Friday, April 12, 2013

Magical Mt. Tam Video celebrates Marin's Beauty

STEEL: Petty Dictators Abound in the Regional Governmental and Transportation Agencies of California

Citizens are determined to fight back against unreasonable ABAG goals.
Editors NOTE: The following is from an East Bay property rights advocate.   It is important to note that people from the entire political spectrum are fighting against ABAG housing quotas.
Ms. Steel is clearly from conservative side of politics.  In keeping with our goal of "creating conversation" about housing quotas in Marinwood-Lucas Valley, we are interested in publishing many points of view. Please submit  your articles or links to add to the conversation to:

Arrogance, Despotism, Tyranny
Petty Dictators Abound in the Regional Governmental and Transportation Agencies of California
(Part 2:  Useful Idiots of the Ruling Elites)

Mimi Steel, Exclusive to the California Political News and Views,10/06/11

Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) in their efforts to develop a 25 year soviet style top down plan called Plan Bay Area ( ) are aided and abetted by the “social equity” crowd.  Two of the key players in this effort are TransformCa ( ) and Urban Habitat ( ).   Both organizations bring people in force to the MTC hearings to lobby for “social equity” and “transportation justice”.  Their demands are embedded in policy:

… the proposed alternative scenarios utilize the Priority Development Area (PDA)
framework  (which)…. has a strong emphasis on social equity ….(and) adopts a Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) methodology …known as the “175 percent income redistribution”. .. The Complete Community framework, along with the affordable housing strategy of RHNA, is the primary method by which social equity is built into the land use scenarios.
Para2 Steve Heminger, Executive Director of MTC wrote a Proposed Alternatives Letter  to the One Bay Area Plan dated June 16, 2011   ( ).

Their positions are represented on MTC Policy Advisory Council which includes three subgroups in the area of social equity.  There are nine members (one from each county) representing  communities of color and issues affecting low-income communities or environmental justice. Of these, four members represent communities of color and four members represent environmental justice/low-income issues; the ninth member is representative of either category. In addition, nine members (one from each county) represent issues related to transportation for seniors and persons with disabilities. Four members represent seniors and four members represent people with disabilities; the ninth member is representative of either category.  ( )

For the visioning process, MTC partnered with 14 non-profit Community Based Organizations (CBO) through a competitive bid process to help engage low-income communities and communities of color in Plan Bay Area.  MTC sent special notices to all these groups.  No such invitation was issued to the taxpayers and, in fact, MTC was disconcerted when taxpayers showed up.

Back to our two lobbiest organizations for social equity.  TransformCA ( ), a recipient of $800,000 worth of grants from  the taxpayers of Alameda County, promotes transportation justice. They lobby to make significant new investments in communities that rely on public transit, allocate transportation investments to reduce income and racial disparities, and help low-income communities increase their power to influence transportation and land use decisions.

Urban Habitat( ) also lobbies for transportation justice.  Remember the wonderful people trying to close down BART last month?  You guessed it.  Here’s a brag from the Urban Habitat website:

Public transportation riders and supporters across the country will speak out on Sept. 20 to protest proposed federal spending cuts that would gut public transit and highway funding. In Oakland, members of ACCE, Genesis, Urban Habitat, the Transportation Justice Working Group and Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 192 will gather at 14th and Broadway at 4:45 p.m. for a “Call to Action” as part of “Don’t X Out Public Transportation Day,” which is being organized by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
( )

When not rioting in the streets, one of their leaders, Carl Anthony, is testifying in front of the MTC promoting the “social equity” solution.  Carl Anthony is a founder of Urban Habitat and received an award from the Ella Baker Center (an organization founded by the communist, Van Jones).  By the way, members of ACCES (the new name for ACORN in California) were also lobbying.
After watching the Kaboki Theater of “visioning” sessions and MTC-ABAG hearings, I stumbled upon a video that provided the 100,000 foot level called the Bay Area Sustainablity Vision: The credits show ABAG, Urban Habitat, and Ella Baker Center.  Amazing, everyone is in on the game except you, the taxpayer, who is footing the bill and having your liberty stolen from you.  While you work hard to keep your financial head above the water, your money is being squandered by Elites and their Useful Idiots to enhance their own power at your literal expense.  If we do not stop this, our children will be living in economic slavery to these people

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Is the Marinwood Priority Development Area for Real?

