Bay Area Agencies Approve Preferred Land Use Scenario and Transportation Investment Strategy

Plan Bay Area Links Local Aspirations With Goals for a Strong Economy, Healthy Environment and Social Equity

At a packed joint meeting of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), officials voted last night to approve a draft long-range guide to the Bay Area’s transportation, jobs and housing.

The “Preferred Land Use and Transportation Investment Strategy” is a key milestone in developing the final Plan Bay Area, which is due for adoption in April 2013. MTC also voted to approve the “One Bay Area Grants” (OBAG) program, and ABAG approved a draft housing allocation methodology for Bay Area cities.

“We’ve heard over and over that the public’s top priorities are preserving the Bay Area’s high quality of life and each community’s unique characteristics,” said Ken Kirkey, ABAG planning director. “Plan Bay Area will achieve these goals by strengthening the connection between housing, jobs and transportation, by growing jobs and the economy, and by ensuring stewardship of our region’s spectacular scenic and natural resources.”

ABAG President and Napa County Supervisor Mark Luce added that “these actions signify the strides we are making toward adopting a long range plan that links local aspirations with goals for a strong economy, healthy environment, and social equity.”

The Preferred Land Use and Transportation Investment Strategy approved last night by MTC and ABAG steers Plan Bay Area to promote compact, mixed-use development that combines both residential and commercial uses and is located close to public transit, jobs, schools, shopping, parks, recreation and other amenities.

The approved One Bay Area Grants initiative is an incentive-based program designed to stimulate the production of housing in areas well-served by transportation, particularly public transit. It uses federal transportation dollars to reward jurisdictions that accept housing allocations through the state’s Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA) process and that actually produce housing.

When completed, Plan Bay Area will be the region’s 25-year blueprint for transportation, housing and land use policies and investments. California’s Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act (SB 375, Steinberg) requires that each of the state’s 18 Metropolitan Planning Organizations – and in the Bay Area specifically MTC and ABAG – develop a long-range plan to reduce per-capita greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks. The Bay Area is required to reduce emissions by 7 percent by 2020 and by 15 percent by 2035. SB 375 also requires Plan Bay Area to include a strategy to house by 2035 all of the Bay Area’s projected 25-year population growth, without displacing current low-income residents.

The Preferred Land Use and Transportation Investment Strategy will comprise the Plan Bay Area project alternative to be evaluated as part of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). In December 2012, the agencies expect to release the draft Plan Bay Area and EIR, which will be followed by public hearings throughout the region. MTC and ABAG are due to adopt the final Plan Bay Area and certify the final EIR in April 2013.

In a separate action, ABAG voted last night to approve a draft Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA) methodology. The methodology will be used to meet state requirements to include sufficient affordable housing for the Bay Area’s projected population growth, so that people won’t have to commute to their jobs from homes outside the Bay Area.

ABAG will take final action on the RHNA methodology at its July meeting.

MTC is the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area’s transportation planning, coordinating and financing agency. ABAG is the council of governments and regional planning agency for the nine counties and 101 cities and towns of the San Francisco Bay region.

For more information on the One Bay Area Plan, visit

3 Comments to “Bay Area Agencies Approve Preferred Land Use Scenario and Transportation Investment Strategy”

  1. PFarly says:

    MTC&ABAG have just made the decision to waste more of the taxpayers money. Their plan not only includes pay to play schemes for towns that will work with this new plan, but also allows a “cash for clunkers” plan to get cars that are 10 years old or more off the road (I guess they don’t know that the previous “cash for clunkers” scheme was a bomb). MTC & ABAG believe the reason why so many companies are leaving the Bay Area is because there is not enough affordable housing. They are blind to the real reason why companies are leaving CA, overbearing taxes and environmental regulations that make it impossible for businesses to operate and turn a profit.

    There was not one brave person within the plethora of bureaucrats that make up MTC/ABAG to even question the One Bay Area Plan. How much debt does CA need to go into for these “leaders” to wake up and see we are headed towards a financial train wreck and spending more won’t stop it.

  2. Arne Simonsen says:

    I wonder if the plan and vote would have been different if voter had the opportunity to directly elect the ABAG and MTC board?

    My guess is it would have been a totally different outcome!

  3. lauren frances says:

    Disgusting United Nations Agenda 21 take over of
    our state and our country.

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