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East Side Innovation District

East Side Innovation District Plan

Over the past decade, there has been an unprecedented amount of private sector investment, including business and employment growth, as well as housing and commercial construction in the City of San Carlos. Numerous housing developments have been proposed and constructed west of El Camino Real, and a substantial number of commercial projects have been approved east of El Camino Real (East San Carlos). East San Carlos, which has historically been home to low-intensity commercial and industrial businesses, is expected to continue to change in the coming decade. In this transformative area, new land uses, such as biotechnology, life sciences, and high-tech office development are a large component of the private investment noted above, and the City expects growth within these sectors to continue.

With the increase in private sector investment in mind, in January 2020, the San Carlos City Council added an “Eastside Planning Initiative” as a new strategic initiative. As part of this strategic initiative, the Council has directed staff to prepare a plan to manage and direct changes in development patterns and address the influx of jobs in the industrial/commercial areas.

This Eastside Planning Initiative will require the preparation of a District Plan for the area. The overarching goal of this Plan will be to maximize the City’s ability to shape infrastructure, urban design, transportation circulation management and mobility, service provision, open space, present and future land uses, economic development, community benefits, and guide zoning changes. Extensive community outreach will need to be included in the planning process.

Proposed study area:

The first step is selecting a qualified planning firm to assist the City in the preparation of a District Plan for the area Report. Requests for Proposals (RFP) was released on April 16, 2020 and the City expects to select a consultant team by the end of June 2020.

The City held a pre-bidders call on April 29, 2020 via Zoom.  Notes, updates, and clarifications, as well  the attendee list is provided here.  Additional questions received after April 29, 2020 are available here.

 RFP: East Side Innovation District Plan

This page will be updated shortly after the project kickoff.

Questions or comments can be addressed to Lisa Porras, Planning Manager, at