The Town of Danville is facing fierce opposition to a proposal for more high-density, low-cost, multi-family housing projects to build 583 homes — ‘stacked and packed’ — with densities as high as 35 dwelling units per acre. The project does not include any Section 8 housing to be added to the seven such units already located in Danville.
The Town Council and Planning Commission Public Meetings over the past few months have been packed with more than 200 concerned, and often passionate, but civil residents. Many Danville citizens are against changing the General Plan’s existing zoning to add more cluster housing projects in twelve targeted Downtown parcels, with two adjacent to I-680.
Though many people in Danville are still unaware of the proposed clustered housing developments, hundreds of citizens have packed the public meetings. Voters express concerns that their elected councilmembers may appear to be relinquishing local control to outside advisory bureaucrat organizations such as ABAG—Association of Bay Area Governments. ABAG projects population growth, housing needs, and the areas’ jobs potential, and makes recommendations accordingly.
Some concerned citizens feel that council members may not be considering what is in the best interest of Danville by abdicating their once-promised platforms of adhering to the Town’s best interest, and conserving the community’s quality of life.
Some important facts: All communities in California are required by State law to provide for their “fair share” of regional housing needs allocations (RHNA). The “fair share” for Danville for 2007-2014 was defined by ABAG as 583 housing units, including 326 units of affordable to low income households. The Town’s preliminary fair share for 2014-2022 (not yet adopted by ABAG) will add another 555 units, including 306 affordable to low income, and very low income households. In addition, every eight years ABAG will make another demand for more high density low income units to be planned for Danville.
Current allocations are based on ABAG’s projections of 10% per decade growth in Danville. This is twice as high as the State Department of Finance projections of 5%. Danville’s actual growth in the 12 years from 2000 to 2012 was only 1.2%! These projections translate directly into higher pack and stack housing allocations. Many citizens are concerned that the Town has not challenged ABAG’s obviously erroneous projections. Town officials may fear that if they challenge the allocations, ABAG may retaliate.
ABAG has told the Town of Danville that they still have a 9.6 acre shortfall of affordable to low income, and very low income housing of 20 to 35 dwelling units per acre. To get a sense of what density looks like, visualize if three homeowners each lived on a 1/3rd acre, an acre total, then imagine that there would be 35 homes on that same acre. 35 housing units to one acre equals density.
The other issue that has Danville citizens fuming is the proposed designation of Danville as a Priority Development Area (PDA). This is a brand new designation and it is voluntary—not mandated by ABAG or others. A PDA is defined as an area that plans for a significant increase in housing, including “Affordable” housing units which reduce dependency on automobiles. It is required to be near transit, which means within ½ mile of an existing rail station, ferry terminal, or served by bus or rapid transit corridor with minimum headways of 20 minutes during peak commute periods.
Opponents state that Danville clearly does not qualify as a PDA. They note that Downtown Danville is not an “area having the capacity for infill development at densities that can help sustain public transit, or that the residents would want to identify to the State bureaucrats as an area where future growth will be focused in the coming decades”. The only apparent reason that opponents see Danville’s reason to designate itself as a PDA is that it may possibly get transportation money from the state in the future.
Opponents state that this may be a slippery slope, fraught with risk and fear that the Town may eventually give up local control over its destiny to an unelected regional body. They note that the Town will likely risk mandated waivers to zoning densities and height restrictions, increased housing quotas, and unwanted outsider micro-management.
Friends of Danville is a group of concerned citizens who believe that additional dense construction may lead to further encroachment, impact crime rates, traffic, roads, police and fire services, already-crowded schools, and more vehicles will add pollution. (www.FriendsofDanville.org/ www.CitizensTownHall.org.)
At recent Town Hall Meetings sponsored by several local organizations and individuals opposed to the Draft Plan, Friends of Danville and SOS-Danville (www.sos-danville.com) made presentations about serious questions about the Plan. Former Congressman Bill Baker coordinated questions and comments from the audience about their concerns regarding the potential impacts in the Plan if passed in its current form. Audience members Joe Calabrigo, Danville Town Manager, and Councilmember Robert Storer weighed in with their own comments.
Maryann Cella, of SOS-Danville, had a spirited discussion with Joe Calabrigo about Measure S, an open space protection measure overwhelmingly passed by voters in the 2000 election. SOS-Danville is asking the Town Council to follow the recommendations of the Planning Commission in the Council’s upcoming vote on the Plan.
Opponents of the proposed projects are concerned that the sanction of such dense construction may be the first foot in the door to future clustered housing growth, and they maintain that more multi-family units are unsuitable for the community’s needs. Concerned citizens strive to conserve Danville’s elusive small town character, and preserve the atmosphere as a safe place to live, work and raise families.
