FAQ Topic: Priority Development Areas 2020

What is a Priority Development Area?

First, a Priority Development Area or “PDA” is a place that has convenient public transit service that is prioritized by local governments (cities/counties) for housing, jobs and services. PDAs range from Downtowns to Main Streets to aging shopping malls. Second, a PDA is a funding and planning tool.  If a local jurisdiction voluntarily nominates an … Continued

What is Plan Bay Area 2050?

Plan Bay Area 2050 is a long-range plan charting the course for the future of the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. Plan Bay Area 2050 will focus on four key issues—the economy, the environment, housing and transportation—and will identify a path to make the Bay Area more equitable for all residents and more resilient in … Continued

Why does this have to be done now while we are sheltering in place?

The Call for Letters of Interest to nominate a PDA was released on March 11, 2020, which was the same week the Shelter-in-Place Order was enacted.   The process to nominate a PDA has a specific time limit and deadline for filing.  A Letter of Interest to nominate an area for PDA designation must be … Continued

What do the PDA-designations mean (i.e. Transit-Rich, Connected Community)?

All PDA designations must be in an “urbanized area” and adopt a Specific or Precise Plan by 2025. There are two main categories of PDA designations: Transit-Rich and Connected Community. MTC/ABAG describes these designation as the following: Transit-Rich: The majority of land is within one-half mile of an existing or planned rail station, ferry terminal, … Continued

What are the PDA-designations for the proposed Northgate and Canal PDAs?

The Letter of Interest submitted by the City of San Rafael on May 29th with the below PDA-designations: Northgate PDA: Connected Community within a High Resource Area Southeast San Rafael/Canal PDA: Connected Community outside a High Resource Area The Letters of Interest submitted on May 29th, 2020 can be viewed here: Northgate PDA Letter of … Continued

Will a PDA impact traffic and parking in North San Rafael or the Canal Neighborhood?

No. A PDA is a planning tool and does not zone, authorize or approve new development or other physical changes. Rather, a PDA provides access to funding to construct needed and/or planned infrastructure improvements aimed at addressing traffic  issues. Additionally, PDAs also provide access to funding to help facilitate a community-driven planning process that would better plan … Continued

What are the benefits of creating a Priority Development Area?

The primary benefit of creating a PDA is access to funding for a community-driven planning process.  The PDA provides access to funding sources such as grants, which can be used for land use and circulation planning, as well as needed and planned infrastructure improvements.

What funding is available to a PDA?

The most common funding source for a PDA is the One Bay Area Grant (OBAG) Program, which is administered by MTC. Established in 2012, OBAG taps federal funds to maintain MTC’s commitments to regional transportation priorities while also advancing the Bay Area’s land-use and housing goals. Cities and counties in the Bay Area can use … Continued

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