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Agenda 21 is in your community

By Henry Lamb
web posted April 25, 2011

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Anyone who reads Chapter 7 of Agenda 21, and then reads their local comprehensive land use plan will immediately recognize that most of the provisions of the local land use plan come directly from Agenda 21.  More often than not, the elected officials who adopt these plans have never read Agenda 21, and many have never even heard of the U.N. document, signed by President George H. W. Bush in 1992.

The facilitators and professional planners have heard about Agenda 21, but frequently claim that the plan they are working on has nothing to do with the U.N. or Agenda 21.  Don’t believe it for one minute.

Gary Lawrence, former Director of the Center for Sustainable Communities at the University of Washington, and Chief Planner for the City of Seattle, told an audience in London that:

” In the case of the U.S., our local authorities are engaged in planning processes consistent with LA21 [Local Agenda 21] but there is little interest in using the LA21 brand…. So, we call our processes something else, such as comprehensive planning, growth management or smart growth.”

In community after community, the same scenario is repeated.  The federal government, through the EPA or the Department of Commerce or the Department of Interior, offers special grants to communities for the purpose of developing a vision for a greener future, and a plan to convert the vision into reality.

Typically, the local government will find a private consultant to “facilitate” the process.  The facilitator will identify a local “steering committee,” carefully chosen from people who represent various segments of the community, all of whom are known in advance to be sympathetic to the goals of Agenda 21. 

Typically, the advisory group will meet in private to lay out the framework for the process and the goals for the finished product.  When this is achieved, public meetings are scheduled to give the appearance of public input and ownership.  Rarely are these meetings ever publicized adequately to attract the private property owners who are most directly affected.  Care is taken to see that members of local environmental organizations and social justice organizations constitute the majority of attendees.

These public meetings are said to be “the visioning process.”  The procedures vary slightly from community to community, depending upon the facilitator.  Remarkably, however, the “vision” in every community contains essentially the same elements:  restricted auto traffic; bike trails; walkable neighborhoods; integrated housing; high density urban boundary zones; conservation areas; green belts; and much more - directly from Agenda 21.

Once the vision document is complete, the next step is to convert it into a Comprehensive land use plan, adopted by local elected officials in the form of an ordinance that is enforceable with fines and other penalties.   The plans are necessarily so long and complex that few people ever read them, other than the professional planners and enforcement officials.  Many, if not most, of these comprehensive plans incorporate many, if not most, of the codes developed by the International Codes Council.  Here are some of the codes:

  • International Building Code
  • International Residential Code
  • International Fire Code
  • International Energy Conservation Code
  • International Private Sewage Disposal Code
  • International Mechanical Code
  • International Fuel Gas Code
  • International Wildland-Urban Interface Code
  • ICC Performance Code
  • International Existing Building Code
  • International Property Maintenance Code
  • International Zoning Code
  • International Green Construction Code

Here’s a sample of what to expect.  From Chapter 2 of the International Green Construction Code:

CONSERVATION AREA. Land designated by the jurisdiction or by state or federal government, as a result of a community  planning process, as appropriate for conservation from development because of the land possessing natural values important to the community including, but not limited to wildlife habitat, forest or other significant vegetation, steep slopes, ground water recharge area, riparian corridor or wetland.

DAYLIGHT SATURATION. The percentage of daytime hours throughout the year when not less than 28 foot-candles (300 lux) of natural light is provided at a height of 30 inches (762 mm) above the floor.

DEMAND RESPONSE, AUTOMATED (AUTO-DR). Fully Automated Demand Response initiated by a signal from a utility or other appropriate entity, providing fully-automated connectivity to customer energy end-use control strategies.

This is a tiny sample of the rules and regulations buried deep within the innocent-sounding comprehensive land use plans adopted by unaware local officials to achieve the politically-correct label of “sustainable community.”

These plans should be rejected, not simply because they arise from the United Nations, but because they infringe personal freedom and private property rights.  The implementation of these comprehensive land use plans effectively transfers to government the right to dictate to individuals what kind of materials must be used in constructing their privately owned homes.  The Auto-DR provision defined above actually gives government the right to dictate the temperature in your home, and the ability to enforce it. 

This is madness!  This is sustainable development!  This is Agenda 21!

Local Tea Parties, 9.12 groups, and property rights organizations must learn about Agenda21, and exactly what their local visioning statements and local comprehensive land use plans contain.  Many groups are forming study committees to analyze their local plans by section, and then report back to the entire group.  This way, not every individual has to read the entire plan.

If this rush to oblivion is going to be stopped, it is up to private citizens to get informed, get involved, and help get into office only those people who truly respect the Constitution and the individual freedom it is supposed to guarantee. ESR

Henry Lamb is the author of "The Rise of Global Governance,"  Chairman of Sovereignty International , and founder of the Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO) and Freedom21, Inc.

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