California Attorney General to oppose legal challenge of Plan Bay Area

California Attorney General to oppose challenge to Plan Bay AreaThe office of the California Attorney General Kamal Harris, has decided to oppose the lawsuit filed by Bay Area Citizens against regional governmental agencies that have voted in favor of a plan to limit driving and to alter housing development patterns.

On Tuesday, May 13, Bay Area Citizens, an environmental group based in Lafayette, California, received notice that the state’s attorney general will file — in a coming trial — legal briefs in support of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG).

On July 18-19, 2013, MTC and ABAG voted to support Plan Bay Area, a scheme to reduce the use of motor vehicles and to alter housing patterns in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Several months ago, Bay Area Citizens filed a lawsuit against MTC’s and ABAG’s support of Plan Bay Area. A trial date of Thursday, June 12 has been set. The trial will take place at the Alameda County Courthouse (the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse) in Oakland.

MTC and ABAG support the construction of high-rise, high-density housing near transportation hubs, such as BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) stations. MTC and ABAG represent the nine counties in the San Francisco Bay Area.

MTC and ABAG are regional governmental agencies. The boards of directors of MTC and ABAG are not elected directly by voters.

In a May 13 statement, Bay Area Citizens stated: “The powerful political and financial interests that appear to have decided how and where the rest of us shall live, and how we will travel — regardless of whether that’s how we ourselves want to live and travel — appear closing ranks here in opposing our suit.”

Bay Area Citizens also said in its May 13 statement that “unaccountable, unelected regional and state agencies [are] exercising coercive and overweening control over every aspect of our lives and the lives of our fellow citizens . . . ”

Bay Area Citizens went on to say: “We are under no illusion as the powerful forces we are up against — what all of us, the ordinary citizens of the Bay Area, face here.”

Attempts to reach the office of the California Attorney General were unsuccessful.

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