General Plan & Special Area Plans

General Plan

State law requires each California city and county to prepare a General Plan.  A general plan is defined as a "comprehensive, long-term general plan for the physical development of the city and any land outside its boundaries, which in the planning agency's judgment, bears relation to its planning."  State requirements call for general plans that "comprise an integrated, internally consistent and compatible statement of policies for the adopting agency."

Specific Plans

A Specific Plan is a tool for the systematic implementation of the General Plan.  It effectively establishes a link between implementing policies of the General plan and the individual development proposals in a defined area.  A Specific Plan may be as general as setting forth broad policy concepts, or as detailed as providing direction to every facet of development from the type, location and intensity of uses to the design and capacity of infrastructure, from the resources used to finance public improvements to the design guidelines of a subdivision.

Planned Development

The Planned Development (P-D) zoning district is intended to accommodate a wide range of residential, commercial andindustrial land uses, which are mutually-supportive and compatible with existing and proposed development on surrounding properties.  P-D zoning districts shall encourage the use of flexible development standards designed to appropriately integrate a project into its natural and/or man-made setting and shall typically be intended for projects that provide for a mix of land uses to serve identified community needs.  Furthermore, the P-D zoning process may be used to implement the various specific plans adopted by the city.  Once established, the P-D zoning district becomes, in effect the zoning for the area within its respective boundaries.

Priority Development Area Plan

Priority Development Areas, commonly known as PDAs, are areas within existing communities that local city or county governments have identified and approved for future growth.  These areas typically are accessible by one or more transit services; and they are often located near established job centers, shopping districts and other services.