Association of Bay Area Government – ABAG

Association of Bay Area Government – ABAG

Association of Bay Area Government – ABAG

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ABAG was created by local governments to meet their planning and research needs related to land use, environmental and water resource protection, disaster resilience, energy efficiency and hazardous waste mitigation, and to provide risk management, financial services and staff training to local counties, cities and towns.

About ABAG

The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) is the comprehensive regional planning agency and Council of Governments for the nine counties and 101 cities and towns of the San Francisco Bay region. The Bay Area is comprised of nine counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano,
and Sonoma. ABAG continues to make significant strides in the areas of land use, environmental stewardship, energy efficiency, hazard mitigation, water resource protection, and hazardous waste management.

In 2011, ABAG celebrated 50 years of service to the cities, towns, and counties of the Bay Area. ABAG was formed by local government leaders who recognized the need to address common issues from a regional perspective. ABAG was the first Council of Governments formed in California (1961).

ABAG History

Recent Milestones 

• The ABAG-administered San Francisco Bay Trail Project completed 325 miles of recreational and alternative commute trails.

• ABAG was also awarded a grant to work with the State Coastal Conservancy and other project partners on site-specific aan Francisco Bay Area Water Trail implementation and outreach.

• The Estuary Partnership finalized contracts with local jurisdictions to assist with trash capture efforts to make our streams and Bay cleaner and healthier for people, fish, and wildlife.

• ABAG Finance Authority has provided over $8 billion in low cost investment capital for projects in more than 240 local jurisdictions for construction of new hospitals, transit systems, affordable housing, schools, water and wastewater and other member-owned services, and infrastructure.

• Developed and launched by ABAG over 15 years ago, the Bay Area Green Business Program was the first in the nation to recognize small businesses that comply with environmental regulations and take additional steps to conserve resources and prevent pollution and waste. The high standards of this model program have been acclaimed by the State of California and now over 2300 certified businesses are recognized as both Bay Area and California Green Businesses.

• Approximately 170 Priority Development Areas (PDAs) and 100 Priority Conservation Areas (PCAs) were designated between 2010 and 2012.

Historical Milestones
• ABAG developed the Bay Area’s first “Regional Open Space Plan: 1970-1990,” which was the boldest open space system designed for any metropolitan area in the world with a target of 3.4 million acres.

• An ocean coastline plan, an airport systems plan, and regional information systems and technology support were also developed by ABAG.

• ABAG was the first Council of Governments on the World Wide Web (online) in 1994 and the second public agency to establish a web presence in California.

• In 1995, ABAG launched the online government network and online training. To date, more than 7,000 students receive ABAG Hazmat School training each year to meet the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Many great accomplishments have been achieved over this half century. Many more are in store, as ABAG and partners work together for a sustainable Bay Area.


ABAG is governed by a 38-member Executive Board comprised of locally
elected officials based on regional population. The Executive Board
makes operating decisions, appoints committee members, authorizes
expenditures, and recommends policy. Executive Board meetings are bimonthly
(January, March, May, July, September, and November) on the
third Thursday of the month. ABAG also appoints elected officials who
are approved by the Executive Board to standing committees.
The General Assembly determines policy, adopts the annual budget and
work program, decides how ABAG’s resources will be allocated, and
reviews policy actions of ABAG’s Executive Board. Each delegate has one
vote, and a majority of city and county votes are required for action.

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ABAG is committed to enhancing the quality of life in the San Francisco
Bay Area by leading the region in advocacy, collaboration, and
excellence in planning, research, and member services.

Governance Benefits of Membership

All nine counties and 101 cities and towns within the Bay Area are voluntary
members of the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), representing all of
the region’s population – more than seven million people. Members have a voice in
regional decision-making. ABAG is governed by an Executive Board of local elected
officials, and an elected official from each member city, town, and county serves as
a delegate to ABAG’s General Assembly.
Receive direct benefit from ABAG’s programs and services designed to meet the
specific economic, social, and environmental needs of their counties, cities, and
* Use service programs to pool resources and save money.
* Benefit from technical assistance and training in energy efficiency and other
areas of interest.
* Benefit from high impact legislative advocacy. ABAG tracks state-wide
legislation. Working in partnership with other Councils of Governments, ABAG
was instrumental in ensuring that local governments and the region receive
their share of Proposition 84 funding. ABAG also helped reform the State
Regional Housing Need Allocation process, which now permits counties to
manage their own allocations.
* ABAG’s three standing committees: the Regional Planning Committee,
Legislation and Governmental Organization Committee, and the Administrative
Committee, and subject matter task forces examine regional issues such as
Youth Gun Violence, Disaster Resilience Planning, and Hazardous Waste.
* Special subject matter workshops and conferences are designed and conducted
based on local government interests and need.
* The ABAG Growing Smarter Together awards recognize cities and counties
regional achievements. The awards showcase innovative approaches and
significant achievements of local governments, regional agencies, and
leadership collaborating to build complete communities to improve the quality
of life in the Bay Area.

