The vote, with Councilman Sal Evola abstaining, came after considerable discussion sparked by Evola's questions regarding a similar plan developed by the county in 1996.
The city never signed off on that plan because the plan favored the county's interests more than Pittsburg's, said City Manager Marc Grisham, and Councilman Mike Kee concurred.
Grisham said in a staff report that "the city has a tremendous opportunity to capture the office and residential market along the Highway 4 corridor by creating a transit village adjacent to the BART station."
He recommended that the council award a $70,000 preliminary planning contract to the firm of Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum.
Evola wanted to know why the city felt it was necessary to spend the money if an earlier plan existed, one that had already been through the environmental review process.
"The resolution the council adopted for ordering that plan said it was consistent with the city's General Plan," he noted.
A city's general plan is a blueprint dictating zoning as well as growth and development.
A representative of the Oak Hills subdivision near the station warned that a transit village could cause a surge in crime from low-income people coming in to the area. He urged the council to plan for that.
"How do you define 'low income'?" asked Councilwoman Nancy Parent.
"I don't know, but I have seen these transients coming out of BART," he replied.
Grisham said that the BART station is in the city and the study area surrounding it is in the city. "It's all Pittsburg's responsibility," he said.
He promised, however, that all the data developed in the previous plan would be shared with the consultants.
City Planning Director Melissa Ayres said that much of the environmental effects discussed in the earlier plan are outdated now because so much new development has occurred, particularly traffic information.
During the discussion, the Seeno Corp. was identified as a major property owner in the area. Evola, who did not say why he was abstaining, is vice-president of Discovery Homes, a Seeno subsidiary.