The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research recently announced that it has committed to updating the General Plan Guidelines in 2013. The general plan guidelines were last updated in 2003. Each county and city in California is required to adopt a general plan which comprehensively addresses long-term planning. The seven required elements of a general plan include conservation, safety, traffic circulation, noise, land use, open space and housing. (Gov. Code Sections 65300 et seq.) The new general plan guidelines will also address new issues such as greenhouse gas emissions reductions, climate change adaptation, renewable energy, infill development, public health, and regional planning.
OPR is also evaluating ways to provide policy guidance online, and exploring the feasibility of creating templates to reduce the time and cost to local governments of updating a general plan.
Public workshops will be open to stakeholders and the general public. To sign up for general plan guideline emails, or for more information about the update process, see: http://www.opr.ca.gov/s_generalplanguidelines.php (By Holly Roberson)