Design Review Board: What it is, how it works

Learn about the DRB’s process for reviewing proposed projects.

What is the Design Review Board?

The Design Review Board (the “DRB”) is an advisory board that assists the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (the “Commission”) in evaluating the appearance and design of projects for which a Commission permit or consistency determination is needed, particularly as the project affects public access to the Bay and the shoreline. The Board is made up of seven members and seven alternates nominated by the Commission’s Chair and approved by the Commission: The DRB members are renowned experts in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, planning and engineering with experience in designing waterfronts around the world. The members volunteer their time and expertise to advise the Commission and project sponsors to ensure that projects approved along the San Francisco Bay shoreline achieve maximum feasible public access consistent with the proposed project. The Senior Bay Development Design Analyst, a permanent BCDC staff member, serves as secretary to the Board.

Under what authority does the DRB operate?

  • State Law and Regulation
    Sections 66632(f) and 66633(b) of the McAteer-Petris Act, the Commission’s enabling law, authorize the Commission to, respectively, “adopt after public hearing such additional regulations as it deems reasonable and necessary to enable it to carry out its functions efficiently and equitably” and to “appoint advisory committees from other interested public and private groups.” Commission regulation codified at 14 CCR section 10270 sets out the membership and function of the Design Review Board, stating that “the Board shall advise the Commission and the staff on the appearance and design of projects for which a Commission permit or consistency determination is needed, particularly as the project affects public access to the Bay and shoreline.” (14 CCR § 10270(b).)
  • Bay Plan Policies
    The San Francisco Bay Plan was prepared by the Commission to further implement the McAteer Petris Act. The California Legislature incorporated the Bay Plan into law to constitute the plan for the Commission to use to establish policies for reviewing and acting on projects. The Bay Plan states that “the Design Review Board was formed in 1970 of professional designers to advise the Commission on the adequacy of public access of proposed projects in accordance with the Bay Plan.”
    In order to achieve a high level of design quality in waterfront development, the DRB advises the Commission on appearance, design, and scenic view issues for project proposals in accordance with the relevant Bay Plan policies and the Commission’s Public Access Design Guidelines. The DRB’ s recommendations regarding appearance and design are advisory only and are not of themselves grounds for denying a permit application.

What role does the board play in the Commission’s permit process?

The McAteer-Petris Act requires that “maximum feasible public access, consistent with a proposed project” must be provided in each waterfront project approved by the Commission on fill or along the shoreline. The DRB’s role is to advise the Commission whether or not the projects requiring a Commission permit provide adequate access that is well designed, useful, and attractive. When applicable, the DRB’s findings and recommendations are included in the staff summary of a permit application on which BCDC holds a public hearing.i The DRB findings and recommendations have in past instances addressed:

  • Whether the proposed public access is adequate, in accordance with the Bay Plan policies on Public Access;
  • Where appropriate, suggestions on how a project might be changed to improve public access; and
  • The appropriateness and need for fill proposed for public access or for improving the appearance of the shoreline.

How does the commission use the DRB’s advice?

When the Commission considers a permit application it must ultimately determine whether the project is of a nature that it will be consistent with the provisions of the McAteer-Petris Act and with the provisions of the Bay Plan then in effect. As previously mentioned, the DRB is an advisory body of the Commission’s creation, and the DRB’s findings and recommendations do not bind the Commission’s discretion as the ultimate decisionmaker to accept, reject, or modify the DRB’s findings and recommendations when acting on a permit application.

Is design review required?

An applicant can choose to forgo design review by the DRB and present a completed, filed application to the Commission. However, the function of the DRB is to provide the Commission with informed and expert advice on appearance and design issues for proposed projects. Project proposals which are presented to the DRB for consideration allow the project proponent to address appearance and design issues before the project proposal is presented to the Commission for consideration and to demonstrate to the Commission that they have worked with the DRB to address its comments and concerns about the project proposal. The ultimate goal of this process is to achieve more successful public access designs and, thus, more successful waterfront projects overall.

