Remove Strawberry PDA (IJ article comments)

I live in Strawberry. We are over 60% rentals, more than most areas in the county. We’re not a hermetically sealed WASPy neighborhood, as we’ve been accused of – in fact, we’re pretty diverse. But we don’t think of it as the reject area between Mill Valley and Tiburon, we think of it as the place Strawberry residents moved into, where some have lived for 20 or more years, and a place we want to maintain in a way that isn’t the county’s prime subject of a novel experiment in planned growth.

We ask the Supervisors – all you you – to vote to rescind Strawberry’s PDA designation today, and to remove it in its entirety.

This isn’t about affordable housing.  In fact, Supervisors say the PDA isn’t about housing at all, so how could it be?

This isn’t about Strawberry residents being stupid, or easily led astray by hysterical voices. Some of us are lawyers (even land-use lawyers), business people, doctors and nurses, contractors, teachers, real estate agents, and more.  We understand that county officials say we shouldn’t be worried.  We’ve read the documents ourselves.  We are.

This is about the cumulative effect of housing policies, the vague and dangerous language of a Plan Bay Area designation that is based on a community already planning “significant housing growth,” and the desires of a community to not have this level of mis-representation and uncertainty foisted on them against their will.

Supervisors tell us this doesn’t affect housing or anything other than funding – then why are PDA advocates talking about our resistance as if it’s against housing? Someone’s confused or, more likely, the unintended effects of the new PDA designation aren’t REALLY known, are they?

This IS about the Strawberry community demonstrably opposing this uncertainty, and being willing to live by whatever rules and priorities – housing and funding – the rest of Marin lives by. We’re not looking for anything special. We’re looking to NOT be special.

And this IS about getting our Supervisor to listen to her constituents, rather than driving her own agenda.  Or failing that, getting other Supervisors, some of whom have represented their constituents’ wishes and removed their own PDA communities, to step up and release Strawberry from this lack of representation we are currently experiencing.

And a reduced PDA along the highway is NOT an acceptable compromise solution for Strawberry. We have no intention of being the county’s guinea pig for Plan Bay Area. We have a Strawberry Community Plan that is clearly not about creating a “high density walkable community.” Let’s update that from 1983, the last time the county looked at us (other than taking our $13M+ in annual property taxes), and then work together to determine if a PDA is the right path for Strawberry – not pick Strawberry because we’re near the freeway, and the county needs a PDA to satisfy special interests and Plan Bay Area.