Lately, we have heard that Supervisor Susan Adams is telling the community that Marinwood is not a "Designated" Priority Development Area.  This is factually correct.  Marinwood is a "Potential" Priority Development Area which means it needs to widen roads (like Miller Creek Rd) and change zoning before it can become "Designated" PDA and receive funding. The above map was created in 2008.

Here is information you should know about PDAs.


Priority Development Areas (PDAs):  What is a PDA and why are they happening without community input?  Apparently the County and the Supervisors do not have to consult the community before they apply to the regional agencies of ABAG & MTC to make YOUR community a Priority Development Area (PDA).  This is all driven by the desire for grant money. They state "local commitment to developing more housing" but that isn't the community's "local commitment", it is your elected official's commitment.  What is the carrot that is driving our County officials to rush-rush and designate our communties as PDAs?  ABAG and MTC are using Federal transportation dollars as an incentive - $800 Million to be exact for the One Bay Area grant program.  The Marinwood area is a Potential PDA and will become a Designated PDA once certain things are in place. That is why you have to look out for things like meetings in your community that the County wants to have for things like "traffic enhancements" - installation of traffic signals, widening of roads for bike lanes or other reasons...things like that.

This is cut-and-pasted directly from the One Bay Area website (without any commentary) and the link is below if you want to read more - bottom line, pay attention to what is going on right now in your community.

Priority Development Areas (PDAs) are locally-identified, infill development opportunity areas within existing communities. They are generally areas of at least 100 acres where there is local commitment to developing more housing along with amenities and services to meet the day-to-day needs of residents in a pedestrian-friendly environment served by transit. To be eligible to become a PDA, an area had to be within an existing community, near existing or planned fixed transit or served by comparable bus service, and planned for more housing. 

Where are the Priority Development Areas?
More than 60 jurisdictions (plus several Congestion Management Agencies) submitted applications for well over 100 PDAs. The areas nominated include most of the places in the Bay Area served by fixed transit, major bus corridors, or planned transit under MTC’s Resolution 3434. Together, these areas comprise about 115,000 acres of urban and suburban land, less than 5 percent of the Bay Area's total land area. However, even though this is a small proportion of the region's land area, the proposed PDAs could accommodate over half of the Bay Area's projected housing growth to the year 2035, mostly at relatively moderate densities.
The compact growth envisioned through these PDAs is based in large part on local aspirations and community context. The PDAs reflect the diversity of the communities in the Bay Area. To learn more about what these communities envision for each PDA, visit the Priority Development Area Showcase. You can also view a list or printable map of the adopted Priority Development Areas. 

Applying to Become a PDA

1.       The County applies for a community to be a PDA.
2.       It is either adopted regionally as a Designated Planned  or Potential Priority Development Areas. In general, these categories relate to readiness for funding:
a.       Planned area would be eligible for capital infrastructure funds, planning grants, and technical assistance.
b.      Potential area would be eligible for planning grants and technical assistance, but not capital infrastructure funds.
3.       A Potential PDA can move to Designated Planned status once a plan has been completed for the area. Must be approved by a City Council or Board of Supers. It must ensure that:
a.       It includes a map designating the land uses for the area
b.      Identify densities/development intensities for planned land uses
c.       Include implementation actions and plan
4.       Designation Criteria for PDAs
a.       It is within an existing urbanized area
b.      Has existing or planned infrastructure to support development and will provide range of services and ameneties to meet daily needs of residents for transportation options.
c.       The area has plans for a significant increase in housing to meet the minimum density of the slected “place type” in the Station Area Planning Manual including affordable units.
d.      Must be near an existing rail station or ferry (1/2 mile distance) or served by bus in a transit corridor with minimum headways of 20 minutes during peak commute hours or is an area defined as a planned transit station per MTCs resolution 3434 (SMART Rail).
Supervisor Susan Adams

Stop the urbanization of Marinwood-Lucas Valley!

Will the "market rate" apartments in Marinwood Village be Section 8?

