About the Sustainable Land Use Committee

The Sustainable Land Use Committee (SLU) promotes great, walkable neighborhoods which group new homes, jobs, and shops near transit stations and corridors.  New development in our region should reduce greenhouse gas emissions,  protect the natural environment, increase transit use, balance the job/housing ratio, move the preponderance of new development away from existing single-family neighborhoods, support cleaner mobility choices for local residents and businesses, and expand the range of choices and the variety of services available for all. 

We provide technical support to Cool Cities Teams and local environmental community groups by guiding them through local land use planning processes for projects and plans that pose the opportunity for the community to become more vibrant, walkable, bikeable, and transit accessible.

Why?  To reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from transportation (the largest source of emissions in the Bay Area) and reduce developement pressures on our open space and agricultural lands by focussing on infill development.

Our Vision for San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties is for new development within the 1/4 mile surrounding major transit stations (ie: Caltrain, BART, Bus Rapid Transit) and transit corridors (ie: El Camino Real, downtowns) to meet the following goals:

  1. Mixed-use, compact development - New construction with well-thought out design that meets high quality standards and provides affordable homes.

  2. Community and Economic Development - Vibrant neighborhoods that promote a high quality of life, as well as local family businesses.

  3. Walkable Communities - Pedestrian priority that provides a comfortable and safe walking environment with access to everyday needs.

  4. Transportation Alternatives - Bicycling and public transportation options that are safe, convenient, and accessible for everyone.

  5. Energy and Resource Efficiency - Create minimal waste and pollution during construction and throughout the life of the development.

 

Issues Addressed:

  • Environment - 50% of greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation, if we create great neighborhoods where people can easily meet their needs without a car, we can reduce this figure.  Additionally, building the city centers reduces pressure of development on agriculture and open space.

  • Equity - People of low income are more likely to take transit so it's vital to put them within walking distance of major transit stations, a major push of our campaign.  Additionally, planning our cities better will make it possible for people to lead more active lifestyles reducing high obesity rates.  Finally, reduced vehicle miles traveled also means better air quality and reduced asthma rates.

  • Economy - Lack of workforce housing in the Bay Area is one of the biggest issues for companies in our region and will continue to be as gas prices rise. Building more affordable workforce housing in the right places will improve the quality of life for employees, increasing productivity.

 

For details about our upcoming meetings, see our calendar page.