Elk Grove officials won't be doing anything to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in the city anytime soon.
Amid worries of discouraging businesses and increasing prices on new construction, the Elk Grove City Council on Wednesday rejected a proposed Climate Action Plan and sustainability addition to the city's General Plan. The council asked for the plans to be revised and resubmitted by the committee that wrote them, with input from the Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce and the city's Economic Development Corporation.
"We're not going to reach our greenhouse gas (reduction goals) by putting mandates on businesses or people," Council Member Gary Davis said. "Reducing greenhouse emissions is a good thing, but I think the way we're going to get it done is land use decisions."
The proposed documents before the city council could have required new homes to exceed state energy-efficiency requirements, mandated a portion of solar power in large new commercial developments, required new homes to be pre-wired for plug-in vehicles, possibly banned styrofoam to-go containers and more.
Davis said the best way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Elk Grove would be by creating more jobs in the city to reduce the distance residents have to drive to work.
Vice Mayor Pat Hume called the plan, which included several voluntary encouragements to conserve water or buy energy-efficient appliances, "a slippery slope" toward burdensome mandates.
"I'm not in favor of adopting the Climate Action Plan at all, ever," Hume said. "Let's throw it out and focus on the sustainability element."
The development of the Climate Action Plan and General Plan amendment is being funded by a federal grant that expires at the end of the year, city staff said.