Under California Senate Bill 1000 of 2016, “The Planning for Healthy Communities Act”, Sacramento County is required to adopt an Environmental Justice Element (chapter) for its General Plans, or integrate environmental justice-related policies, objectives, and goals throughout other elements of the General Plan. The law also includes a process for communities to become meaningfully involved in the decision-making processes that govern land use planning in their neighborhoods. In May 2018 the Board of Supervisors adopted the first part of its two-phased approach to implementing the law. The first phase took a broad approach to environmental justice issues. It identified specific impacted areas within the County - West Arden Arcade is one of four such areas - and their demographic characteristics as of the 2010 census, along with baseline environment justice concerns. For example, the Phase One work noted that at $34,132 West Arden Arcade has the lowest median household income of the four areas (that’s roughly half of the non-impacted areas’ median household income and 61% of the countywide average). As for baseline environment justice issues, Phase One noted that West Arden Arcade has some of the county’s highest traffic volume thoroughfares. That’s of concern because high volume roads are associated with increased incidence and severity of health problems like asthma, cardiovascular disease, impaired lung development in children, childhood leukemia, and premature death.
Phase Two, now underway, seeks more in-depth solutions for each of the four geographic areas. As part of that follow-up activity, the County has posted a new survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BV3VVKD. Though the survey could stand to be improved, perhaps the County deserves some credit for at least trying to comply with the state law. Hopefully this new phase of public outreach will lead to resolution of some of our community’s pressing problems. Must we tolerate a deteriorated land use pattern, an auto-optimized transportation infastructure, excessive liquor stores, abundant X-rated massage parlors, trash from homeless camping, and a widening gap between wages and rent? Do the results of the Phase One outreach meeting for West Arden Arcade represent your opinion? Please consider responding to the latest survey.