It is getting to the point where the only reason for having towns any more is so that there is a name to put on the outside of Post Offices.
And now the highest legal authority in Sacramento (outside of the Adonis of the Alps, of course), has picked up the governmental axe and is personally going after a small city that has dared to trifle with the central planning authority of the all-mighty state. You can only wonder if the tanks are not all that far behind.
This from a "CBS News 5"website article from somewhere up North:
State Attorney General Brown Sues Pleasanton Over Housing Cap
Pleasanton - State Attorney General Jerry Brown announced Wednesday he is joining a lawsuit that contends the city of Pleasanton should remove a limit on new housing in the city that he called "draconian and illegal." ... The motion, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, would force Pleasanton to life Measure GG, a 1996 measure approved by voters that limits the number of total housing units in the city at 29,000 ... The state's regional housing needs assessment (Ed: RHNA #s) requires Pleasanton to provide 3,277 additional houses, apartments or condominiums by 2014, but the cap only allows for 2,000 more to be built, according to the attorney general's office."
Now far be it from me to suggest that Jerry Brown is not among the most brilliant of men to ever grace the political firmament of this benighted state, but tell me if you don't detect a bit of a crises of logic in these next two statements from our esteemed Attorney General:
"Pleasanton's draconian and illegal limit on new housing forces people to commute long distances, adding to bumper to bumper traffic along highways 580 and 680 and increasing dangerous air pollution."
And now this:
"It's time for Pleasanton to balance its housing and its jobs and take full advantage of its underutilized land and proximity to BART."
So the people who commute to their jobs in Pleasanton have the option of using their automobiles or taking the BART commuter train. And despite the fact that the freeway trip can take up to two hours in some pretty awful traffic, those working in Pleasanton prefer their car to the train. And because Sacramento cannot convince people to leave their cars home and take that train, Pleasonton is now is to be sued into submission and plan for more housing than the people living there feel is appropriate to their town?
Of course, the chop logic being applied here is that if people can find cheap places to live in Pleasanton, they will work in Pleasanton and not commute somewhere else. And, of course, do that commuting in their cars since they hate that train the taxpayers pay so much to keep rolling.
Now if I lived and worked in Oakland, and realized that I could now afford to live in Pleasanton, wouldn't I want to raise my kids there and just commute back to Oakland every day? I would, and in a heartbeat. Can't Pleasanton be a place to commute from as it is a place to commute to? Of course it can. There is no guarantee that cramming more buildings into a city will diminish traffic. Just like there is no guarantee that building high density housing will cut greenhouse gas emissions. Quite the contrary according to some experts.
And besides, who is to say that once developers are given the opportunity to build in Pleasanton they won't charge the going market rate for their creations, thus pricing them beyond the reach of the very people used to justify the scrapping of Measure GG? Certainly wouldn't be the first time something like that happened.
I'm not sure Jerry has quite reasoned these particular koans out yet. Then again, by the time the effects of his efforts are felt in Pleasanton, the peripatetic Attorney General Moonbeam will be off exploring some new interests. If so, hopefully on a cosmic plane far and away from Sacramento.
The more Sacramento attempts to micromanage the affairs of every town and village in the state, the worse things become. And considering the wretched mess they've made of just about everything they've touched, who are they to be telling us how to conduct our business in the first place?
After all, we're not the ones driving California off a cliff.