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California's Anti-Sprawl Bill: Round-Up of Reactions

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As noted in linkage, yesterday Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed that anti-sprawl bill, which discourages sprawl by tying development with regional planning, and aiming to put more housing around transportation. More via the Sacramento Bee, but here’s a round-up of how those tied to the planning and business communities have been reacting to the bill (and in some cases, the signing).

Bill Fulton, California Planning & Development Report: “SB 375, the anti-sprawl bill signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last night, is both more and less powerful than it’s advertised to be, and whether it leads to sweeping change depends on how aggressively California’s regional planning agencies implement it.”

Kevin Hanley, Auburn City Council and the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), Sacremento Bee: “SB 375 is not "smart growth" at all. It's just the typical top-down, "state knows best" approach that will erode the quality of life for hard-working Californians.”

Ivy Schiffman, chairman of Chico-based River Partners, CN&R: “This kind of limited “top down” decision-making leaves plenty of room for local initiatives, as seen in the innovative and imaginative planning being done by Oregon and Washington communities. Both of these states have established land-use goals that require local governments to protect critical environmental and resource areas and designate rational and efficient urban growth areas.”

LA Times editorial, Four bills Schwarzenegger should sign: "This groundbreaking measure would build on Schwarzenegger's work to make California a leader in combating global climate change. The bill, by Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), would for the first time allow the state to use its transportation funds to reward plans that provide for housing near job centers and transit corridors and to slow the advance of land-gobbling, pollution-producing sprawl. The remaining business opponents who see the state's future in farther-flung suburbs and longer commutes will eventually come to grips with the escalating environmental, fuel, health and business costs of such an approach, but California can't afford to wait for them.”

Robert Cruickshank, historian, California Progress Report: [It’s the Portland model - you can't stop sprawl merely by limiting growth on the edge of a metro area. You must also encourage infill, dense development and provide the mass transit to serve it. It's also vital to California's economic recovery. As I have argued before, we must redefine the California Dream by using urban density to provide for affordable living and economic security."

San Francisco Bay Area Council, via Press Release: “"SB-375 is the very tool we need to change our region's growth model, and it comes not a moment too soon.”