What is public access?

Public access required by the Commission in past permitting decisions has consisted of physical access to and along the shoreline of San Francisco Bay. Required public access in past instances has also necessitated public access improvements, such as trails, parks, plazas, planting, and furnishings, water access, and parking. Spaces may accommodate uses such as bicycling, fishing, picnicking, nature education, and recreational water access. In past permitting decisions, the Commission has not deemed vehicular thoroughfares (e.g., streets and driveways) to constitute public access, but these types of improvements can provide lateral connections to the public access. In past permitting decisions, the Commission has generally required that public access areas be vertically unobstructed (i.e., open to the sky, not covered by overhangs or decks), except where necessary for micro-climate comfort.

In addition, multiple policies of the San Francisco Bay Plan pertaining to Appearance, Design, and Scenic Views require that views be preserved and provided to the Bay from public streets and the project site, as well as views to the project site from the water – i.e. how the project looks from the water. This type of public access is colloquially known as “visual access.”

Whenever public access to the Bay is provided as a condition in a BCDC permit, the access must be permanently guaranteed. This can be accomplished by dedication of fee title, recording a property easement or by offering to transfer ownership to a public agency at no cost in much the same manner that streets, park sites, and school sites are dedicated to the public as part of the subdivision process in cities and counties. (See Bay Plan, Public Access Policy 7.)

What projects are reviewed by the DRB?

In past instances, the DRB has generally reviewed all major permit applications. Staff has in some past instances determined that DRB review is unnecessary when staff has determined and recommends to the Commission that a project proposal clearly provides maximum feasible public access consistent with the project. In addition, the Board may review minor, or administrative permit applications involving public access projects or park projects.

When do projects go to the DRB?

BCDC staff recommends that project proponents submit project proposals for consideration by the DRB as early as possible, even before obtaining local entitlements for the project. This is so that project proponents can incorporate feedback from the DRB into the project proposal before significant time, effort, and money has been expended obtaining local entitlements for a project proposal which may not be fully consistent with the Commission’s laws and policies (as approved at the local level). In past instances projects have generally been presented to the DRB when:

  • The level of design detail is sufficient to allow complete and thorough evaluation;
  • A draft environmental document has been prepared on the project by the lead agency for purposes of the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”); and
  • Sufficient details are known regarding the height, location, use, dimensions, materials, and textures of all aspects of the project.

The DRB evaluates design aspects of the project proposal as they relate to public access and shoreline appearance and then develops a recommendation as to the adequacy of the public access associated with the proposed project. The DRB may request that projects return to the DRB if the Board cannot come to a recommendation because it does not possess adequate information to do so. In addition, BCDC staff recommends that very large or complex projects be presented to the DRB for preliminary evaluation or consultation (colloquially known as “pre-application review”), prior to the design of individual buildings. This pre-application allows the DRB to render advice about the amount, location, and usability of public access very early in the project development process. During pre-application review, the Board may make suggestions about design and public access generally, but does not necessarily develop any “final recommendations.” If a project proponent intends to take advantage of pre-application review by the DRB, the proponent should ensure that projects have been designed to a sufficient extent that location and use of all structures, the area and general design of public access, and the area and system for pedestrian and vehicle circulation and parking can be adequately described. Projects presented for pre-application review by the DRB have in past instances returned to the DRB at a later date for final review.

What does the DRB look for?

In evaluating projects, the DRB may rely upon, among other things: the Bay Plan policies, including those on Public Access; Appearance, Design, and Scenic Views; Environmental Justice and Social Equity; and Climate Change; the Commission’s Public Access Design Guidelines; the Commission’s regulations, including those on fill for public access and shoreline appearance; and consideration of environmental factors, including wind, sun, shade, soils, and topography.

