In a reassuring affirmation of its commitment to responsible growth, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments' board on Thursday voted unanimously for a resolution supporting the Blueprint, SACOG's prize-winning growth strategy.
The resolution showed that even new members of the SACOG board including some not around when the Blueprint was adopted have recognized its value in guiding regional growth and avoiding conflicts with environmental laws.
The resolution also provided a much-needed boost for SACOG's beleaguered staff. Its planners have been the targets of a ham-handed campaign by a group called Region Builders that had hoped to limit the staff's ability to comment, pro or con, on development projects.
The resolution restates principles and practices in place since SACOG approved the Blueprint nearly nine years ago. "Land-use decisions," it says, "are solely within the power of cities and counties." But it also makes clear that staff can continue to provide "written and verbal communication to SACOG members" about proposed developments and whether they are consistent with the Blueprint, SACOG's transportation plan and with state law.
Because they hold ultimate land use authority, elected officials are free to ignore SACOG staff warnings. Sacramento County supervisors did so when they unwisely approved the Cordova Hills development earlier this year. But the region should be proud to have a group of planners who are looking for cooperative ways to balance the needs of cities, counties, transportation, agriculture and open space. Thursday's resolution was a demonstration of that pride.