Opposition grows to long-range green planning

Apartment block RussiaApril 30, 3013

By Warren Duffy

Opposition is growing to government plans to squeeze Californians into high-rise apartments and mass transit.

The March 2012 issue of “Western City,” published by the League of California Cities, included an article authored by Gary Gallegos titled, “Trailblazing a Sustainable Path.”  He said a lack of state funding was thwarting “the progressive plans” of SANDAG, the San Diego Association of Governments, one of four large regional planning agencies in California.

SANDAG had been working on a program to implement a 40-year transportation plan for the region that was environmentally friendly, complying with SB375, which was passed in 2008. SB 375 mandated state planning for “sustainable development,” which mainly means encouraging people to move into high-rises and take public mass transit.

Gallegos’ article begins by explaining, “In October 2011 the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), one of the four largest metropolitan planning organizations in California, became the first to adopt a transportation plan with a sustainability component.”  That component was outlined in Senate Bill 375 and a very comprehensive element to SANDAG’s 2050 Regional Transportation Plan.


Although it is reported the plan was not done in haste, but took more than two years to design and gather “extensive public output,” there are those who disagree.  A group normally known for a more radical approach to environmentalism, the Sierra Club, joined other environmental activists to sue SANDAG and successfully delay any further action for the 40-year regional transportation plan.

As more Californians are getting educated to the 20-, 30- and 40-year green sustainable long-term regional planning goals for their communities, statewide opposition is growing.

The most recent comes from OneBayArea, a joint authority of four regional governments. Located in Northern California, this planning group was recently successful in passing a 20-year plan, the Bay Area Prosperity Plan, impacting nine counties, 101 cities and 7.5 million people.

The plan merges cities, abolishes county lines, authorizes the closing of some roads and the building of residential “stack and pack” housing in lieu of new construction of single family homes.  The impact of this plan has created such an outrage among concerned citizens that funds are being raised to file a lawsuit against the plan.

In the Los Angeles area that includes Orange County, the Southern California Association of Governments is a similar umbrella planning group.  In March 2012, this group unanimously adopted a “2012 to 2035 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy”.  SCAG’s $524-billion program promises to expand housing near public transportation by 60 percent and fund public biking and walking improvements by 350 percent in the next 23 years.

A Southern California city with long term green planning push back is Aliso Viejo, located in Orange County. After spending $400,000 on consultants, the city’s 104-page “Green City Initiative” has encountered not just opposition from its residents, but a well informed and newly elected council member, Mike Munzing.  The council vote on this initiative has been postponed twice, with businesses and private citizens demanding the council return to the drawing board.


As city planners are falling under more and more scrutiny by an increasingly well informed public, the American Planning Association (those leading the parade nationally and locally) has put a happy face on their long range, green plan with a newly revised “Glossary for the Public”.

In my recent book, “The Green Tsunami”, I cited a talking point memo from APA’s CEO Paul Farmer to hundreds of regional planners arming them for a debate. The memo read, “As planning and planners have become targets of suspicion and mistrust, it is more important than ever to avoid polarizing jargon, to focus on outcomes important to local citizens and to maintain a fair, open and transparent process.”

More suspicion and mistrust is rising among the people concerning the goals of “stack and pack” housing, public vs. private transportation, and a debate on “the collective good” superseding individual freedom. It would appear public hearings and lawsuits on long-range, green, regional development plans in California will be contentious for years to come.

Warren Duffy is president of Friends for Saving California Jobs and author of “The Green Tsunami – A Tidal Wave of Eco-Babble Drowning Us All.”


Write a comment
  1. Ted Steele, The Decider
    Ted Steele, The Decider 30 April, 2013, 10:40

    “Long range green planing”? —- That’s just NONSENSE! We should live our lives with the freedoms the founders and Reagan-Jesus gave us. Why plan anything?

    Reply this comment
  2. jimmydeeoc
    jimmydeeoc 30 April, 2013, 11:07

    The troll is back I see.

    Reply this comment
  3. Tom Tanton
    Tom Tanton 30 April, 2013, 11:10

    See the problem with long run government plans is they are not worked as plans. Ever hear of change orders? Once a ‘plan’ is adopted, and control wrested by bureaus, the plan never changes other than to get more and more stringent. Even if circumstances change and the initial perceived threat goes away or is shown to be non-existent, or not a threat…the plan she will not be changed.

