'Scheme Bay Area' is a lot more like it

My opposition to the regional Plan Bay Area began from its onset. The very idea of an unelected body of people whose purpose is to homogenize the entire Bay Area is just plain crazy.

Our tax dollars are being spent for salaries of people whose goal is to meld, blend, then spit out a human diorama that depicts life as they would like to see it: our transportation, downtowns, neighborhoods. You name it, their claws are into it.

Since the Association of Bay Area Governments and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission only exist to shape the futures of all nine Bay Area counties together -- so that we don't have local control over our towns' futures -- what we can do as citizens is to complain loudly about them and their plan.

Who gave them the authority to "plan" the town I live in, incorporated in 1894? What about your town? For more information, and to view a lawsuit filed last month against them, check out www.bayareacitizens.com.

Nancy Stevens

Pleasanton

Plan will help Bay Area progress sensibly

This plan supported by ABAG and MTC requires 78 percent of new housing and 62 percent of new jobs be built into a confined transit area to meet clean-air standards.

Reducing sprawl so beloved by developers and their cheap farmland has created the traffic snarls and dirty air we have been dealing with and paying for these last four to five decades. It is time we undertook smart growth. Our population is not dwindling.

However, the conservative, libertarian Pacific Legal Foundation would have you believe this is a scheme driven by insiders who are not providing citizens with important information. Information such as that auto standard improvements will reduce carbon emissions without resorting to enforced planned development.

They also believe improved bus ridership will go a long way to achieving clean-air standards. Sound familiar? Freedom to choose?

Libertarian ideals would have the marketplace be the sole arbiter of worthwhile progress. If we've learned anything over the last few decades, it should be that laissez-faire capitalism benefits the uber wealthy and not the powerless.

By all means have citizen input, but let's not go back in time.

Anne Spanier

Alameda

End regionalism; people have a right to choose

Cities and communities should not be subject to social engineering. Residents of each town and community have the right to plan and create the type of living environment they want. We need an end to regionalism and Plan Bay Area.

Earl Burris

Danville

One size surely does not fit all for growth

Plan Bay Area imposes a vision of growth that is generic to the largest cities, which have economies of size, infrastructure and credible transportation already in place.

This top-down, dirigiste approach is massively unresponsive to the smaller towns' mission of preserving their integrity, scale and character. These towns differ in geography, history, owner-renter ratios, and more. They need a more individuated process to produce authentic solutions -- growth coming from the grass roots up.

PBA fails to acknowledge the complexity of social organization, fails to consider the ecological concept of carrying capacity, and especially fails to distinguish its goal of Bay Area livability from junk science/social engineering baggage.

Speaking of credible transportation, the town of Martinez is PBA-designated "a transit hub." It takes more than an hour by bus, when it runs at all, to get from downtown to the Martinez-North Concord BART. Get real!

Elizabeth Walsh

Martinez

PBA public hearings nothing but a farce

I attended the Plan Bay Area public hearings and I submitted two comments before the deadline.

I received a nice letter from MTC-Plan Bay Area thanking me for "taking the time to communicate on the Draft Plan Bay Area and/or associated Draft Environmental Impact Report."

They completely ignored my suggestions. They did not provide an answer to why they acted as they did. Should there not be public hearings on submitted suggestions? Maybe someone other than the staff at ABAG or MTC might have a good idea.

It is obvious that I was just a pawn in their game to present an argument that public input was solicited.

Daniel G. DeBusschere

Orinda

Planned living areas, tomorrow's ghettos

No government bureaucracy has the right under the U.S. Constitution to tell me I have to use mass transit or where and how I can live.

I have no desire to live in a high density "sustainable community." These planned living areas are not "livable," nor do they make provision for families or Christian churches. They are the ghettos of tomorrow under an increasingly totalitarian government.

If we were truly a representative government, there would be no huge unelected regional government bureaucracies, such as ABAG and MTC, taking our federal tax dollars and churning out masses of studies supporting their agenda for the rest of us.

The worst part of Plan Bay Area is the ephemeral "social equity" agenda, which has the goal of moving people of all income levels into every part of the Bay Area. This is socialism pure and simple -- similar to what happened in Soviet Russia after the communist revolution.

Jim Mellander

El Sobrante

Taxpayers are being ignored by bureaucrats

I have lived in Solano County for 21 years and strongly oppose Plan Bay Area.

Taxpayers like me are being ignored by the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., and Sacramento because they claim to know what is best. Property owners lose their rights during the convoluted process developed by those who stand to gain by circumventing normal, local government procedures.

Bureaucrats, not elected officials who represent the taxpaying public, are in favor of this plan. Bay Area residents should reject developers, paid consultants and nontaxpayers who want more but pay nothing in this process.

Michael Davenport

Vacaville

PBA is only about control and money

Plan Bay Area is a top-down social engineering experiment cooked up by unelected regional agencies and a handful of well-funded special interest groups that will transform all counties and cities within the Bay Area into high density stack-and-pack human settlements.

The unelected bureaucrats love it because they will control almost $300 billion in transportation funding and can dictate to local municipalities.

Big developers love it because they will receive taxpayer subsidies, as well as environmental waivers and bonuses for higher densities. As an added bonus, they can choose to ignore local ordinances such as setbacks, height limitations and parking minimums.

The planners claim stack-and-pack housing is necessary to reduce greenhouse gases and increase affordability and choice. But the final draft contradicts that claim. In reality, we end up with more traffic, more congestion, higher priced housing, displacement of current affordable tenants and more GHGs.

So, you have to ask: Why are we doing this? The only people who will benefit are the unelected planners and big developers. This plan is about control and money.

Heather Gass

Danville

Don't implement Plan Bay Area

I do not want Plan Bay Area to be implemented because it will limit my freedom of choosing the kind of community I want to live in.

You really think people will give up driving and will want to live in high-density housing like what we see in Dublin? And do you think it will improve air quality? No!

Let Livermore be in charge of Livermore.

Betty Ellis

Livermore

Don't impose Plan Bay Area on us

Only an autocratic monarch like King George III of England could support Plan Bay Area.

This plan, which calls for Bay Area residents to get rid of their cars and live in stack-and-pack housing, is being imposed on residents without a vote of the people.

In July, the directors of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments voted to support Plan Bay Area.

If autocratic bureaucrats like those who run MTC and ABAG want to impose their policies on taxpayers, then all officers, directors and employees of MTC and ABAG must surrender their drivers licenses, ditch their cars, and move into stack-and-pack housing before requiring anyone else to do so.

Richard S. Colman

Orinda

Plan Bay Area is anti-American

Plan Bay Area is an attempt to take away our God-given civil rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Planning should be locally based, not regional. Regional administrators are not accountable to the people because they are not elected by us.

The administrative bureaucrats pushing Plan Bay Area have proved they are not friends of democracy. They pretend to accept public input but ignore the input that repeatedly and overwhelmingly opposes PBA.

Live free or die.

Steven Scheye

Martinez

Undermining the rights of citizens

I immigrated to the United States five years ago this month and in my view, the Plan Bay Area scheme is very obviously designed to undermine citizens' rights. I cannot understand why the average American doesn't see it.

Please wake up America, and prevent these bureaucrats from taking total control of this country.

Andrew Lowe

Danville