Inspiring leadership and action for an environmentally sustainable, socially equitable, and economically prosperous community.
Held July 15, 2000
Petaluma Community Center
Sponsored by the Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy
REPORT OF TOPIC GROUPS
Topic: Smart Fit; Possible Paths and Obstacles to Dramatic Reductions in Population and Consumption.
Convenor: Eric Storm
Participants: Eric Storm, Mark Flum, Mark Green, Nancy Henry, Barbara Tomin, Rick Theis, Rabon Saip, Bonnie Miller, Elizabeth Zernik, Anne Seeley, Don Sanders, Betty Smith, Sky Chaney, Eileen Malloy, Daniel Solnit, Will Shonbrun, Jane McMaster
(1) need for community building within the diversity of the county.
(2) Links between what appear to be opposing sides
(3) Political, economic, and human answers to how we can protect the natural environment.
(4) More cooperation between groups with aligned purposes.
(5) Building respect among land-use/transportation people.
(6) Triage. Where do we put our energy and resources to the best use?
(7) Good to hear others actions/thinking about this, but do not be seduced by the thought that others will do it for me.
(8) Everything expressed today is interconnected.
(9) One step leads to another. The snowball effect will work in our favor.
(10) Been in Sonoma County a long time, seeing some action is great.
(11) The quality of thinking in Sonoma County has improved dramatically since 1985.
(12) These ideas need to be more available to more people, and give them a voice.
(13) Complexity is our solution. As we solve one problem we solve the all. For example: Take back control of local government, bypass press democrat as a media source, broaden coalition among whole community
(14) Great to experience the wonderful minds here today, the vigor of the young
(15) Action is important, often requiring a mover.
(16) Great to hear the diversity of views around this topic.
Topic: Building Communities: Livable, Walkable, Served By Good Transit With Mixed Use Development.
Convenor: Rick Theis
Participants: Jane McMaster, Dan Clemens, Karen Schill, Jim Ryan, Hank Fluer, Lynn Camhi, Eileen Maloy
(1) Better public transit
(2) Eliminate cars from some downtown streets
(3) More pedestrian friendly walkways
(4) Employers-transit passes instead of parking places
(5) Maximum # of parking places per acre not minimum #
(6) Pay for all parking, even at "malls" and shopping centers
(7) Better regional bus transit
(8) Developers and businesses should pay fees for public transit
(9) Public transit should be free
(11) Community designed for living a sustainable lifestyle
Topic: Downtown Development; Physical Concept Plan, Density, Mixed Use
Convenor: Keith Kaulum
Participants: Geoff Cartwright, Gail Napell, Gin Pittler, Jim Ryan, May Huddleston
(1) People in Sonoma open to high-density development downtown as trade off for avoiding sprawl.
(2) RE: "physical concept plan" as alternative to conventional zoning (downtown area).
(3) Allows proactive vs. developer driven development.
(4) Options limited as economics change
(5) Do not leave development of plan to planners and architects-include city staff and local developers.
(6) Watch carefully for conflict of interest.
(7) Mixed use now accepted for downtown.
(8) Contract development.
Topic: Parking, Housing, Open Space
Convenor: Bill Kortum
Participants: Joel Woodhull, Helen Blum, David Schonbrun, Lynn Samml, Geoff Cartwright, Ramona Mooney, Jerry Price
1. Major job centers should provide housing, to share the parking requirement. (Noika, Safeway, S.R.)
2. Infill-parking in front of home and work, not an entitlement; improve public transit, pay for parking
3. Industry to accommodate needs of workers help with infrastructure
4. Reduce construction; permit fee for high density
5. Take apts. off speculative market
6. Second units parking provided
7. Car sharing, smart vans, affordable rents
8. Sonoma county lifestyle being transit dependent instead of car dependent
9. City to organize forums to provide transit where people need it.
10. Provide incentives for transit by charging fees for parking (parking cashout)
11. To meet traffic flow mitigation use mixed use development
12. Mixed housing in transit corridors
13. Fees for parking to subsidize transit parking cashout
14. Planning codes to replace zoning (urban)
15. Mixed use at transit nodes
Topic: Floodplain Development
Convenor: Geoff Cartwright
Participants: Elizabeth Zernik, Zeno, Rick Savel, Jerry Price, Kathryn Mazaika, Heidi, Pat Geis, Iva, Eric Storm.
Outcomes: Evaluate the possible disasters of development pertaining to the following issues.
(1) development beyond the available water supply.
(2) Building in floodplains and creating flood disasters.
(3) Building beyond available infrastructure.
