Fresno Council of Governments (Fresno COG)
About Fresno COG
Fresno Council of Governments (Fresno COG) is a voluntary association of local governments, informally created in 1967 and formalized through a joint powers agreement in 1969. The agency undertakes comprehensive regional planning with an emphasis on transportation, provides citizens an opportunity to be involved in the planning process and supplies technical services to its members.
A policy board governs the agency; members are represented on the policy board by the mayors of each incorporated city and the chairman of the county board of supervisors, or their designated elected official. A policy advisory committee, composed of the chief administrative officer of each member agency, assists the policy board in its decision-making process. The decision process is also assisted by expert staff from member agencies, citizen and interest groups and other stakeholders.
Members: Fresno County; Cities of Clovis, Coalinga, Firebaugh, Fowler, Fresno, Huron, Kerman, Kingsburg, Mendota, Orange Cove, Parlier, Reedley, San Joaquin, Sanger and Selma
Transportation and SB 375
Regional Transportation Plan
Fresno COG’s Regional Transportation Plan 2035 outlines a 25-year course for transforming the Fresno County region’s transportation system (adopted in 2011). The overall goal is to plan sustainably, with purpose and direction, helping Fresno move forward to accommodate the projected area growth that will result in more people, vehicles, commercial and residential construction.
Sustainable Communities Strategy
Each region in California, including the eight counties of the Central Valley, is required to complete a long-term Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) under Senate Bill 375 (SB 375). SCS’s coordinate land use, housing and transportation planning to reduce the amount people must drive in order to attain greenhouse gas reduction targets. Targets for the entire San Joaquin Valley are a five percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per capita by 2020 and a 10 percent reduction by 2035 (relative to 2005 levels).
The eight counties of the San Joaquin Valley are coordinating on some aspects of these planning efforts to maximize resources, however each metropolitan planning organization (MPO), including Fresno COG, is developing a separate plan.
Public Participation Plan
Fresno COG’s public participation plan was adopted in March 2012. The plan lists six objectives for involving the public in creating Fresno’s RTP and a list of criteria that the agency will use to determine how well it is meeting these goals. The plan also describes nine specific outreach strategies that the agency will employ to develop the RTP.
In September 2012, Fresno COG adopted a supplemental 2014 Regional Transportation Plan Public Outreach Strategy, which more specifically spells out the public participation strategies Fresno COG is planning to use for SCS outreach.
As mandated by State law, each MPO is required to develop its own Regional Housing Needs Allocation Plan (RHNA) to plan for future housing needs of the region. Fresno COG is currently undergoing a revision of its RHNA, which will be updated in 2013.
Other Programs and Projects
The San Joaquin Valley Greenprint project seeks to assemble the perspectives of the residents of the region into a shared vision, and to identify a series of strategies for the conservation and management of
the region’s land, water and living resources through extensive public input.
The Environmental Justice Task Force is a newly created committee that meets quarterly in order to help low-income and minority populations become engaged in transportation decision making. They seek to promote environmental justice through meaningful and fair treatment of all people.