    Reply this comment
  4. jimmydeeoc
    jimmydeeoc 30 April, 2013, 11:26

    Teddy’s vision for California housing….


    Reply this comment
  5. Ted Steele, Janitor
    Ted Steele, Janitor 30 April, 2013, 11:28

    troll is back–

    and so says jimmydeeoc from the heart of John Birch Land—- shocking!

    Jimmy— News flash! — if someone disagrees with you and uses irritating, clever, sardonic, well proportioned wit— all you seem to have in response is a label and a name call?……Jimmy— dooooood—— it’s dull little buddy.

    Reply this comment
  6. johnnyb
    johnnyb 30 April, 2013, 11:30

    Is there anything like OneBayArea in the Central Valley?

    Reply this comment
  7. Bunker Queen
    Bunker Queen 30 April, 2013, 11:51

    troll is back–

    Troll never left!


    Reply this comment
  8. jimmydeeoc
    jimmydeeoc 30 April, 2013, 13:35

    teddy…. the next time I see irritating, clever, sardonic, well proportioned wit from you……..

    …well, that will be the FIRST time.

    as it stands now, you’re oh-fer….

    Reply this comment
  9. Ted Steele DD
    Ted Steele DD 30 April, 2013, 15:36

    from me? Hmmmm……one wonders if you’d know it if you saw it little Jimmydeebricheroc?

    Reply this comment
  10. us citizen
    us citizen 30 April, 2013, 15:43

    Oh yes……apartments by any other name are still apartments……eventually slums. smh

    Oh wait……..maybe all the illegals will love them

    Reply this comment
  11. jimmydeeoc
    jimmydeeoc 30 April, 2013, 16:04

    “one wonders if you’d know it if you saw it little Jimmydeebricheroc?”

    “…all you seem to have in response is a label and a name call?….”

    Uhhhh…you were saying, Teddy?

    Go away Teddy. Everyone thinks you and your sock puppets’ comments are just silly and foolish. (Of course, I know this will only encourage your adolescent behavior, but nevertheless…..)

    Reply this comment
  12. Ted Steele DD
    Ted Steele DD 30 April, 2013, 17:15



    Reply this comment
  13. Bunker Queen
    Bunker Queen 30 April, 2013, 17:24


    Nahh….I’d probably miss the big lug and his many “friends”.

    Reply this comment
  14. dltravers
    dltravers 30 April, 2013, 17:52

    We are not planning, a small cabal is planning. Politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists, and their business friends are planning. They say they know what is best for us but it is about what is best for them.

    They are doing it for our children; they are doing it because they know what the weather will be like 100 years from now, their gods are telling them what the future will be like. What are their gods? Who do they worship?Themselves.

    Government money, grants and largess is given to the private sector do this stuff. If it was such a great deal the private sector would do it on their own.

    Reply this comment
  15. Ted.
    Ted. 30 April, 2013, 19:57

    The poodle is back

    Reply this comment
  16. Bunker Queen
    Bunker Queen 1 May, 2013, 06:31

    The poodle is back

    You’re the “poodle” now? Tedz…how bout a roster of all the personalities…..could you make it .pdf?

    Reply this comment
  17. Ted Steele, Janitor
    Ted Steele, Janitor 1 May, 2013, 06:45

    Queen—- I’m not rex the poodle little buddy……But I wonder who is?

    Reply this comment
  18. Bunker Queen
    Bunker Queen 1 May, 2013, 07:11

    Well from your post it appeared to be declarative…..I just thought you were coming clean!

    Jeez you seem to spend an awful lot of time here.

    Reply this comment
  19. Ted Steele, Navigator
    Ted Steele, Navigator 1 May, 2013, 13:26

    The Bunker Queen ™– not comfortable in her bunker!

    Reply this comment
  20. warren duffy
    warren duffy 2 May, 2013, 13:16

    I am noticing a trend in our nation. It is apparent to me when watching CNN, or Fox, or Congressional Hearings and especially here on the internet. There is intelligent discussion going on between concerned people and all of a sudden, someone appears, interrupts the stream of conversation that then goes off topic and into a new and irrelevent direction. Ever notice in Congress: we’re investigating Benghazi and then some dummy says, “What difference does it make?” Or Fox is trying to be fair and balanced and Juan drops a lefty bombshell on an otherwise intelligent conversation and things head south from there. Let’s all agree – we ignore stupid comments and calling other people names and let’s stick to important subjects and exchange ideas. Sound good?

    Reply this comment

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