a letter to the State Senate Appropriations Committee (below), Livable
California urges a "OPPOSE AB-2923," a bill that would remove
jurisdiction over building near a BART station from locally elected
officials and put decisions into the hands of the BART Board. We
encourage you, as individuals or a neighborhood, homeowner or other
group, to submit an opposition letter, too.
Three of the nine BART Board officials themselves submitted a letter of
strong opposition to the Appropriations Committee. Here is a brief summary of four of their key points.
- BART's job is transit, not housing. They already have trouble providing safe service on BART. Should they really be entrusted to build housing? This is an example of mission drift.
- AB-2923 is championed as a way to meet the housing crisis, but the BART Board members write, "AB-2923 won't fix the Bay Area's housing/job/transportation imbalance, it will worsen.
- Like so many pieces of housing legislation introduced by Senator Scott Wiener and his "we-have-a-crisis" colleagues, this bill takes an adversarial approach. BART Board members write, ". . .trust and the spirit of cooperation between BART and the communities through which it runs, will be destroyed."
- And why should we care about AB-2923 in Marin? Again, from BART Board members, "AB-2923 sets a dangerous precedent for special districts throughout CA to do the bait and switch on their missions.
BART Board members conclude, "AB-2923 doesn't just take away the
authority of cities/counties over development and give it to a regional
board. It takes away the will of the people and destroys the framework
of their communities."
Letter by Livable California, sent to To the Honorable Members of the CA Senate Appropriations Committee:
Senator Anthony J.Portantino, Chair, Senator Patricia Bates, Vice-Chair, Senator Jim Beall, Senator Steven Bradford, Senator Jerry Hill, Senator Jim Nielsen, Senator Scott WienerDear Senator Appropriations Committee Members:
Livable California, a state-wide coalition of 50 neighborhood and community groups reaching 16,000 voters, strongly opposes AB-2923 and urges you to OPPOSE it.
When elected members of the BART Board themselves write to express their strong opposition to the bill, it sends red flags and sounds alarms about this misguided legislation. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors, cities of Fremont, Hayward, Lafayette, Novato, Pleasant Hill, and League of California Cities oppose the bill.Who supports it? YIMBYs, the Bay Area Council, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, MTC, building and trade special interests, among others who see profits in heavy-handed, top-down mandate to transfer planning authority from Constitutionally permitted cities to BART.
Your colleagues in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations conclude there is “unknown likely significant state-mandated local costs to BART. . . potentially reimbursable by the state depending upon a determination by the Commission on State Mandates.” And in addition, “Unknown state-mandated local costs to local jurisdictions . . with costs potentially reimbursable by the state.”
From an appropriations’ and a policy perspective, this bill, as amended, is an affront to cities and an example of poorly crafted legislation. We urge you to OPPOSE AB-2923.
Susan Kirsch, Chair
2940 16th Street, 200-1
San Francisco, CA 94103
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