2020-2021 Sustainable Communities Program Call for Applications

Overview

Call for Applications ImageSince 2005, SCAG’s various sustainability planning grant programs (Compass Blueprint, Sustainability Planning Grants, Sustainable Communities Program) have provided resources and direct technical assistance to jurisdictions to complete important local planning efforts and enable implementation of the Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS), which today is called Connect SoCal. The 2020-2021 Sustainable Communities Program (SCP) will provide local jurisdictions with multiple opportunities to seek funding and resources to meet the needs of their communities, address recovery and resiliency strategies considering COVID-19, and support regional goals.

SCAG will release Calls for Applications throughout Fiscal Year 2020-2021 to select projects within different program areas and funding categories. This approach will support local jurisdictions and agencies with resources for strategies related to active transportation, transportation safety, removing barriers to housing production, smart permitting, and integrated land use, among others.

SCP Goals

The SCP aims to:

  • Provide needed planning resources to local jurisdictions for active transportation and multimodal planning efforts, sustainability, land use, and planning for affordable housing;

  • Promote, address and ensure health and equity in regional land use and transportation planning and to close the gap of racial injustice and better serve our communities of color;

  • Encourage regional planning strategies to reduce motorized Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, particularly in environmental justice communities where there is the highest need for air quality improvements;

  • Develop local plans that support the implementation of key strategies and goals outlined in Connect SoCal’s Sustainable Communities Strategy;

  • Develop resources that support the Key Connections as outlined in Connect SoCal, including Shared Mobility and Mobility as a Service, Smart Cities and Job Centers, Accelerated Electrification, Go Zones, and Housing Supportive Infrastructure;

  • Support a resilient region that looks to climate adaptation and public health preparedness as key strategies to address community prosperity, transportation safety, economic recovery and sustainability; and

  • Increase the region’s competitiveness for federal and state funds, including, but not limited to the California Active Transportation Program and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds.

Call for Applications

Active Transportation & Safety Call for Applications closed December 11.
Housing & Sustainable Development deadline extended to January 29, 2021.

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Housing & Sustainable Development

The second Call for Applications was released on November 9, 2020, with a focus on Housing and Sustainable Development related projects. Applicants can apply for any of the three project types below within the Housing and Sustainable Development (HSD) Program Area. More details about each project type, program area goals, and the SCP overall can be found in the Sustainable Communities Program Housing and Sustainable Development Guidelines. Please note that in addition to local agencies, cities, and counties, tribal governments are also eligible to apply to this program. The deadline for the HSD Call for Applications is January 29, 2021.

To learn more about the SCP HSD Call for Applications, please view the webinar recording from the December 2, 2020 Application Workshop. The webinar will assist agencies in preparing applications and provide additional information and examples for each project type.

To apply, simply click the “start application” button below. More details on each project type can be found below.

Start Application

Housing and Sustainable Development Project Types

Advancing Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Implementation

This project type provides planning assistance to help jurisdictions develop implementation policies and programs, including affordable rental ADU programs and ordinances, required for housing elements updated for consistency with State law. The most competitive applications will advance multiple planning goals; prioritize practical context-based need; utilize innovative or creative planning practices; result in planning products or programs that are clearly tied to accelerating housing production, community need and implementation; and can serve as “best practices” for cities in the region.

Examples of eligible plans include but are not limited to the following:

  • Creating tools to encourage the development of ADUs such as, handbooks, prototype plans and designs that can be customized to a local jurisdiction.
  • Toolboxes that include model ordinances, templates, checklists, and handbooks that help jurisdictions comply with land-use and planning laws such as density bonus, ADUs, supportive housing, reasonable accommodation, etc.,
  • Technical assistance to implement and update ADU ordinances, plans, or policies.

Housing Sustainability Districts, Workforce Housing Opportunity Zones, and Housing Supportive Tax Increment Financing Districts

This project type provides planning assistance to help jurisdictions implement and adopt Housing Sustainability Districts, Workforce Housing Opportunity Zones, and Housing Supportive Tax Increment Financing Districts.

