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Cities and towns are places for people to live, but they are much more than that. They are places for people to also go to school, shop, work, and play. The neighborhoods that make up the cities and towns vary in character, size, and mix of activities that are offered. This idea is called complete communities and ABAG assists the 101 cities and towns and nine counties with regional planning services supporting local visions in the development of complete communities.

These are two programs that work together to support local communities: Priority Development Areas (PDAs), locally identified infill development areas near transit; and Priority Conservation Areas (PCAs), regionally significant open spaces for which there exists a broad consensus for long-term protection. PDAs and PCAs are an integral part of the regional Plan Bay Area, an integrated land use and transportation plan, tackling pressing issues such as accommodating population growth while keeping the region affordable for all our residents, preserving open spaces, protecting our environment, accommodating transportation needs, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Photo of downtown BerkeleyPriority Development Areas (PDAs) are areas that communities identified as possible areas to grow, nominated by the city or town council via resolution. They are generally areas of at least 100 acres where there is local commitment to developing more housing along with amenities and services to meet the day-to-day needs of residents in a pedestrian-friendly environment served by transit. To be eligible to become a PDA, an area had to be within an existing community, near existing or planned fixed transit or served by comparable bus service, and planned for more housing.

PDA Application Form

To share information about the Priority Development Areas (PDA) throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, ABAG Planning and Research staff, with input from cities and towns, has launched an updated PDA Showcase.

PDA Showcase:

  • Highlights local planning efforts to create complete communities
  • Provides information about each area, including maps, key facts, implementation needs, and a description of the goals and vision for the area.

The growth envisioned through these PDAs is based in large part on local aspirations and community context. The PDAs reflect the diversity of the communities in the Bay Area. To explore each PDA, click here.

Photo of Santa Rosa Farmers MarketPriority Conservation Areas (PCAs) are areas of regional significance that have broad community support and an urgent need for protection. These areas provide important agricultural, natural resource, historical, scenic, cultural, recreational, and/or ecological values and ecosystem functions.

As part of the broader Plan Bay Area effort, ABAG staff worked with local jurisdictions, the ABAG Regional Planning Committee and stakeholders to develop a Priority Conservation Areas (PCA) program update. Adopted July 17, 2014, this update introduces four categories: natural resources, farms, urban parks, and recreation, recognizing the role of different kinds of PCAs.

Proposals for modified PCAs are due May 30, 2015. The revised guidelines for new PCA nominations, review and adoption, and confirming existing PCAs are available at http://abag.ca.gov/priority/conservation.

Plan Bay Area logoPlan Bay Area is an integrated land use and transportation plan that tackles pressing issues such as accommodating population growth while keeping the region affordable for all our residents, preserving open spaces, protecting our environment, accommodating transportation needs, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Plan Bay Area was released in July 2013 in coordination with the Regional Transportation Plan and Regional Housing Need Allocation for local jurisdictions. More information about Plan Bay Area is available here.

By engaging local governments, communities and regionwide stakeholders in ways to build a better Bay Area over the next 30 years, Plan Bay Areais currently being implemented by ABAG and regional partners (the Metropolitan Transportation Commission-MTC, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District-BAAQMD, and the Bay Conservation and Development Commission-BCDC).

Plan in the Bay Area relied upon a long-term series of key planning programs which were administered by ABAG in cooperation in cooperation with MTC, BAAQMD, and BCDC. These programs encouraged focused growth through a voluntary, incentive-based development and conservation strategy. They were important opportunities for local governments and the regional agencies to work together to create complete, livable communities that are more efficient, equitable, and environmentally sustainable.

Additional information is available here.



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