Friday, March 14, 2008

Council Agenda March 11 2008: FATP

Describing a council agenda item on the protection of the San Juan Canyon area Community Planning Director Carlos Demello introduced a fabulous concept called Floor Area Ratio Transfer Policy which was shortened to FATP.

FATP allows for the city to permit landowners, to move their development rights, from an area with desirable protection characteristics, to an area where development is preferred. This is similar to transfer of development rights known as TDRs.

Carlos said that the receiving attributes would need to be developed. As an example of a receiving area he offered the downtown, which everyone agrees needs a density characteristic tied to the business type we want to attract and retain. Coralin expressed concern that the sending characteristic should not increase development on the street or neighborhood, and the receiving characteristic should include a cost factor linked to a developed street, so as to not drain the city budget.

Another model would be start with the Association of Bay Area Governments and Metropolitan Transportation Commission criteria of defined Priority Conservation Areas and Priority Development Areas. Overlay on the PCA wildlife, riparian, and connected trail corridors. Add attributes to the three corridor elements such as open space, parks, urban pocket parks, children’s landuses, species, and a countryside preserve.

Develop a FATP financing mechanism that preserves the neighborhood model and enhances the district model. This can be done with financial overlay maps which identify where the infrastructure and service costs are cheaply available and preferred, and what desired feature of each model, such a traffic speed, needs to be controlled.

Then go out and get an ABAG/MTC grant to make it happen.

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