Last year, the BIA Southern California led a coalition of cities across our region to urge Governor Newsom to delay the July 1 implementation of the Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) mandate required under SB 743 – see digital campaign email below. The mitigation requirements to reduce VMT are generally unknown and we are seeking your input about any new city requirements that have been added to your residential projects related to this mandate. Please let me know if there are any VMT mitigation requirements that illustrate the additional costs added to your projects. For more information about the VMT law please click here to view a webinar we hosted for additional details.
On September 27, 2013, SB 743 was signed into law. According to the legislative intent of SB 743, changes to current California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) practice were necessary to balance the needs of congestion management with statewide goals related to infill development, promotion of public health through active transportation, and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The Legislature found that with adoption of the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008 (SB 375), the state had signaled its commitment to encourage land use and transportation planning decisions and investments that reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) and thereby contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), as required by the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32).
SB 743 started a process that will fundamentally change transportation impact analysis as part of CEQA compliance throughout the State. As of July 1, 2020, auto delay (traffic congestion) can no longer be used as the criteria for transportation analysis under CEQA. Auto delay has been historically measured through level of service (LOS) thresholds. Due to SB 743, LOS will be replaced with a new metric, Vehicle Miles Traveled. Note: VMT can be defined as the product of the number of trips and the trip distance for a project. For example, a project that generates 100 trips per day with a round trip distance of 10 miles generates 1,000 VMT (100 X 10 = 1,000).