into the record by the Mayor. No staff responses are necessary. However, the Orange County Association of Realtors and NAIOP indicated they could not support the Green City Initiative because of what was characterized as staff not making changes to the document discussed at a January meeting with business

Recommended Action

Staff recommends the City Council review this staff report, accept the staff presentation, approve the attached Resolution pertaining to the Green City Initiative, and direct staff to prepare an Initiatives and Implementation Measures Prioritization and Cost Matrix for Council consideration.

Background

At its March 6, 2013 meeting, the City Council continued this item until March 20, 2013. The purpose of the continuance was twofold; to provide staff sufficient time to complete a Matrix indicating general points of origin of proposed Initiatives and Implementation Measures and to conduct a presentation about the Green City Initiative at the March 11 AVCA board meeting.

Discussion

Staff has attached the requested Matrix to this report. The Matrix lists all proposed Initiatives and Implementation Measures and indicates the direct or indirect origin of each Initiative and Implementation Measure. The points of origin are divided into five categories: Assembly Bill 32/Senate Bill 375; California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA); Other State legislation (e.g. Governor’s Executive Orders, etc.); City Plans and Codes; and, Public Workshop and/or Staff generated.

In addition, staff conducted a presentation about the Green City Initiative to the AVCA board and general meeting on March 11, 2013. The presentation was very well received. AVCA’s board took no formal action.

March 6 Staff Report and Attachments

Staff has attached the March 6, 2013, staff report/attachments to this report for City Council review and comment. Staff also provided to Council at that meeting copies of comments sent by CityPerk, Sandra Leone, the Orange County Association of Realtors, and NAIOP- Commercial Real Estate Development Association. The CityPerk and Leone comments were supportive of the Green City Initiative and were read into the record by the Mayor. No staff responses are necessary. However, the Orange County Association of Realtors and NAIOP indicated they could not support the Green City Initiative because of what was characterized as staff not making changes to the document discussed at a January meeting with business

In addition, Councilmember Munzing emailed questions/comments to be addressed. Staff is working on responses but will need additional time to complete such. All questions/comments received are attached to this report.

Conclusion

The Green City Initiative is a policy document dedicated to achieving overall goals the City Council expressed at the beginning of this process. That is, the Green City Initiative is focused on creating a blueprint for a more sustainable environment for Aliso Viejo residents and business through increased efficiency of energy and water use and resultant money saved. Another financial benefit of the Green City Initiative necessarily will accrue to developers who, without the Green City Initiative, would be required to conduct independent analyses of greenhouse gas emissions for each proposed project. After adoption of the Green City Initiative and insertion of its Initiatives and Implementation Measures into the General Plan, developers need only demonstrate consistency with the General Plan to avoid performing separate (and what could be expensive, depending on the scope of any proposed project) greenhouse gas emissions analysis.

Other benefits of the Green City Initiative include suggestions of ways to improve public health and thereby quality of life, enhancing Aliso Viejo’s ability to maintain a competitive economic advantage with other cities in south Orange County because an energy efficient “green” residential and business environment could attract and retain investment money and business income, ensuring Aliso Viejo would comply with State legislative requirements related to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and demonstrating the City is an example for members of the Aliso Viejo community and for developers by employing appropriate Green City Initiative Implementation Measures to maximize efficiency and use of resources in its municipal operations, activities and facilities.

Upon adoption, staff will return to Council with an Implementation Matrix that addresses priority, timing, and cost of proposed Implementation Measures.

Recommendation

Staff recommends the City Council review this staff report, accept the staff presentation, approve the attached Resolution pertaining to the Green City Initiative, and direct staff to prepare an Initiatives and Implementation Measures Prioritization and Cost Matrix for Council consideration.

A ton of public speakers from both sides attended the meeting and were involved in the public comment section of the meeting. It was fairly respectful in terms of decorum towards public speakers at the meeting. The meeting did have quite a feeling of tension though as some speakers were extremely passionate in the way they delivered their message on both sides of the argument.

Here is a recap of what Councilmembers had to say on the issue:

Mike Munzing- Talked about the additional water on the planet and talked about how he met with Congressman Rohrabacher and his science advisor and both the science advisors and Congressman Rohrabacher had concerns about AB32, questionable science in the report, and potential for future liability. My take was that Munzing is a really solid Councilman who clearly did his homework prior to the meeting and took a huge stand for liberty today (technically yesterday).

Ross Chun, Phil Tsunoda, and William Phillips- I have to be honest, I figured based on opinions I had heard from some of my Democrat friends that these 3 would have definitely voted for this item regardless of any public comments made very quickly. In all honesty these three councilmembers seemed to really take this issue seriously and really cared about what the members of the audience came out to say. I don’t know how they will vote when/if the item comes back but they seem to be open to what constituents want.

Carmen Cave- She had the best poker face of all the Councilmembers, it was hard to tell where she was at on this issue. During the public comment section she seemed quite displeased with all speakers on both sides. When/if this item comes back for the Councilmembers at a future meeting she might hint at where she stands on the issue.

The final decision was to continue the item with the recommendation to tell staff to go back to the drawing board and either say how long it would take to answer 244 questions that were asked by Councilman Mike Munzing or tell staff to give information as to the lowest requirements needed if this item were to be passed.

3 Responses to “Aliso Viejo “Green City Initiative” Does Not Pass”

  1. The use of solar panels and wind turbines is a big part of ‘going green’ initiatives. We all agree that buying oil from Arabs is bad but no one will discuss why it is so much better to buy rare earth minerals from China. Rare earth minerals are a critical part of making solar panels and wind turbines but mining it is causing massive human and environmental damage in China. Will we allow the mining here? Not likely

  2. Let the Sun Shine said

    The Answer to your question? Where does Carmen Cave stand on the issue of the “Green City Initiative”? Carmen would be for it” Professor Cave Has always been for Anything Sustainable! Big Time!! She will not say where she stands because she is afraid of what the perception of her will be Politically! Council women like Carmen Cave Are all about Control and Crony Capitalism! How would I know? Well lets just say she works as a Community Development Director in the city of Menifee, ca, Riverside way, Well anyway, Good Ol Carmen has pulled a few fast ones to “Go Around The Rules & System!” Carmen Loves All the difference ways She can USE the Big Agenda 21 type programs that benefit Crony Capitolism!! Yes, She’s a real Pro! She worked real hard on programs with council women Darcy Kuenzi & councilwomen Sue Chrisjansen To push Big Government on our city!! By the way this was part of the reason Kuenzi and Christjansen both got ejected in the last election! Just something to think about Carmen!! With love from the People of Menifee or as we like to say “The Real Government of Menifee ,a.k.a. We The People”) Now U Know Carmen just a little better!

  3. Community First said

    Let The Sun Shine, you seem to know our Mayor Cave pretty well. She has the art of deception and misdirection down to a science, hence the PHD after her hame. She incorrectly used the term Ex Parte to describe the ability for the city council members to hear public opinion. Wrong again, Carmen. Bill Phillips incorrectly used the Brown Act to excuse himself from a questionable trip out of state with Shea which would have influenced his decision on a planning matter. Phillips is obviously taking his lead from the mayor, hoping the public will not ask questions. Wrong again, Bill.

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