Plan Bay Area Debate

The Antiplanner will be in Marin County, California tomorrow to debate Plan Bay Area, the “sustainability” plan for the nine-county region. In the meantime, you can listen to a radio interview with the Antiplanner and, below the jump, watch a couple of educational videos put together by opponents of the plan.


3 thoughts on “Plan Bay Area Debate

  1. mattdpalm

    This is really interesting. I’m just wrapping up my masters thesis on the topic of the impact of population density on rents, housing unit values, mortgage payments, using Public Use Micro Sample (PUMS) data series nationwide. I found a fairly inelastic relationship between density and rents (although it varied greatly by market segment), .07 for multi-family units for rents and .14 for mortgage payments for multi-family units.

    So take an area where, cetaris paribus, rent for a given 2 bedroom, 1 bath, three other rooms multi-family unit cost, say $1200 a month and density is at 20,000 people per square mile.. Jump it up to 100,000 people per square mile and rent will be $1683.06, cetaris paribus. Of course, this may be an under-estimate, as I’m talking about static models using cross-sectional data from a sample of just a couple million households from one year only (2000).

    It’s interesting you bring up Portland. In Portland’s there’s a lot of racial undertones to conversations around these policies, which is why it was surprising to hear the opponents of smart growth get criticized for being racist. The people who want the bike lanes and the TOD projects are young and typically white in Portland, and a lot of those new developments are replacing traditionally black neighborhoods.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love walking and biking everywhere cause it means I can eat more. But I am 24, and Corvallis, where I am wrapping up my masters, is incredibly bike/ped friendly and I don’t have children (or pets) to have to rush home to take care of.

    Coming back to California for the PhD, kinda nervous about that now after looking at that plan. Where are they going to get the water for 30% more people? Where do they expect these folks will be coming from?

    Getting back to the race question: I’d want to look at the boards/committees that decided which areas are targeted to be transformed into ubber-high density zones and ask if they selected their own neighborhoods for such changes, and if the ethnic make of the board reflects the ethnic make up of the targeted communities. This plan is an interesting phenomenon.

  2. mattdpalm

    Just took a lot at the document… They’re saying because Latinos and Asians will grow as communities, and these communities have historically lived in dense areas and depended on transit, then we must continue to build more transit and high density… That’s an incredibly disingenuous way of using the effects of redlining and housing discrimination acting on certain communities as reason to-continue those effects (lack of vehicle access, stuck in certain communities) in the name of providing for those communities. See it on page 7-8…

    They’re assuming the larger Asian-American generation of tomorrow wants to live the way their parents did. Did this folks actually interview/survey/consult those communities and see if that is what people actually want, not just as ‘target demographic’ groups or whatever but just as citizens about whom these planners are making all kind of assumptions? This plan is weird.

  3. Dan

    All these made-up fear arguments remind me of the unwitting truth uttered recently:

    “The demographics race we’re losing badly,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.). “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.”
    –Washington Post, August 29, 2012

    You feel sorry for all the others at these meetings who have to listen to the earnest old white people that utter conspiracy phrases that ring of people watching the world pass them by.

    But I will say I doubt the high-end outcome of the Plan will come true. The Bay Area will be a water-short, polluted nightmare (along with the rest of CA) before that many people move there. There isn’t enough technology in the world to clean up that much effluent and filter that much air.


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