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
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
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.