That’s a wrap, folks!
The last of the Plan Bay Area public meetings happened on Wednesday, May 1 and the formal public comment period closed on May 16 (Greenbelt Alliance’s comments). We’ll update you with what’s next, but first, here are a few highlights from the comment period:
In the Media
- Our Executive Director Jeremy Madsen authored an opinion piece for the San Francisco Chronicle on how Plan Bay Area helps meet shifting demand for homes in the region:
In today’s Bay Area, the old model of a single-family home with a fenced yard and a long commute is neither affordable nor practical for everyone. By working together, planners and communities throughout the Bay Area can make sure that all have access to the lifestyle they want, at a price they can afford.
- The San Jose Mercury News published an opinion piece by Michael Hirahara of Brocade that offers: “From a business perspective, the No. 1 public policy concern is affordable homes for employees.”
- Greenbelt Alliance was also quoted extensively on KQED’s morning news segment:
The plan also seeks to minimize sprawl by keeping future growth within existing urban boundaries. “That’s a huge statement,” says Stephanie Reyes of the Greenbelt Alliance. “No other region comes even close to achieving that level of in-fill development and open space protection.”
Comments from the Plan Bay Area public meetings
- Ginny Doyle of Sonoma said, “We need cleaner air for my 87-year old mom and 2-year old grandson.”
- Sharon Cornu of Alameda pointed out that most Plan Bay Area comments call for more affordable housing and support the Equity Environment and Jobs alternative.
- Clarrissa Cabansagan of Santa Clara grew up in the area and wants her friends who have to double and triple up in apartments to be able to afford a home.
- Gail Raabe of San Mateo wants Plan Bay Area to do more to invest in open space.
- Linda Best of Contra Costa notes that the lack of adequate housing is a real constraint to economic vitality.
- Jack Swearington of Sonoma says he’s looking forward to the SMART train coming and will ride it: “I’m 73 and if the bike path were there now, I’d ride it tomorrow from Larkspur to Cloverdale.”
Thank you to everybody who came out to the public meetings to speak their mind!
Now that the public comment period is over, MTC and ABAG staff will summarize the public’s comments and produce options for how to incorporate the feedback into the final plan. These will be presented to MTC and ABAG board committees on June 14. Based on that meeting, the staff will create the final plan.
The joint MTC and ABAG boards will adopt the final Plan Bay Area on Thursday evening, July 18 in Oakland. Assuming the final plan looks good for a sustainable and equitable future, we’ll need all hands on deck that evening to urge our elected leaders to adopt this strong plan for the region. Please save the date and join us in Oakland for the final chapter of the Plan Bay Area saga!