In addition, the DRB members rely on their experience and expertise to evaluate design issues raised by proposed projects. Generally speaking, in past instances the DRB has focused on:

  • Quality, quantity, and usefulness of the public access areas and amenities as part of the overall proposed project.
  • Resilience of design, longevity of construction, and cost of maintenance.
  • The opportunities for and constraints to public access, such as areas with special views or safety and security concerns, areas with high suitability for recreational fishing, swimming or boating; and areas with high wildlife habitat values.

The type and design of public access should reflect these site characteristics in order to provide maximum feasible public access consistent with the project.

What happens at the DRB meetings?

DRB meetings are subject to the requirements of the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act, which establishes certain requirements of meetings of public state bodies such as the DRB. In this context, BCDC staff prepare a staff report with exhibits ahead of the DRB meeting to inform the Board and the public about the proposed project. At the meeting, the BCDC staff member assigned to the project will briefly introduce the context and the design questions or issues raised by the project. In past instances, the DRB has generally provided the project proponent around 15 to 20 minutes to make a presentation (which may include multiple presenters/speakers) describing the site and the project drawings, including aerial photographs, site plans, elevations, cross sections, renderings, videos, and other aides. As part of the project proponent’s presentation, the DRB members may ask clarifying questions about the project. Next, the DRB provides the public an opportunity to comment on the project. Then, the DRB deliberates the project, with the ultimate intent of making a recommendation to the Commission. Although no formal action is taken, the DRB Chair summarizes the DRB’s comments regarding whether the project, in the Board’s opinion, provides adequate public access. The project representatives are then given an opportunity to respond to the DRB’s proposed advice. In past instances, consideration by the DRB of a specific project has generally taken about one to two hours, though consideration in any given case certainly can take longer than two hours. As a practical and logistical matter, BCDC staff endeavors to limit the agenda to consideration of no more than two project proposals at any given DRB meeting.

The project proponent’s presentation may include additional background information beyond what is contained in the staff report and staff report exhibits, but in order to ensure that BCDC staff has had an opportunity to evaluate all information prior to the presentation, staff requests that all substantive information which the project proponent wishes the DRB to consider first be presented to BCDC staff in sufficient time to be included as part of the staff report and . If there is additional information that could assist in answering Board questions, then this material may be referenced during the question section. Please note that this material will be included in public record for the meeting.

If the DRB concludes that the project does not provide “adequate public access,” in past instances the chair has outlined the requested modifications collectively determined by the DRB and either asked the applicant to return to the DRB at a subsequent meeting for further review or asked the BCDC staff to review revised project plans showing the changes to confirm whether the changes addressed the DRB’ s concerns. In past instances where the DRB has found that a project does provide adequate public access, staff has transmitted this recommendation to the Commission.

BCDC staff and the DRB strive to complete design review for any given project proposal at a single meeting. In cases where the DRB requests that the applicant present recommended modifications or additional information to the DRB at a subsequent meeting, the applicant is not necessarily required to return to the DRB. However, if the DRB is unable to provide an informed recommendation to the Commission because the applicant did not provide sufficient information at the initial DRB meeting, BCDC staff recommends that the applicant present additional information or revisions responsive to the DRB’s initial feedback at a subsequent DRB meeting so that the DRB can provided an informed recommendation to the Commission on the project proposal. Generally speaking, most applicants prefer to complete the design review process at the DRB level so that the design and appearance issues pertaining to the project are not considered for the first time at the Commission meeting at which the permit application is considered .

Please note: Due to State mandated budget cuts, we no longer prepare meeting minutes by a court reporter for advisory board meetings. Because DRB meetings are conducted virtually and in-person, the meeting recording with closed captions will be available for download and staff will provide a short meeting summary document for the Board to review at the following DRB meeting. In addition, we recommend project proponents take their own notes or hire their own court reporter if a precise transcript is of importance to the proponent.

When and where does the DRB meet?

