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By Scott Zengel

The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) is proposing amendments to the Bay Plan that could dramatically affect smart growth, urban infill,  housing, and above all, the quality of life in the Bay Area.

The proposed amendments potentially impact $62 billion in existing shoreline development, 270,000 people and 213,000 acres.  By implementing such strict development restrictions, BCDC’s plan could seriously affect the ability of developers to supply sustainable, transit-oriented affordable housing, prevent business expansion and threaten the Bay Area economy.  The proposal could push employees further away from their jobs, increase commutes, and in turn, increase greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to sea level rise – the very thing BCDC wishes to combat.

The Bay Area Council, the Bay Planning Coalition and the Building Industry Association have already proposed changes to the amendments, but to date, BCDC staff has not agreed to  incorporate them into the plan.

Sea level rise is a very real issue we must face as a region, and that we must address head on, but we believe it can be done in a way that actually enhances our economy and growth patterns. We need to convince BCDC that there is a better approach than the one put forward by their staff.  The Council will be holding a working session on October 19 for concerned stakeholders. Please contact me at 415-946-8716 or for more information. BCDC’s next public hearing will be October 21. Visit their website for more information on their specific proposal.

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