Saturday, February 23, 2013

Punching ABAG

Mill Valley and Corte Madera fight ABAG

Mill Valley, Corte Madera on diverse paths to deal with housing numbers

It's a tale of two cities, and their divergent paths to meet the needs for jobs and housing. One city is working within the system. One city is bucking it.

Last month, the city of Mill Valley sent a letter to the Association of Bay Area Governments that pushed back against the number of new homes ABAG said the city needs to create between 2014 and 2022 as its share of the Regional Housing Needs Allocation. Earlier in the year, ABAG said Mill Valley would need an additional 292 households, but the agency reduced that number to 129. That might seem like a fairly insignificant number, but it's not to residents who hold the protection of their city's small-town character as a high priority. Because Mill Valley essentially is built out, new homes tend to mean increased density.
Full Story in Pacific Sun, "Punching ABAG"

Thursday, February 21, 2013


We debated paying any attention what so ever to the Marin IJ Column where the writer, Cesar Legleva essentially accuses anyone who opposes the housing plans in Marin as racist NIMBYs.  I wrote in objecting to the highly offensive column but it wasn't published.

For us, the bottom line, is the concentration of 71% of affordable housing in Marinwood-Lucas Valley not all affordable housing.  Opponents would rather sling mud than expose the truth of the crazy scheme to force tax free affordable housing in  the 5.78 square mile section of Marinwood-Lucas Valley and asking the local residents to pay for the tax burden.

We updated our profile to clearly identify our position:

We support a fair allocation of affordable housing in our community that is sensitive to land use, is fiscally responsible, healthy for the families and integrates diversity within our community.
The charges of NIMBYism are completely unfair and mostly uttered by others outside the area who are glad that the developments aren't in THEIR backyard.
Make no mistake,  Marinwood-Lucas Valley is ground zero for affordable housing in unincorporated Marin.
For once, I would like to hear the supporters of Marinwood Village address the real issues of the financial impact on our schools estimated to cost $1,500,000 annually plus another $750,000 for portable classrooms.   Tell us how our CSD budget will be able to accomodate 25% growth in the community with five more developments without any supporting tax base.  Marinwood Village is expected to pay only $10k annually which they soon will ask for rebates.
We are being exploited by big developers, politicians and political insiders who tell us "we must pay our fair share" while disguising their business interests and the grants they'll receive if they hoodwink us.

Here is the column and letters to the editor:

Cesar Legleva's Marin Voice Column "Decoding NIMBYism in Marin"

Marin IJ letters to the editor February 21

To see the actual testimony from Marinwood Residents see the Planning Commission February 11th

Here is my unpublished letter:

·        It is too bad that Mr. Lagleva decided to "go ugly" with invective in his Marin Voice column on 2/17/2013. He must have attended different meetings then me. Virtually all of the Marinwood/Lucas Valley residents who spoke at the Planning commission on 2/11/2013  supports some affordable housing but not in the amounts and concentration that is planned.  71% of all affordable housing in unincorporated Marin  is planned for this 5.78 square mile neighborhood.  It will house at least 5 affordable housing developments and increase our population by 25%. Even more developments are planned for the future. Affordable housing developments will pay virtually no taxes for the estimated 600 to 1000 school children that will be added to our Dixie school district. We currently pay $10,000 per child so this expense may mean 6 to 10 million per year from local taxpayers. Our local Marinwood CSD budget is only $4.2 million dollars per year. Clearly, this will severely affect the quality of education in the community. This is not racist. It is a financial fact that the Supervisors and Planners have not addressed.

LEARN: And the Big Winner is Option #5!

ABAG is having a jolly good time assigning Housing Quotas to Marinwood/Lucas Valley with Option #5

Editor's Note: The One Bay Area Plan is a comprehensive attempt to increase affordable housing throughout the Bay Area Region. In July 2012, they decided that they would emphasize the growth of affordable housing over jobs and transportation needs.  Affordable housing pays little taxes and is a huge tax burden to the communities to subsidize their new neighbors.  Marinwood/Lucas valley has few jobs and mass transit, yet the Housing element calls for increasing our population by at least 25%. 

We must stop this government folly now...   Join us on Mondays 6:30-8:30 pm for discussions to save our community


from ABAG website: ABAG preferred Scenarios

Plan Bay Area Moves Forward with Vote on Five Alternative Strategies for Environmental Impact Report

July 20, 2012

At a joint meeting of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) Executive Board, officials voted on Thursday, July 19 to approve five alternative transportation and land use strategies to be considered as part of the environmental review process for the region’s long-range transportation and land use plan.

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires MTC and ABAG to prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the long-range plan, known as Plan Bay Area. The report must identify the plan’s significant environmental impacts and ways to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible. The agencies also are required to consider a reasonable range of alternatives to the Plan. The five alternatives approved for analysis are:
  1. The No Project alternative – This alternative begins with the 2010 land use pattern and transportation network and assumes the continuation of currently-adopted general plans through 2040. CEQA requires examination of a no project alternative.
  2. The “Preferred Land Use and Transportation Investment Strategy” alternative – The preferred alternative assumes a land use development pattern in which 80 percent of the Bay Area’s household growth and 66 percent of its job growth are located in “Priority Development Areas” identified by local jurisdictions. It pairs this land development pattern with the Plan Bay Area Preferred Transportation Investment Strategy, which dedicates nearly 90 percent of future revenues to maintaining our existing road and transit system.
  3. The Transit Priority Focus alternative – This alternative will evaluate the potential for more efficient land uses in Transit Priority Project areas, which are areas called out in Senate Bill 375 that could be developed at higher densities to support high quality transit.
  4. The Enhanced Network of Communities alternative – This alternative was informed by input from the business community. It seeks to provide sufficient housing for all people employed in the San Francisco Bay Area and allows for more dispersed growth patterns.
  5. The Environment, Equity and Jobs alternative – This alternative was developed by input from the equity and environmental community. It seeks to maximize affordable housing in opportunity areas in both urban and suburban areas through incentives and housing subsidies. The suburban growth is supported by increased transit service to historically disadvantaged communities through studying a Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) tax and higher bridge tolls.
The next steps in the process are as follows:
  • July - December, 2012 – The agencies will prepare the Draft EIR.
  • December 14, 2012 – The agencies are scheduled to release the Draft EIR and Draft Plan Bay Area for 45- and 55-day public review periods by the Joint MTC Planning and ABAG Administrative committees.
  • January 2013 – The agencies will hold public hearings on the Draft Plan and Draft EIR.
  • February - March 2013 – The agencies will prepare a Final EIR (including Response to Comments).
  • April 2013 – MTC and the ABAG Executive Board are scheduled to certify the Final EIR and adopt the Final Plan Bay Area.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Book Recommendation: Saving the Marin Sonoma Coast

The dramatic story of the salvation of the Marin headlands unfolds in Marty Griffin's fascinating memoir, "Saving the Marin-Sonoma Coast." With sharp insight and humor, Dr. Griffin documents the creation of the magnificent Audubon Canyon Ranch wildlife preserves on Bolinas Lagoon and Tomales Bay and their crucial role in rescuing the Pt. Reyes National Seashore, preserving California's unspoiled North Coast, and transforming the political landscape of Marin County.
Editor's Note: Life is strange.  Now 40 years after saving Marin,  some want to turn it into another urban corridor.  We used to cherish  our cities and suburbs,  now outsiders from ABAG, housing advocates, and developers want to turn the entire 101 corridor, stretching 1/2 mile on either side of the highway into high density housing/offices.  Nice.  They will keep their leafy neighborhoods and weekend homes while the rest of us must have our property rights taken from us.