Consultant(s) for Housing Element Update & CEQA Document

City of Belvedere
Monday March 15, 2021
Location: Belvedere, CA


450 San Rafael Avenue Ÿ Belvedere, CA  94920-2336

Tel: 415/435-3838 Ÿ Fax: 415/435-0430 Ÿ


City of Belvedere

Planning Department

450 San Rafael Avenue

Belvedere, CA 94920

Issued Date:  February 15, 2021

Deadline for Submissions: 4:00PM March 15, 2021 

Table of Contents


  1. Introduction
  2.  Background
  3. Objective
  4. Scope of Service
  5. Submittal Requirements
  6. Selection Process


The City of Belvedere desires to prepare a legally defensible and comprehensive Housing Element Update & CEQA documentation.  The City is requesting proposals from qualified & interested consulting firms and/or teams of consulting firms to accomplish the necessary components of the project.  In case of joint proposals, a primary or lead consultant must be identified.  The deadline for submitting is 4:00pm on March 15, 2021.



The City of Belvedere is located on the coast of the Tiburon Peninsula in Southern Marin County, approximately 5 miles north of San Francisco.  The City boundaries encompass .6 of a square mile; including open water areas.  The City is bound by Richardson Bay to the west and north, Raccoon Straits to the south and the Town of Tiburon to the east.  State Highway 131, Tiburon Boulevard, is the primary transportation corridor of the City.

The City of Belvedere, incorporated in 1896, had its beginnings as a seaside resort, agricultural area, and railroad town.  The City is characterized by large Victorian-era homes on dramatic hillside areas, and mid-century development in the Belvedere Lagoon neighborhood.  Residential coastal development, such as homes, docks, boathouses, buoys, and seawalls, are located on the City’s shoreline.  The City has limited commercial development and no redevelopment agency.

The City’s population according to current Census information was2,167 people.  Belvedere is a general law city, governed by a City Council, consisting of a Mayor & four Council Members, elected citywide.  Belvedere has a City Manager to implement the policy set by the City Council.  Each of the seven Planning Commission Members is appointed by the City Council.

The City boundaries are constrained by open water and the Town of Tiburon.  The City has no plans to expand or annex undeveloped land to permit additional residential or commercial growth.  One of the unique things is that the city limit line goes through an existing shopping center and is shared with the Town of Tiburon.


The City’s last General Plan Update was completed in 2010 along with the Housing Element.  Additionally, the Housing Element was updated in 2015.  The Housing Element was certified by the Department of Housing & Community Development.  The existing General Plan & Housing Element are available on the City website at


The comprehensive Housing Element Update project shall be developed to comply with state law, recent court cases and revisions to existing State Housing Guidelines.  Furthermore, the Update must be prepared in a manner that is internally consistent, legally defensible, and prepared for use with on-line applications.

The City of Belvedere is soliciting professional consulting service proposals from consulting firms or teams of consultants to prepare the Housing Element Update.  One of the key objectives of the Housing Element update would be an analysis of Housing policies included in the Housing Element certified by HCD in 2015 and development of new goals and policies to implement draft RHNA numbers of 161 additional units for the 2023-2031 time period.  Recommendation on Municipal Code amendments to implement Housing Element goals & policies.  Additionally, reformat the current Housing Element into a graphically driven, user-friendly document that will take advantage of current technology.  Members of the consultant team must have extensive experience managing Housing Element projects, developing public outreach & education programs, facilitating public workshops & study sessions, preparing technical baseline reports, drafting Housing Elements, and completing CEQA analysis on Housing Element projects.  The consultant team will be expected to perform responsible, professional work in research, compilation of data, site analysis, other types of analysis, studies, and environmental review procedures, as required by California law, including California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), as appropriate and as described in the Scope of Services section of this Request for Proposals (RFP).

Issues that the City believes to be important to residents and which will need to be addressed in the Housing Element Update include but are not limited to the following:

  • Strategies to provide additional affordable housing.
  • Site analysis for additional future development or redevelopment.
  • Ensuring consistency with State Laws pertaining to housing

Additional issues may be identified as part of the public outreach component of the Housing Element process.


The City seeks a consultant team that has extensive experience in preparing Housing Elements and is strong in community relations and update to date with all of the new State Housing laws.  The following components should be in the scope of work, although the final scope of work is expected to be evolve and be finalized with the selected consultant team.  The City is open to additional suggestions which the believes may be of value.

