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No Little Plan

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California currently has a plan under way to cobble together a framework for future development in the state. Called Vision California, the first step involves bundling together various regional plans, which "rarely have teeth," and then posing a number of what-if questions that might help to guide a hypothetical statewide plan. "For instance: If townhouses and bungalows are built instead of large single-family homes, how much agricultural land will be saved? If new housing is placed near existing jobs and shopping, rather than in distant subdivisions, what will be the effect on a household's transportation expenses?" This, and other beard scratchers, will be the topic of study at Berkeley-based Calthorpe Associates. [SFGate]