Examples of eligible plans include but are not limited to the following:

  • Planning assistance to help jurisdictions implement AB 73, through the use of incentives to local governments to create housing on infill sites near public transportation, including fair housing analysis, identifying potential areas for affordable housing, and developing equity-based housing policies and programs.
  • Planning assistance to help jurisdictions implement SB 540, through the use of streamlining the housing approval process by having cities identify Workforce Housing Opportunity Zones and completing up-front planning focused on employment and affordable housing in areas close to jobs, transit, and result in reduced VMT.
  • Planning assistance to help jurisdictions implement tax increment financing districts that will result in accelerating housing production, through the development of infrastructure improvements to support infill housing and transit-oriented mixed-use development.

Objective Development Standards for Streamlined Housing, Prohousing Designation Program and Parking Innovation

This project type provides planning assistance to help jurisdictions revise and adopt Objective Development Standards, implement prohousing policies and programs, revise and adopt housing supportive parking policies and programs. Speeding up approvals and permit processing, including instituting programs that streamline or consolidate the review process, can speed up the production of housing in a community, and can incentivize infill development and affordable housing. Moreover, reducing parking, implementing parking pricing programs, and other parking innovations can also significantly reduce the cost of producing new housing.

Examples of eligible plans include but are not limited to the following:

  • Planning assistance to help jurisdictions implement streamlining the housing approval process by having cities revise and adopt ordinances, policies, fee reductions and programs that focus on accelerating housing production.
  • Planning assistance to help jurisdictions attain an HCD Prohousing designation, by implementing streamlined & objective development standards, and/or reducing development impact fees, to reduce housing costs for infill development and by encouraging by-right housing.
  • Planning assistance to help jurisdictions implement innovative parking strategies such as reducing parking, implementing parking pricing programs, and other parking policies that significantly reduce the cost of producing new housing.

 

Please Note the Following Key Milestones

Call for Applications Opens:

November 9, 2020

Application Workshop:

December 2, 2020

SCAG SCP HSD Call for Applications Deadline:

January 29, 2021

Proposal Review and Scoring:

February 2021 – March 2021

SCAG Regional Council Approval of the 2020 SCP – HSD Application Rankings:

March 2021

 

Application Resources

SCORING RUBRICS
PROGRAM WEBINAR

For questions regarding the Sustainable Communities Program, please contact Lyle Janicek at (213) 236-1966 or janicek@scag.ca.gov

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Active Transportation & Safety

The first Call for Applications was released on September 8, 2020, with a focus on Active Transportation and Safety (AT&S) related projects. Applicants can apply for any of the three project types below within the AT&S program area. More details about each project type, program area goals, and the SCP overall can be found in the Sustainable Communities Program AT&S Guidelines. The deadline for the AT&S Call for Applications was December 11, 2020.

Learn more about the SCP AT&S Call for Applications by viewing our Application Webinar, which were held on Wednesday, Oct. 7, from 1 – 3 p.m., and Wednesday, Oct. 21, from 10 a.m. – noon. Materials from the workshops are posted under the Application Resources section of this page.

Each Project Type has a separate application, and the links to the online forms can be found below. To apply, simply click on the link to complete the application.

Active Transportation & Safety Project Types

Community or Area Wide Plans

Active Transportation Focused Plans (maximum award per project: $500,000)

Applications submitted for this project type should support the implementation of the Core Vision: Complete Streets and Active Transportation strategies as outlined in Connect SoCal. All planning applications must meet the requirements of the Active Transportation Program, as described in Appendix A of the 2021 Active Transportation Program Guidelines (Cycle 5).

Examples of eligible plans include but are not limited to the following:

  • Community-wide Bicycle or Pedestrian Master Plans
  • Community-wide Active Transportation Master Plans
  • First-Last Mile Plans (active transportation improvements only)

The final deliverable for all plans must include the required components for a future ATP application, including project prioritization, conceptual renderings, and cost estimates.

