With the Bay Area confronting a major housing crisis, giving local communities a reason not to build housing would seem to be ill-advised. But a proposal advanced this week at the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) as part of the next round of Plan Bay Area could do just that. Plan Bay Area is the region’s long-range housing and transportation blueprint. The proposal floated by ABAG would create a new land use designation called priority industrial areas (PIAs).

On its face, this new designation looks good – designed to support industrial/manufacturing areas that provide thousands of jobs. The Bay Area Council supports continued study of PIAs, including ensuring they don’t have an unintended consequence of eliminating opportunities to create important infill housing for the promise of industrial/manufacturing uses that may never happen. As work on Plan Bay Area 2.0 advances over the next 18 months, the Council will be closely monitoring this and other proposals to ensure we keep our eye on the prize of more housing.

Elsewhere on housing, a proposal to impose a moratorium on new market-rate housing in San Francisco’s Mission District that the Council vigorously opposed was defeated Tuesday (June 2) in a 7-4 vote by the Board of Supervisors. Proponents of the ban now say they will work to place a moratorium on the November ballot.

To engage in our housing and regional planning work, contact Senior Vice President Matt Regan.

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