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What's happening in Danville, CA


Action Video 

March 19, 2013

Heather Gass urges the Removal of United Nations Definitions from Danville's town plan

Action Report 

March 19, 2013

Town of Danville adopts International principles from UN in their 2030 General Plan!


Last night the town of Danville voted to adopt their 2030 General Plan, EIR (Environmental Impact Report) and optional SAP (Sustainable Action Plan). With a crowd of over 250+ voicing their concerns the meeting went into the wee hours of the night. The council made substantial changes to the plan. Many of these changes were debated and discussed with council during the hearing and should have led to a new public notice of the plan changes prior to a vote, but instead the town ended the meeting by unanimously voting to adopt all three documents setting the town on a new course for the next 17 years. The most disturbing part of this is that the City Council has set the small town of Danville on a path following international principles and ideology by the United Nations, but refused to acknowledge and disclose that fact to the public at the meeting or in the planning documents.

The word “Sustainable” appears 158 times throughout the Danville’s Plan and SAP to describe everything from business, water, air, housing and more. The entire foundation of the plan and direction of the town is dependent on the exact meaning and understanding of this term by those reading the plan. After all general plans are meant to provide clear, concise and easy to understand information to the public. So a precise definition and understanding of the word Sustainable would seem obvious and necessary.

So what does the word “Sustainability” mean?

Well, The dictionary defines the verb “sustain” as meaning to “support,” “maintain” and to “keep from ruin.” But on page 1-3 of the Danville General Plan, we find the concept of “sustainability” strangely re-defined as “the ability to meet the needs of current residents without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.” Where did this new definition come from?

Danville’s General Plan consultants, DCE Planning (formerly known as Urban Ecology) are responsible for inserting this new definition into our plan. This re-definition is unclear, nonspecific and carries substantial ideological baggage. And since this new definition is NOT in the dictionary but is posited as the foundational basis for this 17 year plan it would seem necessary to minimally understand its origin, yet no credit or sourcing of this information is given in the documents. So where did DCE Planning get this new definition?

The concept of “sustainability” as “the ability to meet the needs of current residents without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs” appeared in nearly identical terms in Our Common Future (http://conspect.nl/pdf/Our_Common_Future-Brundtland_Report_1987.pdf), also known as the Brundtland Report, published by the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987. Wikipedia also cites this same source.


[“Sustainable development,” says Our Common Future, “is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” (Chapter 2, Principle 1 — page 37 in the available 247-page PDF compilation)]

[Two paragraphs later, Our Common Future calls for “a progressive transformation of economy and society” (Sound familiar?), and demands “a concern for social equity between generations, a concern that must logically be extended to equity within each generation.” The document overtly seeks a remaking of global society “From One Earth to One World.” Unsurprisingly, Danville citizens are saying “thank you, no, that’s not a trip we want to take.”]

Why is the town of Danville allowing an outside consultant, Barry Miller who is the front man for DCE Planning (who wrote the regional One Bay Area Plan) to inject a term into a small town General Plan with such radical implications? And if that is what the definition the UN has given for Sustainability then you then have to ask yourself what does the UN consider unsustainable? In the following quote, former Under Secretary of the UN, Maurice Strong - In an UNCED PrepCom report, dated August 1991, Titled; ("The relationship between demographic trends, economic growth, unsustainable consumption patterns and environmental degradation," identifies several items which are considered to be unsustainable….. "It is clear that current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle-class ... involving high meat intake, consumption of large amounts of frozen and 'convenience' foods, ownership of motor-vehicles, numerous electric household appliances, home and workplace air-conditioning ... expansive suburban housing ... are not sustainable."

As a citizen of the town of Danville this should elicit immediate concern as the fabric of our lives, suburban lifestyles, are held in contempt.


It is important to note that in1997, DCE Planning along with unelected unaccountable agencies like ABAG (the Association of Bay Area Governments) and MTC (the Metropolitan Transportation Commission) signed a Compact forming “the Bay Area Alliance for Sustainable Communities” (http://www.bayareaalliance.org/compact.pdf). This Alliance congratulated itself for having embraced and adopted the same definition of sustainable development endorsed by the United Nations’ World Commission on Environment and Development: (p.22 of the Compact) and the International Earth Charter.


