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Local Planning Process The General Plan. SB 18 Training Program. Jurisdiction in California. Federal Federally Owned Lands Regulation State State Owned Lands Regulation Local General Plan and the Local Planning Process. Local Authority, Land Use.

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Local Planning Process The General Plan

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Local planning process the general plan

Local Planning ProcessThe General Plan

SB 18 Training Program


Jurisdiction in california

Jurisdiction in California

  • Federal

    • Federally Owned Lands

    • Regulation

  • State

    • State Owned Lands

    • Regulation

  • Local

    • General Plan and the Local Planning Process


Local authority land use

Local Authority, Land Use

  • The majority of planning occurs at the local (city or county) level in California.

  • City or county authority to regulate land use is derived from its inherent police power, not from the delegation of authority by the state. (constitutional authority)

  • Local governments create their own codes/ordinances that govern various land use, planning, and zoning regulations.

  • A land use regulation or action must not be unduly restrictive such that it causes a “taking” of property without just compensation. (US and CA Constitutions)


Local plans and ordinances

Local Plans and Ordinances

  • General Plan

  • Specific Plan

  • Zoning

  • Approval of Individual Development Applications.

  • CEQA


The general plan

The General Plan

  • Decisions involving the future growth of the state, most of which are made and will continue to be made at the local level, should be guided by an effective planning process, including the local general plan (GC §65030.1)

  • The General Plan has been called the “constitution for all future development” of an area by the California courts.

    • Lesher Communications v. City of Walnut Creek


General plan basic requirements

General Plan: Basic Requirements

  • Each city or county must adopt a General Plan.

    • Looks at long term growth for the jurisdiction (15-20 year scope)

    • Addresses land within boundaries and any land outside boundaries that could be affected by policies contained in the General Plan

    • Comprehensive document that is consistent across all elements


General plan

General Plan

“The general plan shall consist of a statement of development policies and shall include a diagram or diagrams and text setting forth objectives, principles, standards and plan proposals.” (GC § 65302)


Mandated elements

Mandated Elements

  • The seven mandatory elements

    (GC § 65302)

    • Land Use

    • Circulation

    • Housing

    • Conservation

    • Open Space

    • Noise

    • Safety


Optional elements

Optional Elements

Cities and Counties have the authority to adopt optional elements beyond the 7 required elements:

Examples of Optional Elements Include:

  • Historical/Cultural Element

  • Water Element

  • Environmental Justice Element

  • Energy Element


Elements

Elements

  • Format and Flexibility

    • Elements may be combined

    • Plan may be adopted as one document or several documents

    • The degree of specificity and level of detail of the discussion of each element shall reflect local conditions and circumstances. (GC § 65301)


Policy development

Policy Development

The General Plan is a policy document.

  • Policies that guide future development.

    • What type of development and where.

    • Protection of Natural Resources

    • Health and Safety

    • Mobility, transportation options

      Policies should be developed with input from public and stakeholder groups.


Data collection information gathering

Data Collection/Information Gathering

In order to develop sound policies Cities and Counties must first gather data/information.

  • Hazards (natural, man made)

  • Historical/Archeological/Cultural

  • Traffic/Transportation

  • Housing Needs

  • Infrastructure: Water Supply, Energy, Roads, etc


Adopting updating a general plan

Adopting/Updating a General Plan

Adopting a new General Plan or comprehensively updating an existing General Plan can take several years to accomplish. Most jurisdictions go through extensive public participation and outreach in creating a new General Plan or updating an existing one.


Public participation

Public Participation

  • Public Participation (GC § 65351)

    “During the preparation or amendment of the general plan, the planning agency shall provide opportunities for the involvement of citizens, California Native American tribes, public agencies, public utility companies, and civic, education, and other community groups, through public hearings and any other means the city or county deems appropriate.”


Public participation1

Public Participation

Goals and Outcomes

  • Providing valuable information leading to more informed policy development by decision-makers.

  • Insuring the plan’s successful implementation by building a base of long-term support with the public.

