Downtown Precise Plan

The future of Downtown Orinda has been a high priority for the community for many years. The City would love to hear from you as the continuum of downtown planning efforts grows with the development of a Downtown Precise Plan (DPP).

While the DPP certainly relates and builds on the momentum of the recently-adopted Downtown Streetscape Masterplan, better known as ConnectOrinda, its focus is different. Unlike ConnectOrinda, which identified streetscape and transportation projects to beautify and improve travel modes in the public realm, the DPP involves the development regulations for private property.

Generally, the DPP will comprise of existing conditions; vision and guiding principles; and land-use and urban-design planning concepts. In conjunction with new development standards, one of the other primary outcomes of the DPP will be objective design criteria for mixed-use and residential land uses. As such, the DPP is intended to revitalize downtown and stimulate housing production by potentially increasing allowable residential densities in the Downtown Commercial zoning district and potentially allowing multi-family residential developments in the Downtown Office zoning district.

Any changes to the existing densities would be subject to approval by the City Council through adoption of the DPP itself as well as General Plan and Zoning Amendments, which are proposed to be adopted concurrently with the DPP.

In sum, the DPP would update the City’s downtown development standards and create objective design standards for multi-family residential and mixed-use projects.

Project Updates & History

2020.05.26 - Community Workshop #1

On May 26, 2020, the Planning Commission and the Downtown Subcommittee held a joint meeting to continue the conversation on the Downtown Precise Plan. At this first of a multi-series workshop, which was held via Zoom Webinar, staff provided an overview of the existing conditions, policies, and regulatory framework that apply to Downtown Orinda. As an informational workshop, staff did not make any recommendations for formal action. However, staff did receive comments and feedback from the Commission, Subcommittee, and public.

The staff report and meeting recording can be assessed online here.

2020.05.18 - Existing Conditions Report

This draft report provides a discussion on the existing conditions within the DPP Project Area. Particularly, in an effort to educate the community and help inform decisions about the future of Downtown Orinda, this report offers a snapshot on the community profile and economy; major land-uses and features; adopted policies, regulations, and plans; circulation; and natural features and infrastructure. Eventually, the Existing Conditions Report will become one of the first chapters of the DPP.

2020.04.29 – Downtown Subcommittee Meeting

On April 29, 2020, the Downtown Subcommittee held a meeting to receive updates on the Downtown Precise Plan. Planning staff delivered a presentation that included an overview of the project; items in progress; a discussion of proposed community engagement strategies; and immediate next steps. More than a dozen members of the public joined the meeting and provided thoughtful comments.

To view the meeting recording, agenda, staff’s presentation, and other meeting materials, please visit:

2020.04.07 – City Council Meeting

At the April 7, 2020 City Council Meeting, held virtually via Zoom, staff delivered a report on the DPP with a brief discussion on the following items:

  • Project Branding;
  • Request for Proposals and Request of Qualifications
  • Meeting with Subject Matter Experts;
  • Existing Conditions Report; and
  • Next Steps

On the same night, the Council awarded the environmental services contract to prepare the Program Environmental Impact Report (Program EIR) for the Downtown Precise Plan to Rincon Consultants, Inc. For more information on the Program EIR contract award, please visit this link.

2020.02.26 – Downtown Subcommittee Meeting

On February 26, 2020, the Downtown Subcommittee held a meeting to receive updates on the DPP. Planning Staff updated the Council and members of the public on the following items:

  • Request for proposal for the Downtown Precise Plan program environmental impact report;
  • Project logo/branding;
  • Existing conditions report;
  • Stakeholder engagement, and
  • Next steps in terms of the work plan.

Staff also took the opportunity to provide an update on potential funding options and costs for ConnectOrinda projects (e.g., murals). To view the February 26, 2020 agenda and staff’s presentation, please visit:

2020.01.07 – City Council Meeting

On March 19, 2019, the City Council set a Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Strategic Priority to update the City’s downtown development standards. After receiving direction at the August 20, 2019 City Council meeting, staff issued a request for proposal (RFP) for the Downtown Precise Plan (DPP) on September 9, 2019. However, due to low consultant participation, the City cancelled the solicitation and re-examined the RFP. After close consideration at the January 7, 2020 City Council meeting, the Council directed staff to manage the DPP in-house and issue RFP(s) and/or request for qualifications (RFQs) for specific tasks. The City Council was also provided with a revised project budget of $740,000.

Public Meetings

  1. 2020.05.26 - Community Workshop #1 (Joint Planning Commission & Downtown Subcommittee Meeting)
  2. 2020.04.29 - Downtown Subcommittee Meeting
  3. 2020.04.07 - City Council Meeting
  4. 2020.02.26 - Downtown Subcommittee Meeting
  5. 2020.01.07 - City Council Meeting

Documents & Reports