Association of Bay Area Governments Metropolitan Transportation Commission Bay Conservation and Development Commission Bay Area Air Quality Management District
Priority Development Areas

The FOCUS Program seeks to work with local governments and others in the Bay Area to collaboratively address issues such as high housing costs, traffic congestion, and protection of natural resources. The primary goal of FOCUS is to encourage future growth near transit and in the existing communities that surround the San Francisco Bay, enhancing existing neighborhoods and providing housing and transportation choices for all residents.

What are Priority Development Areas?
Priority Development Areas (PDAs) are locally-identified, infill development opportunity areas within existing communities. 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.

Where are the Priority Development Areas?
More than 60 jurisdictions (plus several Congestion Management Agencies) submitted applications for well over 100 PDAs. The areas nominated include most of the places in the Bay Area served by fixed transit, major bus corridors, or planned transit under MTC’s Resolution 3434. Together, these areas comprise about 115,000 acres of urban and suburban land, less than 5 percent of the Bay Area's total land area. However, even though this is a small proportion of the region's land area, the proposed PDAs could accommodate over half of the Bay Area's projected housing growth to the year 2035, mostly at relatively moderate densities.

The compact 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 learn more about what these communities envision for each PDA, visit the Priority Development Area Showcase. You can also view a list or printable map of the adopted Priority Development Areas.

Regional Adoption of PDAs
With the help of the Working Group, nominated PDAs were separated into those that are Planned and those that are Potential. The primary difference between these two designations is that a planned PDA has both an adopted land use plan and a resolution of support from the city council or county board. In general, these categories relate to readiness for funding: Planned PDAs would be eligible for capital infrastructure funds, planning grants, and technical assistance while Potential PDAs would be eligible for planning grants and technical assistance, but not capital infrastructure funds.

ABAG's Executive Board adopted the first round of PDAs as Planned or Potential on November 15, 2007 and the second round on November 20, 2008. Potential PDAs will be changed to the Planned category uponthe jurisdiction's adoption of the applicable land use plan and resolution.

Nominate or Revise a PDA
FOCUS Priority Development Area applications for new PDAs or revisions to existing PDAs are being accepted on a rolling basis. Click here to learn more about the application process.

Directing Incentives to PDAs
Designation of PDAs in the Bay Area expresses the region's priorities for growth and informs regional agencies which jurisdictions want and need assistance. To achieve the region's housing objectives in a way that works for both new and existing residents and ensures complete, livable communities, PDAs will require help and resources. The regional agencies are working to develop a program of technical assistance, planning grants, and capital funding for local governments undertaking PDA development. The Regional Transportation Plan adopted in 2009 is one opportunity to identify supportive funds. Other opportunities will be pursued in partnership with the State of California and a variety of funding sources.

PDA Showcase