By Steven T. Jones
Years in development and 600 pages thick, the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan Draft Environmental Impact Report is a policy wonk's wet dream, but perhaps a tad inaccessible for most people. That's too bad because this is the plan that could determine whether there will still be jobs and homes for the working class 20 years from now, or whether policymakers will let the free market continue to gentrify the city. The plan (available here along with important info on upcoming hearing and a series of workshops that start on Monday) looks at three development options, ranging from maximum conversion of industrial lands to housing to maximum preservation of job-producing properties. Either way, the plan will almost double the housing entitlements in the city and create a potential developer feeding frenzy that could have irreversible results. But the plan also calls for proactive policies for creating more affordable housing, exacting more public benefits from development projects, and creating development models that take public health into consideration, all firsts for the city's area plans. So check it out, get involved, and keep reading the Guardian for updates.