ESCONDIDO – The Escondido City Council met on Wednesday, March 10, to give final approval to the city’s updated Climate Action Plan (CAP), which outlines strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stay consistent with state requirements.
The city, which was one of the first group of cities to prepare and adopt a CAP in the San Diego region, adopted its CAP in 2013 as was required by Assembly Bill (AB) 32, known as the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.
Currently, there are no direct fiscal impacts associated with the update, but budget implications in future years could also include an additional full-time sustainability staff member added, or contractor equivalent, as well as staff resources and other direct expenses to support a Climate Commission and its meetings, according to the staff report.
At a council meeting back in February, a few councilmembers suggested incorporating an action on reducing plastic waste.
At Wednesday’s meeting, almost every public comment urged the council to adopt language concerning reducing plastic waste. However, the council decided not to add any such restrictions at this time.
Mayor Paul McNamara asked that an amendment adding plastic waste restrictions be put on a future agenda.
“What we are trying to do is acknowledge that plastic waste is something that we need to kind of work on. We need to send the right signal to the community that it’s important to us,” McNamara said. “I feel we should include some of the language that was suggested in terms of plastic waste.”
Multiple public comments also urged the council to adopt regulations regarding inclusionary housing requirements in the city. Escondido is currently the only city in San Diego County, besides Vista, that does not have an inclusionary housing requirement.
The council did not add inclusionary housing language to the CAP at this time, however city is currently conducting a sector feasibility study to determine fiscal implications of requiring affordable housing as part of development projects, according to Karen Youel, Escondido’s housing and neighborhood services manager.
The CAP also discusses a feasibility study that has already been commissioned by the council regarding the possible pursuit of Community Choice Energy for the city.
According to Mike Strong, Escondido’s community development director, city staff is about a month and a half a way from completing that study and presenting it to the council.
The council also interviewed candidates for a library board trustee position and Herminia Ledesma was appointed 3-2 to the Planning Commission.
Councilman Mike Morasco asked that an agenda item be added to consider the way Planning Commission members are chosen.