Friends of Danville request that the Town of Danville consider the following: Remove Priority Development Area (PDA) Designation from Plan; Challenge Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) housing allocation, and reduce allocation to Danville; Revise Plan to meet only minimum legal requirement mandated by RHNA; Remove Optional Sustainability and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Section from Resources and Hazards, and do not adopt the Sustainability Action Plan (SAP); Remove all Bay Area One SB375 Sustainable Community Strategy (SCS) Language from General Plan; Adopt Changes recommended by Maryann Cella; and withdraw from ABAG, Association of Bay Area Governments.
Update: At the March 5th Danville Town Council Public Hearing, attended by 300+ residents, the Priority Development Area (PDA) Designation was not adopted due to insufficient Council support.
DOES AGENDA 21 RELATE?
On occasion, the subject of Agenda 21 arises when discussing ‘sustainable development’ and the tenets of extreme environmentalism that seems to challenge many communities.
It all started in Rio. Over twenty years ago in 1992, in Rio de Janeiro at the Multi-National Earth Summit, the United Nations’ members sponsored a comprehensible blueprint of action to be taken globally, nationally, and locally by governments, agencies and organizations of 178 nations concerning the direct affect of humans on the earth’s environment.
The Agenda 21 Plan, named for the 21st century, spells out ‘sustainable development’ guidelines to all-encompassing global sustainable development. The powerful United Nations General Assembly has laid out plans to implement Agenda 21 that influences local government agencies and environmental organizations.
The widening of globalization of ‘sustainability’ and the shift in local decision-making powers addresses the inequalities in education and income, and mandates a halt to the Earth’s continued deterioration of the global environment.
The World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 in Johannesburg affirmed the Agenda 21 framers’ full commitment for complete implementation with four targeted Sections:
I. Social and Economic Dimensions, Combat Poverty, Change Consumption Patterns, Change Populations to Sustainable Settlements and Promote Health;
II. Atmospheric, Combat Deforestation, Protect Fragile Environments, Control Pollution, Biodiversity, Manage Biotechnology;
III. Strengthen Roles in Major Groups, Roles of Children and Women, NGOs, Local Authorities, Indigenous Peoples, Communities and Farmers;
IV. Means of Implementation, Science, Technology, Transfer, International Institutions and Financial Mechanisms.
Repeating patterns in Agenda 21 target certain sections; ‘to spread wealth, and level playing fields’—designed by United Nations’ members to ultimately change our modes of doing business, and the running of our own cities.
Global government agencies can wield powerful jurisdiction in the most crucial areas. One example; organizations and their sub-groups are reaching across international borders to promote ‘sustainability’ recommendations by such acts as the manipulation of water supplies to targeted communities, and attempting control over what we grow and eat, and even how and where we live.
And on more personal levels, ominous controls spill over to our individual habits of food and drink consumption; even travel and fuel usage can be manipulated by the swelling of gasoline prices.
An example of the manipulation of water resources by California government agencies was when allocations to Central Valley Ag-lands were restricted, and diverted into the ocean to protect the ‘endangered’ 2.5-inch delta smelt. Thousands of acres of fields dried up, food production halted; fruit trees withered and died and thousands of jobs were lost.
STRUCTURE OF AGENDA 21 BLUEPRINT
The United Nation’s Agenda 21 poses as a plan for Sustainable Development, cloaked to impose tenets of Social Injustice and Socialism on the world. It is said to be a veiled agenda for the future founding of a One World Government per growth-limiting programs that focus on futurist survivalism.
Members of the Club of Rome, founded in 1968, advise the UN on global well-being over global wealth, and warn of the risk of eventual break-down of world economics and banking systems.
The collective concerns of the CofR are for the future of humanity and the planet, and promote the halt of population growth by demographic change to stop the bankrupting of nature. Through globalization measures; oil, ecosystems and water, they mainly concentrate on food production, health and employment.
Among the illustrious world citizens in the Club of Rome think-tank are; Mikhail Gorbachev, Henry Kissinger, Desmond Tutu, Maurice Strong, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Ted Turner and George Soros—members of diplomacy, industry, and academia that include many Nobel Peace Prize recipients.
The European Union countries, the EU, who are already diluted with less national identity, and porous borders, embrace the tenets of Agenda 21 and the possibility of funding opportunities.
A driving force behind the Agenda 21 Sustainability Developmental framework is the George Soros-sponsored ICLEI organization— International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives—which got its start with a Soros grant of $2,147,415. The ICLEI deeply entrenched the movement in the United States through Local Governments for Sustainability that allows for zoning changes, oversees energy efficiency such as smart meters, and promotes all things green.