The DRB meets once a month, usually the Monday following the first Thursday of each month. The meetings begin at 5:00p.m., and are held in a hybrid format, in person at Metro Center and virtually using BCDC’s Zoom account and are held in a hybrid format, in person and online. On rare occasion, meetings may be scheduled elsewhere.

Recommended materials for DRB review?

Section 10315(a)(1)-(3) of the Commission’s regulations (codified at 14 CCR section 10315) specify the required materials when an applicant for a Commission permit for a project requires review by the DRB. These materials must be provided to Commission staff at least 45 days prior to the scheduled DRB meeting at which the Board will review the project. For the benefit of potential project proponents, below BCDC staff provides further guidance on material which staff recommends that proponents submit to the DRB based on past projects which have successfully completed design review at the DRB level.

  • Staff Review
    Prior to DRB review, BCDC staff recommends that an applicant meet with the assigned permit analyst and the Bay Development Design Analyst for staff review. The staff evaluates the application status of the project and recommends when the project should go to the DRB.
  • Written Description of the Proposed Project
    The written description should include:
    • a detailed description of the existing project site, including site acreage, broken into land and water (tidal and submerged) areas; BCDC jurisdictions, length of shoreline (measured along the shoreline), square footage of 100 foot shoreline band, existing structures and other improvements, ownership, topographic and vegetation features and other distinguishing site characteristics;
    • a written summary of the project including proposed uses, dimensions of all proposed structures (total square feet and heights) and status of project in the local government approval process;
    • a written description of existing and proposed public access, including square footage of public access and details of how this will be improved with pathways, site furnishings, view corridors, landscaping, etc.;
    • a written description of any fill for public access or for improving shoreline appearance, including solid fill, riprap, pile supported or floating fill in cubic yards and square feet;
    • a sea level rise analysis assessing site resilience; and
    • a description of the outreach and engagement process.
  • Illustrative Exhibits
    A set of exhibits for the project, including appropriately scaled plans, sections, and elevations. Diagrams and renderings are also recommended. The exhibits must meet ADA guidelines for website compatibility.
  • Interested Parties Contact Information
    A list of email contacts for all interested parties, including adjacent property owners to the project site and other stakeholders, including the project designer and other project representatives, members of the public who have commented on or expressed interest in the project proposal, and staff members of local, regional, state and federal agencies involved in reviewing the project. This list should include the names and email addresses or physical mailing addresses for each interested party.
    Failure to produce necessary material for adequate and full consideration by the DRB by the schedule deadlines will likely result in the project being dropped from the DRB agenda and the need for re-agendizing for a future DRB meeting.

Ten days prior to the meeting, a public meeting notice is posted on the website and distributed via email to the DRB members, interested parties, and members of the public. The meeting notice provides a description of the proposed project and the issues to be discussed at the DRB meeting in order to give interested members of the public an opportunity to determine whether they want to attend the meeting.

Meeting Exhibits

In past instances project proponents have prepared the following exhibits for the DRB meeting. Such exhibits become part of the permit application file and will not be returned to the applicant. The precise list of necessary exhibits for any given project is determined in consultation with the Bay Development Design Analyst; however, based on past instances, at a minimum BCDC staff recommends that a project proponent provide a vicinity map, a site plan, and cross-sections, as further described below.

  1. Vicinity Map (or aerial photograph)

Regional and local scale vicinity maps should be provided. The regional vicinity map should show the location of the project site in a map of the entire Bay. The local vicinity map should show the site in a partial view of the city or context in which it is located, and should include:

