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Programmatic Climate Action Plan and Environmental Permit Streamlining


In 2012, the City of Merced adopted a Climate Action Plan (CAP).  The 2012 CAP identified over 150 ways to achieve community values, outlined in Figure 1 (see below).  In pursuing these values, the community will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and their influence on global climate change.  Click here to view the City's Climate Action Plan.   

Climate Action Plan values and goals

Community Values


Healthy Communities

Enhance Mobility of all Transportation Modes
Sustainable Community Design

Quality Natural Resources

Water Conservation and Technology
Protect Air Resources
Waste Reduction

Clean Energy Resources

Increase the Use of Renewable Energy Resources
Building Energy Conservation

Leaders and Partners

Public Outreach and Involvement

The City of Merced has secured a professional consultant to help City Staff and the community to create a tool to implement the City’s Climate Action Plan; this tool is referred to as the Programmatic Climate Action Plan (PCAP).  The PCAP will identify government and community based projects and programs to implement between now and 2020.  

PCAP Tools

The Project aims to create draft tools to be considered for adoption by the City Council at the end of the project, and include:
1) Selection of feasible and effective projects and programs to achieve the City’s adopted greenhouse gas reduction target.  A cost-benefit analysis will be performed to help with the process of selecting these projects and programs.
2) Monitoring protocols and worksheets.
3) New development-related codes grounded in adopted policies, actions, and mitigation measures, together with a user-friendly design manual to clarify these, and resulting in a more predictable development review process.
4) The PCAP will be crafted in such a manner to qualify it as a CEQA-streamline tool, as provided for and encouraged by the State of California.
5) The 2008 GHG Emission Inventory was updated and will be used in the PCAP project to identify GHG reduction goals.   

Permit streamlining component of the pcap
Through the Permit Streamlining Project (otherwise known as a Programmatic or Qualitative CAP), the City seeks to streamline the City’s permitting process, as it applies to CEQA-based greenhouse gas emission assessments. This will be accomplished by quantifying anticipated GHG reductions, and to identify, implement and monitor community actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The project also includes converting current development-related City policies to practical codes and ordinances, and to create a Unified Design Manual containing development prototypes, making the associated codes and ordinances easy to understand, thereby ensuring their effectiveness in achieving the goals of the CAP.  The creation of these tools in a programmatic fashion is encouraged and supported by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The project does not circumvent CEQA, but rather front-loads the required assessment in a manner that benefits the community, creating efficient government operations, early community member involvement, and an incentive for a variety of businesses, industry, homes and retailers to locate in the City.


In February 2012, City Staff was authorized by the City Council at a public meeting to seek grant funds from California's Strategic Growth Council to prepare a Programmatic CAP. The City was awarded funds, and in January 2013, at a public meeting, the City Council accepted the state contract following a Staff presentation. In September 2013, the City Council at a public meeting following a Staff presentation, authorized City Staff to hire PMC, Inc as the project consultant, and to begin work to create a Programmatic CAP.


If you have questions, comments or would like to participate in this Project, please send your name and physical mailing address (not just an email address) to  The "PCAP Tools" described above will be developed from input of the local community. While comments may be recieved anytime, the PCAP project offers three main avenues for this, and include: Focus Group meetings; 2) Community Workshops; and 3) Stakeholder Meetings.

FOCUS GROUP & associated public meeting

The City sought interested and affected individuals and representatives from various groups and industries including builders, engineers and surveyors, local chambers of commerce, real-estate brokers and/or agents, energy utility representatives, transportation, air quality and health advocates, conservation groups, and the local “green-jobs” industry.  The PCAP Focus Group membership is:

Sector                                                                  Member
Builders                                                                 Adam Cox
Engineers and Surveyors                                        Dena Traina  
Local Chambers of Commerce                              Jennifer Krumm (or alternate)
Real-Estate Brokers and/or agents                         Robert Dylina                        
Transportation, Air quality and Health Advocate    Michelle Xiong
Conservation                                                         Erin Stacy
Local "green-jobs"                                                 Dan Caris (Mr. Ink Pro)
Local "green-jobs"                                                 Brent Jerner (APG Solar)
City Council Representative                                  Mayor Stan Thurston
City Planning Commissioner                                   Peter Padilla             

Focus Group meetings are open to the public and will be held at in the Sam Pipes Room in the City of Merced Civic Center, located at 678 W. 18th Street, Merced Ca. 95340.  Meetings are generally held from 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM.  The purpose of these meetings is to share technical background information and to obtain feedback from the Focus Group and Technical Advisors (City Staff) about possible approaches to the "PCAP Tools."  Though not as extensive as the public workshops (see blow), input from the general public will also be recieved.

Focus Group Meeting #1: June 19, 2014Handout, Powerpoint Presentation, Technical Memoradum #1, Technical Memorandum #2, Meeting Notes.