  • Reducing the likelihood of conflict and drawn-out battles addressing public concerns during the general plan process rather than on a case by case basis in the future.


Public participation public hearings

Public Participation & Public Hearings

Statute requires two public hearings before a jurisdiction can adopt or amend a general plan.

  • Planning Commission (GC § 65353)

  • Legislative Body: City Council, Board of Supervisors (GC § 65355)


Commissions advisory bodies

Commissions & Advisory Bodies

  • Planning Commission makes recommendations to Legislative Body on Adoption of General Plan (GC § 65354)

  • Planning Advisory Councils/Commissions

    • Many jurisdictions have planning advisory commissions/committees/councils that make recommendations to the Planning Commission and the Legislative Body on a variety of planning issues.

    • Councils are usually designated by a geographic area within a jurisdiction (planning area). “Community Planning Advisory Councils” (CPAC)


Comprehensive update

Comprehensive Update

Cities and Counties are encouraged to update/revise their General Plan every 10 years. OPR notifies cities and counties if their General Plan has not been revised in 8 years and notifies the Attorney General of cities and counties that have not revised their General Plan in the last 10 years. (GC § 65040.5)

The age of a General Plan does not necessarily mean it is inadequate.


Amending the general plan

Amending the General Plan

Amendments (GC§ 65358)

  • No mandatory element shall be amended more than four times during any calendar year (usually done quarterly) Does not apply to Charter Cities.


Amending the general plan1

Amending the General Plan

  • Amendments

    • Suggested Considerations

      • Is the amendment in the public interest?

      • Is the amendment consistent with all other parts of the General Plan?

      • If other changes will be required, are they being considered at the same time (“ripple effect”)?

      • Will the amendment necessitate changes in zoning or other implementing ordinances?


Why amend

Why Amend?

Examples include:

  • Development Proposal requires change in General Plan.

  • New state law requires change in the general plan or change in an element.

  • City/County proposes to amend general plan to facilitate certain type of development.

  • City/County proposes to amend general plan to protect a resource.


Open space element

Open Space Element

One of the Seven Mandatory Elements.

The open-space element guides the comprehensive and long-range preservation and conservation of “open-space land” (GC § 65563).


Open space element1

Open Space Element

“Open-space land” is any parcel or area of land or water that is essentially unimproved and devoted to an open-space use and that is designated for any of the following:

  • The preservation of natural resources

  • The managed production of resources

  • Outdoor recreation

  • Public Health and Safety

  • Support of the mission of military installations, areas adjacent to military installations

  • Protection of Native Americancultural places

    (GC §65560)


Open space action program

Open-Space Action Program

“Every local open-space plan shall contain an action program consisting of specific programs which the legislative body intends to pursue in implementing its open-space plan.”(GC § 65564)

Ideas for action programs to preserve OS:

  • Open-space zoning (exclusive ag, overlays for hazards, overlays for cultural resources)

  • Public acquisition of OS.


Os action program

OS Action Program

  • Private acquisition of OS

  • Provisions for OS in Specific Plans

  • Provisions for OS in Development Agreements

  • OS in planned unit developments


Specific plan

Specific Plan

Specific Plan: “for the systematic implementation of the general plan for all or part of the area covered by the general plan.” (GC § 65450)

Usually a specific plan covers a defined portion of a jurisdiction.

  • Examples:

    • Downtown Specific Plan

    • Waterfront Specific Plan

    • Southeast Specific Plan


Amending adopting a specific plan

Amending/Adopting a Specific Plan

“A specific plan shall be prepared, adopted, and amended in the same manner as a general plan, except that a specific plan may be adopted by resolution or ordinance and may be amended as often as deemed necessary by the legislative body.”

(GC § 65453)


Consistency

Consistency

  • Implementation tools

    • Specific Plans

    • Zoning

    • Development Applications

      • Subdivisions, Development Agreements, etc

    • Resource Management Plans

  • All must be consistent with General Plan


Questions

Questions?


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