Baylands Fiscal and Economic Information

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Fiscal Impacts to the City

A key consideration in the City’s decision-making process for the Baylands is to understand the potential implications of development on the fiscal health of the City of Brisbane.  Specifically, will the development generate more revenue to the City of Brisbane’s General Fund than it will cost the City to provide services and maintain public facilities and infrastructure?  Or will the costs of providing city services and facilities exceed project-generated revenues?  The city hired an independent consultant, Keyser Marston Associates (KMA) to address this issue, which may be viewed in their March 2016 Fiscal Impact Assessment.  KMA presented to the Planning Commission at the April 14, 2016 meeting.  The agenda report and presentation may be viewed on the meeting page.

During the course of the Baylands public hearings, the City Council requested further information regarding various financing tools that might be available for funding infrastructure improvements, as well as to fund the costs of providing public services and/or the operations and maintenance of public infrastructure/facilities on an ongoing basis.  KMA provided a summary of various mechanisms (view report here) and was presented to Council at the April 6, 2017 meeting.  At the Council meeting on March 22, 2018, Keyser Marsten presented their study on the financial implications to the City resulting from potential development scenarios for the Baylands assuming varying amounts of residential and commercial development.

Keyser Marston made a presentation to the Planning Commission, which may be viewed from the Thursday, April 14th meeting. - See more at:
Keyser Marston made a presentation to the Planning Commission, which may be viewed from the Thursday, April 14th meeting. - See more at:


Economic Feasibility Considerations

Another important consideration is how traditional economic factors and broad market conditions influence decisions by the private sector pertaining to development, particularly for a project of the large scope and scale as the Baylands.   In order to provide context for the City’s decisionmaking process, these broad issues are discussed in the attached memo from Keyser Marston entitled Baylands: Economic Feasibility Considerations.    

Economic Issues Associated with Environmental Sustainability

Traditional market economics do not necessarily tell the full story when quantifying the overall costs and benefits of development to the community or society at large, particularly in regard to environmental considerations.  For example, the costs of environmental pollution often extend beyond the physical limits of a project and are borne by society at large.  Similarly, the public and private benefits of incorporating sustainable practices over the long term are not always captured in traditional market economics.  The city is working to hire a consultant to focus specifically on better understanding the costs and long term benefits of implementing sustainable practices as discussed in the Baylands Sustainability Framework accepted by the City Council in November, 2015.