Monday, May 29, 2017

Your comments on Plan Bay Area 2040 needed.

Informational Status Report on the Draft Plan Bay Area 2040

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) recently released the first quadrennial update of Plan Bay Area (Plan Bay Area 2040 Draft Plan) and a Draft Environmental Impact Report.  The Draft Plan is a limited and focused update of the initial Plan Bay Area approved by MTC and ABAG in 2013.  On May 23rd, Brian Crawford, Director of the Marin County Community Development Agency, gave a brief verbal status report on the Plan Bay Area 2040 Draft Plan and its process.
Here is a link to Mr. Crawford's presentation:
Draft Plan Bay Area 2040 Projections for Marin County between 2010 and 2040:
The Draft Plan Bay Area 2040 Preferred Scenario is a forecast for Unincorporated Marin's household and employment growth by the year 2040.  The Draft Preferred Scenario for Unincorporated Marin was first presented in August 2016 and is shown below:

In October 2016, the Marin County Board of Supervisors sent in a letter asking for revisions to the projections of the Draft Preferred Scenario.  In March 2017, an updated Preferred Scenario for Unincorporated Marin came out with the Draft Plan Bay Area 2040 and is shown below:

The Plan Bay Area 2040 Scenario Projection of Unincorporated Marin Household Growth has dropped from 3150 households (August 2016 Scenario) to 2200 households (March 2017 Scenario).
The Plan Bay Area 2040 Scenario Projection of Unincorporated Marin Job Growth has dropped incrementally from 3850 (August 2016 Scenario) to 3800 (March 2017 Scenario).

Although the March 2017 projections are lower than the August 2016 projections, the updated projections still exceed Marin County's historic growth patterns.  They also exceed the original 2013 Plan Bay Area projections, which were unrealistically high.  Please scroll down to read a list of other problems with Plan Bay Area that we sent out in a prior email.

Attached is a letter, dated October 1, 2016, from Sustainable TamAlmonte to the Marin County Board of Supervisors commenting on the August 2016 Draft Preferred Scenario for Unincorporated Marin.  Our letter demonstrates that the projections were unrealistic and too high.

Below are comments that the Marin County Supervisors made about the Plan Bay Area 2040 update.  Unfortunately, the Supervisors appear to be complacent and seem to accept the regional plan.  There was no prolonged discussion showing concerns.

Abbreviated comments made by the Supervisors:

- Katie Rice: This plan update is an improvement over the 2013 Plan Bay Area.
- Dennis Rodoni: The projection of household growth is reasonable.
- Damon Connolly: Local needs and perspectives should be advocated for to keep Marin County's unique character and at the same time meet our housing needs.
- Judy Arnold: Every day, 65,000 cars come into Marin because workers cannot afford to live here.  Yet, at some point, we will no longer have space for housing.

Here is the remaining schedule for the adoption process of the Draft Plan Bay Area 2040 (an update of the original Plan Bay Area adopted in 2013):

The Supervisors unanimously approved Brian Crawford's informational status report.

Best regards,

Sharon Rushton
Sustainable TamAlmonte |

The Plan Bay Area 2040 update has the same problems that the original 2013 Plan Bay Area had:

1) The cost effectiveness of Plan Bay Area is abysmal, with costs of implementing Plan Bay Area far surpassing any benefits achieved;

2) Plan Bay Area isn’t needed to meet SB 375’s greenhouse gas reduction requirement - The only provisions of Plan Bay Area that significantly lower green house gases are from the California Air Resources Board green house gas plan and MTC climate initiatives, which could exist without the regional plan. Moreover, new construction, which Plan Bay Area mandates, is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases. The adverse climate change impacts of the plan related to the construction process are unsustainable, at a time when we need a smaller environmental footprint, a reduction in the use of building materials, electricity, and fuel. It takes up to 80 years for an urban village mixed-use building at maximum greenness to overcome climate change impacts from its own construction;

3) Plan Bay Area makes housing and transportation less affordable - Rather than reducing the combined housing and transportation costs for low and lower middle income households, implementation of the plan would increase these costs from 67% to 69% of low and lower-middle incomes;

4) Plan Bay Area displaces many lower income households;

5) Plan Bay Area does nothing to stop the hollowing out of the middle class. - The plan's forecast predicts; "The 'hollowing out' of the middle is projected to continue over the next 25 years.  Household growth will be strongest in the highest income category, reflecting expected strength of growth in high wage sectors combined with non-wage income (interest, dividends, capital gains, transfers).  Household growth will also be high in the lowest wage category, reflecting occupational shifts, wage stagnation, and retirement of seniors without pension assets";

6) Plan Bay Area’s forecast of Jobs, Population, and Housing for Marin County is unrealistic;

7) Implementation of Plan Bay Area would cause multiple significant unavoidable adverse environmental impacts, resulting in increased risk of severe environmental harm and serious jeopardy of public health and safety. - The impacts would be unavoidable either because mitigations will not reduce the impacts to less-than-significant or else because the regional agencies cannot require local jurisdictions to impose the mitigation measures. Moreover, the mitigations are unfunded;

8) Plan Bay Area promotes unfunded mandates - Plan Bay Area does not identify or address how communities will fund the expansion of public infrastructure and services necessary to accommodate the plan’s projected growth. There is no funding in place to address the significant adverse impacts that the plan will create. The local jurisdictions and tax payers are expected to pick up the tab, when they don’t even have enough available funds to properly provide for the existing demands;

9) Plan Bay Area reduces local control (with a carrot & stick approach);

10) Plan Bay Area does not respect environmental constraints and limits to growth; and

11) Plan Bay Area furthers CEQA exemptions and streamlining.

For additional observations about Plan Bay Area 2040, please read Richard Hall's below article.

Marin Post Article by Richard Hall:
Plan Bay Area is back: an opportunity for Marin to voice opposition
Richard Hall — San Rafael May 8, 2017 - 3:05 PM

Plan Bay Area is back - this time it's called Plan Bay Area 2040 and we have our first (and perhaps only) opportunity to speak about it at a workshop to be held on the morning of Saturday May 20th. Perhaps it will be theater like before (probably) - but this is our one opportunity for Marin to voice opposition.

- the new plan leads with "we have a housing crisis that requires immediate attention" when really we have an infrastructure crisis requiring attention; we have not kept our infrastructure, especially roads, growing in pace with population. New infrastructure projects focus on rail which people do not prefer and faces adoption challenges.

- Plan Bay Area spent $57 billion to plan for growth in the Bay Area, while taxpayers now pay 12 cents higher and escalating gas taxes to pay simply to maintain road infrastructure without this infrastructure keeping up with needs; for instance even with current funding the Vallejo 37 corridor will not be expanded until the year 2088!

- this is leading to a reduction in quality of life; Marin is built around one overwhelmed arterial - highway 101, while growth in Marin is slow in Sonoma it is not and this is making 101 traffic worse

- the presence of the SMART train is driving and accelerating growth through policy and MTC driven programs; it needs population growth to achieve sustainable ridership

- adding people, which Plan Bay Area drives towards exacerbates the issue

- allocating funding to accelerate and exacerbate growth overlooks major existing acute issues

- Plan Bay Area should be focusing on serving existing taxpayers instead of serving lobbying groups seeking rapid growth.

- Plan Bay Area seeks to solve a plethora of issues including social equity and transportation but in so doing fails to achieve anything. It seeks to shift people to transit, but data shows people are not adopting transit. It is failed social engineering and has not achieved anything but serving those who seek growth

Richard Hall

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