      • North arrow;
      • Graphic Scale;
      • Adjacent buildings, streets, sidewalks, and curbside parking;
      • Adjacent public access areas and paths and public parks or other public facilities;
      • The character of the shoreline (enclosed inlet, open Bay, ‘peninsula, etc.);
      • Major physical features such as marshes, salt ponds, and wildlife areas;
      • Adjacent land uses; including general plan designation and zoning; and
      • The location of the Bay Trail route in the vicinity of the project.
      • The location of any Water Trail sites in the vicinity of the project.
  1. Site Plan
      • Date;
      • North arrow;
      • Graphic Scale;
      • 100-foot Shoreline Band and Bay Jurisdiction lines;
      • Top of bank, with elevation;
      • Parcel lines, with dimensions;
      • Any adjacent parcels owned by the applicant;
      • Areas of fill in the Bay (this includes bulkheads, piers, docks, decks, pipes, outfalls, etc.);
      • Riprap, with elevations;
      • Areas of dredging;
      • Footprint of all existing buildings to be removed; existing buildings to remain; and proposed buildings; Proposed buildings should show proposed ground-floor uses.
      • Service areas (delivery, storage, garbage, etc.);
      • Fences (with material and height);
      • All on-site driveways, streets, drop-off areas, and parking;
      • Bicycle and Pedestrian circulation, including sidewalks and paths;
      • Public access areas, including paths, plazas and planting areas;
      • Existing trees and vegetation;
      • Areas of marsh or wetland vegetation;
      • Existing and proposed public improvements such as sidewalks, utility poles, storm and drainage outfalls, fire hydrants, utility boxes;
      • Existing and proposed contours (may be a separate exhibit);
      • Key dimensions and spot elevations for proposed improvements;
      • Any easements ‘across the site; and
      • Tabulation of basic statistics including: area of land; area of water; area of shoreline band; area of fill; area of building coverage including eaves or awnings; area of parking; total number of parking spaces; area of public access (in shoreline band); and area of landscaping.
  2. If a Marina is included in the
      • Berthing layout;
      • Dimensions and material for docks and ramps and indicate if on pilings or floating;
      • Drop-off and parking areas;
      • Security gates;
      • Waste facilities;
      • Gear storage areas;
      • Harbormaster office;
      • Restrooms;
      • Distance from furthest berth to restrooms;
      • Showers;
      • Gas dock;
      • Pump out facility;
      • Oily waste disposal facility;
      • Launch ramp or hoist;
      • Trailer parking;
      • Fences;
      • Dimensions of fairways; and
      • Guest berthing;
  3. Public Access Detail Plan
      • Date
      • North arrow;
      • Graphic Scale;
      • 100-foot Shoreline Band and Bay Jurisdiction lines;
      • Top of bank (with elevation);
      • Parcel Lines;
      • Areas of fill for public access;
      • Paths, with typical spot elevations and dimensioned widths;
      • Seating areas, with typical elevations;
      • Irrigated planting areas (identify trees, tall shrubs, low shrubs, groundcover, lawn, and stormwater planters);
      • Non-irrigated planting areas (identify trees, tall shrubs, low shrubs, groundcover, and stormwater planters);
      • Location and height of any berms or mounds;
      • Lighting;
      • Restrooms;
      • Paving materials;
      • Public access parking (number of spaces and location);
      • Location of public access signs and other wayfinding and interpretive signs and elements;
      • Fences with heights and details;
      • Connections to adjacent public areas and sidewalks;
      • View corridors;
      • Seasonal wind directions;
      • Areas of mid-day shadow cast by structures on the longest and shortest days of the year; and
      • Dimensions of minimum, maximum, and average widths of overall public access areas.
  4. Cross-Sections
    One cross-section should clearly illustrate the relationship between the Bay (at the shoreline), top of bank, public access areas, and existing and/or proposed structures. The cross-sections should indicate the location of the shoreline, top of bank, public access path, floor of structures, and top of building. Cross-sections should also include graphic scale and date. Cross-sections should show water levels for current Mean Higher High Water (MHHW) and current Base Flood Elevation (BFE), Additional sections from the public access areas to all buildings should be prepared and should include floor elevations; height of exterior wall and overall building height; and type and color of wall and roof materials.
  5. Elevations
    At least one elevation, from the Bay to the project on the shoreline, should be prepared. In addition, elevations of each building should be prepared.
  6. Renderings
  7. Program Diagrams

Phasing Plan
If the project is to be built in phases, prepare a plan showing these phases.

