|[February 28, 2014]
Plan Bay Area Lawsuit Settled by Regional Agencies, Homebuilders' Trade Group
OAKLAND, Calif. --(Business Wire)--
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of
Bay Area Governments (ABAG) announced today that they have reached
agreement with the Building Industry Association of the Bay Area (BIA)
in the lawsuit filed by the BIA following MTC's and ABAG's July 2013
adoption of Plan Bay Area, an integrated transportation and
land-use strategy for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. The
out-of-court settlement provides for a full dismissal of all claims by
the BIA, and for each party to bear its own costs. In return, MTC and
ABAG have agreed to adopt a new methodology for regional population,
housing and development forecasts that will be used for the next update
to Plan Bay Area; and to adopt this new methodology at a public hearing
after gathering public input.
The settlement further obliges MTC and ABAG to monitor regional
development patterns, including the tracking of residential development
by type and the tracking of local governments' issuance of building
permits. The parties acknowledge that MTC and ABAG retain their
governmental discretion over how this monitoring will be performed, and
that MTC and ABAG will accept and disclose public comment on key
assumptions to be used in the preparation of the state-mandated
Sustainable Communities Strategy to be incorporated in thenext Plan Bay
Area update, scheduled for adoption in 2017.
"We're pleased to have been able to work so quickly and effectively with
the BIA to craft an agreement that addresses the BIA's concerns; retains
MTC's and ABAG's essential planning functions; and saves each party the
time and expense of an unnecessary court case," said MTC Chair and
Orinda City Councilmember Amy Rein Worth. "We look forward to
maintaining our positive relationship with the BIA and to working
collaboratively with the organization in the future."
Plan Bay Area is the region's first long-range transportation plan to
meet the requirements of California's landmark 2008 Senate Bill 375,
which calls on each of the state's 18 metropolitan areas to develop a
Sustainable Communities Strategy to accommodate future population growth
and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks.
Noting that Plan Bay Area is the successor to Transportation
2035, the long-range plan adopted by MTC in 2009, Commission Chair
Worth described the new plan as evolutionary rather than revolutionary.
ABAG President and Clayton City Councilmember Julie Pierce added, "For
decades, MTC has been charged by state and federal law to produce a
long-term regional transportation plan, while ABAG has been responsible
for assessing regional housing needs. Plan Bay Area puts these elements
together in a way that makes sense."
The complete Plan Bay Area can be viewed on MTC's website at www.mtc.ca.gov,
and on ABAG's website at www.abag.ca.gov.
MTC is the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area's transportation planning,
coordinating and financing agency. ABAG is the official regional
planning agency for the Bay Area's cities and counties. The Building
Industry Association of the Bay Area is a professional, nonprofit
association committed to promoting housing for people of all income
levels, and the production of quality homes. BIA Bay Area's membership
comprises about 300 homebuilders, trade contractors, suppliers and
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