Here is a summary of the bill – Establishes in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) an Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities (OSHC). Establishes in the executive branch an independent Interagency Council on Sustainable Communities. Requires the OSHC Director to establish a program to make comprehensive planning grants and sustainability challenge grants to eligible entities (partnerships between a consortium of units of general local government and an eligible partner, which may be a metropolitan planning organization, a rural planning organization, a regional council, or a state). Requires the use of a comprehensive planning grant to carry out a project to: (1) coordinate land use, housing, transportation, and infrastructure planning processes across jurisdictions and agencies; (2) identify potential regional partnerships for developing and implementing a comprehensive regional plan; (3) conduct or update housing, infrastructure, transportation, energy, and environmental assessments to determine regional needs and promote sustainable development; (4) develop or update a comprehensive regional plan or goals and strategies to implement an existing comprehensive regional plan; and (5) implement local zoning and other code changes necessary to implement a comprehensive regional plan and promote sustainable development.
Requires the use of a sustainability challenge grant to: (1) promote integrated transportation, housing, energy, and economic development activities carried out across policy and governmental jurisdictions; (2) promote sustainable and location-efficient development; and (3) implement projects identified in a comprehensive regional plan. Directs the OSHC Director to study and report to specified congressional committees on incentives for encouraging lenders to make, and homebuyers and homeowners to participate in, energy-efficient mortgages and location-efficient mortgages.
A copy of the full text can be found here: http://www.govtrack.us/embed/sample-billtext.xpd?bill=s111-1619&version=is&nid=t0%3Ais%3A92
There are a number of organizations and PACS that are very concerned about the intent of this bill. They contend it is a social engineering bill to restrict residence in the suburbs and rural areas and force Americans into city centers. They are very concerned that the bill has passed the United States Senate Banking Committee and is on the fast track to passage in the Senate.
The bill is called the Livable Communities Act (SB 1619) and it was introduced by outgoing Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.). According to its opponents the bill seeks to fulfill the United Nation’s plan Agenda 21, adopted at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and signed onto by “New World Order” President George H.W. Bush.
Ron Paul released this statement on September 16th: “This bill, better called the Dodd Homeowner Control Act, was snuck through committee on August 3rd, and a final Senate vote could come as early as next week! Nancy Pelosi has the votes to pass it in the House, and Barack Obama is sure to sign it.
I don’t know about you, but I have no interest in participating with Chris Dodd, Barack Obama, and their radical environmentalist friends in their version of Extreme Home Makeover. The Dodd Bill, in the spirit of the U.N.’s “Agenda 21,” focuses on “sustainable development” and “comprehensive regional plans.”
These are code words for government determining not only how you live in your own home, but deciding what your neighborhood looks like by using your tax dollars to bribe state and local governments into forcing your community to fit federal guidelines.
There is not a minute to lose. A Senate filibuster is the only chance to stop this U.N. power grab.
Under the guise of “sustainability” the Dodd Homeowner Control Act will create a massive new Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities, likely to be under the control of a “Development Czar.” Such a Czar would be tasked with imposing federal standards on energy, zoning, and housing that line up with the U.N.’s radical environmental agenda. State and local laws and zoning would be wiped out.
It’s vital that sign the petition to your Senators demanding they oppose the Dodd Homeowner Control Act (aka Dodd’s Livable Communities Act, S. 1619)….. ”
Indeed Section 13 of the proposed bill does seem to give a broad jurisdiction to regional planning boards and contains the code words for such things as high density housing, etc. Given the state of the economy and the performance of local planning agencies, I get a little queasy on this one. In general, I don’t have any problems with looking at local situations and deciding what is best for the community and the environment. The problem seems to be that extreme activists seem to populate the local boards and things get a bit absurd and in a lot cases infringes significantly on individual property rights and more specifically, the owner’s right to appreciate his property in the way that seems reasonable to the owner.
To extend the powers of local planning commissions to a regional level is at the least worrisome to me. If you are a property owner or a local developer, I think you should really take a look at this bill and weigh in on this one. After it passes, it may just be too late to do anything that would be pre-emptive in nature.