Supporting findings of Bay Plan Policy Consistency
Information and graphics addressing the following Bay Plan policies are helpful for project analysis and the DRB Plan Review.

Climate Change Guidance

Public Access Policy 6
“Public access should be sited, designed, managed and maintained to avoid significant adverse impacts from sea level rise and shoreline flooding.”

Climate Change Policy 2:2
When planning shoreline areas or designing larger shoreline projects, a risk assessment should be prepared by a qualified engineer and should be based on the estimated 100-year flood elevation that takes into account the best estimates of future sea level rise and current flood protection and planned flood protection that will be funded and constructed when needed to provide protection for the proposed project or shoreline area. A range of sea level rise projections for the mid-century and end of century based on the best scientific data available should be used in the risk assessment. Inundation maps used for the risk assessment should be prepared under the direction of a qualified engineer. The risk assessment should identify all types of potential flooding, degrees of uncertainty, consequences of defense failure, and risks to existing habitat from proposed flood protection devices.”

Climate Change Policy 7
“Until a regional sea level rise adaptation strategy can be completed, the Commission should evaluate each project proposed in vulnerable areas on a case-by case basis to determine the project’s public benefits, resilience to flooding, and capacity to adapt to climate change impacts.”

For sea level rise, please note current MHW, MHHW, BFE. for 2050, note MHHW and BFE. For 2100 or the life of the project, please note MHHW and BFE. One effective way to include all of these elevations in plan and section is to distinguish each benchmark by year and color and the different tidal elevations by different line types (i.e. all of the MHHW lines would be the same line type but different colors, etc.)

Environmental Justice Guidance

The Commission recently adopted environmental justice and social equity policies into the Bay Plan. See applying the environmental justice policies in BCDC’s permitting for more information on how these policies relate to the permitting process.

Environmental Justice and Social Equity Policy 3
“Equitable, culturally-relevant community outreach and engagement should be conducted by local governments and project applicants to meaningfully involve potentially impacted communities of major projects and appropriate minor projects in underrepresented and/or identified vulnerable and/or disadvantaged communities, and such outreach and engagement should continue throughout the Commission review and permitting proecss. Evidence of how community concerns were addressed should be provided. If such previous outreach and engagement did not occur, further outreach and engagement should be conducted prior to Commission action.”

In consideration of the Bay Plan Environmental Justice and Social Equity Policies, BCDC staff recommends that project proponents provide the following information.

  1. Engagement Conducted
    Please explain what community engagement you have conducted in association with the proposed project, particularly with vulnerable nearby communities and environmental justice organizations
  2. Resulting Project Changes
    Please Explain how you have specifically changed any aspects of the project design, preparation, and degree of testing for contamination, in response to this community engagement.
  3. Outstanding Concerns
    Please explain any outstanding concerns raised by any nearby communities and environmental justice organizations and explain what you propose to address these concerns.
  4. Interested Parties
    Please provide a revised copy of your list of interested parties that includes any nearby communities and environmental justice organizations that were part of your community engagement for project, if any were not included in the list provided.

ADA Compliance Requirements for Submitted Documents

Effective July 1 2019, BCDC is required to make all content posted to the BCDC website ADA compliant so that it can be read by a screen reader. See Website Accessibility for more information.

As a result of this additional work, BCDC has changed the submission deadlines for the DRB project review documents

  • Draft Exhibits including a word document with Alternative Text Descriptions, Project Description and Interested Parties list must be provided 45 calendar days prior to the meeting
  • Final ADA-compliant Exhibits should be provided 14 calendar days prior to the meeting in order to provide the DRB and interested members of the public adequate tie to consider the Exhibits ahead of the DRB meeting.

