LEGAL OBJECTIONS TO PLAN BAY AREA
The pdf file for our objection letter is here.
And the pdf file for our lawyer's objection letter is here.
For your enjoyment the first section of our objection letter is below.
And after that you'll find the Opinion article that Rosa wrote for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat newspaper. Of course they refused to print it...so we flyered four major neighborhoods of the city with it. We included the Press Democrat Opinion Editor's neighborhood in that group. The Sonoma County Gazette did publish the article.
Metropolitan Transportation Commission/Association of Bay Area Governments
Joseph P. Bort MetroCenter
101 Eighth Street
Oakland, CA 94607
May 14, 2013
PUBLIC COMMENT/OBJECTIONS (16 pages)
Draft Plan Bay Area: Strategy for a Sustainable Region
The Post Sustainability Institute strongly objects to the tremendous overreach of Plan Bay Area in the imposition of regional governance over the voters and their elected representatives in the nine county, 101 city San Francisco Bay Area.
The elevation of an unelected, unrepresentative body over the people of these municipalities is a violation of the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the US and California constitutions. We assert that the Metropolitan Transportation Commission
and the Association of Bay Area Governments have taken SB 375 and used it to impose an aggressive ideology of land use restrictions and regionalization. Regional governance inserts a layer of unelected boards between local government and the federal and state grant makers/funders. This regional layer (MTC/ABAG), unaccountable to the electorate, sets up de facto mandates for local government--effectively using money as a lure and a bludgeon to cities and counties desperate for funds.
As more and more regions are created and imposed on local and state governments across the nation there will be less local control. Local government will exist solely to implement regional regulations administratively without meaningful input from the voters.
The necessity for government subsidies or changes to Proposition 13 (California property tax) to implement this Plan is clearly stated in the Plan itself on nearly every page. Restricting development of both residential and commercial uses primarily to highly urbanized city centers even when the real estate and economic markets do not support it is a recipe for failure and debt. The entire plan is a house of cards based on a financing scheme that does not exist in California:Redevelopment. Redevelopment debt has had a crippling impact on California; bonded debt for redevelopment in our state had reached $81 billion by 2007 and was doubling every 10 years. (Redevelopment: The Unknown Government Municipal Officials for Redevelopment Reform, 2007). The reinstatement or reinvention of tax increment financing for private development imposes a generational debt requiring 20-40 years of payments to bond brokers. Schemes for assembling and acquiring privately owned fully-developed land parcels in the Priority Development Areas will, as stated in the Plan, require eminent domain. Eminent domain is intended for public use only, and the perversion of the concept of public use to acquire land for private benefit will not be tolerated in California. In any case, at the time that Plan Bay Area is scheduled for adoption (July 18, 2013) none of these potential funding schemes is in effect, therefore the Plan fails the feasibility requirement of SB 375.
Plan Bay Area and SB 375 are predicated on the implementation of Sustainable Development. Sustainable Development was formally defined in the 1987 United Nations publication Our Common Future written by the UN World Commission on Environment and Development (referred to as the Brundtland Commission). Sustainable Development is defined as:
Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
All that remained was to state that our current activities and means of living were ‘compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ and then decide what to do about it.
After Our Common Future was presented to the UN General Assembly in 1987 the World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland Commission) was tasked with designing strategies for achieving Sustainable Development by the year 2000. At the Rio Earth Summit in June, 1992, the Brundtland Commission came back with the action plan for implementing Sustainable Development globally: Agenda 21. Referred to as the Agenda for the 21st Century, this document was agreed to by 179 nations, including President George H.W. Bush.
William Clinton was elected President in November, 1992, and six months later he issued Executive Order #12852 which created the President’s Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD). It first met in the summer of 1993; and continued until
1999. The members of the PCSD included Cabinet Secretaries for Transportation, Agriculture, Education, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Environmental Protection Agency, Small Business Administration, Energy, Interior, and Defense. Representing business were CEOs for Pacific Gas and Electric, Enron (Ken Lay), BP Amoco, and Dow Chemical, among others. Environmental organizations rounded out the balance with the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, World Resources Institute, the Nature Conservancy, and the Environmental Defense Fund being the most notable.
The PCSD immediately began laying the groundwork for implementing Agenda 21 in the United States. The goal was to change public policy to bring it into alignment with the new agenda for the 21st century. The PCSD formalized its
recommendations in ‘Sustainable America—A New Consensus.’
In the PCSD’s list of vital elements to incorporate into their recommendations they included this statement:
‘We need a new collaborative decision process that leads to better decisions, more rapid change, and more sensible use of human, natural, and financial resources in achieving our goals.’
A new collaborative decision process. The new definition for consensus is the neutralization of expressed opposition.
In the old way of doing things, the democratic way, an issue is put before the voters and they vote on it directly, or they have a representative who reviews the issues, debates them publicly, and then votes. If the voters are not satisfied with the outcome, they can initiate a referendum or vote out the representative.
