The Association of Bay Area Governments and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission today released the Draft Environmental Impact Report on their “Plan Bay Area,” a long-range regional planning document proposed to better align future land use planning with the Bay Area’s transportation infrastructure.

Plan Bay Area implements SB 375, which was enacted in 2008 and requires each of California’s metropolitan areas to adopt sustainable communities strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks.  The Bay Area is projected to add 2.1 million people by 2040, increasing the total regional population from 7.2 to 9.3 million.  At the same time, the Bay Area’s target for greenhouse gas reduction under SB 375 is a 7% per capita reduction by 2020 and a 15% per capita reduction by 2035.

Plan Bay Area seeks to achieve these targets by concentrating future development within Priority Development Areas — areas identified by local governments for pedestrian-friendly and transit-oriented new development.  Plan Bay Area will encourage cities and counties to focus their future development within Priority Development Areas by directing transportation investments to projects that will serve them.   Plan Bay Area’s preferred land use scenario calls for 80% of new Bay Area housing to be developed within Priority Development Areas.

The public comment period on both the draft Plan Bay Area and the Draft Environmental Impact Report remains open until 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 16th.  Public hearings on Plan Bay Area and the Draft EIR are scheduled in all nine Bay Area counties.

The draft plan and draft EIR are available at the following links:  Draft Plan Bay Area; Draft Environmental Impact Report.