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FAQ Topic: Priority Development Areas 2020

What areas of San Rafael that meet the definition of a Transit Priority Area?

A Transit Priority Area is a geographic area within ½-mile of a major transit stop included in a Transportation Improvement Program or a Regional Transportation Plan.  The Metropolitan Transportation Commission has identified the Transit Priority Areas for the Bay region, which are mapped and can be accessed on their website.  San Rafael has two Transit … Continued

What has changed since 2013 when the Civic Center PDA was removed?

There are a number of changes since 2013 that warrant reconsidering a new PDA for the North San Rafael/Northgate area, and establishing a new PDA for the Southeast San Rafael/Canal area.  First, the region is in a housing crisis.  The City Council has directed staff to continue to seek opportunities for new housing and preserving … Continued

What is environmental review streamlining?

Environment review streamlining refers to the level of environmental analysis a development project is required to perform as part of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). CEQA requires that all development projects in California conduct some level of environmental analysis.  In many cases, a city will conduct a comprehensive environmental analysis for a neighborhood as … Continued

What do all these acronyms mean!?!

Sometimes government can get a little carried away with the acronyms, click here for a full list of the acronyms and their definitions.

What expectations are attached to designating a PDA area?

By nominating a PDA, San Rafael is prioritizing a community-driven planning process looking at housing, jobs and services, and intensified land uses within this area.  Jurisdictions are required to conduct this process for this PDA by 2025 in order to maintain the PDA-designation. To help facilitate this process, designated funding is provided to jurisdictions with … Continued

Are local jurisdictions required to comply with Plan Bay Area?

No. Local jurisdictions are not required to comply with Plan Bay Area. Further, the designation of a PDA does not obligate or mandate the local jurisdiction to comply with or meet any of the jobs and housing growth projections that will be developed as part of Plan Bay Area.

Does creating a Priority Development Area replace local land use control?

No. The PDA is first a funding tool and is part of Plan Bay Area, a regional plan which is strategic document only.  By State law (California Government Code Section 65080(b)(2)(K), Plan Bay Area cannot supersede local land use authority. Any changes to local planning and land use policies are solely the authority and control … 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.

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