We will be running the compliance check on the draft exhibits and then providing content feedback on the exhibits for the DRB review and the ADA compliance. We will work closely with you to ensure this process proceeds as smoothly as possible. We understand this is an additional level of work required and we want to support you as much as we can. We will run the compliance check on the final ehibits prior to posting to the website. We need the project proponents to provide ADA compliant exhibits as we have our own responsibilities to post the staff reportas ADA compliant.

We are including several links for how to achieve this compliance which might be helpful to your team. Furthermore, here are many other companies who support document accessibility.

See how to make InDesign files ADA Compliant. The links for adding alternate text and mapping styles and tags will be most helpful.

We can help edit for the alternative text for images, but here are some general rules for alternative text:

  • Provide meaningful descriptions of any images:
  • Develop alternative text for meaningful images. “Alternative text” is not a caption. Appropriate alternate text is a short description of an image that a screen reader can access and “read” to the user. Without alt text, the visually disabled user will miss the image and its meaning.
  • Describe complex images in the page content. For Complex images, alt text is not sufficient information. Describe in the text why the image is significant and what it demonstrates.
  • Summarize graphs and charts. Be sure the caption explains the purpose and provide a description of why the graph or chart is important and what it conveys.
  • Identify embedded multimedia with accessible text. Include a descriptive label for any audio, video, onpage. Include text for any non-text content of the multimedia. Guidelines for providing descriptions of non-text content are available.

The Image Description Guidelines from the Diagram Center provide details and guidance to providing adequate descriptions.

For the drawing set, if you are laying the out in a program other than InDesign, it may be easiest to make the PDF ADA compliant in Adobe Acrobat Pro.

Here are some basic instruction for how to make a PDF ADA compliant in Adobe Acrobat Pro.

For the color contrast, we understand the exhibits are often illustrative and it may be difficult to achieve the full contrast compliance as noted

We ask that you use contrasting colors for labels consistent with the guidelines, but the overall rendering of illustrative drawings may not meet the guidelines and will require additional resources for access which will be provided upon request.

For examples of ADA compliant exhibits, please download any of the exhibit pdfs available online and open them in Adobe Acrobat Pro. Using the accessibility tools, you will be able to see the different ways the documents are configured with tags and alternate text. Some projects have short alt-text descriptions that were produced by an outside consultant while other project have extensive alt-text descriptions because the project team wrote them and compiled the pdf. Either way is an acceptable format as long as it meets the intent of the ADA.

i Major and administrative permit applications are processed differently. Major permits have been required in past Instances for larger projects, projects that involve significant fill in the Bay, or projects which may result in significant adverse environmental impacts. The Commission holds a public hearing and then votes to issue or deny a major permit application. Administrative permits, which are issued by the Executive Director, are for categories of projects further defined in the Commission’s Regulations as not requiring a major permit.

ii Fill is defined in the McAteer-Petris Act as “earth or any other substance or material, including pilings or structures placed on pilings, and structures floating at some or all times and moored for extended periods, such as houseboats and floating docks. For the purposes of this section ‘materials’ means items exceeding twenty dollars ($20) in value.” (Government Code section 66632(a).)

iii The Bay Trail Project, established in 1988, is a private and publicly funded project to implement a trail around the edge of the San Francisco Bay. The alignment of the trail in the vicinity of a project can be obtained by contacting the Bay Trail Project at its offices in the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) at (510) 464-7915 or at

iv The shoreline in open water areas is conterminous with the mean high tide line (often called the mean high water line), and in marshes the shoreline begins at a contour line that is five feet above mean sea level (littoral Development Company v. S.F.B.C.D.C., (1994) 24 CA4th 1050, 29 CR2d 518).

v The shoreline in open water areas is conterminous with the mean high tide line (often called the mean high water line), and in marshes the shoreline begins at a contour line that is five feet above mean sea level (littoral Development Company v. S.F.B.C.D.C., (1994) 24 CA4th 1050, 29 CR2d 518).