On Feb 7th of this year, I e-mailed the Town Council documentation alerting them of the worrisome connections between DC&E Planning, ABAG, the Bay Area Alliance, and their adoption of the UN definition for “sustainable development,” including endorsement of the international Earth Charter. Last night I reminded the Town Council of all of these connectins and asked if they knowingly intended to align Danville with the UN’s Sustainable Development plan and its foundational definition of “sustainability” as defined by Barry Miller and DCE Planning Center. And if they did, then they should declare such intentions verbally and in writing, properly crediting and sourcing the origin the definition within the General Plan. Otherwise, the Plan and SAP’s current definition of sustainability is unsustainably misleading.

I asked the town to do one of the following…. 1. Remove the word Sustainable from the General Plan and EIR and go back to the language and direction from the previous general plan. Danville can continue to conserve and preserve without this misleading and controversial language in our plan. 2. Reject the adoption of the SAP Plan entirely. This plan is according to the town “Optional and Common Sense” and therefore unnecessary. 3. Redefine the word “Sustainable” 4. Or source and credit it properly within the town documents

When the town was ready to discuss issues after the open hearing the town manager, Joe Calabrigo tried to quickly whitewash the concerns about the meaning and origin of “Sustainabilty” by saying it was common definition. Even though the definition is NOT in any dictionary. Once the council took over the only member to bring up a concern about this was Karen Stepper. She questioned the definition and tried to discuss it. Mayor Arnerich said he didn’t care where the definition came from and did not want to source it in the document. Council members Robert Storer said he was fine with the definition and agreed they should not source it in the documents. Renee Morgan and Mike Doyle basically said nothing about this controversial issue and then they all agreed that the undisclosed definition should stay in the document as defined by the Consultant and quickly moved on to other less toxic issues. So there you have it…… The town of Danville was made aware of the true origin of the word “Sustainable” and will full knowledge of has refused to openly credit and source this in their General Plan, EIR and SAP. So much for transparency…Who’s wearing the tin foil hat now?


Action Report

Danville Town Hall Meeting March 5th 7:30 pm

The Danville City Council was packed and overflowing last night. People were lining the walls and sitting on the floor. The pitchforks were at the ready. The issues people were concerned with ranged from....
Local Control – urging the town to get out of ABAG, Challenge/Reduce RHNA (Regional Housing Needs Allocations), remove the PDA (Priority Development Area) from the town, remove the SCS (Sustainable Community Strategy aka One Bay Area) language from the 2030 plan, EIR (Environmental Impact Report) and SAP (Sustainable Action Plan), remove the SAP altogether, uphold a Measure S vote on Agricultural land when it is scheduled to be rezoned and upzoning of HOS (High Opportunity Sites) for high density low income housing.

The tension was palpable at the beginning. The town council tried to stack the deck by bringing out 9 people to speak up for the plan and for the low income housing, but before they spoke Pam F. addressed the council at the public comment period. She cited an email that Mayor Arnerich had sent to a Danville Citizen that had claimed the sponsors of the Citizens Town Halls held on February 21st and 27th were part of a national organization (see quote below);

“ The meeting you attended was organized by a political group with a very specific national organization and agenda which was not disclosed.”
Pam stated that she and others were not paid by anyone and were not part of a national group. She also cited an article written by Tom Barnidge of the Contra Costa Times (Bay Area News Group). It was a front page editorial with a one sided slant quoting ABAG Vice Chair Julie Pierce from Clayton saying how great the One Bay Area Plan is and pointing to conspiracy theories as being the only opposition to the plan. She mentioned that the Bay Area News Group is in fact a sponsor of the One Bay Area plan, which hardly makes them neutral and only interviewing the Vice Chair doesn’t give one a balanced argument. Then the small parade of “Proponents” spoke. It was obvious the town managed stacked the front of the meeting with their best supporters. Candace Andersen was one of the people who showed up to help the council try to sell the towns people on how great low income housing would be in Danville. She gushed about how it would benefit her children. She actually lives in Danville and thinks that we should have high density low income housing to save our planet??? She is either being handled by the ABAG and MTC agencies or she is delusional. She has sold out to our town and needs to be called out for it. I was surprised to hear the Chamber of Commerce come out praising the town on the General Plan especially since many small businesses in the downtown are in areas being rezoned and are being forced to leave Danville to make way for low income housing. In fact later in the evening a doctor with an office in the Podva area south of town explained how the owners of his building were refusing to renew leases for essentially more than 90 days and that he is being forced to spend $200,000 to move his small business to another town. He asked the council if they had thought of this and whether they were going to compensate him for this huge expense. Silence.....

