What is a General Plan?
The General Plan provides a set of policies and programs that form a blueprint for physical development throughout the community. It is a long-term document consisting of written text and diagrams that expresses how a community should develop, and is a key tool for influencing the quality of life. The plan is a basis for land-use decision making used by policy decision makers such as the Planning Commission and the City Council.
Why is it Required?
State law mandates that every California city and county adopt "a comprehensive, long-term general plan." The purpose is to plan for important community issues such as new growth, housing needs, and environmental protection. Furthermore, the general plan is used to project future growth demand services for sewer, water, roadways, parks, and emergency services. As the official policy document of the City, California state law requires that the General Plan be:
- Long Range. The General Plan must be a long-range document addressing future development within the community, generally within a 20-year timeframe.
- Comprehensive. The General Plan must encompass the entire City, and address the full range of issues associated with the City’s physical development.
- Consistent. Mandatory and optional elements must be consistent with one another, and each element maintains equal legal status. Additionally, principles, goals, objectives, policies, and plan proposals set forth in an area, community, redevelopment or specific plan must be consistent with the General Plan.
General Plans need to be updated periodically to reflect community needs, update technical information, and address locally relevant issues. Lodi’s General Plan was updated to reflect changes in land use, community needs and values, lifestyles, and the regional economy that have occurred since the City adopted its previous General Plan, which covered the time span from 1991 to 2010.
California Planning Guide: An Introduction to Planning in California
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)