Hannah Heineman, Mirror Staff Writer
Santa Monica’s City Council followed the recommendations of the City’s Sustainable City Task Force (SCTF) Tuesday by unanimously approving their Sustainable City Implementation Plan.
The focus of the plan is to help achieve the goals of the Sustainable City Plan (SCP). The City staff report states that according to the SCTF the “initial strategies to achieve the goals should be focused in three goal areas – Resource Conservation, Environmental & Public Health and Economic Development.” In order to achieve these goals, the City will be creating a Community Sustainability Liaison, producing Expert Forums to address innovations in sustainability and creating an “Economic Development Strategy to promote sustainable practices and attract sustainable businesses to Santa Monica.”
“The Community Sustainability Liaison will facilitate the adoption of sustainable practices in the community and engage diverse stakeholders, the Expert Forums will draw attention to innovations in sustainable practices and provide strategic tools to be utilized in Santa Monica, and the Economic Development Strategy will identify the necessary elements of a sustainable local economy for Santa Monica and provide a plan to develop it.”
The Council also amended the SCP to include the “Precautionary Principle which provides a complimentary framework to help guide City decision-makers in the pursuit of sustainability. The Precautionary Principle requires a thorough exploration and careful analysis of a wide range of alternatives, and a full cost accounting beyond short-term and monetary transaction costs. Based on the best available science, the Precautionary Principle requires the selection of alternatives that present the least potential threat to human health and the City’s natural systems. Where threats of serious or irreversible damage to people or nature exist, lack of full scientific certainty about cause and effect shall not be viewed as sufficient reason for the City to not adopt mitigating measures to prevent the degradation of the environment or protect the health of its citizens.”
The Council also amended the SCP target for greenhouse gas emissions. The new target is “at least a 30 percent reduction below 1990 levels by 2015 for City Operations” and “at least a 15 percent reduction below 1990 levels by 2015 citywide.”
Finally, this Council action called for a more aggressive diversion rate for solid waste which currently has a diversion goal of 70 percent by 2010.
In other action, the Council approved acquiring the property at 1632-36 5th Street for $7.6 million. The property could be used by the City for a rail transit terminus, public parking, affordable housing or supportive commercial uses.
The Council also made the following appointments to the City’s Boards and Commissions: Brian Strasburger to the Bayside District Corporation and Jeffrey Jarow to the Convention and Visitors Bureau.