Focus Group Meeting #2:   September 10, 2014 

Focus Group Meeting #3:  November 13, 2014 

Focus Group Meeting #4: January 22, 2015 

Focus Group Meeting #5:  March 12, 2015 

Focus Group Meeting #6:  May 6, 2015 

public workshops  

A total of six public workshops are planned. Three of these workshops are general in nature, while the other two will focus on the products of the PCAP project.
Workshop/Topic                                                  Consultant Lead
1. Public Kick-off Meeting                                     PMC  
2. Economic Prosperity and Climate Action Plan     Institute for Local Government (ILG)*
3. Draft PCAP                                                       PMC *  
4. Clean Energy Resources                                     Institute for Local Government (ILG)*
5. Urban Design Manual and Development Code    PMC * 
6. Climate Action and a Healthy Vital Community    Institute for Local Government (ILG)*
 * Dates to be determined. 

workshop #1: PUBLIC KICK-OFF MEETING/resource efficiency fair/february 2014 Event Flyer 
The City of Merced’s first ‘Resource Efficiency Fair’ was held on Thursday, February 27, 2014 between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. at the Merced Senior Center, 755 W. 15th Street. Approximately 70 community members and exhibitors attended to learn what conservation-related actions local government agencies, non-profit groups, schools and businesses are engaged in locally. Thrity-four local exhibitors shared efforts about water conservation, recycling, energy-efficiency, reduced utility bills, and expanded use in transit and bicycling. City Manager John Bramble also presented a summary of conservation-related actions by the City. As part of the City's Climate Action Planning efforts, it included general opportunities for citizens to guide local policy and to select future projects. In addition to games, activities and booths, the fair was a great place to connect with local leaders/organizations, share ideas, and learn how to stay involved in the project. Community input was gathered and results summarized.

stakeholder meetings 

Two stakeholder meetings with the local development community, consisting of engineers, surveyors, architects, planners, and builders are planned.  These meetings will give these stakeholders dedicated time to review and comment on the draft Urban Design Manual and associated code revisions. 

COMMUNITY meetings 

July 30, 2014.  Merced/Mariposa County Asthma Coalition.  FlyerPresentation


related ARTICLES

Merced Sun Star, October 1, 2013

Merced Sun Star, June 12, 2014 (Let's Move Initiative)
Merced Sun Star, June 18, 2014 (Notice of First Focus Group Meeting)
Merced Sun Star, June 26, 2014 (Focus Group Work)

Development Services - Grant Projects - CEQA-Permit Streamlining
Section UL
Asthma Coalition Flyer
File Name: Asthma Coalition_2014-07-30 Coalition Meeting.pdf
Revision Date: 7/30/2014
Asthma Coalition Presentation
File Name: Asthma Coalition Presentation.pdf
Revision Date: 7/30/2014
CC Resolution approving grant application
File Name: Resolution 2012-13_Approving PCAP Grant Application_A.pdf
Revision Date: 10/23/2013
City of Merced Actions
File Name: Actions by City Departments.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
Flyer_Resource Efficiency Fair
File Name: Merced Resource Efficiency Fair_Final flyer in English and Spanish.pdf
Revision Date: 2/13/2014
Focus Group Application
File Name: Permit Streamlining Roles & Duties_short.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
Focus Group Meeting #1 Powerpoint
File Name: Merced-CAP_CAC_Meeting1_PPT_06112014_WEB_VERSION.pdf
Revision Date: 6/12/2014
Focus Group Meeting Notes_Mtg No 1
File Name: Summary-Memo_Merced-CAP-Focus-Group-Meeting-1.pdf
Revision Date: 6/30/2014
Foucs Group Meeting 1 Handout
File Name: Merced-CAP_CAC_Meeting1_Handout_06192014_REVISED.pdf
Revision Date: 6/12/2014
Let's Move Initiative
File Name: Merced recognized for its efforts to reduce childhood obesity _ Local News _.pdf
Revision Date: 6/17/2014
Merced Sun Star Oct 1, 2013
File Name: 131001_Hiring PMC.pdf
Revision Date: 10/23/2013
Presentation to CC re grant application
File Name: 130118_powerpoint_CC_.pdf
Revision Date: 10/23/2013
presentation to consider hiring PMC
File Name: 130916_powerpoint_CC_PCAP_PMC.pdf
Revision Date: 10/23/2013
File Name: RESULTS_Merced-CAP_FocusGroup_Meeting1_06192014.pdf
Revision Date: 6/23/2014
Recource Fair Results
File Name: Summary Memo_Merced PCAP Fair.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
Resource Fair Exhibit Map
File Name: Merced PCAP_Agenda_Exhibitor Diagram_Part2.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
Technical Memorandum No. 1
File Name: TM 1 for CAC and TAC.pdf
Revision Date: 6/12/2014
Technical Memorandum No. 2
File Name: Merced-CAP-TM-2_CAP-Actions-Code-Concepts_06112014_FINAL.pdf
Revision Date: 6/12/2014
Updated 2008 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report
File Name: Merced City-InventoryReport-Community-and-Government_040714.pdf
Revision Date: 6/12/2014
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