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July 13, 2013

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Joe

Here is a little piece from the Reason Foundation posted on the premise of not letting facts get in the way of a good story:

California: Cleaner Air and More Cars. Two new reports call into question California's plans to mandate high-density urban development as a means of reducing vehicular emissions, including CO2.

First, the Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado issued a report documenting greatly reduced vehicular emissions in the Golden State over the past 50 years, despite a threefold increase in people and cars.

Transportation consultant Thomas Rubin analyzed the assumptions used by the Association of Bay Area Governments in its state-required Plan Bay Area, calling for drastic housing and land-use changes allegedly necessary to achieve CO2 reduction targets. His analysis suggests that the Bay Area is already very close to achieving the required 2020 levels, without enacting the land-use and housing plans.

See: http://reason.org/news/show/does-california-really-need-major

jennifer

Another good contribution from our local journalist,
John Horgan
"One size does not fit all along the Peninsula"

San Mateo County Times
Posted: 07/30/2013 06:44:15 PM PDT

Despite the persistent desires of some influential social planners, one size does not fit all. Recently, there has been considerable angst along the Peninsula on regional government mandates on housing construction that is designed to accommodate anticipated population growth.

The Association of Bay Area Governments, in concert with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, has come up with a plan to encourage building future dwelling units as close to mass transit routes as possible.

Communities that comply with the dictates of what is called "Plan Bay Area" would be provided with taxpayer-funded grants. Last month, the proposal was approved by officials of both ABAG and MTC. Not everyone is thrilled. You don't have to look far to see why some folks are unhappy.
Massive, new apartment buildings near SamTrans and Caltrain routes are the antithesis of what the suburbs were once all about.

These huge structures, many of them bulky and unattractive eyesores that have been foisted on an unaware populace, amount to urbanization run amok.

Fortunately, not all Peninsula towns are on board with this stark alteration of the local landscape. Take Hillsborough for example.

That leafy hamlet of about 3,000 pricey homes is not buying into Plan Bay Area, although city authorities are watching the proceedings carefully as you might imagine.
According to Hillsborough Director of Building and Planning Elizabeth Cullinan, the town's regulations allow for a minimum lot size of at least a half-acre. Only single-family homes -- the second quarter median sale price of which was $2.6 million -- are permitted.

Hillsborough does not contain apartments, condominiums or commercial structures of any kind. Sidewalks and stoplights are few and far between.

Plan Bay Area simply would not work there, even though the eastern border of the burg is located on or near El Camino Real, a major SamTrans bus corridor. Cullinan noted that Hillsborough has worked with ABAG on its proposal. "We participated in the process," she said. "We were speaking for ourselves. There doesn't seem to be a problem."

That's encouraging. Suburban communities that desire to maintain their individual character ought to be able to do so without any sort of high-minded intimidation by environmental activists or anyone else with an aggressive agenda.

Sensitive buzzword

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