TEA Parties condemn ABAG-MTC OneBayArea Plan

San Francisco’s East Bay, CA, March 15th, 2011:The East Bay TEA Party and the TriValley Patriots will be joining other TEA Party groups along with local control and property rights advocates, to speak out in opposition to the OneBayArea plan at the Association of Bay Area Governments Executive Board Meeting on March 15th, beginning at 7pm at the Metro Center, located at 101 8th Street Oakland, CA

Regional bodies, Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) are racing to adopt a regional plan that will significantly transform the lives of over 9 million people in the Bay Area over the next 30 years. Over $240 Billion dollars is at stake and the regional planners are giddy over controlling where the money will be spent. “The plan is a cookie cutter solution that calls for high density, low income stack-and-pack housing next to mass transit in all nine Bay Area counties. Local jurisdictions will have to adopt their plan or they won’t get any of these transportation funds. This amounts to extortion!” says Heather Gass, an east bay resident and East Bay TEA Party leader.

This planning power grab is a result of California’s AB32 and SB375 laws. AB32 (Cap and Trade) calls for the reduction of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020 and an 80% reduction of 1990 levels by 2050. No costs associated with achieving these goals have ever been examined. SB375 links land use to transportation planning and created the opportunity for mischief by giving a transportation authority control of hundreds of billions of dollars and asking them to plan how and where we all will live. This has created an unaccountable monster that must be stopped.

Local jurisdictions and local control advocates should oppose this plan as it transfers the decision making authority over to regional planners. When money and plans come from above, power and corruption follow. Local jurisdictions are being told they must identify Priority Development Areas (PDA’s) within their cities that can accommodate high density low and very low income housing regardless of the impact on private property rights. Once PDAs are identified the local jurisdictions must rezone the areas to accommodate mixed multi dwellings with high density housing on top and retail shops below. This is all done without regard for the current owners and use of the property being rezoned. The negative impact on private property rights and values are going to be staggering.Suburban neighborhoods will be transformed into stack and pack transit villages. Single family homes and car ownership will be a thing of the past.

The outreach process was rigged from the beginning and the public has no idea what is being planned for their local communities. Additionally, MTC and ABAG have violated the Brown Act public meeting rules by requiring individuals to pre-register for the meetings, identify the type of individual they were when they registered among other tactics. MTC and ABAG hired trained facilitators to hold a minimum number of public outreach meetings; 9 meetings (one per county) to determine the fate of 9 million citizens! Facilitators contrived a consensus process to manipulate attendees to vote for predetermined outcomes with vague information and limited choices. This results in all nine bay area counties with a shared “vision” of high density stack-and-pack housing next to mass transit.

Low income communities are being told that this will help give them a hand out of poverty, when in fact; they will be trapped in these units with no way out. When a low income person purchases a Below Market Rate (BMR) unit they cannot rent or sublet it for 55 years. They can only sell it to another low income person, but the city determines the price they can sell. Therefore, little or no equity will ever accumulate so the owners might as well be a renter.

The idea that a handful of unelected regional planners will be deciding how and where 9 million people in the bay area will live over the next 30 years is astoundingly arrogant and wrong. This plan will ruin the uniqueness of the cities within the Bay Area.

This is not the first time personal liberty and property rights advocates have spoken out against the OneBayArea Plan. Vocal opposition has been voiced at the few ABAG/MTC meetings held over the past year, with the outcome resulting in shifting ABAG/MTC tactics as they continue to push for a predetermined outcome of citizens willingly abandoning their personal liberty and property rights to a Big Brother government who claims to know what is best for its subjects.