Vacaville Establishes Fast Track Program for Biotechnology Projects

VACAVILLE, Calif., Nov. 19, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The City of Vacaville, which last month unveiled plans for the next generation of development of its world-class biomanufacturing cluster, has created a Fast Track program to streamline new biotechnology projects in the city.

The policy seeks to support economic development in line with its biotech strategy by prioritizing the review of these projects, providing a central point of contact for them, and processing entitlement in 90-100 days from submission of applications to land use approvals. The City of Vacaville’s Planning Commission unanimously endorsed the policy during its November 17 meeting.

“Our staff has deep experience working with the biotechnology industry,” said Vacaville Mayor Ron Rowlett. “As we work to grow our biomanufacturing sector, this program will ensure that this is as fast and frictionless a process as possible for companies looking to locate and expand in Vacaville.”

Vacaville, located 50 miles northeast of San Francisco along Interstate 80 between the University of California Berkeley Group and Davis campuses, has been a center for biomanufacturing since the 1980s. It gained recognition as a leading biotechnology center in 1994, when Genentech acquired land for its biologics manufacturing facility there. Today, the facility is among the largest biotech drug manufacturing complexes in the world.

Last month, the city announced plans to expand its biomanufacturing cluster by identifying 300 acres of land adjacent to existing facilities for the development of new biomanufacturing facilities. It expects the expansion will lead to more than $2 billion in industrial development, 3.5 million square feet of commercial real estate, and the addition of 10,000 jobs with a payroll of more than $1 billion a year.

As part of the Fast Track program, specific staff from various departments will be assigned to each project. To ensure a speedy permit review, building officials will work directly with projects' design and construction teams. The city will also assign a dedicated building inspector to perform all inspections, act as a primary contact for inspection-related requests and serve as a contact for post-approval support.

“The Fast Track program reflects Vacaville’s ongoing commitment to work with the biotech industry to grow biomanufacturing in the city,” said Robert Macaulay, chairman of the Vacaville Planning Commission. “This is a commitment that is shared by the commission, city staff, and leadership.”

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