2017 Council Workplan - Ecological Sustainability

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Brisbane will be a leader in setting policies and practicing service delivery innovations that promote ecological sustainability.  The following items are numbered how they appear in the full Workplan, and are not in any particular or rank order | Back to 2017 Council Workplan landing page.


  • Item #1 - Recology Expansion Project

Recology is proposing to expand their existing facility in Brisbane which will require an environmental impact report (EIR).  An EIR Notice of Preparation was published in 2015, but this project is currently on hold at the applicant’s request.  Once a Draft EIR is prepared, it will then be processed through the Planning Commission and then to City Council.  City staff and Recology will then work on a Processing Agreement to cover the cost of staff time on their application.  The format of this is similar to what has been done with Universal Paragon Corporation (UPC).

  • Item #2 - Baylands EIR and Specific Plan

The Baylands Final EIR was published in May of 2015.  The Planning Commission deliberated over the applicant's (UPC's) Brisbane Baylands Specific Plan, amendments to the 1994 Brisbane General Plan, and of course the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for the Baylands, and ultimately arrived at the following recommendation to the City Council:

1.  That the Brisbane General Plan be amended as it relates to the Baylands to allow for a 1- 2 million square foot net increase in building area and a utility-scale renewable energy generation facility;

2.  That the Baylands Final EIR be certified as it pertains to the General Plan recommendation;

3.  That permitted land uses include Light Industrial, Research and Development, Office, Retail, Commercial Recreation and Open Space; and

4.  That no housing be developed.

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.  Council Study Sessions with the consultant who prepared the Baylands Final Environmental Impact Report are being held prior to each Public Hearing.  Public Hearings and Council deliberations are expected to continue through mid-2017.

  • Item #3 - 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.

  • Item #7 - Baylands Soil Processing (BSP) and Brisbane Recycling Company (BRC)

A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for Baylands Soil Processing, establishing operational limits and site controls while an Interim Use Permit application was being processed, was adopted by the City Council in 2014.  The interim use permit and EIR have been filed and hearings are expected to start in 2017.  In the meantime, per the bi-monthly activity reports from UPC, their operations and pile heights remain in compliance. 

Brisbane Recycling Company has filed an application to extend their interim use permit and it is expected that Planning Commission review of this application will occur in 2017.

  • Item #8 - 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.  Additionally, potential developers of the Quarry continue to approach the city to discuss future development, and the current owners have also approached the City with potential development options.  Any Quarry planning process through Brisbane would commence if and when a new owner chooses to move forward.

  • Item #9 - 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 2017.

  • Item #10 - Green Building Ordinance Update

The 2007 Green Building Ordinance remains effective and applicable to both large residential and non-residential projects in Brisbane.  At their meeting of December 8, 2016, the City Council adopted the most recent version of the California Building Standards Codes (CalGreen), with local modifications to the Energy Code, the Fire Code, and the 2015 International Property Maintenance Code.  These state codes are effective January 1, 2017. 

With the most recent edition of the California Building Code (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.

Council also adopted a local code amendment to add new energy generation/conservation provisions in addition to the state’s Energy Code.  These provisions would be applicable to new construction of residential and non-residential buildings and would include “cool roof” requirements for low pitched roofs and the installation of solar photovoltaic systems for all new buildings, with an alternative of solar thermal systems.  Cool roofs reflect sunlight and radiate heat away from itself and solar photovoltaic/solar thermal systems absorb and convert sunlight into electricity or heating of water.  Staff reviewed cost effectiveness studies 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.  Additionally, the Planning Commission, in reviewing a variety of planning applications over the past several years, has expressed its interest in ensuring that renewable energy production be incorporated into new buildings.

See all of the amendments to the Brisbane Municipal Code concerning the State’s Building Code Update and Adoption here.

  • Item #12 - Airport Noise

On 11/16/15, Congressional Reps. Eshoo, Farr, and Speier released to the public the FAA’s response to congressional inquiries about aircraft noise, which is a plan of action titled, FAA Initiative to Address Noise Concerns.  The report is a compilation of ideas that were offered by the public regarding SFO, as well as requests made by the SFO Airport Community Roundtable.  Additionally, the Concerned Citizens of Brisbane drafted a letter in response to the FAA Initiative and sent it to the FAA; the City Council followed up by sending a separate letter supporting the Concerned Citizens’ letter.

In November of 2016, the SFO Roundtable submitted a response to the FAA Initiative to Address Noise Concerns.  Councilmember Lentz, former Chair of the SFO Roundtable, also submitted this letter in support of the SFO Airport/Community Roundtable's response.  Workshop video recordings and latest news regarding Airport Noise are available on the City’s website here.

Three additional temporary noise monitors were placed in Brisbane by the SFO Noise Abatement Office in January 2017 which will be collecting more specific data for at least a two-week period of time, in addition to the continuing permanent monitor near Kings Rd.  The locations of the temporary noise monitors are at Lipman Middle School and two sites on the Ridge.  We received a report in February 2017 regarding the noise impacts that the four noise monitors recorded in Brisbane.  The Airport Noise Subcommittee will be reviewing that report on May 1, 2017.



(Last updated: May 12, 2017)