On a good note; The PDA has been removed due to lack of votes. Mayor Arnerich and Councilman Storer had to abstain due to conflicts, which left 3

Council people to vote on this. Karen Stepper and Renee Morgan said they were opposed and Mike Doyle who was absent would have voted yes so there were not enough votes to make a majority. This means the PDA automatically got dropped from the town plan. Also, the SCS (Sustainable Communities Strategy) plan language is potentially going to be dropped from the 2030 plan. And the Measure S language is supposedly being kept from the 2010 plan and being brought forward.
On a down note; The Darby Plaza property that was previously recommended to be removed by the list may be back on the table. I believe an attorney for the property owner was there asking the town to reconsider that site for high density. It’s important to note that every eight years new RHNA allocations will be assigned to the town requiring the council to find and upzone more and more areas to accommodate high density stack and pack low income housing. The 2007 allocation was 583 units. The 2014 allocation is 555. Of those allocations 55+% are scheduled to be very low to low income housing. Here is the HCD (Housing and Community Development chart defining the low income categories. (See HCD info for different countieshttp://www.hcd.ca.gov/hpd/hrc/rep/state/inc2k12.pdf)

The town failed to challenge the RHNA allocations within the proper time frames so there appears to be no recourse in challenging the 2014 allocations that ABAG is forcing on our town. These allocations are known to be flawed (50% higher than the Dept of Finance values) and ABAG refuses to recalculate them. This is really too bad since the statistics say that Danville only added 88 people (not units) between 2000 to 2012 to the town. (See statistics for Danville here: http://www.areavibes.com/danville-ca/livability/). The RHNA allocations require us to add over 1500 hundred units within the next 20 years. We need the council to demand ABAG use values realistic growth values in the future.
So as you can see this process is never over. We as citizens must get involved. The fight is not over. We have made several small steps, but we need to ultimately get out of ABAG and repeal SB375 if we are to solve this problem.
Please show up to the next town council meeting on March 19that 7:30pm at 420 Front Street (Danville Community Center). If you can’t show up email or call them and let them know we need to get out of ABAG. We want our Council to put it to a vote. Ask them to put “Getting Out of ABAG” on their Agenda for the next town council meeting.


Danville Town Hall Meeting
March 5th 7:30 pm

Danville City Council is arrogantly planning on adopting 2030 General Plan, EIR and SAP at the first hearing after months of opposition and citizens town halls were held in opposition:  
 
WE NEED EVERYONE to attend:
March 5th Danville Council meeting
7:30pm at 420 Front Street - Danville Community Center (next to the library)
 
 
It's now official: the posted agenda for Tuesday's Town Council meeting recommends adoption of "Resolution No. 23-2013, certifying the Final Environmental Impact Report for the 2030 Danville General Plan and Sustainability Action Plan and adopting Findings and a Statement of Overriding Considerations; adoption of Resolution No. 24-2013, adopting the Town of Danville Sustainability Action Plan; and, 25-2013, adopting the Town of Danville 2030 General Plan."
 
Despite overwhelming opposition to the Danville General Plan, EIR and SAP the town has decided to take action at the first City Council hearing on this matter. The Planning Commission hearings over the past 4 months have been packed with concerned citizens. The Planning Commission ignored their concerns and voted to send it on to the Council. This is the FIRST hearing for the City Council and they are going to jam this thing down our throats.
 
It is important to note that Newell Arnerich is running for Assembly in District 16. My guess is he wants the drama in Danville to stop sooner rather than later. The town is ignoring the people. The people will respond by launching a referendum then recall. 
We need all hands on deck at the City Council meeting; March 5th.  Please show up and oppose the vote.
 
If you can’t go you should send emails to the City Council voicing your opposition to their plan to vote on the General Plan , EIR and SAP at the first hearing!  Here are their email addresses:

Danville City Council is arrogantly planning on adopting 2030 General Plan, EIR and SAP at the first hearing after months of opposition and citizens town halls were held in opposition: 

WE NEED EVERYONE to attend:
March 5th Danville Council meeting
7:30pm at 420 Front Street - Danville Community Center (next to the library)


It's now official: the posted agenda for Tuesday's Town Council meeting recommends adoption of "Resolution No. 23-2013, certifying the Final Environmental Impact Report for the 2030 Danville General Plan and Sustainability Action Plan and adopting Findings and a Statement of Overriding Considerations; adoption of Resolution No. 24-2013, adopting the Town of Danville Sustainability Action Plan; and, 25-2013, adopting the Town of Danville 2030 General Plan."

Despite overwhelming opposition to the Danville General Plan, EIR and SAP the town has decided to take action at the first City Council hearing on this matter. The Planning Commission hearings over the past 4 months have been packed with concerned citizens. The Planning Commission ignored their concerns and voted to send it on to the Council. This is the FIRST hearing for the City Council and they are going to jam this thing down our throats.

