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Editorial: Bay plan should guarantee local control

June 3, 2013

Marin Independent Journal Editorial – excerpt

DESPITE ASSURANCES from the authors of Plan Bay Area that the regional growth plan is not intended to undermine local control in shaping land-use decisions, those promises are not persuading critics.

Even after nearly two years of debate and study, the enactment of regional planning standards is seen as a threat to local control, to communities’ right to determine their own growth, including building densities.

The authors of Plan Bay Area, essentially leaders of the Association of Bay Area Governments and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, need to reinforce their promise with crystal clear language that jurisdictions that don’t follow the plan’s guidelines won’t be penalized, starved of state and federal transportation, housing and energy and environmental grants.

The focus should be on counties’ success in doing their fair share, not how that’s accomplished…

The plan, which is projected to be approved in mid-July, needs to respect the differences of Bay Area towns and cities. That’s why the plan deserves to be considered, publicly debated and voted on by the entire 101-member ABAG general assembly.

Perhaps appropriate language protecting local control will come from a wide-open discussion and public debate of all of ABAG’s members. The plan and its long-term ramifications is important enough to warrant that full-fledged public debate… (more)



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