On October 27, 2012, Brad Wilban, VP of Bridge Housing answers questions concerning Section 8 Housing in Marinwood Village.  About 10 units may be Section 8 tenants who pay a portion of their rent through section 8 vouchers.  He estimates that about 5 % of Bridge Housing's portfolio are Section 8 tenants (550 tenants).  This makes sense because Bridge Housing develops almost 100% affordable housing and very little market rate. 

Tenants who pay for market rate units generally prefer to be in market rate apartment communities.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

VIDEO: Citizen Marin Meeting on March 20th

This is the March 20, 2013 presentation by Bob Silvestri, author of "The Best Laid Plans" presented his views and solutions for affordable housing in Marin County before an audience of 300.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Proof of the Coming Huge Growth of Marinwood Priority Development Area

A "glorious future" for Marinwood-Lucas Valley?

 Go to page 176 of TAM Documents for 04/9/2013

Editors Note 4/9/2013 6:30 PM: In keeping with our policy to provide truthful and reliable information, we must admit an error earlier in the day that said 31% growth.  We read from the employment chart but not the household growth chart.  It still is shocking since Marinwood-Lucas Valley is taking on huge growth burdens in our 5.78 square miles.  I encourage you to take a look at the TAM documents since it provides insight to the fantastic expectations of growth in Marin.

From the expected growth of 900 low income households  called for in our Housing Element, Marinwood-Lucas Valley will grow 37.5%.  We currently have about 2400 households.

If you go to page 176 of 200 you will see a chart that gives a city by city estimate of population growth.  Note that the 101 Corridor and the Marinwood Priority Development Area are expected to grow by a Huge Amount.

No wonder why the Supervisors and Planners don't want you to know!  The rest of the county is showing growth rates of 4-8%. 

They are concentrating all of the growth here as plainly seen in this official document.

The TRUTH is available for those who are willing to dig for it.  This was sent to me by which is facing as similar struggle as us. I never would have had time to look for this myself.

We are being exploited plain and simple.

Some of the "supporters" of all of this growth have direct business ties to these developments.  You must ask yourself,  "Why would anyone want growth in the community without a direct benefit?"  It will definitely change our community into an urban area with all it's associated problems.  The new "non profits" will pay little taxes for this new development leaving the rest of us to pay for schools and government services.

I do not think it is an exaggeration to term this as "The invasion of the politicians, bureaucrats and developers". Marinwood-Lucas Valley did not ask for this growth, nor have we been consulted or even fully informed.  Even today, we are told not to "worry and believe the terrible claims".  Look for yourself.

Time to Awaken!

Who's interest do our politicians represent?

VIDEO: What is the cost of "Affordable" Housing?

Non profit developers actually have an incentive to build expensive housing. A bigger LIHTC tax credit to sell on the open market to wealthy investors gives them a greater revenue. Here is a news report of a Maine project where the local cost for affordable housing is far in excess of local real estate development costs. This is one of the "secrets" housing advocates don't want you to know. Bridge Housing, proposed developer of Marinwood Village just completed a similar project in Emeryville at $500,000 per apartment or roughly 3 times the per square footage cost of single family homes in Marinwood/Lucas Valley.

 You have to wonder... It would be cheaper to buy foreclosed homes and renovate .. but alas developers can't make money doing this.

Monday, April 8, 2013

VIDEO: Understanding the Grand Utopian promise of Urban Marinwood/Lucas Valley

Peter Calthorpe - USHSR NYC 2011 from Steven Skemp on Vimeo.
The above presentation is by Peter Calthorpe, who along with Andres Duany is considered the prime visionary of Smart Growth for the Bay Area and now Vision California.

His firm, Calthorpe Associates helped create the vision for Portland, Oregon and was the prime consultant for advocating the urban plan for St.Vincents/Silvera Ranch in the early 1990s. That plan envisioned 7000-9000 homes and was soundly rejected by local Marinwood/Lucas Valley residents.

The NEW AND IMPROVED  for Marinwood/Lucas valley is "Smart Growth" filling our neighborhoods with hi density housing, rezoning our single family homes to multi-family apartments and reduce lot sizes. As you watch the video, you need to ask yourself, "where have these "Smart Growth suburban cities actually been successful ?" see: Debunking Portland: the City that doesn't work/


Sunday, April 7, 2013

VIDEO: The plan for Affordable Housing in the Bay Area and EIR presentation 4/16/2012

Good overview of ABAG housing mandates that will literally change the Bay Area forever.

