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Meeting Date: January 22, 2001

Subject/Title: Downtown Specific Plan (DTSP) Request for Qualifications

Submitted by: Community Development Department, Mitch Oshinsky, AICP, Director

Approved by: John Stevenson, City Manager

The RFQ is included below for your review and comments before it is distributed.

Several months ago, I presented to the Brentwood City Council Economic Development Subcommittee an outline for a Downtown Specific Plan (DTSP). They approved the outline, with the direction that the parking structure planning effort go forth first. Since that is proceeding, the Mayor and Chairman of the Planning Commission have asked me to move forward with the DTSP.

Since the Subcommittee has approved the outline, the next step is to prepare and distribute a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to solicit interest from consultants. Historically, our City, and many others, has used a Request for Proposal (RFP) process to select consultants. The response to RFP’s has been diminishing over time. I contacted firms and other cities to determine the reason. Comments suggested that the RFP process required a large expense (time and money) with a high risk of not being selected. It was suggested that an RFQ process would better serve to narrow the field to a select group that had a better probability of being selected. The RFQ will be used to narrow the list of firms that the City would like to invite to respond to an RFP. This is the process I propose to follow. The RFQ is included below for your review and comments before it is distributed.

Request for Qualifications 

The City of Brentwood desires to establish a short list of creative and visionary candidate firms that would be able to prepare a Downtown Specific Plan (DTSP) and associated mitigated negative declaration (MND). We have just adopted updated General Plan Land Use and Circulation Elements, and an associated Environmental Impact Report, which will provide some base for the DTSP and MND. In addition, the City is already proceeding with analysis for a Downtown parking structure, and redesign of our Downtown park, through other consultants. The firm selected for our DTSP will have the opportunity to coordinate with these other ongoing consultant efforts. 

A Brentwood Downtown Specific Plan will be a comprehensive policy and regulatory document. It will provide a streamlined, user-friendly format, whereby, in one document, all the zoning, infrastructure, economic strategy, development standards, design guidelines, historic preservation policy, a parking plan, and the City actions needed to realize the City’s vision for Downtown, will be contained. 

Downtown Brentwood is to be enhanced as a thriving and integrated district of civic, cultural, commercial, recreational and residential activities. Though regional retailing is poised for development along the Hwy. 4 Bypass, Downtown Brentwood’s unique and historic role as the civic and small town community focus is to be preserved and strengthened, and its local and visitor serving economy enhanced. 

Downtown is seen as the symbolic and social “Heart of the City.” It is a compact, pedestrian scale, walkable cluster of commercial and residential buildings, converging on two central spines of activity – Oak Street and First Street. Downtown is envisioned as a place where cars can be left and people can get anywhere within a short walk of no more than ten minutes, from end to end. Parking facilities within the core will be centrally located, well marked and easy to find.

Issues that will need to be addressed include, but are not limited to:

The Planning Process

The Downtown Specific Plan will evolve through a process organized around a series of public workshops. Between workshops, a Specific Plan Advisory Committee, comprised of elected and appointed officials, Downtown merchants, property owners, and local residents will meet to review community input and guide the Plan’s recommendations. Heavy emphasis will be placed on public participation. The Downtown business and property owners will be an active and vocal group in the DTSP. The Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) should clearly identify the firm’s qualifications and experience in this sensitive area.

Existing Conditions - land use, zoning, economics, traffic

A review of existing land use and development patterns, zoning designations, circulation, parking, historic buildings, and economic development trends affecting Downtown.

Economic Enhancement Strategy and Design Concept 

A statement of goals and objectives for Downtown economic enhancement and a plan for its future built form (work in concert with ongoing consultant).

Land Use and Design Element

General policies for development, such as use, intensity, height, specific policies for “Special Areas,” such as the Central Park, (in concert with the ongoing consultant work) and recommended public sector sponsored urban design improvements.

Parking Element

A survey of existing and future Downtown parking demand, supply, locations and policies (in concert with the ongoing consultant work). 

Circulation & Transportation Element

Policies and improvement recommendations for streets and intersections. Consideration of planning for a potential future eBART station on the edge of Downtown.

Utilities and Infrastructure Element

Policies and improvement recommendations related to sewer, water, and storm drain facilities.

Promotion and Marketing

A strategy and mechanism to retain existing businesses, attract new businesses, and promote Downtown as an attractive shopping and business destination. 

Implementation Element

A summary of public improvements and costs, recommendations for ongoing economic and other enhancement programs and other efforts, and a review of the Plan’s relationship to the General Plan, Zoning Code, and Redevelopment Plan.

Development Standards & Design Guidelines

Regulatory requirements for new development, and renovations of existing buildings within the Downtown Specific Plan Area.

In preparing your SOQ, the City requests identification of the project manager and senior level staff that would likely be assigned to this project, as well as any proposed sub-consultants and their staffs. Please provide a summary of representative projects managed and specifically staffed the bye principals of this team, along with project references, resumes and, optionally, some relevant sample plans.

Staff expects to establish a short list of qualified consultants that will be invited to be interviewed. From the interview process, staff will make a recommendation of preferred consultant(s) to the City Council, and that consultant or consultants may be asked to prepare a detailed proposal based on a City supplied Request for Proposal.

Any questions regarding this RFQ should be directed to:

Mitch Oshinsky, AICP
Community Development Director
City of Brentwood
104 Oak Street
Brentwood, CA 94513
Tel: 925/516-5405

SOQ’s should be directed to Mr. Oshinsky at the above address by (3 – 4 weeks).


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