Friday, June 22, 2007

Biotech's Proposal Moves Step Closer To Approval

Biotech's Proposal Moves Step Closer To Approval
By Melissa Murphy/Staff Writer

Genentech's proposal to build a research facility in Dixon inched closer to final approval Tuesday with the Planning Commission voting to vacate a light and air easement and a right-of-way on the property.

Biotech giant Genentech wants to build a 140,000-square-foot research facility at 2727 Fitzgerald Drive, between the Cardinal Health and Gymboree facilities, off Vaughn Road.

Community Development Director Dave Dowswell said Tuesday night that the street right-of-way and light and air easements are not needed.

The commission unanimously voted to pass the finding on to the City Council for final approval and decided that the easement relinquishments will not impact the city's General Plan.

In March, City Manager Warren Salmons sent a letter to Genentech expressing the city's enthusiasm in welcoming the company to Dixon.

City staff also anticipates a catalyst effect, not only with respect to potential future investment by Genentech, but potentially by other biotechnology firms and ancillary industries, a staff report said.

Genentech, which operates a large manufacturing facility in Vacaville, plans to expand to Dixon because the city offers advantages including proximity to the University of California, Davis and to Genentech's corporate headquarters in San Francisco.

In a staff report, City Manager Warren Salmons said the Genentech project is unique for Dixon because:

• It is a preeminent player in the biotechnology industry;

• It brings an estimated 160 jobs;

• It would have a catalyst effect in attracting other such industry; and

• It creates the ability to connect Dixon more closely with biotech programs at UC Davis.

Melissa Murphy can be reached at

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