Contra Costa Times editorial: Establishing sensible and sustainable growth
Posted: 02/18/2011 12:01:00 AM PST
BACK IN 2003, Contra Costa County leaders pieced together a long-range plan that was designed to promote infill housing development near transportation centers. The purpose of the Shaping Our Future plan was to reduce the need to drive, make jobs and shopping more accessible, provide adequate low-income housing and protect open space.
However, much of the plan has been shelved because there was insufficient incentive for cities to follow it. With the passage of Assembly Bill 32 and Senate Bill 375, the strategies outlined in Shaping Our Future have been given new life.
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments will give final approval to a Sustainable Community Strategy in 2013, with a first draft to be released next month.
If cites do not adhere to it, they will risk losing funds for transportation projects.
The idea behind the plan is the same as it was under Shaping Our Future. Cities will be urged to plan housing, job centers and transportation infrastructure in a coordinated manner that reduces driving.
For many years, urban planners have been calling for a much closer link between transportation projects and land-use policies.
For the sake of efficiency as well as reduced air pollution and traffic, the Sustainable Community Strategy makes sense.
There already are some good examples of this so-called smart growth that are
compatible with the new planing goals.
For the past few years, Pittsburg has spent considerable effort in renovating its old downtown with new affordable housing projects, and is working on development of government offices and housing adjacent to the planned eBART station near Highway 4.
Other areas that have similar plans include the Concord Naval Weapons Station land, the areas around Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill BART stations and downtown Lafayette and Martinez.
Sustainable Communities Strategies will have to account for a projected 900,000 new housing units in the nine-county Bay Area before 2035, many of which will have to be built near job centers.
Regardless of one’s views on the dangers of greenhouse gases, much of which are produced by motor vehicles, the Sustainable Community Strategy deserves support.
If we are to preserve open space in the region and build affordable housing that is conveniently close to jobs and shopping, better land-use policies are needed.
Suburban sprawl is expensive, promotes excessive dependence on driving, endangers the environment and reduces open space.
Replacing sprawl with intelligent growth choices should be the norm without the threat of financial penalties. But if that is what it takes to motivate city planners and developers — and, especially, city politicians — to build more intelligently, then so be it.
Re the CC Times editorial “Sustainable Growth”, 2/18/2011. Sustainability and Smart Growth are at their base, euphemisms for a major eco-socialist assault on our republican form of constitutional government. They are products of Agenda 21 which calls for total undermining of the U.S. Constitution. In the Agenda 21 utopia, there are no property rights, freedom, or liberty. People – the workers – live in urban centers, and the area outside these centers are wildlands, with no human activity allowed, except for the elites, who will have their country dachas. See the appalling utopia maps of America at http://www.takingliberty.us/TLHome.html.
Agenda 21 is a plan for an overarching global governance under the U.N. Americans are particularly targeted to loose much of their wealth, which is to be transferred to the Third World.
The purported need for “sustainability” and Agenda 21 is based solely on the fraudulent theory that carbon dioxide has or will cause global warming. The facts are that there has never been any historic evidence of CO2 causing global warming. To the contrary, evidence against the CO2 fraud is overwhelming,
The hucksters of Agenda 21 have been extremely clever in setting up the entire world for the sustainability deception by focusing mainly on the world’s cities and mayors, for sedgewaying into local politics and setting up of dictatorial local councils of “stakeholders” – councils of mostly enviro-nuts with an agenda of population control.
Contra Costa County, Alameda County, and most of their cities are already members of the Agenda 21-sponsored International Council of Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI).
ICLEI operates surreptitiously out of the public eye, provides organizational and planning assistance to local governments, such as draft regulations that will channel the rulings of the local councils. Governments that sign the ICLEI charter surrender their sovereignty, a violation of the Constitution.
Readers are urged to contact elected member of their city council or county board of supervisors and demand that they tear up any agreements they have made with ICLEI. We should make our counties and cities follow the examples of Spokane, WA; Carroll County, MD; Broomfield County, CO; Edmund, OK; Arvada, CO; Amador County, CA; Monterey County, CA; North Little Rock, AR; and Austin, TX, all locations where people have risen up and demanded their politicians destroy ICLEI agreements and sustainability agendas.
Readers are further urged to go see the Freedom Advocates website for more details: http://www.freedomadvocates.org/. You will be shocked.
Scott JokerstFeb 18
What we are finding is “sustainable” are those ordinarily private economic activities that can persist on their own without government subsidy. By that measure, if it made sustainable economic sense to develop infill housing and businesses near public transportation centers … then they will develop, and thrive on their own. Otherwise, these are ideas which may have some merit from a narrow, though perhaps laudable perspective, but which simply don’t stand the systematic test that is the only one that matters — what does the consumer want, and can afford, with money of their own that they are willing to spend.
All other subsidized activities are simply wealth redistribution strategies, either to the poor, or most importantly, to developers and other businesses that have something to gain from “the program.”
Consider something like high speed rail in CA? Why would one need it when one has, much more economically, access to auto and air transportation to anywhere a train could possibly go?
Given our current state and municipal budget situation, we should hold off on Sustainable Development initiatives until we have enough in the bank to sustain the endless subsidy they entail.
Carri DealFeb 18
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