Topic: Transportation; Micro vs. Macro Systems
Convenor: Anne Seeley
Participants: Sky Chaney, Helen Shane, fed Fletcher, Jim Ryan, Kathryn Mazika, Bill Hammerman
(1) vanpool systems-public and private
(2) BART and ferry parking lots are full
(3) Public transportation systems can't be expected to be self-sustaining factor in externalities
(4) VPA's may come up w/ solutions
(5) Think "out of the box"
(6) Only 2 public transportation systems pay for themselves: SF cablecars and the San Diego trolley to Tijuana
(7) City of Petaluma subsidizes; fare is 1/3 real cost, along with rides. Petaluma: Smith Ranch Van Pool System, Enterprise Car Rental does maintenance rental
(8) Use GIS evaluation of routes most used?
(9) 117,000 riders/yr 1990, now about 193,000
(10) increase in fixed route transit
(11) more adult riders now
(12) Funded by TD (transit development act (5% sales tax fee per cap and farebox
(13) Could have vans for train depot to library, etc
(14) Alan Strahan-says smart vans for telecom co
(15) Too much put vans, ridership down for public transit; many members railroad B o D are Board TGG Transit.; UCSF underwrites van to Petaluma/SF Hospital, Santa Rosa Br Parks run vans to downtown at lunchtime.; Joanne Mouttrop: traffic dept, city SR-543-3336, to set up van service, call enterprise rentals; bikes: bikes on busses, bike trails-"public"
(16) What's happening in Davis, Palo Alto, boulder w/bikes? Farmers lane extension to hwy 101.
(17) "Old" days: ferries to SF and cable cars to SF; train/buses on rail tracks
Topic: Traffic Management at Intersections
Convenor: Robert B Tanner
Participants: David Adams, Sam Spooner, Berry Bussewitc, Joel Woodhull
Shared thinking about traffic concerns, & people safety-delays: "quit pandering to the auto"
Topic: Evaluating Trains
Convenor: Sky Chaney
Participants: Nancy Henry, Karen Shell, Helen Shane, Dick Day, Scott Hess, Rick Theis, Robin Saip, Bill Kortum, Fred Fletcher, David Shonbrun, Bonnie Miller, Barbara Tomin Mark Green, Eileen Maloy
(1) evaluate rail over time. . . 30 years + because of land use imports.
(2) How to link transport and land use in a way that is politically viable?
(3) It's about changing people's lifestyle as we move into the future.
(4) 18% Sonoma County commute to Marin, 4% Sonoma County commute to SF
(5) Transit hubs where the people live; land use in transit corridors
(6) Have to find a way to get to yes
(7) Fare box recovery for trains about 30%
(8) Externalities -costs-of maintaining cars.
(9) Van pools cost efficient, flexibility of scheduling problematic
(10) Higher densities-efficient and popular transportation
(11) Busses on / off tracks-mileage savings
(12) How to get alternatives to public discussion and education
(13) Leapfrog development anathema to good transportation planning-no "isolated business campuses"
(14) HOV lanes-how useful are they? Bus ridership suffers with 2 HOV
(15) Rail to north coast for tourism
(16) Rail and feeder busses consistent skeds
(17) Is rail only an idea-will it work?
(18) Is it working elsewhere?
(19) Will city-centered growth work?
(20) RHI and UGBs
(21) 40% of people live within ¼ m of BART use.
(22) Where do we want people to live?
(23) Portland limited parking spaces downtown
(24) Mixed use near rail stations-including businesses that employ large work forces.
(25) How free market system effects trains-shift the market
(26) Externalities of cost of trains-more than just economics.
(27) MTC plan: TOD-parking-savings-air quality-less sprawl
(28) Evaluate trains compared to massively supporting automobiles.
(29) Externality-include cost of highway accidents
(30) What are cities doing to accommodate densities?
(31) Will rail force other goals-values?
(32) Use the tools we have for city centered growth
(33) Transportation micro-systems vs. macro-systems
(34) Busses-auto dependent
(35) Land use pattern ¼ acre lots-auto dependent
(36) Densities, location
(37) Transport options determine where we live
(38) Rail not reduce traffic congestion but = options
Topic: Petaluma-Novato Hwy: Let's Not Widen It-Restore Rail Service Instead
Convenor: David Schonbrunn
Participants: Duane Bellinger, Bill Kortum, Hank Flum
(1) Institute parking charge on employment sites
(2) Congestion is good for transit
(3) Provide good rail connections to work sites
(4) Consider narrowing existing hwy lanes and decreasing speed limit to 40 to increase hwy throughput
(5) Need SB merge lane from Lakeville
(6) Have hwy widening EIR study lutraq alternative (land use transportation and air quality alternative as adopted in Portland, OR)
Topic: Maintaining and Enhancing the Political Credibility And Electoral Effectiveness Of Sonoma County's Environmental Community.
