Mullin’s AB 2789 Extends Design-Build Contracting Program for Open Space Districts Agencies benefit from the use of experienced contractors with strong resource and conservation practices

For immediate release:
  • Susan Kennedy
  • Director of Communications, Office of Speaker pro Tempore Kevin Mullin
  • 925-437-2510
RR Midpen Leigh Ann Gessner

Sacramento – Governor Newsom has signed AB 2789 by Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin. AB 2789 maintains and extends the ability for the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (Midpen) and the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority to continue using design-build contracting on publicly funded construction projects. This bill also provides the East Bay Regional Park District with the same statutory authority.


“Being able to utilize design-build contracting on projects allows for the selection of firms that are well qualified and equipped to work in often remote and rugged site conditions,” said Speaker pro Tem Mullin. “Of additional importance, using the design build method protects the public’s natural resources by ensuring that contactors possess strong conservation practices and understand the importance of species protection and preserving water quality.”


Midpen and Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority received initial authorization for design-build through SB 793 by then Senator Jerry Hill, with the goal of enhancing recreational opportunities, expanding access to recreational facilities and protecting, restoring and improving district parks. 

Design-build provides entities with the opportunity to hire a single firm that handles both the design and construction services rather than the typical design-bid-build process. This allows for a process evaluated on “best value” and incorporates objective criterial such as price, life-cycle costs, past performance and experience rather than simply the lowest bidder.


Midpen’s first use of design-build was to enhance habitat for threatened and endangered species like the California red-legged frog, San Francisco garter snake and western pond turtle at two ponds within Midpen’s Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve.  We are grateful that we had the ability to utilize the best qualified contractor who has expertise and experience working in sensitive habitat areas,” said Susanna Chan, Assistant General Manager for Midpen. 


“Design-build will allow the Open Space Authority to provide habitat enhancement projects, equitable public access, and land stewardship for climate resilience in a more cost-effective way, saving precious taxpayer dollars. Our sincere gratitude to Assemblymember Mullin for his vision and leadership”, said Andrea Mackenzie, General Manager of the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority. 


“The East Bay Regional Park District plans to utilize Design Build/Best Value Contracting to accelerate climate-smart projects that include elements of public access, advances nature based solutions and builds climate resiliency on public lands,” shares Dr. Ana M. Alvarez, Deputy General Manager of East Bay Regional Park District. “Design-Build is an important tool that will generate tax-payers savings, secure best expertise in selecting the most advantageous contractor to develop restoration, resiliency, and situationally unique and complex projects to advance the mission of the Park District.”


“I am pleased that AB 2789 extends and expands the ability of these three Park Districts to utilize the design-build process to enhance recreational facilities, while protecting, restoring and improving their parks,” added Speaker pro Tem Mullin. “Preserving our natural resources has become even more critical given the need to address the growing effects of climate change and design-build provides the opportunity to obtain the “best value” while using experienced entities to achieve their mission.”