PDA - Priority Development Areas

PDA - Priority Development Areas

PDA - Priority Development Areas

About Priority Development Areas

Priority Development Areas are places near public transit planned for new homes, jobs and community amenities. Located in downtowns, along main streets and around rail stations, PDAs help the Bay Area reduce greenhouse gas emissions and solve our housing crisis. All PDAs are created and planned by local governments, which nominate eligible areas to ABAG for adoption.

PDAs promote greater equity for all by increasing access to housing, and economic and cultural opportunities, regardless of race or income. With a variety of mobility options, PDAs enable residents to live a car-free or car-light lifestyle. PDAs are located in places served by existing infrastructure, making the most of public investments and minimizing development impacts on communities and the environment.

Bay Area local governments have established more than 200 PDAs since 2008. Through the PDA Planning Grant and Technical Assistance Grant programs, cities across the region have adopted plans for roughly 110,000 new homes and 200,000 jobs. 

Grantee Resources

Visit the Metropolitan Transportation Commission website to view the resources available for PDA grantees.

2023 PDA Application Window is Closed

The application period to create new PDAs or change the boundaries of an existing PDA is currently closed.

Two PDA Designations

There are two types of PDAs:

  • Transit-Rich PDAs have high-quality transportation infrastructure already in place to support additional growth in their communities.
  • Connected Community PDAs offer basic transit services and have committed to policies that increase mobility options and reduce automobile travel.

PDA Eligibility Criteria

All PDAs must meet the following criteria:

  • Locally-nominated by a local government with land use authority
  • Infill location is fully contained within an existing urban area
  • The plan for significant housing growth and/or housing and employment growth is reflected by the local jurisdiction’s general plan or zoning ordinance and must be completed by 2025
  • Area been identified as a Transit-Rich or Connected Community

Additional criteria apply individually to Transit-Rich PDAs or Connected Community PDAs:

  • Transit-Rich PDAs:
    • At least 50% of the area is within 1/2 mile of any of the following:
      • An existing rail station or ferry terminal (with bus or rail service)
      • A bus stop with peak service frequency of 15 minutes or less
      • A planned rail station or planned ferry terminal (with bus or rail service) in the most recently adopted fiscally-constrained Regional Transportation Plan
  • Connected Community PDAs:
    • The entire area is within 1/2 mile of a bus stop with peak service of 30 minutes or less; and
    • Is beyond 1/2 mile of transit service that meets the “high quality transit” criteria as defined above for Transit-Rich PDAs; and
    • Meets at least one of the following:
      • At least 50% of the area is defined as a High Resource or Highest Resource on the most recent Opportunity Map adopted by HCD; or
      • At least 2 policies have been adopted to reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled, such as prioritization of bicycle and pedestrian planning projects.

Technical Assistance Portal

The Technical Assistance (TA) Portal has a variety of resources for local agency staff.