Are you concerned about ABAG’s concentration of jobs and housing growth in our local South Bay communities that creates high levels of congestion, pushes up extraordinarily high housing costs, increases local taxes and weakens local zoning control? This has all come about because ABAG, our local regional planning agency, decided that their priority strategy for the Bay Area should be concentrated growth in already jobs-rich areas.
All while ignoring affordable housing, housing speculation, the historic droughts, the drain on our power grid, density and changing work patterns — and so much more as laid out by PASZ in the June 23rd letter to MTC and by Art Kiesel, former Mayor of Foster City and Board member of the League of California Cities in his Catalysts Town Hall presentation on June 17, 2021.
We know congestion and traffic are major problems here and getting worse, but did you know why? Simply it’s because ABAG, the unelected regional planning agency, decided that new jobs and housing should go where jobs are already concentrated — to jobs- rich areas like Palo Alto.
When setting those goals, ABAG blatantly ignored California Government codes requiring them to hold open meetings to explore ways to disperse jobs throughout the Bay Area. After approving their methodology in September 2019, they quickly announced they wouldn’t even look at the benefits of dispersing new jobs around the Bay Area, preferring to put both new jobs and new housing in one of the costliest areas of the country. They even refused to consider the impacts of changing work patterns like working remotely.
We have one final opportunity over the next eight years to force them into an open public discussion of the disastrous impact of concentrated jobs and housing growth. Please send a written comment about the consequences of Plan Bay Area 2050 and its RHNA allocation process to MTC/ABAG by July 20, 2021.
Send your comments by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by regular mail to DEIR Comments, 375 Beale Street, Suite 800, San Francisco CA 94105) before the July 20th deadline.
By law, ABAG must provide a written response to every received comment. When combined with possible lawsuits from various cities against their misguided policies, this may also force ABAG to reconsider their Plan for concentrated growth.