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San Pablo Avenue Specific Plan & Complete Streets Plan
The City of El Cerrito is committed to re-investing in the Avenue by making public improvements, ensuring high quality design for new developments and creating a vision for the future of the Avenue.  For more information, please download the Specific Plan Fact Sheet or contact Melanie Mintz, Interim Community Development Director at 510-215-4339.

October 19 - 4-Plan Community Open House
Open House Presentation - large PDF
Urban Greening Posters
Active Transportation Posters
San Pablo Avenue - Urban Form Posters
San Pablo Avenue - Complete Streets Posters
November 5 - City Council Specific Plan and MMLOS Study Session
City Council Agenda Bill
City Council Presentation (updated from the draft Presentation included in the 11/5 City Council e-packet)
November 20 - Specific Plan Planning Commission Meeting
Planning Commission Presentation
April 20 - Programmatic EIR Scoping Session Notice of Preparation

Background
The El Cerrito Redevelopment Agency undertook development of the San Pablo Avenue Specific Plan jointly with the City of Richmond beginning in 2007 to develop a shared vision for the future of San Pablo Avenue, identify improvements for the Plan area, and adopt regulations that can be consistently applied in the Plan area to achieve the vision. Moore Iacofano Goltsman, Inc. (MIG) was selected as the consultant and worked with City staff collaboratively on the Plan along with members of  the San Pablo Avenue Specific Plan Advisory Committee (SPAAC) and through Planning Commission, Design Review Board and general public meetings.

A draft Specific Plan was completed in 2009 along with an Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND). Based on comments received, a second draft was completed in 2010. On March 7, 2011, at a City Council Study Session, Council directed staff to do further revisions to the Specific Plan to deal with open issues, expand the parking study and economic analysis, create more location-appropriate density, height and land use strategies to better reflect the priorities of the City Council, and better align the plan with contemporary land use and transit standards. A detailed Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Feasibility Analysis and Parking Study was then completed, with funding from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). A presentation to City Council on November 21, 2011 resulted in a number of recommendations, including that the Plan allow increased height and densities near the BART stations, more flexible parking requirements with lower minimums, and a more flexible approach to mixed-use,
including allowing ground floor residential throughout the Plan area.

With this new information in hand, new potential development numbers were evaluated and it was determined that the project warranted a full Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (EIR) consistent with the California Environmental Quality Act.

The recommended amendment includes three major tasks:
  • Revision of the Specific Plan and preparation of an Environmental Impact Report,
  • Completion of a San Pablo Avenue Complete Streets Plan, and
  • Development of a Multimodal Capital Improvement Program.

Staff is working on revising, expanding and updating the draft plan to implement these directives.

What is a Specific Plan?

A Specific Plan is a proactive and progressive planning tool through which the cities of El Cerrito and Richmond will be able to create a long-range vision, development framework and implementation measures for economic development and improvements along San Pablo Avenue. The Specific Plan will provide the cities, developers and the community with a user friendly, single document, detailed guide for all future land use and design along the corridor. El Cerrito's General Plan recognized that challenge. It stated "these conditions will require a cooperative effort with the City of Richmond to create an attractive and unified visual character."



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