WHY UPDATE THE GENERAL PLAN?
Typically General Plans have a typical shelf-life of 15-20 years. The last time the City’s entire General Plan was updated was in 2007. Since then, the City updated the Housing Element in 2014 as required by State law. Other elements have been amended or modified by minor amendments but have not been comprehensively updated. This effort provides a timely opportunity for the City to review the effectiveness of the General Plan to assess how it has been functioning and to provide target refinements or recommendations for future revisions.
This limited update also provides the City an opportunity to revisit the General Plan to capture the most current goals and values of the community while addressing growth and change, respond to new legislation, and ensure the City meets eligibility requirements to receive Federal and State funding. Since the last update, several new topics are required to be addressed in the General Plan: complete streets, climate change and resiliency, and other important updates from the State. This effort will address these where appropriate.
WHY IS IT CALLED A “LIMITED” GENERAL PLAN UPDATE?
The City will not be comprehensively updating all of the General Plan Elements at this time. The focus of the update will be on four main elements: Land Use, Circulation, Housing and Safety.
The primary focus of the update effort will be to provide clarity and consistency in the application of the City’s new PDD Ordinance and to bring the General Plan into regulatory compliance. The outreach efforts and discussions with the General Plan Steering Committee will also identify the issues that need further exploration when the City updates the remaining elements.
WHO WILL USE THE GENERAL PLAN?
City Council and Planning Commission use the goals and policies of the general plan as a basis upon which to make both long-term and short-term decisions, determine long-term objectives, generate and evaluate budgets, plan capital improvements, and prioritize tasks.
City staff and all departments will also reference the general plan when considering development applications, capital improvements, service programming, and departmental budgeting.
Individual residents, existing and prospective business owners, and the development community can also seek guidance for preserving and enhancing the community through the general plan.
Other local and regional agencies will refer to the general plan when projecting future needs and services. The general plan is truly the City’s collective guide to the future.
HOW WILL THE GENERAL PLAN BE IMPLEMENTED?
General Plan implementation consists of shorter-term actions and programs to carry out longer-term General Plan goals and policies. This includes one-time initiatives (e.g., zoning code updates by the City, decisions on public and private development projects, municipal operational programs, capital improvements and partnerships with other jurisdictions or agencies). Implementation actions in the General Plan can also be tied to the City’s annual Strategic Plan priorities.