The valley town of Tracy, 50 miles east of San Francisco, is putting economic development first, recently approving a sprawling development plan over three more environmentally friendly alternatives. The city's planning commissioners chose to allow a sprawling subdivision of more than 500 new homes.
" 'If we were to adopt one of the alternatives, that would put the nail in the coffin of economic development in this city,' Commissioner Edward Gable said."
"A California Environmental Quality Act provision says an environmental impact report can recommend an environmentally unfriendly alternative as long as the reason for the preference is explained."
"In this case, commissioners agreed with city staff that the sprawling plan was preferable because it would leave the most amount of land empty for unplanned commercial developments."