Extend Deadline on One Bay Area EIR
Plan Bay Area is a proposed comprehensive plan to control land use, housing, and transportation policies throughout the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. It is a joint product of the Association of Regional Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) with input from other regional agencies. Plan Bay Area will dramatically affect every resident of the San Francisco Bay Area. If adopted, the Plan will significantly restrict personal lifestyle choices, including where you live, how you travel, and your cost of living. The Plan transfers authority for the most critical public policy issues – land use, transportation, and housing – from elected local officials to unelected bureaucrats. It will also impose billions of dollars of unfunded expenses on local communities that are already facing huge budget deficits. MTC and ABAG have put in place a “fast track” process for adoption of a Plan that will affect virtually every aspect of your life. It is unlikely that even ten in 1,000 residents of the Bay Area have even heard of Plan Bay Area, much less understand how dramatically it will change their lives and limit the lifestyle choices of their children and grandchildren. ABAG and MTC have commissioned an environmental impact report (EIR) on Plan Bay Area that is seriously incomplete and inadequate. The scoping EIR process fails to address many critical issues, including highly questionable assumptions about population and economic growth, where the hundreds of billions of dollars needed to implement the plan will come from, and how the highly restrictive policies on land use, housing, and transportation will affect the environment and the quality of life in the region. ABAG and MTC have adopted a very aggressive schedule for adoption of the EIR – an essential next step toward adoption of the extremely controversial Plan Bay Area. The time for public comment has been severely limited – ABAG and MTC will cut off public comment on July 11, present final alternatives to MTC-ABAG on July 13 and to approve final alternatives on the EIR scoping on July19. Even worse, the process for public comment has been seriously deficient. Citizens have been instructed that “negative comments” on the Plan are not permitted and that the unelected consultants alone will decide which public comments on the EIR will be submitted to ABAG and MTC. We therefore call upon ABAG and MTC to reject the EIR scoping process as incomplete and inadequate and to extend the time for public comment on the next draft. The issues involved are critically important and decisions must not be made in haste without adequate time for review. The review process must allow maximum latitude for citizens to voice their views on the Plan and to demand complete examination of the most likely outcomes from its adoption. Because the plan amounts to a massive transfer of power from elected local officials to unelected regional bodies, the current review process may be the last opportunity for citizens to make their voices heard. This petition will be mailed (in mail and email format) to ABAG and MTC by July 10. If you support our efforts to ensure full and complete review and comment by citizens of the Bay Area, please add your signature below.