In April 2011, the City of Chico adopted the 2030 General Plan, which guides the growth and preservation of Chico. Many of the actions in the Climate Action Plan are mandated in the twelve elements of the General Plan. Implementation of the 2030 General Plan may arguably be the most important and efficacious action the City can take to reduce local sources of GHG emissions.
Strategies in the General Plan that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions include promoting compact, walkable, infill and mixed-use development; focusing redevelopment along transit corridors and at other central locations; promoting the efficient use of energy and resources; improving local air quality; directing waste diversion and reduction; and establishing energy and water conservation measures in building, landscaping, and municipal operations.
In particular, the Sustainability Element contains goals, policies, and actions that confirm and support the City’s ongoing commitment to reducing GHG emissions, including policies and actions directing adoption and implementation of a Climate Action Plan. This element identifies several actions for increasing energy efficiency, such as increased coordination with PG&E to provide education about reducing energy use, and consideration of a City-sponsored low-interest loan program for energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy devices.
The City can help reduce GHG emissions locally through the wise utilization of land. The Land Use Element, therefore, identifies and promotes efficient development patterns, including compact development, infill and mixed-use development, redevelopment, and complete neighborhoods. Growth consistent with the Land Use Diagram and policies throughout the General Plan will result in reduced contributions to global climate change, reduced reliance on oil and other fossil-fuel sources, and decreased per capita consumption of natural resources.
Additional goals, policies, and actions in the other General Plan elements directly or indirectly support the reduction of GHG emissions. For example, the Circulation Element promotes infrastructure that fosters walking and bicycling to reduce the need for single occupant vehicle trips and other transportation related GHG emissions, the Open Space and Environment Element preserves natural resources and helps improve local air quality, and the Parks, Public Facilities, and Services Element includes policies to reduce waste, and water and energy use. Goals from the General Plan that are related to Climate Action Plan actions are cross-referenced under each applicable CAP action in Chapter Three.