Josh Stephens at the California Planning and Development Report (CP&DR) has an excellent article on the foibles of the California Infill Builders Federation, which is pushing a bill (Garcia, AB 779) to delay the badly needed transition to a driving miles standard for California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review. Unfortunately the article is pay-walled, but you can read the excerpt here. Here’s a snippet with a quote from yours truly:
Garcia’s office declined to speak to CP&DR on the record. IBF’s lobbyist Erin Niemela declined as well. IFB board members did not respond to repeated requests for interviews. The Council of Infill Developers, which is a nonprofit advocacy group that was once affiliated with IBF, as well as other critics claim that the IBF does not truly represent the interests of infill developers but rather is a front for greenfield developers (some of whom also do infill).
“The idea that’s coming out of a nominally infill builders organization is really disappointing,” said Ethan Elkind, Associate Director of the Climate Change and Business Program at UCLA Law School and advisor to the Council of Infill Builders. “Their arguments are wrong, but I also question why a group of infill builders would be pushing a measure that would hurt infill.”
I’ve been following this bill for a while now. While it’s depressing to see this bill sail through committees, perhaps the fact that none of the supporters want to defend the bill to CP&DR is a sign that they realize the embarrassment this is causing their nominally pro-infill organization.
Still, it’s not enough to hope. We need legislators to vote down this misguided attempt to preserve a dysfunctional status quo.