For questions about PCAs, contact Laura Thompson, Bay Trail Project Manager,, 415-820-7935. Additional information is available from the ABAG Planning Staff.

Priority Conservation Areas

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I nominate a new PCA?

The most recent application period for new PCA designations was August 1, 2014–May 30, 2015. ABAG will announce the next opportunity to nominate PCAs in 2017.

What types of agencies/organizations are eligible to apply for PCAs?

Cities, counties and park/open space districts are eligible to apply to ABAG for PCA designation. Federal and state agencies, as well as non-profit organizations, are not eligible to apply, but may work with local jurisdictions or park/open space districts to encourage a PCA application to ABAG. The application period for new PCAs has closed, but ABAG will announce the next opportunity in 2017.

Is a PCA a land use designation? Does it change the local zoning requirements or restrict development rights?

No. A PCA designation does not in any way change the land use status for a piece of property. The local jurisdiction maintains planning and permitting authority over the property and private property owners maintain their development rights.

Can PCAs be designated on private property?

Yes. Designation of a PCA on private property does not change the local land use designation, zoning or the ability for the property to be developed in the future.

Is the PCA designation process also a grant program?

No. The PCA designation process creates a list of areas that have the potential for conservation, restoration and public access. Specific projects within these designated PCAs may be eligible for future funding.

What types of future funding sources would adopted PCA’s qualify for?

The One Bay Area Grant (OBAG) Program for PCAs requires that all projects be located within a designated PCA. Other sources of funding for natural landscapes, agricultural lands, urban greening and regional recreation may or may not use the PCA designation in the set of criteria for grant awards. It is possible that other grant funding sources, such as a potential new state park bond, would also include PCA designation as part of the evaluation criteria.

When will the next One Bay Area Grant Program start?

The first PCA grant program was launched in 2013. MTC approved OBAG 2 funding allocations for PCAs in October 2015 and the next round of One Bay Area Grant (OBAG 2) funding will move forward in 2017.

If a regional open space district nominates a PCA in a local jurisdiction and it is approved, can the local jurisdiction use this PCA designation for future grant applications?