On behalf of The Silicon Valley Organization (The SVO), we are writing to support the new transportation impact policy analysis shift to Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) to comply with Senate Bill 743. By way of background, we are the Silicon Valley‚Äôs premier business advocacy organization representing 1,400+ companies that employ nearly 300,000 workers and we represent our membership as the region‚Äôs largest Chamber of Commerce.
In 2013, the State of California passed and adopted Senate Bill 743 (SB 743) which created a new regulatory framework so that local municipalities can no longer use ‚Äúautomobile delay‚Äù as a consideration when conducting a transportation analysis under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). SB 743 has changed the guidelines on how municipalities can assess transportation impacts under CEQA and to better support ‚Äúsmart growth‚Äù. The SVO supports a ‚Äúsmart growth‚Äù vision, through the proposed VMT policy, by streamlining a development project‚Äôs transportation impact analysis under CEQA. This policy encourages higher density projects to be developed along transit lines, with the desired outcome of reducing automobile travel throughout the city.
Furthermore, we strongly encourage the city council to utilize VMT as the sole method of transportation policy analysis and transition completely away from any LOS analysis. This will allow our members to better understand how the city will assess a project‚Äôs transportation impacts through a comprehensive, well-defined process. As the city transitions to VMT, it is certain to be a cumbersome process and we welcome the opportunity to provide feedback throughout the city‚Äôs VMT policy implementation phase.
The SVO urges Mayor Liccardo and Council to approve council agenda item 10.2 and support city staff‚Äôs recommendations for the policy transition to VMT.