Officials push Genentech’s growth 

Genentech’s expansion plans are giving city officials a chance to press for improved public access to the Bay Trail and added recreational facilities.

With a 10-year master plan for the biotech giant’s expansion set to come before the Planning Commission Thursday for a vote, city officials are urging the company to move ahead sooner rather than later with plans for Bayshore facilities, including a playing field, a concession stand, public restrooms and added parking. The company has already started work on a section of the Bay Trail, a trail intended to eventually circle the entire Bay.

Founded inone South City warehouse in 1979, Genentech occupies 124 acres of a research and development district but plans to increase that to 160 acres over the next 10 years. Square footage for research and development would expand from 2.8 million to more than double that at nearly 6 million square feet.

With that development will come public access improvements to the shore.

"A lot of the discussion will be to narrow what the triggers" during development are for making the improvements, South San Francisco Senior Planner Michael Lappen said, especially on the northern section near the intersection of Forbes Boulevard and DNA Way.

There, planned improvements include new restrooms, parking and a wider open space in San Bruno Point Park, and officials would like to see those happen sooner because that area is the most accessible, Lappen said. Genentech is being asked to submit a design plan for the area within one year after the City Council approves the company’s master plan, rather than within five years as proposed by the company.

There are signs leading the public to the Bay Trail and shoreline, but those will be improved as well, company spokeswoman Colleen Wilson said.

Genentech also broke ground on a 2,300-foot Bay Trail extension below the San Bruno Point Pier in September, Wilson said.

Completion of the extension is expected by the end of next month, and Genentech has spent $6 million improving the space along the bay there, Wilson said.

Patrycja Bossak, a planner for the non-profit San Francisco Bay Trail Project that is run by the Association of Bay Area Governments, said 288 miles of the proposed 500 miles of trail have been completed since 1989. Bossak said companies often contribute to the trail to mitigate their impact on the community.

The biotech giant would be charged with maintaining the area as well, Wilson said.

"It is important that [the public] is able to access [the trail] there" along the shore south of San Bruno Point, Wilson said.

dsmith@examiner.com

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