‘Sustainable America—A New Consensus’ does not allow for actual dissent. There can be no opportunity for failure in implementing Agenda 21. In fact the Cabinet Secretaries reported that they could implement approximately two thirds of the PCSD’s recommendations administratively. However, it is not desirable that citizens notice that they are not being given a choice in the most important issues of their lives, so they are given the illusion that they are making decisions for themselves. The real meaning of consensus is to take away your voice and leave you feeling as if you are the only one who has some problem with the results. The President’s Council on Sustainable Development incorporated the Delphi Technique into its
recommendations so that ‘more rapid change’ could be imposed on us through clever manipulation. The Delphi Technique was used by MTC/ABAG and their consultants in their ‘visioning meetings’ in order to manipulate the outcome. Although they will say that they have never heard of the Delphi Technique they are in fact using it to direct public opinion, ignore or marginalize dissent, and declare ‘consensus’ on their preferred alternative.
Sustainable Development/UN Agenda 21 is exemplified in the Plan Bay Area documents by the push for high density urban development in city centers by any means necessary while starving the rural and suburban areas for funds and development. Using tactics better suited to criminal gangs, MTC/ABAG is hoping to slam through the most aggressive regional plan in the United States. UN Agenda 21 is a global plan implemented locally, and this is the Plan for the SF Bay Area. Similar plans can be found throughout the United States and the world with names like Envision Utah, Imagine Calgary, Granite State Future, PlaNY, One Valley One Vision, Horizon 2035 (Ontario, Canada), and Hanoi (Viet Nam) Regional Center 2030 Plan. All of these plans are the same plan with the same goal: move people out of the rural and suburban areas into the city centers where they can be more easily managed, controlled, and surveilled. This is not a conspiracy theory, it is a conspiracy fact. No amount of government-sponsored shaming, mocking, marginalizing, or lying about those of us speaking the truth can change this fact. The people of the United States of America and of the State of California will not be a party to this plan to destroy private property and civil rights.
We intend to fight Plan Bay Area and we intend to win.
(Click here to read the rest of our objections)
CLOSE TO HOME--Opinion
Santa Rosa Press Democrat Newspaper
May 6, 2013
Post Sustainability Institute
We are suing to stop Plan Bay Area, the nine county land use and transportation plan which is a violation of your constitutional rights and a shocking overreach of the experiment in regional governance.
Our nation is a constitutional republic with a framework of direct election that rises from local government through county, state, and up to the federal level. This framework ensures that the peoples’ rights are protected and that our voices are heard. Plan Bay Area is designed to empower a layer of regional government between state and county, and ultimately between state and federal which renders our voices irrelevant. These regional boards are not elected by the people; the board members are selected out of elected officials who support regional goals.
Regional boards like the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) are holding the purse strings for state and federal transportation and grant dollars. MTC and ABAG have fabricated Plan Bay Area though they claim that it was crafted in response to the needs and desires of Bay Area residents. Most people have never heard of Plan Bay Area. Of the seven million residents of the Bay Area approximately three tenths of one percent have participated in the so-called planning sessions. These planning sessions were tailored to elicit responses that favor high density urban development (Smart Growth), the preferred scenario of Plan Bay Area. Those voicing a dissenting opinion were
virtually ignored, labeled as NIMBYs, or as political fringe. As a liberal Democrat, registered since 1974, I recognize this kind of smear as a way of chilling our civil rights by attempting to intimidate those who reject Plan Bay Area’s blatant violation of property rights.
PLAN BAY AREA violates the 5th Amendment of the US Constitution by taking property rights without just compensation. By the creation of Priority Development Areas this Plan restricts 80% of residential development and 66% of commercial development to just a few small areas of your city--until the year 2040. If your property is outside of the PDA (96% of property is outside) you will likely not be able to build or expand your building--and you won't be paid for this loss.
PLAN BAY AREA violates the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution--the Equal Protection Clause. Owners of properties in the Priority Development Areas will receive development permits at a rate of approximately 80 times more than owners of property outside of the Priority Development Areas.
PLAN BAY AREA violates voter-approved Urban Growth Boundary ordinances. Because the Priority Development Areas are within the UGBs but are much smaller restricted areas they are in violation of ordinances that clearly state that development must be encouraged out to the limits of city services: Urban Growth Boundaries. These ordinances are found throughout the Bay Area and cannot be changed without voter approval.
PLAN BAY AREA permanently strips all development rights from rural properties in the nine county Bay Area. Plan Bay Area is effectively taking conservation easements on all rural lands without paying for them.
PLAN BAY AREA restricts development rights of property within the Priority Development Areas, too. Construction will be limited to mixed-use high density Smart Growth development. Existing buildings are likely to be out of compliance with your city's General Plan (legal non-conforming) and permits to make additions or changes will likely not be granted.
This Plan is dependent on tax subsidies and handouts and will devastate the Bay Area for more than a generation. Property rights are a foundation of our freedom and are non-partisan. Join us now in stopping Plan Bay Area.
Rosa Koire, author of BEHIND THE GREEN MASK: U.N. Agenda 21 and executive director of the Post Sustainability Institute is a forensic commercial real estate appraiser specializing in eminent domain valuation. A retired District Branch Chief for the California Department of Transportation, her thirty year career in litigation support and land valuation culminated in researching and exposing the planning revolution impacting land use: UN Agenda 21/Sustainable Development.