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The following are frequently asked questions regarding the Baylands development:
- Where is the Baylands and what are the geographic boundaries of this area?
- Who owns the property?
- What is a Specific Plan?
- What is the Process for Review and Approval of a Specific Plan?
- What meetings have happened so far, how can I get information on these meetings?
- What is the process in place for review of the Specific Plan?
- What is involved in the Environmental Review Process?
- Who pays the cost of all the City time for processing this development request?
- How does the General Plan direct what happens on this development?
- How is the minimum 25% open space determined?
- What controls does the City have over development in the Baylands Subarea?
- What role do nearby cities and counties play in this development?
- What happens if the City and land owner/developer do not agree on the Specific Plan?
- What is the status of the environmental cleanup of the site?
- The Baylands is part of a Redevelopment Agency (RDA)É.what does that mean? What are the advantages and disadvantages of Redevelopment?
- How quickly is development likely to happen?
You may also direct comments or questions regarding the Baylands to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Baylands Subarea as defined in the City's General Plan is a 600-plus acre area bordered on the west by Bayshore Blvd, north by the City and County of San Francisco, east by U.S. 101 causeway, and south by the southern end of the Lagoon.
The property is primarily owned by Universal Paragon Corporation (UPC). Other owners include Sierra Point Lumber. While the Kinder Morgan Tank Farm lies within the limits of the overall project boundaries, it is not owned by UPC nor is the Tank Farm included within the Specific Plan.
The Specific Plan is a step below the General Plan in the land use approval hierarchy, and is used for the systematic implementation of the General Plan for particular geographical areas.
The adopted Specific Plan must be consistent with the General Plan. Zoning Ordinances, subdivisions, public works projects, and development agreements within the Specific Plan area all must be consistent with the adopted Specific Plan.
When adopted by the City Council, the Specific Plan will become an official city planning document as is the General Plan, and future development of the site must be consistent with the Specific Plan. Any subsequent land owner will be subject to the Specific Plan.
The requirements for a Specific Plan are established under State law. A Specific Plan must include text and a diagram or diagrams that specify all of the following in detail:
- Distribution, location and extent of land, including open space, within the area covered by the plan.
- Proposed distribution, location, extent and intensity of major components of public and private transportation, sewage, water, drainage, solid waste disposal, energy, and other essential facilities proposed to be located within the area covered by the plan and needed to support the land uses described in the plan.
- Standards and criteria by which development will proceed and, where applicable, standards for conservation, development, and utilization of natural resources.
- A program of implementation measures including regulations, programs, public works projects, and financing measures necessary to carry out the matters listed above.
The Processing of a Specific Plan involves a number of steps, which are outlined below.
- Complete Specific Plan application submitted.
- Preparation of an environmental impact report (EIR) pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The EIR evaluates the potential environmental impacts of the Specific Plan, and identifies mitigation measures to minimize any such impacts. The EIR process includes determining the scope (i.e. topics to be addressed) of the forthcoming EIR, as well as to define alternatives to the Specific Plan which will be addressed in the EIR. The EIR process is described in further detail in Question VIII.
- Once the draft EIR is completed, the EIR will be made available for public review and comment, followed by public hearings before the Planning Commission and City Council.
- Any written comments received on the draft EIR will be responded to in writing.
- The Final EIR (consisting of the Draft EIR, written comments and responses thereto, and any changes to the EIR resulting from the comments and responses) will be published.
- Public hearings before the Planning Commission and City Council on the Final EIR and Specific Plan.
A complete listing of meetings held and activities undertaken is shown in the Sequence of Events webpage. General meeting minutes are available from the "Council, Commissions, Committees" link on the main City webpage.
Development Development review is a long and involved process. In
The City of Brisbane has determined that an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is required to identify the potential environmental impacts of the project. The City has hired a team of environmental consultants to prepare the EIR. Consultants are hired by and work for the City of Brisbane.
Topics to be evaluated in the EIR include:
- Hazardous Materials and Toxic Remediation
- Air Quality
- Hydrology/Water Quality
- Public Services
- Utilities/Service Systems
- Biological Resources
- Cultural Resources
- Land use Compatibility
The EIR will also study alternatives to the applicant’s proposed project. The City has undertaken an open and public process to ensure that the alternatives under consideration reflect the community's vision. A community alternative has been identified for study in the forthcoming EIR, as has a renewable energy-based alternative. A “no project” alternative shall also be evaluated.
In addition to the EIR, the City will require a comprehensive analysis of financial impacts and opportunities. These will include:
- Potential new revenue
- Cost of new services. These will include traditional services such as police and fire, water and sewer, as well as potential new services such as open space management.
- Funding mechanisms - these will include assessment districts, special districts, etc.
Financing of Capital Projects - Major capital improvements such as the Candlestick Interchange and Geneva Avenue extension will require multiple funding sources. The Specific Plan will need to commence the process of identifying a plan to fund these improvements and identify timing of constructing projects.