Despite some of the hot rhetoric,  there is some important information here to provide you with some perspective on the One Bay Area Plan.

--- On Wed, 4/3/13, MTC Public Information <> wrote:

From: MTC Public Information <>
Subject: Draft Plan Bay Area EIR Released
Date: Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 12:53 AM

April 2, 2013
Release of Draft Plan Bay Area Environmental Impact Report (EIR)
The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) today released for public review and comment a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) as a companion environmental analysis to the Draft Plan Bay Area, which is also out for public review.
Three public hearings are scheduled as an opportunity to provide oral comments specifically on the EIR. Oral comments on the Draft EIR also can be made at one of nine public hearings scheduled for the Draft Plan Bay Area. 
April 16, 2013
April 16, 2013 
April 17, 2013 
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Embassy Suites Hotel,
Novato/Larkspur Room
Joseph P. Bort MetroCenter Auditorium
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Library, Rooms 225/229
101 McInnis Parkway
San Rafael 
101 8th Street
150 E. San Fernando St.
San Jose 


Written comments may be mailed to: 

MTC-ABAG Public Comment 

Draft EIR - Plan Bay Area 

101 8th Street, Oakland, CA  94607

Or email your comments to: 

The Draft Plan Bay Area is the region's long-range transportation and land-use/housing blueprint, which charts a course for accommodating needed housing growth within our nine counties while at the same time decreasing greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks. 

The public comment period for both the Draft EIR and Draft Plan Bay Area extends until 4 p.m., Thursday, May 16, 2013. The Draft EIR and Draft Plan Bay Area are slated for adoption by MTC and ABAG in summer 2013.

An errata sheet for the Draft Plan Bay Area has been posted on the Plan's website. 

For more information on the
Draft EIR or Draft Plan Bay Area, please visit

Northgate Mall and Marin Civic Center Neighborhoods to be over run with affordable housing

The Marinwood Priority Development Area is all land east of Las Gallinas.

Editor's Note: It is bad news to be named a Priority Development Area.  This will mean your neighborhood is targeted for complete complete change into an Urban Transit Oriented Development.  Both Marinwood and the Civic Center Mall Area have been named Priority Development Areas. The Northgate Mall is planned to have a "ring of 5 story affordable housing complexs"  Civic center near Autodesk will have many more lowrise blocks of government homes.  Naturally the neighbors are upset. Government actions have already severally impacted their property and home prices have plummeted.   

Our "leaders" are not listening.
We must act to demand their attention.

Our neighbors at QASSR are taking action. Below are excerpts from a note that I received today.

Should we be concerned less than our neighbors in San Rafael and Novato?

From QASSR ( Quiet and Safe San Rafael)

The Civic Center Station area plan will FOREVER change north San Rafael. This area has been designated as a PDA (Priority Development Area) and approved by ABAG. This designation puts a bullseye on Civic Center for massive redevelopment. Over the next 20 to 30 years Civic Center will be rezoned to allow high density stack and pack housing at the highly dense 35+ units per acre. Many of these units will be designated as affordable units, which ranges from very low, low to moderate income based tax payer subsidized housing.
The mayor, councilors and town planners and council will tell you that NOTHING will change the look and feel of north San Rafael, but this is likely untrue!!! Lead council candidate Kate Colin made this chilling statement...
              "how when you have a plan like this, and buildings are built, certain compromises have to be made, implying that although our vision of preserving neighborhoods and the environment were all very well and good, they would be unheeded when push comes to shove. "
Once this plan goes through and they adopt the One Bay Area Sustainable communities strategy which is a regional blue print from ABAG we will be forced to follow the plan or else...
1.) ABAG will withhold transportation dollars from San Rafael and / or Marin and 2.) We will get sued by Social Justice groups to force very low and low income housing into our communities! Do NOT be fooled.  The city will rezone. The transformation will happen over time and by the time people start objecting it will be too late. As citizens of San Rafael you MUST put a stop to this wreckless planning that doesn't consider our community input. Get your friends to come and oppose this.


Come to our next meeting.  Volunteer to distribute fliers. Email everyone you know in town. We need to have a voice in our future!