May 6, 2013
Post Sustainability Institute
We are suing to stop Plan Bay Area, the nine county land use and transportation plan which is a violation of your constitutional rights and a shocking overreach of the experiment in regional governance.
Our nation is a constitutional republic with a framework of direct election that rises from local government through county, state, and up to the federal level. This framework ensures that the peoples’ rights are protected and that our voices are heard. Plan Bay Area is designed to empower a layer of regional government between state and county, and ultimately between state and federal which renders our voices irrelevant. These regional boards are not elected by the people; the board members are selected out of elected officials who support regional goals.
Regional boards like the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) are holding the purse strings for state and federal transportation and grant dollars. MTC and ABAG have fabricated Plan Bay Area though they claim that it was crafted in response to the needs and desires of Bay Area residents. Most people have never heard of Plan Bay Area. Of the seven million residents of the Bay Area approximately three tenths of one percent have participated in the so-called planning sessions. These planning sessions were tailored to elicit responses that favor high density urban development (Smart Growth), the preferred scenario of Plan Bay Area. Those voicing a dissenting opinion were virtually ignored, labeled as NIMBYs, or as political fringe. As a liberal Democrat, registered since 1974, I recognize this kind of smear as a way of chilling our civil rights by attempting to intimidate those who reject Plan Bay Area’s blatant violation of property rights.
PLAN BAY AREA violates the 5th Amendment of the US Constitution by taking property rights without just compensation. By the creation of Priority Development Areas this Plan restricts 80% of residential development and 66% of commercial development to just a few small areas of your city--until the year 2040. If your property is outside of the PDA (96% of property is outside) you will likely not be able to build or expand your building--and you won't be paid for this loss.
PLAN BAY AREA violates the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution--the Equal Protection Clause. Owners of properties in the Priority Development Areas will receive development permits at a rate of approximately 80 times more than owners of property outside of the Priority Development Areas.
PLAN BAY AREA violates voter-approved Urban Growth Boundary ordinances. Because the Priority Development Areas are within the UGBs but are much smaller restricted areas they are in violation of ordinances that clearly state that development must be encouraged out to the limits of city services: Urban Growth Boundaries. These ordinances are found throughout the Bay Area and cannot be changed without voter approval.
PLAN BAY AREA permanently strips all development rights from rural properties in the nine county Bay Area. Plan Bay Area is effectively taking conservation easements on all rural lands without paying for them.
PLAN BAY AREA restricts development rights of property within the Priority Development Areas, too. Construction will be limited to mixed-use high density Smart Growth development. Existing buildings are likely to be out of compliance with your city's General Plan (legal non-conforming) and permits to make additions or changes will likely not be granted.
This Plan is dependent on tax subsidies and handouts and will devastate the Bay Area for more than a generation. Property rights are a foundation of our freedom and are non-partisan. Join us now in stopping Plan Bay Area.