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Kern Council of Governments (KCOG)

Metropolitan Planning Organization Profile

About KCOG

As the federally-designated metropolitan planning organization (MPO) and the state-designated regional transportation planning agency for Kern County, Kern COG is responsible for developing and updating a variety of transportation plans and allocating the federal and state funds to implement them.

Kern COG also provides leadership in developing geographic information systems in local government and functions as the state-designated census data center affiliate for the Kern Region and the Kern Motorist Aid Authority.

The Kern COG Board of Directors is composed of one elected official from each of the 11 incorporated cities in Kern County, two Kern County Supervisors and ex-officio members representing Caltrans and Golden Empire Transit District.

Members: Kern County; Cities of Arvin, Bakersfield, California City, Delano, Maricopa, McFarland, Ridge Crest, Shafter, Taft, Tehachapi and Wasco

Transportation and SB 375

Regional Transportation Plan

The 2011 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) is a 24-year blueprint that establishes regional transportation goals, policies and actions that are intended to guide development in Kern County.  It was developed through a continued, comprehensive and cooperative planning process, and provides for effective coordination between local, regional, state and federal agencies.  It is designed to ensure that a balanced transportation system is developed, relating population and traffic growth, land use decisions, performance standards and air quality improvements.

Sustainable Communities Strategy

KCOG has released its preliminary Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) within the Preliminary 2014 Regional Transportation Plan.  The intent of the SCS is to achieve the state’s emissions reduction targets for automobiles and light trucks, by better coordinating transportation expenditures with forcasted development patterns.  The SCS will also provide opportunities for a stronger economy, healthier environment and safer quality of life for community members in Kern County. 

Public Participation Plan

KCOG’s public participation plan, adopted in May of 2006 and currently being revised, includes a list of best practice strategies to ensure broad public participation from the beginning of a planning process and a detailed description of the outreach strategies that the agency has used to date.


In compliance with SB 375, the fifth cycle projection period to determine and allocate the amount of housing needed to house all of Kern County’s future population, began in January of 2013 and is projecting what needs to be done until December of 2023. The previously adopted RHNA Plan covered the years 2006-2013 and the new one will most likely by adopted in 2014.

Other Programs and Projects

Regional Blueprint Plan

Direction 2050 is the regional blueprint plan for the Kern County region. Thousands of community members from all areas collaborated to create a shared vision, craft a set of guiding principles that promote quality of life, and create a vision for possible growth in the region to the year 2050. 

The vision includes: livable and safe communities; economic development opportunities that are linked to the education system and current and future industries in an effort to build a strong local economy and offer diverse employment opportunities; and unique and natural resources and open spaces that help to create a healthy living environment.


Directions: The Kern COG Regional Blueprint
Kern Council of Governments (KCOG)
Source: The Great Valley Center’s Youtube Page


Case Story

Kern County- Engaging Residents in Creating a Coordinated City & County General Plan

Kern County and the City of Bakersfield have the only coordinated city-county general plan in the state, a tradition dating back to the late 1980’s that originated with a joint plan for the Kern River. For the past three years, city and county officials have worked to engage a broad cross section of residents in an update to this joint general plan, in collaboration with a local nonprofit organization and the San Joaquin Valley Council of Governments.

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