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As always, California is the beachhead of stupid and/or evil ideas regarding your property, lifestyle, and even your life. Hears the latest bad idea that needs to be aggressively fought: Senate Bill 1 would allow counties to set up a Sustainable Communities Investment Authority (SCIA) which would have the power of eminent domain to confiscate private property for “sustainable communities.” The bill passed the California legislature, but was modified before “Moonbeam” Brown could sign it and now must go back through the legislature.

Here’s some of the elements that the law could entail, courtesy of the San Rafael Patch:

– A city mayor or county supervisor forms a new joint powers authority called a “Sustainable Communities Investment Authority” (SCIA), they appoint elected officials to serve on the SCIAs board.

– If you live within 1/2 mile of a bus that runs every 15 minutes during peak commutes, or the SMART train or Caltrain in a single family home neighborhood your neighborhood can be targeted by the SCIA as inefficient land use and “blighted” as it is not high density multi-family housing. Almost everyone reading this in Marin (apart from some Steve Kinsey constituents in Western Marin) is therefore affected – I have seen the map with these 1/2 mile radiuses and it covers almost all Marinites.

– The SCIA can then wield the power of eminent domain to purchase unused, for sale or even occupied land in order to build high density multi-family housing – that it deems to be efficient land use.

– The SCIA can then impose local taxes on us to pay not just for the eminent domain purchases but to help the land developer build by subsidizing the building of high density housing.

– In order to meet criteria in SB1 allowing imposition of local taxes the SCIA must impose”a sustainable parking standards ordinance that restricts parking in transit priority project areas to encourage transit use to the greatest extent feasible”. Yes you read that right, “to the greatest extent feasible”. This could mean anything from reducing available parking, to introducing parking permits and parking meters.

Poverty around the world can be linked tightly to several factors, and one is the lack of personal security and negative incentives to work or innovate that come from government theft of property. California is stepping squarely into the Third World with this law, where unless you are part of the well-connected elite, everything you work for is forfeit to the will of a few bureaucrats and their moneyed friends.

This will pass. I have no doubt. And they won’t stop, Californians. Not unless you stop them.

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