Petaluma first city in nation to ban new gas stations

Petaluma has more gasoline stations than sq. miles.

No a lot more, city leaders have resolved.

With at minimum a single filling station no additional than 5 minutes’ travel from every residence, and a area weather unexpected emergency declared in 2019, the Town Council voted unanimously this 7 days to prohibit the building of any new fuel stations in city.

“The genuine inspiration for this was — and is — our climate emergency resolution and the actuality that we’re actually trying to change the needle in our city,” Mayor Teresa Barrett mentioned.

The city 40 miles north of San Francisco has 16 stations stuffed into just 14.5-square miles, and a new Safeway grocery retailer with its personal gas station is on the way.

Existing filling stations can continue on to function, according to the new resolution. But any expansions are constrained to serving zero-emission autos — no far more pumps or tanks related with fossil fuels.

“We really felt it was a gain-acquire,” Barrett mentioned. “A ton of these gas stations will start off putting in EV chargers … which is some thing that will be great for their business enterprise heading ahead.”

The council’s choice is the initially of its kind in the nation, in accordance to SFGate, which has prompted a flurry of media phone calls to the town. That surprised the mayor, who explained the legislation was wholly uncontroversial for inhabitants. When the metropolis Scheduling Fee regarded the make a difference, it acquired only 1 letter from the general public, and no a single spoke at its assembly Monday when the measure was deemed.

“I’ve acquired much more speak to from the push since we adopted it than I have conversation with men and women in our neighborhood,” Barrett reported.

Petaluma has been chugging its way towards a greener upcoming for a long time.

The metropolis declared a weather emergency in 2019, which made tackling concerns connected to world warming its maximum priority. Previous month, the council adopted a local weather-targeted framework that outlines aims to become greener.

One particular priority is reaching carbon neutrality by 2030 — an intense transfer from the backdrop of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s ambition for California to limit all product sales of new automobiles and trucks to zero-emission autos by 2035. The new ordinance is element of that hard work, due to the fact prohibiting new gas stations will reduce “new resources of pollution.” Officials also are performing to outfit city structures with solar panels and move away from the energy grid toward greener alternative electrical power resources.

While prohibiting new gasoline stations and limiting retrofits of existing stations to serving electrical autos quantities to “small alterations,” Barrett claimed, the town is laying the foundation for a greener atmosphere. Petaluma will before long update its common plan, the policy outlining the city’s advancement ambitions, and Barrett hopes the local climate crisis framework will serve as its guiding principle.

“It’s a huge offer,” she mentioned.

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