It is important to note that Newell Arnerich is running for Assembly in District 16. My guess is he wants the drama in Danville to stop sooner rather than later. The town is ignoring the people. The people will respond by launching a referendum then recall. 
We need all hands on deck at the City Council meeting; March 5th. Please show up and oppose the vote.

If you can’t go you should send emails to the City Council voicing your opposition to their plan to vote on the General Plan , EIR and SAP at the first hearing! Here are their email addresses:


Karen Stepper - kstepper@danville.ca.gov

Renee Morgan -  reneesmorgan@yahoo.com

Robert Storer -  storer@danville.ca.gov

Newell Arnerich arnerich@danville.ca.gov

Mike Doyle - mdoyle@danville.ca.gov

Joe Calabrigo is City Manager: Jcalabrigo@danville.ca.gov

Danville Planning Commission Meetings
To learn more about the fight in Danville go to www.CitizensTownHall.org. Also attend the next Planning Commission meetings January 22nd and February 12th at 7:30pm at the Danville Community Center, 420 Front Street
Here's the Danville Flyer.  Click here to download to share with your family, friends and groups you know.

California and Local News

Sunday
February 3rd, 2013 6:00PM

Spotlight on Danville

560-KSFO Barbara Simpson Show

Sunday-Heather will be a guest on the Barbara Simpson Show from 6:00-6:30PM. Heather will be shining the light on the Danville 2030 Plan. Please tune into the Barbara Simpson Show, listen and call in to discuss the Danville situation.
Danville is in the process of adopting a 20 year general plan. This time line is twice the length of any previous general plans, which has local citizens concerned. In addition, the town is including in their plan language from a radical untested regional plan (referred to as the One Bay Area Sustainable Communities Strategy) The One Bay Area Plan has not been completed, certified, and will not even be adopted until June 2013. Two unelected, unaccountable regional agencies MTC (Metropolitan Transportation Commission) and ABAG (Association of Bay Area Governments) are behind the One Bay Area plan, and are threatening to withhold transportation funds from local municipalities if they don’t adopt their plan. MTC and ABAG are in control of $277 billion dollars of federal grant money, and have been given the task of creating the first ever regional plan for the Bay Area. This plan is a cookie cutter solution that will transform all of our cities and towns into high density, stack and pack housing next to mass transit to reduce VMTs (Vehicle Miles Traveled). Much of this includes the inclusion of very low to low income units to fulfill the social and environmental justice component of the plan. All of this is being touted as necessary to reduce the level of GHGs (Green House Gases) in California. However, if you take the premise of the plan and apply it to Danville it is clear that this plan has no business being implemented in our town. Danville is not a transit hub or major corridor, and adding high density housing to the town would increase traffic, VMTs, GHGs and destroy Danville's small town atmosphere.


Directions to Danville Communty Center, 420 Front Street

Necessary Amendments to the Danville 2030 Plan

I. Remove the ABAG PDA (Priority Development Area) designation from the town of Danville because Danville is not TPP (Transit Priority Project) eligible. PDAs are and TPPs are defined in SB375 as being within Y2 mile of a major transit hub or major transit corridor, which Danville clearly is NOT.

2. Challenge RHNA allocations and reduce overall allocation to our town.

3. Remove all specifications of the One Bay Area plan and EIR from the Danville 2030 Draft Plan, EIR and SAP as the One/Plan Bay Area is not complete, certified and has not gone through the EIR process or been adopted by the Regional COG. SB375, page 2 clearly states

that local municipalities do not have to comply and our general plans DO NOT have to be consistent in any way. The town of Danville is being irresponsible by adding un-adopted and unnecessary policies into a 20 year general plan.

4. We want local control. We do not want unelected, unaccountable bodies like ABAG dictating how and where we will live in the future.

5. Get Danville to cancel its membership with ICLEI and stop paying dues to this International NGO.

6. Cancel Danville's membership with ABAG. Since cities are not obligated in any way to belong to this regional COG we are asking Danville to cancel its membership and stoppaying dues to this unelected, unaccountable agency. We want local control!

January 15th, 2013 - Danville Citizens Town Hall Meeting

Citizens Town Hall in Danville on January 15th, was a great success. The room was packed to capacity with concerned Danville Residents who came out to hear what is being planned for their community. The meeting was a collaborative effort of different groups all opposing the Danville 2030 Plan. SOS Danville, Citizens Town Hall and Friends of Danville were there to inform fellow residents about the 2030 Plan, EIR (Environmental Impact Report) and SAP (Sustainable Action Plan) being considered by the town.  Almost 4,000 flyers were hand delivered announcing the town hall. Over 50% of the audience proudly held up their flyers when asked “How did you hear about the meeting”.

