Hercules Waterfront Master Plan (aka: The Waterfront Now Initiative)

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Download the 2016 Version of the Entire Initiative 

Download the Entire 2008 Initiative
Use the links below to download the complete text of the Waterfront Master Plan Initiative.
(PDF files-requires Adobe Acrobat)

Waterfront Master Plan Initiative

Exhibit A - Subject Property

Exhibit B - Land Use & Zoning Map

Exhibit C - Land Use & Zoning Map (Prior)

Exhibit D - Open Space & Consevation Plan

Exhibit E - Open Space & Conservatio Plan (Prior)

Exhibit F - Conceptual District Plan

Exhibit G - Conceptual District Plan (Prior)

Exhibit H - Sub-Districts (Prior)

Exhibit I-Intro - Form-Based Code

Exhibit I Ch. 1 - Building Form Standards 

Exhibit I Ch. 2 - Architectural Styles

Exhibit I Ch. 3 - Civic Space Standards

Exhibit I Ch. 4 - Street & Circulation Standards

Exhibit I Ch. 5 - Appendix

The Hercules Waterfront Master Plan Initiative allows the Waterfront’s master developer, Hercules Bayfront, LLC, to begin the specific entitlement process for developing the final stages of the Waterfront. The Initiative modifies the City’s primary planning documents and facilitates completion of the Hercules Waterfront as a transit-oriented neighborhood mixed-use project by:
  • Amending the General Plan Diagrams, Land Use Element, Open Space/Conservation Element, Growth Management Element and Hazardous Waste Management Element and the Zoning Ordinance to:
    1. designate the Hercules Point as Open Space and allow both active and passive uses subject to any needed remediation;
    2. allow mixed use neighborhood and residential uses within the Historic Town Center planning area;
    3. add the Administration Building of the former Hercules Powder Company to the buildings to be retained for public or private use or access;
    4. add marina use, including boat slips and docks, to the permissible uses for submerged and tidal land to the north and south of Hercules Point and permit inclusion of public rest room facilities within areas designated as Waterfront Commercial (WC);
    5. increase allowable residential density to 40 units per acre and permissible building height to no more than eight stories within areas designated as Planned Commercial-Residential (PC-R); and
    6. rezone property within various designated sub-districts, including bringing the Civic Arts building property and the Masonic building property within the Central Hercules Plan area.
  • Amending the Waterfront District Master Plan by adding a Section 4 to establish a form-based code to regulate and provide detailed development and design standards for the currently undeveloped portions of the Historic Town Center, Transit Village, and Hercules Point sub-districts. The form-based code will only apply to those specific areas. The existing Waterfront Master Plan will continue to apply to other portions of the Waterfront Master Plan Area. The initiative will not apply to property that has already been developed within the Waterfront Master Plan Area or to land exempted from local regulation by state or federal law.

How the Waterfront Master Plan Initiative Came to Be

On June 4, 2008, the City Clerk posted notice of Hercules citizens' intention to circulate a petition requiring the Hercules Waterfront Master Plan Initiative to be submitted to the City Council for consideration. After less than three weeks of circulation, completed petitions containing 3,666 unverified signatures were delivered to the City Clerk and the County Elections Department for verification. On July 14, 2008, the Contra Costa County Elections Department certified that the petition qualified pursuant to Elections Code Sections 9115, 9211, and 9214. Since the number of valid signatures substantially exceeded the required 15% threshold of all registered Hercules voters, the City Council on July 22, 2008, adopted the Initiative as an ordinance (effective 30 days thereafter on August 22, 2008).

The Council also approved a development agreement between the City of Hercules and Hercules Bayfront LLC. Specific projects allowed by the development agreement will undergo review pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act and pursuant to the City’s governing ordinances.

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