Coalition has wrong vision for Marin

The draconian changes recently proposed by a coalition of conservation organizations would help destroy the very foundation that makes the Marin we

know and love possible today and sustainable tomorrow.

Among other things, the coalition seeks a series of drastic restrictions on our economic vitality, commerce, transportation, development, zoning, and property rights. The result would be to shutter and close Marin. Their proposals are labeled “A Vision for Marin County.” Unfortunately, it is tunnel

vision that fails to see the link between a vibrant local economy and maintaining a high quality of life here.

The stakes are simply too great for the 180,000 people whose Marin-based jobs are dependent on a healthy business environment, or anyone who enjoys and appreciates all that is Marin today, from letting that vision become a reality.

The impact of the proposals, as outlined in the Community Marin 2013 document, would: - Discourage the creation of jobs by restricting development and making it more expensive to build, buy or rent. Higher costs equal less construction, thereby reducing or stagnating building- and trade-related jobs.

      - Discourage companies from expanding or moving here. Between 2009 to 2012, 565 net new businesses entered the Marin economy. But the county will not be able to compete with other jurisdictions if there are new fees imposed on and increased resistance to commercial development.

     - Make it harder to maintain or improve our infrastructure: The lack of local workers in the building trades would make any infrastructure projects either more costly and lessen the local economic benefits from those projects.

     - Make it more difficult for people who live here, to stay here, especially our children. Discouraging commercial development can be a deal-breaker for local residents. Finding new jobs will be harder, commutes will become longer for residents, and tax revenues that support local schools and public services otherwise will slowly diminish. Without jobs, new households are not formed, public safety is underfunded, communities are weakened and taxpayers pay more.

     The Community Marin proposals come about a year after George Lucas suddenly pulled the plug on his Grady Ranch movie studio project, which would have generated much needed jobs and tax revenue here. Their coalition apparently doesn’t remember the lessons from that debacle, simply doesn’t care, or hopes that we will all forget.

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