For those of you that don’t know what is going on in Danville I’ll give a brief background. Danville is in the process of adopting a 20 year general plan. This time line is twice the length of any previous general plans which has many concerned. In addition, the town is including in this plan language from a radical untested regional plan (referred to as the One Bay Area Sustainable Communities Strategy) that has not been completed, certified and will not even be adopted until June of this year. Two unelected, unaccountable regional agencies MTC (Metropolitan Transportation Commission) and ABAG (Association of Bay Area Governments) are behind the One Bay Area plan and are threatening to withhold transportation funds from local municipalities if they don’t adopt this plan. MTC and ABAG are in control of $277 billion dollars of federal grant money and have been given the task of creating the first ever regional plan for the Bay Area. This plan is a cookie cutter solution that will transform all of our cities and towns into high density, stack and pack housing next to mass transit to reduce VMTs (Vehicle Miles Traveled). Much of this includes the inclusion of very low to low income units to fulfill the social and environmental justice component of the plan. All of this is being touted as necessary to reduce the level of GHGs (Green House Gases) in California. However, if you take the premise of the plan and apply it to Danville it is clear that this plan has no business being implemented in our town. Danville is not a transit hub or major corridor and adding high density housing to the town would increase traffic, VMTs, GHGs and destroy the small town atmosphere. The legislation behind this plan is AB32, SB375 and AB2785. These bills work together to effectively force development into compact areas, to ostensibly reduce greenhouse gas emissions while restricting the rights of owners of undeveloped private land outside of UGB (Urban Growth Boundaries) throughout the Bay Area and the state.

AB32 was passed in 2006 and calls for a statewide reduction in GHGs to 1990 levels by the year 2020. The CARB board is supposed to inventory and monitor these levels. The local towns are not required to implement Climate or Sustainable Action Plans, but many are doing so on their own. SB375 was passed in 2008. This bill links transportation to land use and gives the MTC agency the task of creating a regional plan for how and where the cities and counties should grow over the next 30 years. MTC is responsible for the transportation portion of this plan and ABAG is handling the land use and population forecasts. This type of regional blueprint has NEVER been done and the SB375 bill clearly states that the plan is not mandatory for local municipalities. AB2785 passed in 2010 defines a wildlife corridor system throughout California. The only problem with this is that these corridors include private property. This map is most egregious in that it contemplates the taking of private property by government. What people don’t realize is that this map is NOT about preserving land (Open Space) for the animals and plants. These land masses that are being set aside are being incorporated into giant land trusts for the purpose of selling carbon credits in the trillion dollar Cap n’ Trade scheme that recently started in this state. A few large land trusts and foundations will be the beneficiaries of this giant piggy bank. The CARB board has already stated that much of the credits will be given away. This is a fraudulent pay to play scheme and giant land grab not an environmental initiative. The map can be found at www.dfg.ca.gov/habcon/connectivity. The government agencies who prepared this map are DOT (Department of Transportation), CalTrans and DFG (Department of Fish and Game). I understand people want to preserve and protect the environment, but these bills are not about protecting the environment they are being used to socially reengineer the lives of the people of the people of California by implementing a new development model that will ultimately force people out of their cars and single family homes into high density human settlements.

Multiple speakers at Tuesday’s meeting covered different topics. The main points were to follow the lead of Corte Madera and disassociate the town from ABAG, remove the PDA (Priority Development Area) designation from the town and let the town decide where to build in the future, challenge the housing allocation values, remove all language of the unadopted regional SCS plan from the Danville 2030 plan, EIR and SAP and let the uphold the Measure S right to vote.

The bottom line is there is no proof that the One Bay Area plan will save GHGs in Danville. There is no proof that low income housing has any relationship to the reduction in GHGs. Danville is not a transit hub or transit corridor and the nearest BART station is 7 miles away. The people of Danville are upset that unelected unaccountable bureaucrats are making decisions about how and where there city will grow and are showing up in ever increasing numbers to oppose this plan.  Danville residents have the right to decide how their town will grow and they aren’t taking this overreach lying down.  Standing room only crowds are showing up to Planning Commission meetings.  I don’t think the town of Danville has seen this much action in a while. It’s nice to see people coming together to fight for a good cause. This is not about right and left. This is about right and wrong. And this plan is wrong for Danville.