The City of Brisbane and Universal Paragon Corporation have entered into a reimbursement agreement where the applicant will pay the full cost of processing this application. This includes all consultant costs as well as staff time involved in reviewing applications, attending meetings, drafting documents and any other activity associated with processing the applications for development approvals. To ensure that the City receives impartial advice, any advice, any needed consultants and experts will be hired and paid by the City and their work reviewed and approved only by the City. The developer, however, is to reimburse the City for these costs.
In addition, the applicant has provided sufficient funds to the City for the City to hire an experienced professional planner to augment the planning staff.
The Specific Plan(s) and subsequent PD permits must be demonstrated to be consistent with the General Plan. The analysis of General Plan consistency will be the subject of review and analysis as the project moves forward.
How is the minimum 25% open space determined?
A minimum of 25% of the Baylands Subarea is required by the General Plan to be Open Space and/or open areas. This is a requirement of the entire Subarea regardless of ownership. UPC, as the primary property owner and the applicant, will need to address this issue.
Open Space and open areas are defined in the General Plan as the following:
"For the purposes of the 1994 Brisbane General Plan, the land designation 'Open Space' is reserved for lands that are essentially unimproved and dedicated or proposed to be dedicated to the public for outdoor recreation and/or the preservation of biotic communities. Aquatic areas that are in whole or part in private ownership, such as the Brisbane Lagoon, are not designated 'Open Space'." Areas of land that are essentially unimproved and which are in private ownership are called "open areas."
The City of Brisbane City Council, with input from the citizens, has complete authority over any and all development in the Baylands. Adoption of a Specific Plan is a legislative action and is subject to the discretion of the City Council, that is, the Council may adopt, modify or deny the Specific Plan.
Any subsequent development pursuant to the specific plan will be subject to the terms, conditions and procedures set forth in any specific plan adopted for the project. Subsequent permits and activities will also be required to comply with any required mitigation measures set forth in the specific plan EIR.
While the City of Brisbane has final discretionary authority, our nearby cities and the County will be asked to comment on the Environmental Impact Report. Additionally, the City of Brisbane has been working for several years with Daly City, San Francisco and San Mateo County on regional transportation planning. We hope to work cooperatively with our neighbors to develop a quality and community-based project.
Although the land owner submitted the application for the Specific Plan as required under the 1994 General Plan, the Specific Plan is under the purview of the City of Brisbane which has sole discretionary authority to adopt, deny or modify the Specific Plan.
The site is divided into 3 sub areas for purposes of the cleanup of soil and groundwater contamination: the landfill area east of the railroad, Operable Unit (OU-1) located west of the railroad and north of Geneva Avenue (extended), and Operable Unit 2 (OU-2) located west of the railroad and south of Geneva Avenue (extended). Each sub area has unique cleanup requirements and numerous studies have been completed to identify contamination issues and recommend cleanup options. A groundwater extraction and treatment system has been installed and is operating within OU-1.
Two State of California agencies, the Regional Water Quality Control Board (Landfill area and OU-2) and the Department of Toxic Substances Control (OU-1), are charged with adopting remediation plans and establishing remediation levels based on land use.
While the City does not have final authority over site remediation, the City has been actively involved in reviewing and commenting on remediation efforts, and will continue to do so to ensure that the City's interests are protected. Through the Specific Plan and EIR process the City is engaging with the State agencies to ensure that site remediation and development are considered together in a coordinated fashion.
The southern portion of the Baylands was approved as a Redevelopment Area in 1976. the northern portion was added in 1982. The primary purpose of the agency is financial. The RDA receives the increase in property tax revenue, called tax increment generated by assessed valuation growth that takes place after the formation of the agency. How much tax increment gets generated is determined by the level and type of development that is approved by the City. In the case of the Baylands, the RDA passes through additional revenues to the school district and county so that they are not impacted by the RDA. Additionally, State law mandates that 20% of the tax increment funds are dedicated to affordable housing which may take place anywhere in the City allowed for under the city's zoning ordinance.
The tax increment is available for public works projects that benefit the Baylands. The City has an adopted Redevelopment Plan that has identified eight potential uses of these funds:
- Street and road improvements, such as the proposed Geneva Avenue extension and Candlestick Interchange upgrading
- Toxic remediation
- Drainage improvements, including the proposed river park
- Utility extensions, e.g., sewer, water, etc.
- Parking facilities
- Transit facilities such as the proposed multi-modal station
- Parks and Open Space
- Property Acquisition
Redevelopment tax increment funds are going to be very limited in what they will be able to fund in the Baylands. In all of the items above it is anticipated that RDA funds would only be used for projects that served the community as a whole and would be only one of many funding sources. Infrastructure development, water, sewer, roads that primarily serve the local development will be the financial responsibility of the developer.
It is anticipated that the
The timeframe is difficult to specifically predict but as we can see from the process it is likely to be several years before development takes place.