Convenor: Mark Green
Participants: (partial; several late entrants not recorded): Sam Spooner, David Bannister, Ann Hancock, Don Sanders, Bill Kortum, Susan Bryer, Barbara Tomin, David Schonbrunn, Scott Hess, Larry Modell, and others.
(1) Lengthy discussion on the transportation issue as it is used to undermine environmental candidates, esp. at supervisorial level. MTC poll shows that 63% of public supports widening freeway Windsor- Petaluma, 67% Petaluma-Novato (87% support rail transit)
(2) MG posited that we as a community need to get transportation issue behind us because it is the only wedge the business community has to use with the public: public is with us on other environmental issues. Freeway is coming in any event; witness $150 million from CalTrans over the past year alone. Support for this analysis, but not by any means unanimous.
(1) It would be desirable to do a new poll to find out whether the public could be sold on a rail/transit only tax measure. If so, perhaps an initiative in 2002. If not, most participants suggested that we as a community have to figure out how we can get enough of us behind a combined measure to get it over with.
(2) New constituencies in the form of high-tech industries may bring new perspectives and power blocks.
(3) Many recognize that freeway lanes alone don't solve problems and are embarrassed by their backing of Measure B/2000. "Green Welcome Wagon" for such firms could help us win their support.
(4) Exploration of alternate funding mechanisms should occur, but it should also be recognized that many working on this issue have been looking for years without finding one. Benefit assessment district? Job creation impact fee?
Topic: Psychology of Shifting Public Awareness
Convenor: Daniel Solnit
Participants: Barry Bussewitz, Joseph Durney, Eric Storm, Iva Jones, Heidi Hydusik, Bill Hammerman, Juan T. Lopez, Rubon Saip, Jo Anne Rouse, Barbara Tomin
(1) The Problem: Behaviors, Attitudes, Beliefs
§ Materialism: Attachment to "stuff"; guilt (lifestyle/privilege), avoidance, denial
§ Fear of having to give up 'goodies' (lower consumption = lower quality of life)
§ Culture of Isolation/avoidance/fear/suspicion (gated developments); lack of physical contact, genuine connection, generosity
§ "Rugged Individualism"-self-centered, not community-centered: "I got mine"-private property rights vs. collective good; leadership as authority (control, mistrust) vs. empowerment
§ Lack of cross-cultural perspective/experience; lack of inclusion-who's at the table?; who defines issues, public dialogue.
§ Entrenched institutions lagging behind popular culture
(2) The Shift: Beliefs & Attitudes
§ Communalism/collective thinking/shared resources; commitment to collective good, redefine self-interest (long-term, inclusive, sustainable, interconnected)
§ Replace (addiction to) material 'stuff' with community (what we really want)
§ Find our joy /excitement-more toward solutions (not away from problems)
§ Open the circle-more inclusive, get everyone at the table
§ Visible, concrete working models-need to see it work-to dispel fears/misconceptions about what is possible; use visual media-videos, etc.-need for dynamic, exciting presentations, use of humor and creativity (music, theatre)
§ Create cultural context-projects, events, space to come together & connect and/or be inspired, activated, celebrations
§ Continue dialogue with more inclusion, all of the community-committed out reach-different ways to participate (bike ride, meeting, clean-up crew); broaden the dialogue-"what will we (everyone) do about this?"
(4) How people change/commit:
§ Need for information-accurate, useful, in context; (need for our own media/communications-problems with PRESS DEMOCRAT)
§ Need to touch deeper level - emotional and cognitive - tap into persons' passion and compassion
§ Need for specific action: quick and convenient-make it easy to do the 'right thing'; chance to take personal responsibility
§ Need for visibility-to see each other taking action: public spaces (theatre/performance, tabling, meetings, etc.), stickers, signs, media and PR, consumer actions such as boycotts, etc.)
§ Importance of personal example to inspire and activate others; need to be positive; courage to be visible-talk to friends about your choices; show your passion, be committed.
(1) Info: access to (non-corporate) sources
(2) Awareness-"make the connections"-between personal choices and global consequences, between self and distant others.
(3) Belief that I can make a difference (empowerment)-that what I or we do matters
(4) Commitment-taking responsibility for creating change. How do we define self-interest? narrowly (me first) or broadly (injury to one is injury to all).
Other key aspects:
(1) Economic "bottom line"-cost vs. price, need to include social costs and hidden subsidies.
