General Plan Amendments

General Plan Amendments

California law requires every city and county to prepare and adopt a comprehensive, long-range General Plan complete with text and a map, to serve as a guide for the physical development of that community. The law requires that, at a minimum, the general plan identify issues and provide policies for seven broad areas, called “elements”: land use, circulation, housing, green space, conservation, Open Space, and noise and safety. The law permits other issues to be addressed, either within the required elements or as additional ones. State law requires that day-to-day decisions of a city follow logically from and be consistent with the General Plan.

General plans provide the overall framework for translating broad community values and expectations into specific strategies for managing growth and enhancing the quality of life. As community needs and values change, general plans are regularly reviewed and updated to remain realistic documents to achieve the community’s vision.  A General Plan Amendment is considered to be any change to the General Plan map or text.  State law provides that each mandatory General Plan element may be amended no more than four times per year.

A request for a General Plan Amendment may require a Zoning Map Amendment if the existing zoning designation is different from the proposed General Plan land use designation. If a Zoning Map amendment approval is required, these applications can be processed simultaneously.