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Marin Voice: Bay plan’s unanswered questions

July 19, 2013

By Barbara Salzman guest co-ed column: marinij – excerpt

Plan Bay Area is based on two planning concepts, Priority Development Areas (PDAs) and Priority Conservation Areas (PCAs). PDAs are intended to locate growth in already developed areas along major transit corridors with a goal of using the existing transit infrastructure more efficiently. The plan proposes to accommodate 100 percent of new growth in the PDAs. In Marin, the Highway 101 corridor is identified as a PDA, with the San Rafael Transit Center and the Civic Center called out as specific locations.

It is unclear where the conservation areas will be located, but one thing is certain — there is a major conflict looming because Marin’s development areas are located along the bay, where there are high value.

Plan Bay Area is based on two planning concepts, Priority Development Areas (PDAs) and Priority Conservation Areas (PCAs). PDAs are intended to locate growth in already developed areas along major transit corridors with a goal of using the existing transit infrastructure more efficiently. The plan proposes to accommodate 100 percent of new growth in the PDAs. In Marin, the Highway 101 corridor is identified as a PDA, with the San Rafael Transit Center and the Civic Center called out as specific locations.

It is unclear where the conservation areas will be located, but one thing is certain — there is a major conflict looming because Marin’s development areas are located along the bay, where there are high value…

…Many of Plan Bay Area’s concepts for accommodating growth sound fine in theory, but they are missing the following: a sound definition of resource lands, location of public and private resource lands that are providing native habitats, and a plan to ensure these existing functioning habitats are adequately protected. Many areas that should be identified as PCAs are not recognized.

Perhaps this is because the PCAs have been identified by politicians and not biologists.

As claimed by Plan Bay Area, PCAs may be critical to preserving the vitality of the region’s ecosystem and economy.

To accomplish this, Plan Bay Area needs to ensure they are correctly identified and adequately protected. Now it does not come close to doing that.

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