Land Use

Reminder! Applications for Priority Development Area (PDA) Assistance Programs Due March 5

By Chirag Rabari
Rendering of Mission Blvd. Tree-lined roadway with pedestrian walkways.

Priority Development Areas (PDAs) are neighborhoods near transit and other amenities that city or county governments have identified and approved for future growth. PDAs are key to the "Focused Growth" strategy at the heart of Plan Bay Area 2040, the nine county region's long-range transportation and land use plan.

Applications are due March 5, 2018 for three MTC PDA assistance programs (Planning, Technical Assistance, and Staffing) that will help local governments plan for and implement PDAs within their jurisdictions, and thereby help the region achieve its goals for the environment, economy and equity.

From MTC's website:

The PDA Planning Program funds Specific Plans that result in intensified land uses around public transit hubs and bus and rail corridors in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. Successful applications will propose plans that:

  1. Increase housing supply, including affordable housing, and jobs;

  2. Boost transit ridership and reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT)

  3. Increase walking, bicycling, carpooling and carsharing by effectively managing parking and driving while promoting multimodal connections; and

  4. Retain and expand community assets, and locate key services and retail within the planning area.

The PDA Technical Assistance Program provides customized consultant assistance to complete discrete projects that allow a city to overcome specific policy or planning challenges to the adoption or implementation of PDA plans. Examples of eligible projects include:

  • Affordable housing and anti-displacement policies
  • Design guidelines, form-based codes, and placemaking
  • VMT-based transportation impact standards
  • Parking and Transportation Demand Management (TDM)
  • Infrastructure and housing finance

The PDA Staffing Assistance Program addresses staff reductions that have limited the ability of cities to carry out work critical to implementing PDA Plans and Plan Bay Area. Customized consultant assistance is provided to jurisdictions to complete more complex planning efforts that address similar topics as the Technical Assistance Program. Previous Staffing Assistance grants have supported VMT-based transportation impact standards and Complete Streets standards.

Key Documents

For more information, contact Mark Shorett, PDA Program Manager,, (415) 820-7994. Applications should be submitted to

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