City of Pacific Grove Sea Level Rise Transportation & Infrastructure Adaptation Plan

 

 

SB1 Adaptation Planning Grant: Initial Case Study

Challenge: Developing plans and strategies

 

Summary

The City of Pacific Grove Sea Level Rise Transportation & Infrastructure Adaptation Plan will develop a Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment (SLRVA) that will analyze climate impacts across multiple hazards and years, as well as many sectors including the city’s economy, multi-modal transportation infrastructure, critical facilities, and public health. The outcomes of this assessment will inform the goals and policy sections of the General Plan and Local Coastal Plan. Specific strategies from the assessment will bolster resilience to climate change impacts, particularly for transportation systems, disadvantaged communities, local businesses, and homes. The major components of the project will commence in October of 2018 and will be completed by November 2019, concluding with City Council adoption of the updated plan.

Goals of the project include but are not limited to:

  • Identifying critical coastal infrastructure (the economy, multimodal transportation infrastructure, critical facilities, and public health) vulnerable to Sea Level Rise (SLR) and estimating when the impacts of sea level rise may occur. 
  • Identifying specific hazards (coastal flooding, sea level rise, erosion) that pose risks to infrastructure, the cost of potential infrastructure loss, and appropriate strategies to mitigate these risks. 
  • Identifying system-wide climate change impact risks to multimodal transportation infrastructure.
  • Identifying adaptation strategies to remedy climate related vulnerabilities and providing a cost-benefit analysis of identified adaptation strategy or strategies.

Lead Agency and Partnerships

The City of Pacific Grove will serve as lead agency for the City of Pacific Grove Sea Level Rise Transportation & Infrastructure Adaptation Plan. The City has hired a consultant with applicable technical expertise and demonstrated experience with community engagement. Partners include Caltrans, the Monterey County Hazard Mitigation Planning Team, the Pacific Institute, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, California State Parks, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the California Coastal Commission (CCC). In addition, the City will partner with local and regional organizations dedicated to creating a region-wide network of walkable and bikeable multi-use trails for the economically disadvantaged communities. Partners will serve as vital sources to help inform the planning process. Partners will be asked to share their unique perspectives, existing challenges, and areas of concern or interest. This vital information will be used to develop documents that will be available for partners to review and comment.

Drivers

The project is consistent with Senate Bill 379, Senate Bill 1000, Executive Order S-13-08, Executive Order B-30-15, Goal 2 Policy 3 of the 2040 California Transportation Plan, 2017 General Plan Guidelines, and the 2017 Regional Transportation Plan Guidelines. CalTrans SB1 Adaptation Planning Grant Funding also facilitated development of this project.

Engagement Process

The City intends to gather public input through interactive community workshops, including outreach and discussion with the communities in Pacific Grove who are most vulnerable to climate impacts, and/or dependent on the transportation system, which will be the driving factor of the planning process. The first public outreach phase includes a community workshop, a web survey, and presentations to the City’s Beautification and Natural Resources Commission to discuss existing conditions in addition to potential overarching project goals and objectives. The survey will educate respondents about the existing conditions and will request input on the objectives for this effort. The second public outreach phase will include public outreach and community meetings to inform strategies for reducing vulnerabilities to sea level rise. The second survey will educate survey respondents about potential strategies and request input on their priorities. The third phase will direct public comment to the draft Climate Action Plan update.

The anticipated outcomes of the engagement process include community input on the project’s goals and objectives. Public feedback will help project leaders prioritize strategies, analyze alternatives, and identify pilot projects.

Climate Impact Area

This project addresses sea level rise risk. The adaptation plan will identify specific hazards (coastal flooding, sea level rise, erosion) to infrastructure, estimate the cost of potential infrastructure loss and define appropriate strategies to mitigate these risks. Without climate adaptation planning, flooding of vital infrastructure due to sea level rise might be worse than projected, given the complexities and exposure of the City’s critical facilities to coastal hazards. Flood recovery could take weeks or months and would cost the region millions of dollars in funding and lost revenue. Residents may be at risk of displacement and reduced access to transit and transportation infrastructure. Adaptations would protect billions in transportation assets, enhance safety, and curb recovery time.

This project will primarily develop a Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment, which will analyze climate impacts across multiple hazards and years, as well as multiple city sectors, such as the economy, multi-modal transportation infrastructure, critical facilities, and public health. The City intends to conduct a thorough vulnerability assessment that will outline a suite of both short-and long-term adaptation actions. The Plan will look at the condition of specific assets such as cycling, and pedestrian infrastructure, low-lying roads, wastewater treatment facilities, energy facilities, stormwater and utility infrastructure, along with transit service to analyze asset-specific vulnerabilities.

Furthermore, specific strategies and actions from the assessment will help insulate and lend resiliency to the City’s transportation infrastructure, critical facilities, disadvantaged and vulnerable communities, local businesses and homes from climate impacts. 

Funding Source

The Caltrans Adaptation Planning Grant Program made available $7 million for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018-19 grant cycle. The City of Pacific Grove applied for and received a grant in the amount of $220,956, with a local match of $28,627-bringing the total project cost to $249,583.

Research and Data

The project will use state resources such as Safeguarding California, Climate Adaptation Planning Tool, California Transportation Plan 2040, California Adaptation Planning Guide, and other area plans to inform the project.

Challenges

Securing public support of this project, especially in light of the City’s many urgent priorities may present a challenge. The compressed, one-year timeline means the City must be diligent in planning and executing thoughtful outreach and stakeholder engagement. The challenge lies in providing enough time for groups to digest and participate in the process and for the City to create buy-in and consensus without rushing the process We also anticipate obstacles in completing the three rounds of public outreach in a short timeframe (one year), which include extensive community workshops, web surveys and presentations to commissions/City Council, and community and stakeholder outreach. The City intends to manage this challenge with a detailed schedule of events, milestones, and deliverables to ensure timely success. The project will engage internal and external stakeholders early and have a robust community outreach programs in order to demonstrate a strong case for adaptation.

Outcomes

The outcomes of these assessments will inform the goals and policies sections of the General Plan and Local Coastal Plan. Specific strategies from the assessment will help shield and offer resiliency to transportation systems, critical facilities, disadvantaged and vulnerable communities, and local businesses and homes from climate impacts.

Replicability

The Plan identifies adaptation strategies and specific actions to remedy climate-related vulnerabilities. Coastal cities and counties wishing to protect transportation infrastructure, critical facilities, disadvantaged and vulnerable communities, and local businesses and homes from sea level rise impacts could utilize these policies and adaptation strategies to increase the resiliency of their community.

Additional Resources

PG Shore Protection Feasibility Study

Pacific Grove Shoreline Management Plan: Protecting and enhancing your shoreline

Monterey County Hazard Mitigation Plan

Local Coastal Program Update

1998 Coastal Parks Plan

Coastal Bluff Protection Analysis and Geotechnical Investigation

Further Information
For further information about this project, please contact Daniel Gho, City of Pacific Grove Public Works Director, at dgho@cityofpacificgrove.org or (831) 648-5722 ext. 203