Commenting on Plan Bay Area Town Hall

by Bay Area Citizens


Dear Friends,

The Plan Bay Area proponents finally announced on their onebayarea.org website late Saturday afternoon that the draft EIR would be released tomorrow, April 2. The draft EIR can be found at this site when it is made available to the public:

http://onebayarea.org/regional-initiatives/plan-bay-area/draft-plan-bay-area/supplementary-reports.html

Bay Area Citizens continues to recommend that you consider offering comments on the Plan at the Plan Bay Area Town Hall, and we urge citizens of all points of view to do so.  We are for a robust, free, and open debate, and welcome all views, including those of folks who support the Plan.

http://onebayarea.org/misc/open-town-hall.html

Please don’t assume by our recommending that you do so, though, that we believe it is likely your comments will be listened to, let alone have an impact on the Plan.  We have spoken with too many people who have attended hearings on the Plan, or provided written comments on the record, who have reported overwhelming public opposition to the Plan.  According to these citizens, their comments and concerns in opposition to the Plan have fallen on deaf ears, and have had no impact on the planners’ actions, or on the Plan itself.

But it’s important to make the voices of the citizens known, if we are only documenting here for future reference when the general public finally becomes aware what is happening here, and begins to make its voice known—as it assuredly will.

We also encourage you to read the comments that have been made thus far.  They appear to be very similar to the range of comments that have been made at public hearings and submitted in writing.  For example, the following comment was entered to the Plan overall in the first section, and is representative of the comments in opposition to the Plan.  All the comments thus far--from whatever point of view--are similar to this one, and are well stated, heartfelt, and thoughtful.

Name not shown in Novato

March 29, 2013, 9:16 AM

Plan Bay Area takes highly questionable assumptions and projections, then inflates these into a utopian vision. In practical terms, Plan Bay Area amounts to a persecution of the middle class suburban population with over-regulation, high taxes, and micro-management of our lifestyles. The population and job growth assumptions are obviously inflated in order to justify the whole structure. The environmental assumptions are equally questionable, since global warming theory continues to lose scientific support.
Given this kind of bureaucratic over-reach, it's no surprise that California has the worst business climate of any of the 50 states. It's estimated that 250,000 businesses have left California in the last 10 years. We're losing population, too. For the first time since statehood, California lost a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives due to out-migration. The people who leave are mostly middle class taxpayers, homeowners, and small business owners. As a result, California is becoming increasingly bi-polar, a state with a small number of very wealthy residents, a shrinking middle class, and a swelling population of low income residents who depend on taxpayer subsidies. This is unsustainable. 

Plan Bay Area purports to be all about sustainability, but the exact opposite is true.


Plan Bay Area update

by Bay Area Citizens


Dear Friends,

The draft Plan Bay Area was released on Friday, March 22.  We recommend you read the Plan in its entirety, but please be warned--people who have done so have commented it's a bit disorienting to read the Plan as described in the light of what it objectively represents, and in the light of the manner in which it is being promulgated:

http://onebayarea.org/regional-initiatives/plan-bay-area/draft-plan-bay-area.html

The draft EIR, which was scheduled to be released yesterday, Friday, March 29, appears to be delayed, though no notification of the delay has been posted on the onebayarea.org website (the official Plan Bay Area website).  When it is actually released, it will be posted at the site above.

You may want to consider commenting on the Plan Bay Area Town Hall, and offer your thoughts:

http://onebayarea.org/misc/open-town-hall.html#peak_democracy

No one that we've talked to who has submitted a written comment or made a public comment at a "public hearing" on the Plan to date has told us they felt their concerns were listened to by the Plan's proponents or by the ABAG Executive Committee members or MTC Commissioners, nor have they felt that their concerns made any impact on future drafts of the Plan or on decisions being made by the Plan's proponents.   The overwhelming majority of the public comment to date appears to have been made by individual citizens opposed to the Plan, a small minority of individual citizens who are in favor of the Plan, and various representatives of "stakeholders"--groups or interests who appear to have something to be gained from the Plan.  But the vast, vast majority of individual citizens in the Bay Area appear to simply have no knowledge of this Plan whatsoever, despite how dramatically and irreversibly the Plan, as currently drafted, will likely affect the lives of everyone in the Bay Area, now, and in the future.

With this qualification--please do not surprised if you find yourself deeply disappointed as others have been who've reported to us that, in their opinion, they tried to have their voices heard, but did not feel they were listened to by the Plan's proponents, Bay Area Citizens strongly recommends that you offer your thoughts on the online "Plan Bay Area Town Hall" above--and do so regardless of what your point of view is on the Plan--and also consider attending one of the "public input" sessions on the Plan and on the draft EIR in April and May:

http://onebayarea.org/regional-initiatives/plan-bay-area/meetings-events/Public-Workshops-Public-Hearings.html


Donate to help fund expert reports

by Bay Area Citizens


Dear Friends,

Please consider donating generously to helping fund expert reports to challenge Plan Bay Area's draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR).  The draft EIR will be released on March 29, and we will have 45 days to submit comments. 

The Plan appears to be based on deeply flawed models, forecasts, and assumptions.  Bay Area Citizens has identified a number of top national experts in land use, transportation, and the environment who are willing to work with us.  Our expert reports will provide the analytically-sound, empirically-based assessment of the Plan and its assumptions that ABAG and MTC should be providing, but aren't. 

These reports are essential to all the public for its informed decision making on the Plan.  They are also necessary if we should decide to file suit against the Plan after it is adopted.

Please send your check to:

Bay Area Citizens

3527 Mt. Diablo Blvd #358

Lafayette, CA  94549


You can also donate by credit card online:

Donate to help fund our programs here!

If you know anyone else who may be interested in donating towards this effort, please encourage them to do so.   

The stakes couldn't be higher, and these reports are so incredibly important.  Please don't hesitate to contact us at bayareacitizens@yahoo.com with any questions, and thanks so much for your help!

Bay Area Citizens

Please note that your donations to Bay Area Citizens are not considered tax deductible at this time.

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