Smart Growth Preamble and Policies
The Smart Growth Preamble and Policies embody the objectives of
the regionwide Vision developed at the public workshops. The policies
served as the basis for the development of Projections 2003 and
provide a framework for the pursuit of incentives and regulatory
changes. An equally important role of the policies is their use
as a tool to implement smart growth in the region, should local
governments wish to use them in their planning efforts. The Preamble
and Policies have been adopted by ABAG, BCDC, BAAQMD and MTC. The
Smart Growth Preamble and Policies appears below and can also be
viewed in PDF format.
Current land-use patterns in the San Francisco Bay Area are putting
intense pressure on the economic, environmental and social wellbeing
of the Bay Area and of surrounding regions. The projected addition
of over one million new residents and one million new jobs in the
coming decades will further challenge our ability to sustain the
high quality of life we enjoy today.
To help meet this challenge, the five regional agencies of the
Bay Region - the Association of Bay Area Governments, Bay Area Air
Quality Management District, Bay Conservation and Development Commission,
Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Regional Water Quality
Control Board - along with the economy, environment and social equity
caucuses of the Bay Area Alliance for Sustainable Communities, developed
a set of Smart Growth policies.
The policies reflect the values articulated by workshop participants
of the Smart Growth Strategy/Regional Livability Footprint Project
and address Bay Area conditions. The policies are consistent with
widely accepted notions of smart growth. They are meant to encourage
meaningful participation from local governments, stakeholders and
The policies provide a framework for decision-making on development
patterns, housing, transportation, environment, infrastructure,
governmental fiscal health and social equity that can lead us toward
development of vibrant neighborhoods, preservation of open space,
clean air and water, and enhanced mobility choices, while enhancing
the Bay Area's relationship with surrounding regions.
Jobs/Housing Balance and Match
Improve the jobs/housing linkages through the development of housing
in proximity to jobs, and both in proximity to public transportation.
Increase the supply of affordable housing and support efforts to
match job income and housing affordability levels.
Housing and Displacement
Improve existing housing and develop sufficient new housing to provide
for the housing needs of the Bay Area community. Support efforts
to improve housing affordability and limit the displacement of existing
residents and businesses.
Social Justice and Equity
Improve conditions in disadvantaged neighborhoods, ensure environmental
justice, and increase access to jobs, housing, and public services
for all residents in the region.
Environmental, Natural Resource, Open Space and Agricultural
Protect and enhance open space, agricultural lands, other valued
lands, watersheds and ecosystems throughout the region. Promote
development patterns that protect and improve air quality. Protect
and enhance the San Francisco Bay and Estuary.
Mobility, Livability and Transit Support
Enhance community livability by promoting in-fill, transit oriented
and walkable communities, and compact development as appropriate.
Develop multi-family housing, mixed-use development, and alternative
transportation to improve opportunities for all members of the community.
Local and Regional Transportation Efficiencies
Promote opportunities for transit use and alternative modes of transportation
including improved rail, bus, high occupancy (HOV) systems, and
ferry services as well as enhanced walking and biking. Increase
connectivity between and strengthen alternative modes of transportation,
including improved rail, bus, ride share and ferry services as well
as walking and biking. Promote investments that adequately maintain
the existing transportation system and improve the efficiency of
Improve and maintain existing infrastructure and support future
investments that promote smart growth, including water and land
recycling, brownfield clean-up and re-use, multi-use and school
facilities, smart building codes, retention of historic character
and resources, and educational improvements.
Local Government Fiscal Health
Improve the fiscal health of local government by promoting stable
and secure revenue sources, reduced service provision costs through
smart growth targeted infrastructure improvement, and state and
regional sponsored fiscal incentives. Support cooperative efforts
among local jurisdictions to address housing and commercial development,
infrastructure costs, and provision of services.
Cooperation on Smart Growth Policies
Encourage local governments, stakeholders and other constituents
in the Bay Area to cooperate in supporting actions consistent with
the adopted Smart Growth policies. Forge cooperative relationships
with governments and stakeholders in surrounding regions to support
actions that will lead to inter-regional Smart Growth benefits.
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