Seven innovative projects across the six-county region will be honored by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) at the 2023 Sustainability Awards ceremonies at SCAG’s Regional Conference and General Assembly May 4 in Palm Desert. The awards recognize excellence and innovation in planning, land use and transportation to improve mobility, livability, prosperity and sustainability.
Ventura County will receive the Outstanding Achievement in Sustainability, SCAG’s most prestigious sustainability award, for its Agricultural Worker Housing Ordinance. Adopted last year by the Board of Supervisors, these regulations promote housing for agricultural workers, including temporary housing for seasonal farmworkers. It also expanded potential locations for development of farmworker complexes, closer to existing infrastructure and services, and added new permitting and development standards for all agricultural worker housing types to ensure the development of quality housing and to minimize impacts to agricultural land.
SCAG is also introducing a new award named for the late Ventura County Supervisor Carmen Ramirez, who was tragically killed in 2022 after a lifetime of championing sustainability. The inaugural recipient of the Carmen Ramirez Award for Equity is a unique partnership between the City of Rialto and the Inland Empire Utility Agency (IEUA) whereby Rialto will sell a portion of its recycled water supply to IEUA, which, in turn, will fund the design, construction and operation of a pipeline, pump station and connection between the wastewater plant and the agency’s own recycled water distribution system.
Other 2023 Sustainability Award winners are:
Plan, Policy and Programs Award: Envision San Jacinto, a multi-faceted long-range planning program designed to improve the quality of life for the citizens of San Jacinto by identifying and capitalizing on the community’s strengths and opportunities while taking proactive steps to address perceived weaknesses and possible threats.
Clean Cities: Alternative Fuels & Infrastructure: City of San Bernardino Clean Fleet Project, which established a framework for transitioning the City’s fleet from conventionally powered vehicles to zero- to low-emission vehicles.
Active, Healthy and Safe Communities Award: Lynwood Urban Bike Trail, a project that converted undeveloped Caltrans excess land into a Class 1 Bicycle Trail in the City of Lynwood and created new multi-benefit public open space.
Green Region Initiative Award: Pacoima Cool Community Project, which provided much-needed urban cooling by applying cool pavement on dark and hot asphalt surfaces throughout the city.
Housing Innovation Award: Legacy Square, a transit-oriented, mixed-use, affordable housing development that will replace two underutilized buildings with high-quality affordable apartment homes and flexible space, bringing new investment to downtown Santa Ana.