San Francisco Peninsula Struggles with Growth Plan

The Bay Area is finalizing its plan to comply with state legislation to reduce vehicle emissions from transportation. "Plan Bay Area" has aroused fears of regional government and more, which were expressed at a recent public meeting.

2 minute read

May 3, 2013, 8:00 AM PDT

By Irvin Dawid


Bill Silverfarb writes on how the plan - written by the Bay Area's two regional planning agencies, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments to meet state legislation (SB 375: The Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008) was received by some of the 200 attendees at the meeting in Foster City, including Foster City Councilman Art Kiesel.

“They are pushing mixed-use developments at public transit centers. That’s OK. But it is nothing new. It’s New York City revisited,” Kiesel said. “They are trying to push a global plan but then say ‘it’s up to you locals.’ What if I don’t want this?”

Fortunately, Silverfarb also interviewed Egon TerplanRegional Planning Director of SPUR (San Francisco Planning + Urban Research Association), who analyzed the plan with Ethan Lavine.

Those who oppose the plan do so because of a “fundamental misunderstanding,” he said.

Land use lies with local governments. The plan gives no power to enforce where housing is built,” Terplan said.

Terplan and Lavine's analysis appear in the SPUR blog on April 29: "What You Need to Know About Plan Bay Area". 

Plan Bay Area formally combines two existing regional planning processes, the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and the Regional Housing Needs Allocation. The goal is to better link regional transportation planning and funding with a projection for future land use. 

The housing allocation process has long been resented by many city councils - and the residents they represent on the affluent San Francisco Peninsula (San Mateo County and northern Santa Clara County). Heretofore, the RTP had been more of a contest of what transportation projects to fund - but it took on more of a land-use focus with SB 375. With land use, housing, and regional planning agencies, Plan Bay Area was sure to be controversial with many at the hearing.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 in The San Mateo Daily Journal

Ornate, tan stone capitol building with a gold dome roof and low-rise city buildings in the background.

States Are Banning Guaranteed Income Programs

Four states now have laws in place that prevent cities and counties from creating or continuing guaranteed income programs, and several more have tried or are trying.

May 23, 2024 - Bloomberg CityLab

Aerial view of Oceanwide Plaza skyscrapers covered with graffiti tags.

LA’s Abandoned Towers Loom as a “$1.2 Billion Ruin of Global Capital”

Oceanwide Plaza, shuttered mid-construction after its developer filed for bankruptcy, has stood vacant on prime Los Angeles real estate since 2019.

May 21, 2024 - The Architect's Newspaper

Close-up of electric stove range with front burners red-hot.

California Cities Suspend Natural Gas Bans Following Court Ruling

A Ninth Circuit court ruling forced Berkeley to reverse its ban on natural gas in new buildings, prompting other cities to suspend their own efforts to promote all-electric buildings.

May 28, 2024 - East Bay Times

BART heavy rail train on elevated track pulling into Concord, CA station with cloudy sky and trees in background.

Bay Area Transit Projects Awarded $18 Million

The funding supports eight ‘near-term’ projects slated for completion within the next one to three years.

2 hours ago - Contra Costa Herald

Silver UTA On Demand transit van in Utah.

Utah On-Demand Transit Hits 1 Million Rides

The service connects outlying communities with fixed-route transit lines.

3 hours ago - Utah Transit Authority

Texas Flood

Texas Flood Plan Shows One in Six Residents Live With Flood Risk

One-fourth of the state’s land falls within 100-year or 500-year floodplains.

4 hours ago - The Texas Tribune

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.