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Smart Growth

Priority Development Area (PDA) Planning Program

As outlined in MTC’s Transit-Oriented Development Policy (PDF), future transit extensions in the Bay Area must be matched by supportive local land use plans and policies. To assist cities in meeting these goals, MTC launched a Station Area Planning grant program in 2005 to fund city-sponsored planning efforts for the areas around future stations. These station-area and land-use plans are intended to address the range of transit-supportive features that are necessary to support high levels of transit ridership.

Plans need to address the elements listed below. For a full description of each, see PDA Planning Elements (PDF).

  • Station Area Profile
  • Community Engagement
  • Land use planning within the half-mile radius of the station, with a clear identification of the number of existing and planned housing units and jobs
  • Market demand analysis
  • Affordable housing strategy
  • Multi-modal connectivity including pedestrian-friendly design standards
  • Strategies to ensure accessibility for people with disabilities
  • Parking demand analysis
  • Infrastructure development
  • Implementation plan and financing strategies

MTC-awarded Station Area Planning Grants

Completed Station Area or PDA plans:

Station Area/PDA Plans in the News

Station Area Planning Manual

MTC developed a Station Area Planning Manual (PDF) for use by local jurisdictions applying for planning grant funds from MTC. The manual highlights essential planning elements as well as the variety of placetypes which jurisdictions can plan for, from Regional city centers to transit neighborhoods — and everywhere in between.

See also:

TOD Policy Interim Report, 2006, (PDF) for progress reported on the first round of Station Area Planning grantees, barriers encountered during the planning process, as well as ways to overcome reported challenges.

For more information about the Station Area & Land Use Planning Program, contact Therese Trivedi, 510-817-5767,