The Bay Area's two largest regional agencies will unveil later this month a draft blueprint for where to build new houses, shops and roads in the next 25 years along with an environmental analysis.

Called Plan Bay Area, the blueprint is required under state legislation, SB375, that ties transportation money to land-use planning.

State lawmakers want regions to grow near existing highways and transit rather than sprawl into open spaces, further snarl traffic, fuel expensive infrastructure projects and degrade air quality. Critics, meanwhile, describe the plan as subversive social engineering designed to push people from their single family homes into high-rise apartments.

The draft blueprint is set for release on March 22 followed by the environmental analysis on March 29.

A joint presentation before committees of the Association of Bay Area Governments and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission is scheduled for April 5. After a series of hearings throughout the spring, the two full boards will vote on the final plan June 20.

Chaired by Orinda Councilwoman Amy Worth, MTC oversees transportation spending and the toll bridges in the Bay Area, while ABAG, whose vice president is Clayton Mayor Julie Pierce, is a city-county membership organization consisting of elected city council members, mayors and county supervisors.

Residents may also get an up-close look at Plan Bay Area during open houses and public hearings scheduled for each of the nine counties. The open houses will begin at 6 p.m., followed by a public hearing at 7 p.m.

The East Bay schedule is:

  • Contra Costa County: April 22, Walnut Creek Marriott, 2355 N Main St., Walnut Creek

  • Alameda County: May 1, Mirage Ballroom, 4100 Peralta Blvd., Fremont

    For more information, go to http://OneBayArea.org.

    Contact Lisa Vorderbrueggen at 925-945-4773, lvorderbrueggen@bayareanewsgroup.com, politicswithlisav.blogspot.com or Twitter.com/lvorderbrueggen.