In September 2013, the Governor of California approved Senate Bill (SB) 743, new legislation which revises the method in which the traffic impacts for the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) are evaluated. In 2018, the California Office of Planning and Research (OPR) proposed, and the California Natural Resources Agency certified and adopted, new CEQA Guidelines section 15064.3 that identifies vehicle miles traveled (VMT), meaning the amount and distance of automobile travel attributable to a project, as the most appropriate metric to evaluate a project's transportation impacts on the environment rather than the Level of Service (LOS) as a measurement of traffic delay.
What is VMT? (Video)
The El Dorado County Transportation Commission (EDCTC) contracted with the firm of Fehr & Peers to prepare the El Dorado County and City of Placerville SB 743 Implementation Plan. The purpose of this project was to help EDCTC partner agencies understand the specific questions that need to be addressed when making these determinations and to provide research, analysis, and other evidence to support their final SB 743 implementation decisions. The data collected by Fehr & Peers for the implementation plan indicates that the use of the west slope of the unincorporated County as a boundary supports the VMT reduction goals of SB 743 by promoting development in designated areas with facilities and services and thus would result in shortened trip lengths, lower VMT, and reduced GHG emissions. A link to the plan is below.
The El Dorado County Travel Demand Model was updated and peer reviewed by an independent third party transportation firm in order to create a model that best reflects the unique conditions of El Dorado County, including the prevention of truncated trips outside the model limits. With these updates and review, El Dorado County Travel Demand Model is the most reliable model for establishing the significance thresholds and screening tools for the VMT transportation analysis for most projects.
Adoption of the VMT Thresholds of Significance for analyzing transportation impacts for land use projects was passed and adopted by the Board of Supervisors on October 6, 2020 (Item #16) via
Resolution 141-2020 (PDF)
Department of Transportation recommending the Board approve and authorize the Chair to sign Resolution 141-2020 that provides direction on the County’s application of the methodology, significance thresholds, mitigation measures and exemptions for implementation of Senate Bill 743 for land use projects.
Department of Transportation recommending the Board:1) Receive the workshop information on implementation of Senate Bill 743 which was intended to ensure that the environmental impacts of traffic, such as noise, air pollution, and safety concerns, continue to be properly addressed and mitigated through the California Environmental Quality Act;2) Provide direction on the County’s application of the methodology, significance thresholds, mitigation measures and exemptions; and3) Approve and authorize the Chair to sign the letter to Governor Newsom, requesting an extension of two years to implement SB 743.
Department of Transportation recommending the Board:1) Receive the workshop information on implementation of Senate Bill 743 which was intended to ensure that the environmental impacts of traffic, such as noise, air pollution, and safety concerns, continue to be properly addressed and mitigated through the California Environmental Quality Act; and2) Provide direction on the County’s application of the significance thresholds and potential mitigation measures.
Department of Transportation recommending the Board receive and consider action on three Technical Memoranda regarding policy issues pertaining to the Major Update of the Traffic Impact Mitigation (TIM) Fee Program and the Capital Improvement Program (CIP). Staff is recommending that the Board:1) Receive Technical Memorandum 1A: VMT (Vehicle Miles Traveled) Based EDU (Equivalent Dwelling Units) Rates and consider adopting the methodology into the TIM
program (Attachment A); and2) Receive Technical Memorandum 1B: Fee Rates by Size of Single-Family Unit and consider adopting the methodology into the TIM
Fee program (Attachment B); and3) Receive Technical Memorandum 1C: Age-Restricted Fee Category and continue the use of the age-restricted categories in the TIM
Fee program (Attachment C); and4) Receive and file the proposed schedule for the Major Update to the TIM Fee Program and the CIP (Attachment D).
Community Development Agency, Long Range Planning Division, recommending the Board:
1) Submit a letter of endorsement for Sacramento Area Council of Governments' Grant Proposal for the Senate Bill 743 Implementation Tools for Local Agencies Project under the State of California Department of Transportation's Sustainable Transportation Planning Grant Program, Strategic Partnerships; and
2) Approve El Dorado County being listed as a partner in Sacramento Area Council of Governments' Grant Application.
Resolution 141-2020 (PDF)
Legislative Text of SB 743
El Dorado County and City of Placerville SB 743 Implementation Plan (6/30/20 board item attachment)
OPR Technical Bulletin:
Technical Advisory on Evaluating Transportation Impacts in CEQA (PDF)