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Planning & Research

ABAG’s innovative programs, projects, and partnerships have led to state, national,
and international recognition. In response to critical environmental and resilience
challenges, ABAG administers the San Francisco Estuary Partnership, the Hazardous
Waste/Green Business Program, the Bay Trail Project, and the Earthquake and
Hazards Program. These specialized programs and projects are highly recognized for
their efforts to preserve and protect the region’s natural resources.
Plan Bay Area
In collaboration with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), ABAG is developing the region’s first Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) pursuant to state legislation. The SCS, known as Plan Bay Area, will tackle pressing issues such as
accommodating population growth while keeping the region affordable for all residents, preserving open space, protecting the environment, accommodating transportation needs, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
A milestone in the development of Plan Bay Area was the adoption of a preferred growth pattern that was developed by ABAG and unveiled in the “Jobs-Housing Connection Strategy” in May 2012. The report highlights Priority Development Areas
(PDAs), the centerpiece of the region’s framework for future growth. These areas are locally identified opportunities for infill development that represent 3% of the region’s land mass and have the capacity to accommodate 80% of projected housing
growth and 66% of new employment over the next 30 years. As part of the
regional growth framework, local governments also nominated Priority Conservation Areas (PCAs) – areas that are regionally significant open space with broad consensus for long-term protection. Both PDAs and PCAs will receive priority for investment funds through a newly adopted OneBayArea grant program. Plan Bay Area will be released in spring 2013 in coordination with the Regional Transportation Plan and the Regional
Housing Need Allocation (RHNA).
ABAG’s Planning and Research staff is comprised of a diverse group of
professionals that collaborate with other regional agencies, support local government partners, and build capacity with community based organizations. Regional planners focus on advancing the development of complete communities including housing, economic development, equity, open space, and infrastructure, in collaboration with local governments and other stakeholders. The research group focuses on existing conditions, forecasting changes to the population and economy, and assisting local governments to identify policies that address a changing environment.

Planning & Research Services
Programs and Services The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) is the comprehensive regional planning agency and Council of Governments for the nine counties and 101 cities and towns of the San Francisco Bay region. The Bay Area is
comprised of nine counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma. ABAG continues to make significant strides in the areas of land use, environmental stewardship, energy efficiency, hazard mitigation, water resource protection, and hazardous waste management.
Planning Programs
• Plan Bay Area
• Priority Development Area Implementation
• San Francisco Estuary Partnership
• Bay Trail
• Earthquake and Hazard Program
• Green Business
A variety of cost-effective member service programs address

Who can join ABAG?

Only governmental and non-profit organizations are eligible to be ABAG members. Corporations and individuals cannot be members. Associate memberships are no longer offered.

Which organizations are members of ABAG?

Cooperating members in the Bay Area

  • Alameda Contra Costa Transit District
  • Bay Area Air Quality Management District
  • Bay Area Rapid Transit District
  • Bay Planning Coalition
  • Central Contra Costa Sanitary District
  • Easy Bay Municipal Utility District
  • East Bay Regional Park District
  • Golden Gate Bridge, Highway & Transportation District
  • Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District
  • Port of Oakland
  • San Mateo County Harbor District
  • Transbay JPA
  • West Bay Sanitary District

Cooperating members outside the Bay Area

  • City of Rocklin

County, city and town memberships

County of Alameda

  • Alameda
  • Albany
  • Berkeley
  • Dublin
  • Emeryville
  • Fremont
  • Hayward
  • Livermore
  • Newark
  • Oakland
  • Piedmont
  • Pleasanton
  • San Leandro
  • Union City

County of Contra Costa

  • Antioch
  • Brentwood
  • Clayton
  • Concord
  • Danville
  • El Cerrito
  • Hercules
  • Lafayette
  • Martinez
  • Moraga
  • Oakley
  • Orinda
  • Pinole
  • Pittsburg
  • Pleasant Hill
  • Richmond
  • San Pablo
  • San Ramon
  • Walnut Creek

County of Marin

  • Belvedere
  • Corte Madera
  • Fairfax
  • Larkspur
  • Mill Valley
  • Novato
  • Ross
  • San Anselmo
  • San Rafael
  • Sausalito
  • Tiburon
  • County of Napa
  • American Canyon
  • Calistoga
  • Napa
  • St. Helena
  • Yountville

City and County of San Francisco

County of San Mateo

  • Atherton
  • Belmont
  • Brisbane
  • Burlingame
  • Colma
  • Daly City
  • East Palo Alto
  • Foster City
  • Half Moon Bay
  • Hillsborough
  • Menlo Park
  • Millbrae
  • Pacifica
  • Portola Valley
  • Redwood City
  • San Bruno
  • San Carlos
  • San Mateo
  • South San Francisco
  • Woodside

County of Santa Clara

  • Campbell
  • Cupertino
  • Gilroy
  • Los Altos
  • Los Altos Hills
  • Los Gatos
  • Milpitas
  • Monte Sereno
  • Morgan Hill
  • Mountain View
  • Palo Alto
  • San Jose
  • Santa Clara
  • Saratoga
  • Sunnyvale

County of Solano

  • Benicia
  • Dixon
  • Fairfield
  • Rio Vista
  • Suisun City
  • Vacaville
  • Vallejo

County of Sonoma

  • Cloverdale
  • Cotati
  • Healdsburg
  • Petaluma
  • Rohnert Park
  • Santa Rosa
  • Sebastopol
  • Sonoma
  • Windsor

ABAG Meetings and Agendas

Videos of ABAG Public Meetings are available at

Partner Agencies




Energy & Infrastructure

Education & Training


Association of Bay Area Governments
101 Eighth Street
Oakland, CA 94607

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Phone: (510) 464-7900
Fax: (510) 464-7985