Citizens Town Hall in Danville on January 15th, was a great success. The room was packed to capacity with concerned Danville Residents who came out to hear what is being planned for their community. The meeting was a collaborative effort of different groups all opposing the Danville 2030 Plan. SOS Danville, Citizens Town Hall and Friends of Danville were there to inform fellow residents about the 2030 Plan, EIR (Environmental Impact Report) and SAP (Sustainable Action Plan) being considered by the town. Almost 4,000 flyers were hand delivered announcing the town hall. Over 50% of the audience proudly held up their flyers when asked “How did you hear about the meeting”.
For those of you that don’t know what is going on in Danville I’ll give a brief background. Danville is in the process of adopting a 20 year general plan. This time line is twice the length of any previous general plans which has many concerned. In addition, the town is including in this plan language from a radical untested regional plan (referred to as the One Bay Area Sustainable Communities Strategy) that has not been completed, certified and will not even be adopted until June of this year. Two unelected, unaccountable regional agencies MTC (Metropolitan Transportation Commission) and ABAG (Association of Bay Area Governments) are behind the One Bay Area plan and are threatening to withhold transportation funds from local municipalities if they don’t adopt this plan. MTC and ABAG are in control of $277 billion dollars of federal grant money and have been given the task of creating the first ever regional plan for the Bay Area. This plan is a cookie cutter solution that will transform all of our cities and towns into high density, stack and pack housing next to mass transit to reduce VMTs (Vehicle Miles Traveled). Much of this includes the inclusion of very low to low income units to fulfill the social and environmental justice component of the plan. All of this is being touted as necessary to reduce the level of GHGs (Green House Gases) in California. However, if you take the premise of the plan and apply it to Danville it is clear that this plan has no business being implemented in our town. Danville is not a transit hub or major corridor and adding high density housing to the town would increase traffic, VMTs, GHGs and destroy the small town atmosphere. The legislation behind this plan is AB32, SB375 and AB2785. These bills work together to effectively force development into compact areas, to ostensibly reduce greenhouse gas emissions while restricting the rights of owners of undeveloped private land outside of UGB (Urban Growth Boundaries) throughout the Bay Area and the state.
AB32 was passed in 2006 and calls for a statewide reduction in GHGs to 1990 levels by the year 2020. The CARB board is supposed to inventory and monitor these levels. The local towns are not required to implement Climate or Sustainable Action Plans, but many are doing so on their own. SB375 was passed in 2008. This bill links transportation to land use and gives the MTC agency the task of creating a regional plan for how and where the cities and counties should grow over the next 30 years. MTC is responsible for the transportation portion of this plan and ABAG is handling the land use and population forecasts. This type of regional blueprint has NEVER been done and the SB375 bill clearly states that the plan is not mandatory for local municipalities. AB2785 pass in 2010 defines a wildlife corridor system throughout California. The only problem with this is that these corridors include private property. This map is most egregious in that it contemplates the taking of private property by government. What people don’t realize is that this map is NOT about preserving land (Open Space) for the animals and plants. These land masses that are being set aside are being incorporated into giant land trusts for the purpose of selling carbon credits in the trillion dollar Cap n’ Trade scheme that recently started in this state. A few large land trusts and foundations will be the beneficiaries of this giant piggy bank. The CARB board has already stated that much of the credits will be given away. This is a fraudulent pay to play scheme and giant land grab not an environmental initiative. The map can be found at www.dfg.ca.gov/habcon/connectivity. The government agencies who prepared this map are DOT (Department of Transportation), CalTrans and DFG (Department of Fish and Game). I understand people want to preserve and protect the environment, but these bills are not about protecting the environment they are being used to socially reengineer the lives of the people of the people of California by implementing a new development model that will ultimately force people out of their cars and single family homes into high density human settlements.
Multiple speakers at Tuesday’s meeting covered different topics. The main points were to follow the lead of Corte Madera and disassociate the town from ABAG, remove the PDA (Priority Development Area) designation from the town and let the town decide where to build in the future, challenge the housing allocation values, remove all language of the unadopted regional SCS plan from the Danville 2030 plan, EIR and SAP and let the uphold the Measure S right to vote.
The bottom line is there is no proof that the One Bay Area plan will save GHGs in Danville. There is no proof that low income housing has any relationship to the reduction in GHGs. Danville is not a transit hub or transit corridor and the nearest BART station is 7 miles away. The people of Danville are upset that unelected unaccountable bureaucrats are making decisions about how and where there city will grow and are showing up in ever increasing numbers to oppose this plan. Danville residents have the right to decide how their town will grow and they aren’t taking this overreach lying down. Standing room only crowds are showing up to Planning Commission meetings. I don’t think the town of Danville has seen this much action in a while. It’s nice to see people coming together to fight for a good cause. This is not about right and left. This is about right and wrong. And this plan is wrong for Danville.
To learn more about the fight in Danville go to www.CitizensTownHall.org. Also attend the next Planning Commission meetings January 22nd and 29th at 7:30pm at the Danville Community Center, 420 Front Street.