Agenda 21 is not a Free Market friend; certain ‘Green and Sustainable’ companies that meet the mandated guidelines may get government funding. Some may stay in business, but many go under like the Solyndra fiasco, and ‘sustainability’ proponents are apt to target the ‘capitalist corporations’ for either valid or trumped-up environmental infractions.
And many critics maintain that through world-wide United Nations-sponsored Green Communitarianism, personal freedoms that we know today may eventually dissolve by regulations set forth by satellite agencies of slow-churning government machines.
Many detractors reject the all-encompassing tenets of Agenda 21, and its insidious indoctrination of extreme environmentalism propaganda, the implementation of radical change, and by surreptitiously inventing an ‘artificial paradise’.
Change is imminent. Government agencies on State levels can implement power, through long-range ‘planning’, by red-lining some targeted privately-owned flatlands, hillsides and ranchlands properties, and earmark for Wetlands, Open Space or Rangeland Conservation.
So what is Agenda 21 and why should we care? Agenda 21 is a United Nations 40-page document with language clearly defining Sustainable Developmental Guidelines scheduled to be implemented in the unknown future; “Land cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principle instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth, and therefore contributes to social injustices; if unchecked it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes. The provision of decent dwellings and healthy conditions for the people can only be achieved if land is used in the interest of society as a whole…”
Agenda 21 is viewed by its many international critics as social engineering, extreme environmentalism, and global political control. The UN-sponsored programs promote other nebulous points of interest too, referring to “precautionary principles, biological diversity, ecological integrity, and principles of inter-generational equity”.
Their national strategies for sustainability are through partnership efforts, often NGO-sponsored, with the use of language very much like stealthily concocted Orwellian double-speak written to mean something other than what it actually seems. Could Big-Brotherism be coming to fruition?
A Ten Year Framework on Sustainable Production and Consumption is partnering with an organization called Economic Co-Operation and Development; the OECD. This author’s research could not locate if any of these organizations are government-sponsored, and was unable to confirm who is paying for these programs.
I did discover, however, that the U.S Department of Agriculture has a mission of advancing the principles and goals of sustainable development theory, through partnership collaboration and outreach.
Other mandates in the Agenda 21 documents are; limiting family size; virtual limitation of personal property; government control of fishing and hunting; cap and trade taxation and tariffs; rural depopulation; agrarian reform; exclusion of humans in the wetlands and wildlands; abolition of single family dwellings; control of aquifers to demolish livestock and produce farming. And, an ominous part of the plan is the Monsanto-style super companies’ clandestine development of chemical-resistant super-seeds, hoarded in vaults, for futuristic biosphere-bubble farming.
But, in addition to the abundance of internet information that purports all of this as factual; there are also the conspiracy-driven reports that FEMA-built communities await new occupiers, and that hundreds of planes are secretly spraying crops in the United States, Australia and other regions, unable to camouflage their tale-telling chem-trails of aluminum-chloride and barium that canopy our vast skies.
Could this all be Science Fiction theories of popular culture or harbingers of a New World Order? Think about it. Do your own research and look into the world-wide plans of global consciousness for the United Nations-inspired Agenda 21, and what the Movement may promise in our future, like a foundling, waiting on our own doorsteps.
COMING SOON TO A TOWN NEAR YOU
Readers may take this opinion piece with a grain of salt, or shrug it off as conspiracy theories, or Mon Dieu!—even as science fiction. Nevertheless, the global movement, with eco-spirituality and near-religious fervor, is a creeping ideology; and once the furtive foot is in the door, who knows what yet may come?
Things are already happening; some large parcels of private lands are in jeopardy. A salient example; the State of California, already controlling 51% of California as Public Land, hints of their interest in millions of acres of private ranchlands. Targeted land parcels may soon be forbidden to participate in ranching, farming, vineyards, mining, oil and gas exploration, as well as green energy; wind, solar or geothermal energy production. Agenda 21 guidelines on condemning private property as public domain could destroy property-owner rights as we know them today.
And Agenda 21 Brazil started in November 2012; Federal Brazilian Police, using extreme measures, forced thousands of long-time farmers from their Mato Grosso village at gunpoint, under the guise of returning huge tracts of land to ‘Indians whose ancestors may have lived there at some time’.
Gun-toting police evicted the villagers, stripped the community of property, burned houses, and dehumanized them with persecution, accusing them of being invaders of lands where once lived indigenous peoples. With government-issued orders, supported by the Agenda 21 Movement paradigms, they enforced the mandatory evacuation.