This overview has been provide courtesy of Bruce Cook . It’s a great overview of the process such an initiative may need to go through in your city. Chances are that your city has some sort of environmental plan in plan. This plan makes so much sense, if your city doesn’t have such a plan in place. It’s not that hard to speak before city council. All you need to do is let them know in advance that you’d like to speak and they will extend the courtesy of allowing you to speak for a certain length of time. In my case it was three minutes. City council can then make some sort of decision if they wish.
In 2010, the Aliso Viejo City Council initiated a proactive position on addressing climate change by authorizing City staff to begin work on the “Green City Initiative” (GCI). The GCI will establish goals, policies and implementation actions related to energy conservation, water conservation, vehicle management, transportation, air quality, recycling, land use and adaptation to climate change, and will include requirements for a greenhouse gas emissions reduction monitoring program. Partly, this is being done in response to State legislative requirements per Senate Bill (SB 375). However, the GCI is also about creating a more sustainable, livable Aliso Viejo. For the City, this is as significant a goal as is reducing greenhouse gas emissions within the City. Furthermore, the Green City Initiative also is intended to enhance Aliso Viejo’s ability to promote a healthy economic environment for residents and businesses in the City. We feel an enhanced “green” residential and business environment will attract and retain additional investment money and business income to our City.
At City Council’s direction, Planning Department Staff is leading the Green City Initiative process and will be producing the resultant Green City Plan for Council as part of the General Plan Update (GPU) process. Our City formed a Working Group to proceed with the Initiative and the ensuing Green City Plan, and a Green City Work Team to investigate and recommend ways the City can implement additional green, conservation and sustainable components into all Aliso Viejo municipal facilities. In recognition of community support and involvement being integral to the success of the Green City Initiative, the City Council directed staff to conduct a series of public workshops focused on the Initiative to encourage dialog about the Initiative. The workshops will be conducted throughout 2011. So far, there have been six workshops offered, with three more scheduled before the end of the year. Staff additionally created a “Green City Initiative” Website accessed through a link on the City of Aliso Viejo Website (cityofalisoviejo.com) that posts a variety of information related to the Initiative including status updates, information for residents and businesses about green products, financial incentives available for installing green appliances and upgrades, invites public questions and comments, and reports about the progress of further “greening” municipal facilities.
This is an exciting and ambitious endeavor being undertaken. Come and visit us at http://www.cityofalisoviejo.com/greeninitiative/. If you like what you see, or your curiosity is aroused, join us in our efforts in making Aliso Viejo an even better place to live, work & visit than it already is.
Bruce Cook, director of planning services for Aliso Viejo