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A recent decision by Brentwood leaders could reap the city future financial benefits.

City officials announced this week they will designate areas around downtown, Brentwood Boulevard and the northwest corner of town as “priority development areas” (PDAs), making the municipality eligible to receive regional and state funding for matters such as transportation projects and affordable housing in those areas.

“It will support local planning,” said Brentwood Assistant City Manager Terrence Grindall.

PDAs — now found in all Contra Costa cities, except Clayton — are designated areas where residential and employment growth are expected to grow sustainably with ample public transit, reduced vehicle miles traveled, lessened greenhouse gas production and an improved jobs-to-housing balance.

Brentwood’s newly designated PDAs include the downtown and Brentwood Boulevard areas, along with over 430 acres surrounded by Lone Tree Way to the north, Heidorn Ranch Road to the west, Sand Creek Road to the south and Shady Willow Lane to the east. The selected zones are scheduled to guide investment growth patterns in the future development of Plan Bay Area 2050 — a regional initiative to make the nine-county Bay Area more equitable to all residents in the face of mounting economic, environmental, housing and transportation challenges.

Bay Area jurisdictions have defined nearly 200 PDAs since 2008, and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission — the San Francisco Bay Area’s transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency — has invested more than $800 million in those areas.

Future funding opportunities are expected to center on specialized regional and state transportation, planning and affordable-housing money.

“We have to get a PDA,” said Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor. “I am more than enthusiastic about this.”

Cities retain all future planning control of the designated areas, but to be eligible for funding, the locations must feature a variety of special qualities, including transit at 15-minute headways (length of time between public transit vehicle arrivals at a stop); and a bike and pedestrian infrastructure plan. Grindall said the specified pieces of land either already meet all the requirements or soon will.

“There are many grant programs that the regional government has that areas (that aren’t) priority development areas cannot apply for,” Grindall said.

For more information on the city’s designation, see packet page 348 at www.bit.ly/BrentwoodPDA.

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