Association of Bay Area Governments

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The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) is a regional planning agency incorporating various local governments in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. It encompasses nine counties surrounding the San Francisco Bay. Those counties are Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma. It has the ability to establish housing and transportation goals for cities to minimize urban sprawl by that requiring housing be zoned for near new workplace construction.[1] It deals with land use, housing, environmental quality, and economic development. Non-profit organizations as well as governmental organizations can be members. All nine counties and 101 cities within the Bay Area are voluntary members of ABAG.

As an advisory organization, ABAG has limited statutory authority. It is governed by its General Assembly, which consists of an elected official (delegate) from each city and county which is a member of the organization. The General Assembly determines policy, adopts the annual budget and work program, and reviews policy actions taken or proposed by the organization's Executive Board. A majority of city and county votes are required for action.

ABAG was formed in 1961. In 1970, it issued its Regional Plan, 1970-1990, the Bay Area's first comprehensive regional plan. The document outlined a regional open space plan, regional information systems and technology support, criminal justice and training, water policy and waste collection, and earthquake hazards and planning.

The organization is associated with such agencies and projects as the San Francisco Bay Trail and the San Francisco Estuary Partnership.

In 1967, Tom Truax, the young Assistant to Executive Director Warren Schmid, had systematically, with great determination and remarkable skill, embezzled approximately $500,000 dollars. Although ABAG was far from a wealthy organization, large sums did pass through its hands, since it was acting as a legal conduit for BART to obtain federal planning funds. The story is dramatic and tragic, with a four-year prison term for Truax, the ruin of a capable Executive Director’s career, and an end to both ABAG’s vain hope of taking responsibility for the Bay, and its quite reasonable expectation of receiving the new federal designation as the Bay Area’s regional transportation planning agency.

ABAG works with other regional agencies, including the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, to promote sustainable development by working in partnership with city and county governments to establish both Priority Development Areas and Priority Conservation Areas. These local actions will, in turn, help achieve a more efficient, equitable, and environmentally sustainable region [1] .

ABAG, along with the MTC, worked together to develop and implement Plan Bay Area.[2]

External links

  • Official website
  • Priority Development Areas
  • Priority Conservation Areas
  • ABAG Earthquake-related information. (See also earthquake)
  • Home structure seismic evaluation. (See also seismic retrofit.)
  • For seismic shake maps generated for this area. (See Hayward Fault Zone for examples of use in an article.)


  1. ^
  2. ^ Plan Bay Area website,
  • [2]
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