2017 Council Workplan - Ecological Sustainability

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  • Recology Expansion Project

Recology is proposing to expand their existing facility in Brisbane, which will require an environmental impact report (EIR).  We are awaiting Recology to submit a proposal, which will be subject to appropriate City review.

  • Brisbane Baylands

The Baylands Final EIR was published in May of 2015.  The Planning Commission reviewed the applicant’s (UPC's) Brisbane Baylands Specific Plan, amendments to the 1994 Brisbane General Plan, and the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for the Baylands, and provided a recommendation to Council.  The City Council commenced their Baylands Review Process in September of 2016.  The City Council’s Public Hearing/Workshop schedule for the Baylands is located here: http://brisbaneca.org/baylands-city-council-proceedings.  At the Council’s January 16, 2018 Baylands Deliberations Meeting, the Council voted to direct city staff and consultants to undertake a fiscal analysis of potential development scenarios that include varying amounts of housing in the proposed Baylands development project.  Specifically, Council directed staff to work with financial consultants to come back with three different ranges of housing vs. development of non-residential areas, looking at scenarios involving a range of 1,000 - 2,200 residential units, 2 - 6 million sq. ft. of non-residential building area, and to determine the financial consequences of the various scenarios.  This analysis is expected to completed and presented to the City Council for consideration at its March 22, 2018 meeting.

  • General Plan Update

In March of 2015, the City Council concurred that the 1994 General Plan core values were still relevant to Brisbane today and that the 1994 Plan, as modified through 2007, should be the basis for moving forward with the General Plan update process.  The General Plan update is pending completion of the Baylands review process.

  • Baylands Soil Processing (BSP) and Brisbane Recycling Company (BRC)

A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for Baylands Soil Processing was adopted by the City Council in 2014.  A Council Subcommittee is reviewing BSP operations and permitting issues.

At this time BSP is allowed export only.  The operator has been required to provide additional data as to the “true” quantities of dirt on site.

  • Quarry Permit

The County initiated an EIR in August of 2015 for future quarry operations, which is still under preparation by the County.  A draft publication date is unknown at this time.  It is anticipated that staff will review and comment on that Draft EIR upon its release.  Any Quarry planning process through Brisbane would commence if and when a new owner chooses to move forward.

  • Grading Ordinance Update

The City Council Planning Subcommittee reviewed the city’s current Grading Ordinance in 2014 and the update process will be scheduled as time permits, possibly 2018.

  • Airport Noise

In November 2017, the FAA gave an update on Phase 2 for the initiative to address noise concerns of Santa Cruz/Santa Clara/San Mateo/ San Francisco Counties.  Click here to view that document.  Most of the working groups in these counties do not feel that it addressed all of the concern nor had a definitive plan for aircraft noise mitigation.

At the 6/12/17 Airport Noise Subcommittee, Bert Ganoung of the SFO Aircraft Noise Abatement Office said he would secure two monitors in the next few months for Brisbane, recommending they be placed at Mission Blue and Lipman, away from HVAC.  They are being placed instead at Mission Blue Center and Silverspot Cooperative Preschool every quarter (3rd and 4th week of January, April, July and October).  When concluded, Ganoung will only provide the raw data, not a complex report; we have yet to receive the raw data for review.  Ganoung also said he had sent TRACON a request to increase the elevation of the airplanes.

The Airport Noise Subcommittee meets on a regular basis.  To receive Subcommittee meeting information, please contact Angel Ibarra.  To be added to the Brisbane Community Airport Noise Group, please contact Peter Grace at vessacks@gmail.com.  A webpage for this Council Workplan item was created and can be accessed here: http://brisbaneca.org/airport-noise.



  • Reach Codes (California Building Code) Updated - COMPLETED FEBRUARY 2017

Brisbane has several building reach codes that address different aspects of ecological sustainability.  Reach codes are those local codes that go beyond the California Building Code (CBC) minimum requirements.  The CBC includes several different parts addressing the various aspects of building construction, such as the energy code, fire code, electrical, green building standards (CalGreen), etc. 

The state updates the CBC every three years and at the City Council’s meeting on December 8, 2016, Council adopted the latest update, the 2016 CBC, with certain local modifications to safety standards, such as the Fire Code, as well as to address ecological sustainability.  The 2016 CBC became effective on January 1, 2017.  At the same time, City Council either reaffirmed or adopted the following ecological sustainability reach codes that go beyond the CBC:

•          Green Building Requirements

•          Energy Conservation and Generation

•          Water Conservation in Landscaping

•          Recycling and Diversion of Debris from Construction and Demolition

The City’s Green Building Ordinance was adopted in 2007.  There were no changes to it with Council’s adoption of the CBC and it remains effective and applicable to both large residential and non-residential projects in Brisbane, including City sponsored projects.  One such project is the City’s new library slated for construction beginning in 2018, which will be in conformance with CalGreen, but is also planned to achieve a minimum LEED Silver equivalent under the Green Building Ordinance. 

Regarding energy, with the most recent edition of CBC, it is estimated by the California Energy Commission (CEC) that residential buildings will use 28% less energy vs. buildings constructed under the previous, 2013 CBC.  The state’s goal is for all new residential construction to be zero net energy (ZNE) by 2020 and that all non-residential construction be ZNE by 2030.  To date, energy use reductions are largely achieved by building envelope (the physical separator between the conditioned and unconditioned environment of a building including the resistance to air, water, heat, light, and noise transfer), HVAC and lighting efficiencies.   Along with the adoption of the CBC in December, City Council adopted the Energy Conservation and Generation ordinance.   The provisions of this code are applicable to new residential and non-residential buildings and include “cool roof” requirements for low pitched roofs and the installation of solar photovoltaic systems, with an alternative of solar thermal systems. 

To save costs to the City while also being proactive regarding sustainability, the Energy Conservation and Generation ordinance was based on the City of San Mateo’s model.  Prior to adoption, staff reviewed the model cost effectiveness study which showed that the added costs for the compliance measures would be cost-effective over time through reduced energy bills.  This amendment is also consistent with the City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) goal of reducing the City’s carbon footprint, and to aid in reducing the future impacts of increased global warming. 

The City has also teamed up with the Bay Area Sunshares program as a participating agency, securing group discounts to incentivize the use of solar and electric vehicles.

Water conservation is another key way that a city can be more sustainable.  In April 2016, the City replaced its Water Conservation in Landscaping Ordinance to be more water conserving than the state’s 2015 model ordinance.  That ordinance was adopted in response to the ongoing drought and it remains in effect.  It includes a lower applicability threshold for replacement landscaping projects and a higher percentage of low water use plants.

Finally, the City updated its waste diversion ordinance along with the CBC update, both for consistency of terminology with the state’s latest update as well as to include certain demolition and reroofing projects that the CBC does not cover.


(Last updated: March 2, 2018)