What is One Bay Area Plan?
One Bay Area is the 25 year plan for how the 9 counties and 101 cities in the San Francisco Bay Area are going to grow. CA Senate Bill 375 is the enabling legislation that combines housing, transportation and land use. The stated objective of One Bay Area Plan is to provide high density housing near mass transit. The desired effect is to get people out of their cars and provide work and leisure activities accessible by walking, bicycling, or public transit. There is a strong emphasis on “social equity” which is never officially defined. Social equity translates into high and middle income residents providing housing in their neighborhoods for people with lower incomes.
Why Do We Oppose One Bay Area?
One Bay Area would achieve its objectives by controlling housing development, transportation, and land use throughout the Bay Area. Decisions regarding these vitally important issues would be made primarily by agencies that are not elected by the people and therefore essentially unaccountable to the public. The Plan is ill-advised in that it will greatly restrict personal freedoms, undermine private property rights, and actually degrade the quality of life in the Bay Area.
There is not enough time to spell out all of the objections to the Plan in detail, so here is a brief highlight of the major objections.
- One Bay Area rests on a number of highly questionable assumptions about population growth, economic growth, and the availability of public funds – especially federal funds – to pay for the huge expansion of government that the plan would entail.
- The plan rests on getting citizens to buy into vaguely defined but noble-sounding goals such as “smart growth,” “sustainability,” “social justice,” “equity,” and similar terms. In reality, the plan is an enormous expansion of government and government control of the lives of citizens.
- The plan itself was developed behind closed doors and passed off as a “grass roots” plan through a series of carefully orchestrated “visioning” meetings with pre-ordained outcomes.
- The plan involves draconian controls on housing, public transportation, land use, and economic development.
- Those who have developed the plan and who would be in charge of enforcing it are almost entirely insulated from accountability to the citizens who lives would be subject to controls that are unprecedented in American history.