(2) What is the role of extremists?-to shift the 'middle-ground', legitimize reformists: need for both extremists and bridging (alliance building).
(3) Importance of reaching youth (instilling anti-consumer rebellion)-need for access to info, shift in education system (teach sustainability)
Topic: How Land Use And Transportation Are Impacted By Economic Patterns and Behaviors
Convenor: Jo Rouse
Participants: Pamela Tuft, Margie Helladin, Keith Kaulum, Larry Robinson, Jim Ryan, Dick Day, Ted White, Roban Saip, Hank Flum, Jerry Price
(1) Price of housing huge factor in location choices. Speculation drives up land/housing costs.
(2) Zoning and urban growth boundaries are planning tools that can be used to encourage development in the most appropriate locations.
(3) Look to Europe: some European cities do general plans with a 300-year time frame. Also look to Europe for public transportation models.
(4) Back to the future-more people working out of their homes, as opposed to "going to work", what are the options for transportation?---share cars, jitneys, bicycles, bus/trains, walk: most of these options are not available or practical at this time.
(5) Public transit needs to be a more positive experience, more personal, an experience of community as you go to work. More convenient. It is a SERVICE!!
(6) Trying to create and maintain a healthy jobs/housing balance a problem. Employers required to help in providing housing.
(7) Most people don't understand the economic impacts of their auto-ownership.
(8) Not just "driver's ed." but transportation education. All transportation options discussed. Are people/ will they be willing to accept the higher densities needed to meet housing needs and provide ridership for mass transit?
(9) Need more mixed-use planning.
(10) Echo boomers need to be included in the discussion. They feel that there is little they can do. We need to develop quality of life indicators or a quality of life element in the general plan
Topic: Impact of Big Money
Convenor: Zeno Swytink
Participants: Helen Shane, Fred Fletcher, Dick Day, Anne Seeley, Keith Kaulum, Nancy
(1) listed various kinds of impact: housing as divided into ownership $, rentals $, and mortgages.
(2) Russian River development
(3) Vineyardification, Mini-chateaux
(4) Gentrification of Entertainment (SSU music center vs. speedway)
(5) Change in the kinds of jobs in demand indirect effects on other jobs
Topic: Income Inequality
Convenor: Marty Bennett, Zeno
Participants: Marty Bennett, Annalis, Dalrymple, Daniel Solnit, Ramona Mooney, Helen Baum, Lynn Camhl, Larry Modell, Gail Napell, Rabon Saip, May Huddleston, Eric Storm, Bill Hammerman, Lauren Bell, Zeno, Steve Dyer, Craig Litwin, Betty Smith, Chuck Rinehart, Gina Pittler, Mark Green.
(1) Labor/Community coalitions to rebuild union memberships must we accept new jobs-how many, what will we require of employers in new permits?
(2) Redefine wealth and redefine education
(3) Social Cost vs. price of goods and processes
(4) Linkage/interaction between environmental and economic sustainability- social
sustainability and redefining wealth.
(5) Expanding movement, more diversity in discussion population stabilization vis-à-vis human consumption and ecosystem survival
(6) Labor council gathering to create living wage coalition in North Bay region. Background/info gathering, local government model? Public policy implications? Coalition building
(7) Living wage coalition organization meeting will occur in September.
(8) Growing class divisions: affordability of housing and renting vs. purchasing
(9) Segregation based on income
(10) Requirements for satisfying existing workforce housing need vs. new housing for upper income new residents - mandate all new construction to fit range of income levels of existing workforce before any more luxury homes can be built
(11) Build for needs of residents, not curb appeal; revise building codes to require ecological, non-toxic, energy-efficient designs and materials; develop financing resources to make alternative design & building methods viable for contractors.
(12) Cultural diversity, impact of seniors, inadequacy of public services based on income inequality, access to and focus of education, child care, access to healthy, local, organic food, campaign finance, and public financing.
Topic: Loss and Preservation of Natural Habitat
Convenor: Dave Bannister
Participants: Helen Shane, Heidi, Ramona, Chuck Reinhardt, Ann Hancock, AnnaLis Dalrymple, Flethcher, Marty Bennett, Zeno
(1) Growth: the real issue; consumption and population
(2) System a new needed. Real cumulative impacts
(3) Planning needed and needs to be really used
(4) Rights of Nature vs. private property rights: damage by access, preserving beauty does not equal preserving habitat
(5) Wildlife corridors: establish and maintain!
(6) Don't develop wetlands (Bodega and Cotati), and restore others (Laguna)
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for Ecology and the Economy