EL CERRITO -- The draft environmental report for the city's San Pablo Avenue Specific Plan has been released and available for review and public comment.

The deadline to submit comments is 4 p.m. July 18.

The specific plan is the result of several years of preparation and coordination between El Cerrito and Richmond, the cities that share boundaries along San Pablo, on their goals guiding future development and changes on the commercial thoroughfare, which is also a state highway.

Following its review and adoption, the plan "will identify priority improvements and adopt regulations that can be applied consistently across the planning area."

The plan area is along San Pablo from Baxter Creek Gateway Park at the north to the Albany-El Cerrito border at the south and includes Central Avenue from the BART tracks to Interstate 80.

The plan's primary elements are a form-based code regulating development and a Complete Streets Plan guiding circulation and changes focusing on pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users and motor traffic.

"Once adopted, the Specific Plan will be a tool the cities can use to guide development towards creating a more vibrant, walkable, sustainable, and transit-oriented corridor that respects surrounding neighborhoods," Melanie Mintz, El Cerrito's interim community development director, stated in a news release.

The EIR can be reviewed online at www.el-cerrito.org/spaSP. Printed copies area available at El Cerrito City Hall, 10890 San Pablo Ave.; Richmond City Hall, 450 Civic Center Plaza; and the El Cerrito Library, 6510 Stockton Ave.

El Cerrito Planning Commission meetings to hear public comments will be held in July and the commission will meet in September to consider sending the plan to the City Council for approval, which is expected to be in the fall.