Inter-Departmental Correspondence

Department of Public Works

scription: Environment_logotype-01



May 5, 2011


May 24, 2011







Honorable Board of Supervisors


James C. Porter, Director of Public Works


Acceptance of San Mateo County Facility Master Plan



Adopt a Resolution accepting the San Mateo County Facility Master Plan (Master Plan) as prepared by Architect Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum, Inc., (HOK).



In August 2009, HOK was retained to evaluate the County’s real estate and lease holdings, and make recommendations for their best use over the long term. The County Master Plan Steering Committee consisting of representatives from the County Manager’s Office, Public Works, Health System, and Real Property, worked closely with HOK throughout the process.


On October 19, 2010, the Board of Supervisors adopted Resolution No. 071107, which approved office standards for space allocation; and appointed three subcommittees, consisting of two supervisors each, to provide input to the Master Plan for the three main campuses in Redwood City, San Mateo and the Tower Road Complex in the San Mateo Highlands. The feedback gathered during November 2010 meetings with each of the subcommittees has been incorporated into the Master Plan. In addition, staff met with representatives from the cities of San Mateo and Redwood City, where these campuses are located, to solicit comments on the plan.


This Master Plan, its guiding principles, and 10 Year Capital Improvement Plan were reviewed by the Finance and Operation (F&O) Committee on April 6, 2011. Subsequently, the F&O Committee recommended that the Master Plan be submitted to the Board for acceptance with no changes.



The significant findings of HOK’s evaluation were:



A wide variety of office sizes in various buildings and underutilization of available space due to the absence of space standards and metrics.



Higher costs of occupancy over the life of a building than other similar organizations due to the high percentage of leased space in the County portfolio.



Inefficient delivery of service as a result of broken “adjacencies” of departments in dispersed locations that serve common clients.



Inefficient floor and office layouts, high costs of moves and generally “dreary” workplaces due to the lack of “best practices” in space planning.


The significant recommendations of the Master Plan are:



Adopt space standards/planning principles to optimize real property utilization.



Reduce lease holdings to lower the long-term cost of occupancy.



Co-locate departments serving common clients to establish adjacencies and improve our delivery of service.



Establish best practices for floor and office layouts to improve the overall quality of the work environment.


HOK also evaluated and made recommendations for the long-term optimal development of the three main County campuses.


Staff is presenting this Master Plan as a compilation of guiding principles for future space allocation. Adoption of the Master Plan does not commit the County to any specific course of action. However, once adopted, staff will be able to incorporate these principles into policies for space planning and development of a long-range Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for Board consideration.


Staff has developed a preliminary CIP that reflects an initial roadmap for executing the principles provided in the Master Plan over the next 10 years. The estimated cost of this program is $485 Million if the County were to implement all aspects of the Master Plan. Included in this plan are the construction of a new County Jail and the recent purchase of the Circle Star office complex. The Circle Star property will provide offices for many departments that are currently in lease space to meet the goal of reducing our lease portfolio. It will also allow for increased co-location of departments serving common clients both at the Circle Star and at other County facilities. A copy of the CIP is attached as Exhibit A.


Given the current economic climate and the County’s estimated $82 Million General Fund structural deficit, staff does not anticipate that we will have the resources to pursue all of the improvements identified in the CIP. The County Manager’s Budget Office is currently evaluating the County’s bonding capacity as well as its ability to service any new debt over this ten-year planning period. Once the Budget Office has completed its assessment, staff will be in a better position to develop alternative courses of action for the Board’s consideration.


County Counsel has reviewed and approved the Resolution as to form.


Approval of this Resolution contributes to the Shared Vision 2025 outcome of an Environmentally Conscious Community by improving the utilization of existing real estate assets through consolidation and modernization over time.



There is no cost associated with the acceptance of the Master Plan.



Exhibit A – Capital Improvement Plan