Measure JJ …
BY: Mayor W. Clarke Conway, City of Brisbane,
At our meeting of July 19, 2018, the City Council approved a ballot measure putting a General Plan Amendment regarding direction on the Baylands for the upcoming Statewide General Election. This kept the promise made by all of the Council Members to allow the residents of Brisbane to cast their vote on what is in the best interest of their community. Election Day is on November 6, 2018 and the ballot measure has been assigned “Measure JJ”.
Our current General Plan does not allow for housing on the Baylands area, portions of which consist of a municipal landfill and a former railyard, both highly contaminated areas.
This General Plan Amendment (GPA), if passed, will allow 1,800 to 2,200 units of housing and up to 7 million square feet of new commercial development. What this GPA does, if passed, is give clear direction to the citizens, the City of Brisbane, and the property owner of what can be allowed on this 668-acre site. What this GPA does not do is automatically approve any development whatsoever.
Housing would only be allowed in the northern part of the former railyard, from the start of approximately the entrance of Industrial Way (where the statue factory is located) to the San Francisco border where San Francisco has approved 1,650 units of housing at the old Schlage Lock site (currently being prepared for construction). No housing would be allowed at the Baylands east of the railroad tracks and approximately south of the entrance of Industrial Way.
As part of the General Plan Amendment, the City Council included many safeguards, such as the need for all residential land to be cleaned up (remediated) to a level which allows for ground floor contact and would allow for schools, day care centers, and parks be included in residential communities. In other words, the highest clean-up standards, as determined and regulated by the State Department of Toxic and Substances Control (DTDC) and the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) will be employed. As a point of comparison, you will not see any ground-level housing when the Schlage Lock site builds out as ground-level housing is prohibited at that site.
The City Council also wanted to provide itself and the community with the greatest amount of flexibility in approving future projects, which would provide for the amenities this community has come to expect, improve funding of all General Fund services (Police, Fire, Roads, Parks and Recreation), and ensure that any new development has the ability to be a true community, and not just a series of buildings disconnected from Brisbane.
In addition to the above requirements of the GPA, the City already has an ordinance which requires the Baylands development to have a minimum of 15% of its housing units designated as affordable or meet below-market requirements and a minimum of 25% of the Baylands must be reserved for open space/area.
Again, passage of the General Plan Amendment does not mean approval of the final project. The developer will need to submit a Specific Plan compliant with the new General Plan (if the GPA passes). When the Specific Plan is submitted, an approved remediation action plan will need to be submitted as well. Additional environmental reports will need to be completed based on the proposed Specific Plan, and a Development Agreement must be reached between the City and the developer, which would create a contract by which the developer will need to abide. In short, any Specific Plan the developer submits will require environmental review and mitigation measures put into place to ensure all safeguards are met.
If passed, this General Plan Amendment can only be changed by the voters in the future.