Transportation Safety Focused Plans (maximum award per project: $250,000)

Applications submitted for this project type should include a focus on protecting people walking and biking but may also address vehicle to vehicle collisions. Examples of plans that may be funded include, but are not limited to:

  • Local Road Safety Plans
  • Complete Streets Safety Assessments
  • Safe Routes Plans

Safety Plans should aim to advance and leverage state and regional planning activities. Safety Plans are intended to help further the region’s efforts to reduce transportation-related serious injuries and fatalities and achieve regional safety targets. Information on SCAG’s safety targets can be found in the AT&S Program Guidelines.

Plans should be data driven and include recommendations for context-sensitive approaches for reducing collisions. Plans should be developed in close coordination with community members and stakeholders. Planning work will conclude with the preparation of a grant application for a project or program identified within the plan. To learn more about the region’s transportation safety existing conditions and safety targets, please visit SCAG’s Transportation Safety page.


Quick Build Projects

Quick Build projects are interim capital improvement projects that further the goals of the ATP and serve as design/build opportunities based on community-feedback. These projects require minor construction activities, support workforce development needs, and are typically built with durable, low to moderate cost materials. Quick Build projects may be implemented for one to five years. These projects have moderate design flexibility to anticipate adjustments that may occur due to community feedback or design challenges. The purpose of a Quick Build project is to respond to an identified safety need and implement safety treatments, enabling a community to benefit quickly from the improvements. Quick Builds facilitate opportunities for communities to provide input and test the project improvements prior to full project construction.

Examples of eligible projects include but are not limited to the following:

  • Active transportation infrastructure (protected bike lane, bulb-outs, curb extensions)
  • Multimodal infrastructure integration (dedicated bus pilot lanes and transit integration with active transportation infrastructure)
  • Public Pedestrian Plazas

Network Visioning & Implementation

SCAG is offering a network visioning project category to better position local jurisdictions to install targeted, complete, and low stress active transportation networks that can significantly improve safety, trigger economic development and contribute to sustainability efforts. Unlike traditional approaches, where the network is planned and built out over many years, one project or segment at a time, this approach develops a plan to deliver the entire network for targeted areas in a condensed timeframe ensuring there are no high-stress or unsafe gaps that compromise the travel experience. This project category prioritizes active transportation networks not as an amenity, but as essential and regionally significant transportation networks.

This project category will include development of a framework as a model for cities to work with SCAG and a consultant to conduct visioning and position cities to plan and install entire active transportation networks within a short- to mid-term timeframe, alongside thoughtful community engagement. The framework will identify and implement a phased approach for quick build pilot projects, identified through technical analysis and robust public engagement, prior to network construction, to take on the most “stressful” segment first and set up the network build-out in phases. The project will include the following elements:

  • Technical analysis
  • Public engagement
  • Education and advertising
  • Development of a Community-wide Active Transportation Plan
  • Phase 1 Quick Build project implementation
  • Evaluation

Applicants who wish to apply for this program are strongly encouraged to attend an Application Workshop and/or reach out to SCAG staff for more information.


Please Note the Following Key Milestones

Call for Applications Opens:

September 8, 2020

Application Workshops:

October 7 [View Agenda] and October 21, 2020 [View Agenda]

SCAG SCP AT&S Call for Applications Deadline:

Extended to Friday, December 11, 2020

Proposal Review and Scoring:

December 2020 – March 2021

SCAG Regional Council Approval of the 2020 SCP – AT Application Rankings:

May 6, 2021

California Transportation Commission approval of ATP projects:

June 2021

 

Application Resources

Template Scopes of Work (SOW)
Scoring Rubrics
Best Practice Examples
Program Webinar
Contact

For questions regarding the Sustainable Communities Program, please contact Hannah Brunelle at (213) 236-1907 or brunelle@scag.ca.gov

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Smart Cities & Mobility Innovations

The third Call for Applications is anticipated to be released in February, 2021, with a focus on Smart Cities & Mobility Innovations projects. SCAG hosted a Listening Session on Monday, December 7 to provide an opportunity for stakeholders to learn about the program and provide input on the project types. Please click here to access the Listening Session recording and view the PowerPoint presentation.

More details about each project type, program area goals, and program guidelines will be posted to this page once available.