Healthy Communities, a subcommittee of HEALSLO, the County obesity prevention coalition, was awarded a Green Community Partner Award by the Central Coast Green Building Council in 2015 for its contribution to making sustainable communities available to everyone within this generation.
Healthy Communities consists of County staff and numerous community partners (some of whom are in the attached photo) and has been meeting since 2012. They review and provide health-related comments on new development proposals that come into the County Planning and Building Department. Their comments are sent to the Health Commission and Planning Commission and become part of the written record. To date, they have reviewed 60 different proposals.
When reviewing a project, they ask questions like:
- Is the development built within half a mile of food stores, retail services, schools, daycare and recreation centers?
- Is the development served by local transit or does it provide bicycle access?
- Are there natural gathering places for neighbors? (benches, plazas at street intersections)
- Does the project strengthen the social fabric of the community by fostering relationships and prioritizing community health and safety?
- Does the project employ green building materials and include a sustainable landscaping design?
The Green Building Council recognized the work of Healthy Communities at an awards ceremony in Santa Barbara in December 2015.