  1. Workplan – The consultants should develop a workplan with goals and timeframes.
  2. Public Outreach & Education – The consultant should provide input on development & implementation of a public outreach & education program to reach the largest number of residents possible & to encourage participation of residents & others who do not typically attend public meetings & become involved in City issues.
  3. Meeting Attendance – The consultants should identify a number of meetings with City staff, educational workshops with community groups, and Planning Commission & City Council workshops & public hearings.
  4. Status Reports – The consultant should prepare monthly status reports for submittal to the staff & Planning Commission.
  5. Preparation of any background technical reports.  The consultant shall identify whether technical background reports will be prepared in-house or by subcontractors for example site analysis as required for the Housing Element Update. 
  6. Review of Current Housing Element – The consultant shall conduct a workshop with the Planning Commission, City Council to discuss the current Housing Element, shall identify possible inconsistencies with State Law, and shall receive policy direction.
  7. Draft Housing Element – The consultant shall work with City staff, the City Council and the Planning Commission in drafting the update to the Housing Element.  Clear concise graphics, charts, and maps are necessary to communicate the policy concepts to the Community.  The consultant shall develop a program to encourage public review of draft Housing Element & Environmental/CEQA analysis.
  8. Environmental Review – Completion of all CEQA analysis including the discussion of all issue areas, evaluation of environmental impacts, identification of potential mitigation measures, analysis of appropriate project alternatives, statement of facts & findings, and Statement of Overriding Considerations, if required.
  9. Preparation of Notices & Staff Reports – The consultant shall prepare all notices for workshops & public hearings; staff reports for hearings, and resolutions & ordinances as required.  The Planning Department staff and/or City Attorney shall review all material prior to distribution& provide direction on local practice & City process.
  10. Adoption of Housing Element – The consultant shall present the Housing Element Update to the Planning Commission at one or more public hearings.  Following the hearing(s), the consultant shall make any necessary change to the document in anticipation of presentation to the Council.  The consultant shall present the Final Draft of the Housing Element Update to the Council, having incorporated the public comments received at the Planning Commission.
  11. Preparation of the Final Housing Element – The consultant shall make all necessary revisions to the Housing Element Update document as a result of public comments during the public review process.
  12. Format of the Final Housing Element – The consultant shall prepare a final, camera-ready copy of the Housing Element text, a copy of the same on a disk in a Word version format.  Final Plan text, maps, and illustrations shall be submitted in an electronic format (Adobe pdf).

The Housing Element Update will be managed by the Planning Department with oversight by the Planning Commission & the City Council.  Questions regarding the Scope of Services should be addressed to:

Irene Borba

Director of Planning & Building

City of Belvedere Planning Department

(415) 435-8907

[email protected]



The proposal must be received by the City of Belvedere no later than 4:00p.m. on March 15, 2021 either by email or mail.  A flash drive containing the proposal shall be included with proposals that are sent by mail.  All proposals and documents submitted become the property of the City of Belvedere.  Proposals must include:


  1. A letter of transmittal.
  2. Executive summary.
  3. General information about the consultant or consultant team (i.e., company size, location of office(s), size of staff, equal opportunity employer policies, etc.).
  4. Qualifications of staff proposed for this assignment.
  5. List of five (5) or more recent references for Housing Element work for the firm & staff proposed for the assignment.
  6. If this is a joint venture, explain in detail the responsibilities of each firm and identify a lead firm & project manager.
  7. Identify the key personnel who would be assigned to the Housing Element Update project and describe their responsibilities and means of notification & coordination with staff for any changes to key personnel during the term of the contract.
  8. State the approach your firm would use on the project, including the following information (This information should be written so that it may be incorporated as an attachment to the consultant professional services agreement.):
  1. Overall approach to the project
  2. Scope of Work
  3. Project Schedule tied to various components, tasks & HCD timeline.
  4. Project management.
  5. Project budget in a table or other format that clearly shows a breakdown by Work program the components, tasks, and products.  Indicate hourly rates of individuals involved, number of hours for each component, task, or product and the fee structure for additional work outside of the contract an any optional items.
  6. Include a statement that the firm(s) has sufficient staff resources and capability to perform the work contained with the Request for Proposal with the specified time frame; and
  7. Provide project references, with names and telephone numbers of contact persons.


Proposals may be submitted in person or by mail or electronically to:

Irene Borba

Director of Planning & Building

City of Belvedere Planning Department

450 San Rafael Avenue

Belvedere, CA 94920

(415) 435-8907

[email protected]



The City intends to follow, but will not be bound by, the following timeline:


February 15, 2021


MARCH 15, 2021



MARCH 26, 2021



April 5, 2021



May 10, 2021


Criteria (in random order)

  1. A high level of professional competence and a proven record in the preparation of Housing Elements & CEQA review;
  2. Experience of personnel proposed to be assigned to the project;
  3. Adequacy & availability of staffing& in-house resources;
  4. Public outreach & education experience of firms & personnel proposed to be assigned to the project & evidence of working successfully with residents and other members of the public in formulating goals & consensus;
  5. Familiarity with local geography & issues;
  6. Review of references;
  7. Evidence of the firm’s or consultant team’s ability to complete the project in a timely manner; and
  8. Contract fee, as negotiated and ultimately agreed upon.




Posted February 16, 2021

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