State, StanCOG not listening about growth

May 12, 2013 

DN Jaylen French

Debbie Noda/dnoda@modbee.com Jaylen French, 31, associate planner with Stanislaus Council of Governments (4-22-13)

DEBBIE NODA — Modesto Bee Buy Photo

Regarding statements by Jaylen French, associate planner of the Stanislaus Council of Governments, in The Bee on May 6: First, he said, "Some are worried that the plan will attempt to force lifestyle changes. This is not the intent." What is intended is often very different from the outcome in these "sustainable/smart" growth plans being forced upon us by the government.

The state Housing and Community Development Department is forcing Stanislaus County to build 25,608 low-income housing units in exchange for transportation funds. This will break some cities' budgets with increased health care, police and fire protection costs and loss in property taxes. More importantly, we do not have enough water to support these units.

French also stated, "Some expressed concerns about the regional planning, as they believe it could usurp local control, but this not the case." However, according to our general plan, the state and StanCOG can usurp local zoning powers if a city does not comply with HCD's housing mandates. HCD has given StanCOG permission to bypass Measure E when deemed necessary for the better good. Citizens of Stanislaus County voted for this measure. So much for our voices being heard.

KARLA VON HUNGEN

Modesto

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