The Richmond Chamber of Commerce has released two studies highlighting the potentially devastating economic and questionable environmental impacts of amendments to the General Plan that were proposed by Oakland-based activists Communities for a Better Environment (CBE). The Richmond Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with Beacon Economics and Harvard University Professor, Dr. Richard Stavins examine the economic impacts associated with the last-minute amendments.
Both studies found the proposed amendments would severely hinder the City of Richmond’s short and long-term viability and would further exacerbate the short fall in city revenues and expenses while discouraging the creation of jobs and economic development. In fact, Beacon Economics estimates that approximately 2,000 Richmond workers may be impacted if the CBE amendments are adopted. Additional findings from both reports include:
- The proposed amendments would cause a sharp increase in the cost of doing business in Richmond. Nearly 25% of companies operating in Richmond – who employ 36% of the Richmond workforce – would be impacted. There are over 800 small businesses (with less than 25 employees) that could be directly and adversely impacted.
- At best the amendments would effectively prevent businesses from expanding their operations. At worst, businesses would leave the city and locate in areas where these rules won’t apply.
- No cost-benefit analysis was undertaken and no economic study was completed before adoption by the Planning Commission.
- The proposed amendments conflict with broader regional air quality goals and are likely to cost the City of Richmond additional money while providing no real air quality benefit.
- The existing state and regional regulatory framework, including AB32, offers the most effective and certain approach for achieving improvements in local air quality.
What can you do?
First, carefully review the two studies commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce.
Second, contact the City Council by April 17 and ask them to support a General Plan that does not include the CBE Amendments.
Please email a copy to the Richmond Chamber of Commerce for incorporation into the business coalition comments.
For additional information please contact Judy Morgan by email or call (510) 234-3512.